After its deliberations the Sub-Committee and the Council’s Solicitor will return to the meeting (and the interested parties and public will be re-admitted) in order for the Chairman to formally announce the Sub-Committee’s decision following its review of the Premises Licence held in respect of the Great Gurkha Restaurant, 126 Old Road, Clacton-on-Sea.
Following its deliberations, the Sub-Committee, Council’s Solicitor and Legal and Governance Administration Officer then returned to the meeting and Essex Police and the Immigration Officer were invited to rejoin the meeting. The Council’s Solicitor confirmed that she had not provided any specific legal advice to the Sub-Committee whilst it was making its decision
The Chairman of the Sub-Committee then read out the following decision:
“LICENSING ACT 2003 - APPLICATION FOR THE REVIEW OF PREMISES LICENCE - GREAT GURKHA RESTAURANT, 126 OLD ROAD, CLACTON ON SEA, ESSEX
The Sub-Committee has given careful consideration to this application for a review and to the actual representations received from Essex Police on the grounds that the Licensing Objective in respect of the prevention of crime and disorder had been breached for the reasons set out in their representations.
The Licensing Objective for the Prevention of Crime and Disorder has been breached.
In making their decision, the Sub-Committee have taken into account:-
(i) relevant matters set out in the Licensing Authority's own Statement of Licensing Policy;
(ii) the relevant parts of the Guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
(iii) the range of powers provided to Licensing Authorities by the Licensing Act 2003 in determining a Review;
(iv) Any legal advice given by the Council's Solicitor.
The Sub-Committee are also aware that it must act to promote the Licensing Objectives as set out in the Licensing Act 2003 and that any decision it took in determining a Review must be necessary for the promotion of these objectives.
The decision of the Sub-Committee is as follows:-
1. In respect of the application for the Review of a Premises Licence submitted by Essex Police in respect of the premises known as Great Gurkha Restaurant, 126 Old Road, Clacton on Sea, Essex, the Sub-Committee's decision is to revoke the Licence.
2. It has been determined that the Licence must be revoked for the following reason[s]:-
The committee note that this is not the first time, even in the last 12 months, that these premises have come to the attention of the police and immigration authorities, and has been found to be employing multiple illegal workers on two separate occasions in that 12 month period, and despite being issued a formal warning previously.
In addition it is noted that despite changes in names at, for example, Companies House the operational management of the premises has remained the same throughout the time since these premises first came to the attention of the police and/or immigration authorities.
Further following the first such visit the police and/or immigration authorities provided education and advice, advice that it appears has still not been followed as on this occasion, as on previous occasions, the paperwork that is required to be kept was again unable to be provided including for example photocopies of passports, bank statements, and similar documentation. The immigration officer was able to advise the committee how simple it was for any business to apply to the government for a right to work check to be undertaken, and proof provided: there was no evidence that any such checks had been undertaken.
It was further noted that those workers found to be working illegally were being paid substantially below the minimum wage, including one who was paid just £10 a day so that in addition to other potential criminal offences, there is a loss to HMRC and therefore the wider British public.
Details of the Sub-Committee’s decision will be notified to all interested parties in writing.
Finally, I must mention that all parties who are aggrieved at the decision of the Sub-Committee have a right of appeal to the Magistrates’ Court.”