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LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 4th October, 2011.

 

Present:  Councillor J.W. Thomas (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. A.J. Preston (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. M.E. Alexander, Mrs. S.M. Bagstaff, G.A. Cox, J.F. Fraser, E. Hacker, A.D. Hampton, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, K. Hatton, N. Moore, C.L. Osborne and E.T. Williams.

 

 

467     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

 

468     MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 13th September, 2011 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

469     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

470     SAFER VALE STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT (DLPPHS) -

 

Committee were informed of the annual Safer Vale Strategic Assessment. 

 

The Assessment is a statutory document, produced annually to identify the strategic focus of the Community Safety Partnership.

 

The current administration had highlighted the need for local targets driven by local priorities.  The Strategic Assessment used data and consultation feedback to identify these local targets. 

 

The targets identified in the Assessment complimented the Community Safety objectives in the Community Strategy.

 

The overall outcome of the Partnership was for “Residents and visitors to feel safe and that the Vale is recognised as a low crime area”.

 

The following targets had been identified in the assessment through intelligence led business processes:

 

·         Objective One: Reduce the level of violent offences and alcohol related violent offences in the Vale of Glamorgan

 

            Most serious violence target: Reduce or maintain 2010-11 performance, upper target: 86 incidents

 

·         Objective Two: Reduce the impact of domestic abuse on victims, families and the wider community and ensure that help and support are available

 

            Serious sexual offences: Reduce or maintain 2010-11 performance, upper target: 57 incidents

 

            Domestic abuse: Reduce or maintain 2010-11 performance, repeat incidents to account for 17% or less of total incidents.

 

·         Objective Three: Reduce the level of serious acquisitive crime and criminal damage in the Vale of Glamorgan

 

            Criminal damage: Reduce or maintain 2010-11 performance, upper target: 1,524 incidents

 

            Burglary: Reduce or maintain 2010-11 performance, upper target: 366 incidents

 

            Robbery: Reduce or maintain 2010-11 performance, upper target: 24 incidents

 

·         Objective Four: Reduce the impact of Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) in the Vale

 

            The Partnership will aim to increase data sharing with schools enabling a more rounded multiagency response.

 

            The Partnership will train front line staff from relevant agencies in the use of the ASB system and ASB process.

 

            As far as possible the Partnership will align the ASB processes between Safer Vale and Safer Bridgend in light of potential Partnership mergers.

 

            The Partnership will work towards a holistic service for ASB victims of all ages.

 

·         Objective Five: Make the Vale of Glamorgan a safe place to live work and visit, free from crime and the fear of crime

 

            The Safer Vale consultation analysis will be used to raise the profile of the partnership and community cohesion in a targeted way to the people and places that require it most.

 

            The Partnership will raise the profile of CCTV in the Vale of Glamorgan through press and publications.

 

            The Partnership will react accordingly and advise in relation to any incidents of illegal / rogue traders.

 

·         Objective Six: Integrated offender management (IOM)

 

            The Partnership will help to implement the IOM project to help stabilise the lifestyles of the most prolific offenders in the Vale that are a substantial cost to all agencies.

 

·         Objective Seven: Reduce the impact of substance misuse in communities

 

            Substance misuse is a running priority for the Partnership.  Cadoxton House and the joint service review will be major ongoing projects during 2011-12.  The progress will be monitored regularly within the Partnership to ensure delivery and sustainability.

 

·         Objective Eight: Prevention of Terrorism

 

            This is a core role of the Partnership.  Work will continue to educate front line staff under the prevent strand of the CONTEST strategy.

 

Having considered the Assessment, Members were of the view that the contents were very comprehensive, and made interesting reading.

 

However, concern was expressed at reports that the Police would not be having a presence in Cadoxton House, and that there were rumours that the Police Public Protection unit may be relocated to Cowbridge. 

 

Concerns were also expressed that the Police presence at the Community Safety Partnership offices in Barry Fire Station may be withdrawn. 

 

Committee felt that such actions by the Police would have a detrimental effect on the Community Safety Partnership, and it was

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the information contained within the Strategic Assessment be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Chief Constable be advised of the concerns of the Committee with regard to

 

           -      the Police presence at Cadoxton House

           -      any proposal to withdraw the Police presence from Barry Fire Station.

 

(3)       T H A T Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) be invited to support the resolution at (2) above.

