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LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 13th May, 2014.

 

Present:  Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. P. Drake, K.J. Geary, K. Hatton, Mrs. A.J. Moore, Ms. R.F. Probert and R.P. Thomas.

 

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, due to the unavoidable absence of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore was appointed Chairman for the duration of the meeting.

 

 

1124   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –  

 

These were received from Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillor H.C. Hamilton (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N. Moore, J.W. Thomas and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

 

1125   MINUTES –  

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 4th March, 2014 be approved as a correct record. 

 

 

1126   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

1127   MINUTES OF THE LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the Licensing Sub-Committee meeting held on 27th February, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

1128   SMALL SOCIETY LOTTERIES CANCELLATION (DDS) –

 

The Committee received a report regarding the Small Society Lottery cancellations made under delegated authority in the year April 2013 to March 2014, a list of cancelled lotteries was attached as an appendix to the report. 

 

Small Society Lotteries were lotteries promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society.  A society was non-commercial if it was established and conducted for charitable purposes; for the purposes of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity, or for any other non-commercial purpose other than that of gain.

 

The promoting society of a Small Society Lottery must apply to the Licensing Authority in whose area their principal office was located.  Licensing Authorities must maintain a register of Small Society Lotteries, which must be made available to the public on request.

 

Licensing Committee held on 9th April 2013 resolved that authority to cancel Small Society Lottery registrations due to the non-payment of annual fees be delegated to Licensing Officers and that a report detailing any cancellations made under delegated authority be submitted to the Committee on an annual basis.  The Committee considered the officers’ request that next year’s report be amended to show current registrations only, as the cancelled registrations listed at Appendix A to the report might have since applied and been granted a registration by the date of the Licensing Committee.

 

The Committee was informed that officers were in the process of developing the Council’s Licensing Website and envisaged that within 12 months the register of Lotteries would be available to view online.  Under the Gambling Act 2005 Licensing Authorities had been empowered to cancel a society’s registration if the annual fee was not paid within the period of two months, which ended immediately before each anniversary of the registration.  Furthermore, the Committee was informed that the list of registered societies attached as an appendix to the report had been formally notified of the cancellation of their registration and the process to re-apply if required. 

 

Following consideration of the report, Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T future reports would show current registrations only.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that Members had access to accurate information regarding the registration of Small Society Lotteries.

 

 

1129   PROPOSED CONDITIONS TO BE ATTACHED TO ANIMAL BOARDING ESTABLISHMENT LICENCES AND PET SHOP LICENCES (DDS) –

 

The Committee received a report to consider a review of the conditions attached to all Animal Boarding Establishment Licences and Pet Shop Licences following a six week consultation with the Trade and Licensing Committee Members. 

 

Members were informed that at present all Animal Boarding Establishment Licences were issued subject to compliance with the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Standard Conditions for Animal Boarding Establishments.  The licensing of Animal Boarding Establishments was currently governed by the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council's Standard Conditions for Animal Boarding Establishments were derived from model conditions, issued by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in 1995.  These conditions were now considered to be outdated and did not take account of matters contained within the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

At present all Pet Shop Licences were issued subject to compliance with the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Standard Conditions for Pet Shops.  The licensing of Pet Shops was currently governed by the Pet Animals Act 1951 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council's Standard Conditions for Pet Shops were derived from model standards for pet shop licence conditions, issued by the Local Government Association in 1998.  These conditions were also now considered to be outdated and that they did not take account of matters contained within the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 represented a change to animal welfare law.  The aim of the Act was to consolidate and modernise legislation such as the Animal Boarding Establishment Act and the Pet Animals Act by placing a clear duty of care on those who were responsible for animals.  Prior to the Animal Welfare Act officers would need to have proven that as a result of individual's actions, an animal had suffered. 

 

Officers now used the Animal Welfare Act alongside the parent legislation to ensure that animals did not suffer.

 

Officers achieved this by ensuring that conditions attached to such licences ensured that every animal was provided with the five freedoms, namely:

 

i.          Freedom from hunger and thirst

ii.         Freedom from discomfort

iii.        Freedom from pain, injury and disease

iv.        Freedom to behave normally

v.         Freedom from fear and distress

 

Members were informed that at present, the Vale of Glamorgan Council did not differentiate by way of condition, between those premises that board Cats, Dogs or both and that it was proposed that separate conditions were adopted for Catteries and Kennels.  In 2013, The Welsh Heads of Trading Standards, the Welsh Heads of Environmental Health, and Welsh Local Government Association recommended new licence conditions were adopted by Local Authorities in Wales.