 

(4)       T H A T the Community Safety Partnership inform the Authority’s Licensing Section of any incidents involving licensed premises.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To enable Committee to consider the strategy focus for Safer Vale during 2011/12.

 

(2)       To express Committee’s concern at any proposals that may weaken the effectiveness of the substance misuse / domestic abuse service.

 

(3)       To seek the support of Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

(4)       To assist in the compilation of intelligence concerning licensed premises within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

471     HOUSE TO HOUSE COLLECTION APPLICATION: SUPPORT HOLLIES SCHOOL LTD. FOR HOLLIES ACTION GROUP - MR. ALEKSEJ PLACHTEJ (DLPPHS) -

 

Also present: Mr. Aleksej Plachtej (Applicant), Mr. R. Vain (Business Consultant) and Mr. S. Evans (Accountant).

 

Committee considered an application for a House to House Collection Licence from Mr. Aleksej Plachtej.

 

House to House Collections were regulated by the House to House Collections Act 1939 and the House to House Collections Regulations 1947. 

 

Support Hollies School Ltd. and Support Pen-Y-Bont Ltd. were clothing and textile companies of which the Applicant was General Manager.  The collections for charitable purposes were in respect of the Charity Hollies Action Group, a centre for the education and assessment of children with learning difficulties or physical disabilities, and Y Bont, a centre based in Bridgend for children with disabilities and their families.

 

A House to House Collection application had been received on 28th June 2011 from the Applicant to carry out a House to House Collection throughout the whole of the vale of Glamorgan area between 31st July 2011 and 30th June 2012. 

 

Two House to House Collection Licences had previously been issued to the Applicant on behalf of Support Pen-Y-Bont Ltd. of which one was still in force.

 

Applicants must submit a returns schedule within one month of the expiry of a House to House Collection Licence detailing the account figures from the collection. 

 

The returns schedule for the collection that the Applicant had carried out on behalf of Support Pen-Y-Bont Ltd. between 13th July 2010 and 13th January 2011 detail that a low percentage of proceeds were donated to the Y Bont charity.  A breakdown of the collection returns schedule was attached at Appendix B to the report, and a list of returns schedules for recent similar collections was attached at Appendix C.  Appendix C showed that less than 6% of the total proceeds had been donated to the charity by Support Pen-Y-Bont Ltd. 

 

Due to the low percentage of proceeds donated to charity on the previous House to House Collections, Committee were asked to consider whether or not any further House to House Collection Licences should be granted to Mr. Aleksej Plachtej.

 

Committee were advised that there was no set percentage that organisations must donate to charities on a House to House Collection but it was expected that the public would wish to see a high percentage benefiting from charity. 

 

Consideration of this item had been deferred from the previous meeting of the Licensing Committee in order that Mr. Plachtej could attend before the Committee. 

 

Mr. Vain, on behalf of the Applicant, spoke of the legislation governing house to house collections, and advised that the legislation did not set an acceptable percentage of collections that must be donated to a charity.

 

In addition, Mr. Vain stated:

 

-         the process of house to house collections was a very labour intensive business, with the national minimum wage being paid to those staff involved in the process

-         charities benefit by £60 per tonne collected (formerly £50 per tonne), a figure that had been set by the Government

-         it was quite possible for a particular collection to end up making a loss

-         the cost of producing the collection bags was expensive

-         Mr. Vain assured the Committee that only the Charity benefited from the collections.

 

Mr. Evans outlined the collection process, namely:

 

-         the collection bags were distributed, and later collected

-         the garments were subsequently sorted

-         11 staff were employed in the operation, and were paid at the national minimum wage

-         no excessive remunerations were being made.

 

In response to an observation that other similar ventures by other organisations had collected a higher percentage of income for the Charity concerned, as indicated in Appendix C to the report, Committee were advised that officers took this information at face value.  It was acknowledged that other collectors provided a different form of service and it was possible that the Appendix did not compare “like with like”. 

 

Mr. Vain advised the Committee that he wished to look at the results of Appeals made to the Secretary of State as this may set a bench mark as to what an acceptable percentage collection rate was.

 

The Principal Regulatory Services Officer responded by stating that this is an area that requires further research.  She had not been able to obtain such information. 

 

In referring to Appendix B to the report (statement of return) which showed that the collection for the period 13th July 2010 to 13th January 2011 in respect of Support Pen-Y-Bont Ltd. the proceeds of which had been £3,496 and the donation to Y Bont £202, a Member pointed out that the surplus had in fact been £168. 

 

Mr. Evans agreed that the surplus had been £168 but as the Charity had been guaranteed a sum of £50 per tonne collected, the Applicant had to make up the donation.  A loss of some £40 had therefore been made.

 

Members referred to the refusal of Neath Port Talbot Council and Cardiff City Council to grant the Applicant a licence.  Cardiff City Council had taken the view that the Applicant was not making sufficiently high donations to the Charities concerned.  Mr. Vain added that the report before Cardiff City Council had contained a misleading statement even through the Applicant had advised them of the error.  Appeals had been lodged against the decisions of both Councils but as yet, the Appeals had not been determined. 

 

Having considered the detail contained within the report before them, and the comments of the Applicant and his representatives, Members felt that their questions had not been explained to their satisfaction, especially in view of the accounts shown at Appendix B to the report being incorrect and the details shown at Appendix C to the report being open to question.  Furthermore, Committee felt that advice should be sought from the Secretary of State as to how he determined such appeals. 

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the application for a House to House Collection Licence from Mr. Aleksej Plachtej be deferred until the next meeting of the Committee in order that advice could be sought from the Secretary of State as to the criteria he would use in considering appeals against decisions of Local Authorities to refuse such applications.

 

(2)       T H A T the Applicant be requested to provide a copy of his latest accounts.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       In order to clarify the criteria used by the Secretary of State when considering appeals against decisions of Local Authorities to grant House to House Collections Licences.

 

(2)       In order that the Committee may consider the Applicant’s latest set of accounts.

 

 

472     NEW BYELAWS - ACUPUNCTURE, TATTOOING SEMI-PERMANENT SKIN-COLOURING, COSMETIC PIERCING AND ELECTROLYSIS (DLPPHS) -

 

Committee were advised of new model byelaws published by the Welsh Government to control the medical risks associated with acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis.

 

Local Authorities were responsible for the regulation and control of businesses carrying out the procedures of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis. 

 

The main powers were provided under Sections 14 and 15 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended by the Local Government Act 2003).

 

Existing byelaws which applied to tattooing, acupuncture, ear piercing and electrolysis received the Common Seal of the Council in January 1985.  The Local Government Act 2003 amended the 1982 Act to include cosmetic piercing and semi-permanent skin colouring in the list of those activities which Local Authorities had powers to regulate. 

 

In recent years, the practice of skin piercing (piercing of the body including the ear) and semi-permanent skin colouring (including for example micro-pigmentation, semi-permanent make up and temporary tattooing) had become more common with many legitimate businesses offering these services locally.  Unfortunately there had also been a corresponding increase in individuals / businesses providing these services in less than satisfactory conditions which had the potential to put public health at risk.

 

In recognition of the medical risks attached to these procedures, particularly as a result of inappropriate sterilisation of needles, the Welsh Government had developed new model byelaws to reflect current infection control advice and industry practice.

 

The procedure for making byelaws was provided in Section 236 of the Local Government Act 1972.  In respect of these byelaws, a notice of the Authority’s intention must be given in one or more newspapers in the area to which the byelaws apply and a copy of the byelaws must be held on deposit at Council offices for at least a month for inspection by the public.  The new byelaws must be provided with the Common Seal of the Council and confirmed by the Welsh Government.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Council be recommended to adopt the provisions of Part VIII of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 across the Vale of Glamorgan and that the provisions come into force on 1st February 2012.

 

(2)       T H A T the new consolidated byelaws for the control of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis as contained at Appendix A to the report be endorsed and Council be recommended that they be formally adopted.

 

(3)       T H A T Council be recommended to revoke all current byelaws relating to acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing and electrolysis.

 

(4)       T H A T the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services be authorised to carry out the necessary procedure and apply to the appropriate Minister at the Welsh Government for approval and confirmation of the new byelaws.

 

(5)       T H A T the Council be requested to authorise the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services to seal and date the byelaws on behalf of the Council.

 

(6)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the Council is able to evidence that it has adopted Part VIII of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

 

(2)       To ensure the medical risks associated with acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis are effectively controlled and local byelaws reflect current infection control advice and industry best practice.

 

(3)       To remove an existing byelaw which does not reflect current infection control advice and industry best practice.

 

(4)       To ensure the proposed new byelaws are adopted in accordance with legislative requirements.

 

(5)       To enact the byelaws.

 

(6)       To ensure Cabinet are aware of the proposed new byelaws.

 

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