 

The proposed conditions for Pet Shops, Animal Boarding Establishments and Dog Breeding Establishments had been adopted by six Welsh authorities and another six (including Bridgend and Cardiff) were in the process of adopting these conditions.

 

On 4th March 2014, The Licensing Committee of the Vale of Glamorgan Council instructed the Licensing Authority to arrange a six week consultation with the Trade, and Members' of the Licensing Committee in relation to the new licence conditions. 

 

The consultation documents were sent on 21st March 2014, and the consultation period ended at midnight on Monday 5th May 2014.  

 

One response had been received in relation to the consultation.  This was received from Mr Martin Evans of Westra Boarding Kennels & Cattery on 14th April 2014.  A copy of this response was attached at Appendix A to the report.  The Committee was informed that Licensing Officers made contact with the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency in order to address the issue regarding the transportation of animals.  It was confirmed that a Type 1 Authorisation was required when an animal was being transported on a journey over 65km and under eight hours in duration.  For shorter journeys, Licence holders must ensure compliance with Article 3 and the Technical Rules of the Regulations EC 2005/1.  This information had now been included in the schedules attached to each set of conditions.

 

The requested Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Kennels, Boarding Catteries and Pet Shops were attached to the report at Appendices B, C and D respectively.

 

The proposed conditions for Dog Boarding Kennels, Boarding Catteries and Pet Shops were intended to set a minimum standard, to be met by all licensed premises.  S1(3) of the Animal Boarding Act and S1(3) of the Pet Animals Act 1951, permit local authorities to add further conditions, known as specific conditions, to individual licences, in order to ensure that the requirements of the Acts are met.  Such conditions may be added following an inspection of the premises, and the Local Authority may put a time limit on the implementation of conditions, depending on the severity of the matter.        

 

The period of the Licence was outlined under section 1(5) of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, which stated:

 

Any such licence shall (according to the applicant’s requirements) relate to the year in which it is granted or to the next following year. In the former case, the licence shall come into force at the beginning of the day on which it is granted, and in the latter case it shall come into force at the beginning of the next following year.

 

The Committee was informed that, if approved, the new conditions would come into force immediately in relation to any Grants of Pet Shop, Boarding Cattery or Dog Boarding Kennel Licences, and for current Licensed Premises on 1st January 2015, following the renewal of their current Licence.

 

The Committee was informed that point 29 of the report should be amended to remove reference to “grandfather rights†and read as follows:

 

            'Where it is deemed suitable; for example at animal boarding establishments where the current construction of kennels or chalets do not meet the new requirements, provided that the structure is impervious and can be cleaned to a satisfactory standard, in order to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious disease, any new builds at the establishment(s) will be required to meet the proposed conditions.'

 

Furthermore, the Committee was informed that point 30 of the report be removed in its entirety.

 

Following receipt of the report a discussion ensued with regards to the ratio of staff members to animals in the requested Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Kennels and Boarding Catteries.  Members felt that the ratios listed in point 4.3 of the Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Kennels and Boarding Catteries were too high.  The requested Guidance stated that under no circumstances was the total number of cats or dogs on the licence to exceed 40 for every full-time attendant and 20 for every part-time attendant working at the premises.  Members felt that these ratios were too high as animals needed to be fed, exercised and cleaned out and would not provide staff with sufficient time to carry out these duties satisfactorily. 

 

Members noted the volume of the paperwork that had been circulated for this item, and the view was expressed that, in future when paperwork is sent out as part of a Consultation Exercise (as was the case in this instance), that reference should be made in the report that Members should retain the paperwork, to save the need to reprint it later, and that Members be required to bring the paperwork to the appropriate meeting.

 

Following consideration of the report, Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the requested Standard Conditions and Guidance attached to all Licences for Pet Shops, Boarding Catteries and Dog Boarding Kennels be approved subject to the following amendments –

  • The ratio of cats and dogs to full time attendants be reduced from 40 to 30 and
  • The ratio of cats and dogs to part time attendants be reduced from 20 to 15.

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that all licences for Pet Shops, Boarding Kennels and Catteries issued by the Vale of Glamorgan Council are subject to the revised Standard Conditions for Animal Boarding Establishment Licences and Pet Shop Licences. 

 

 

1130   APPLICATION 1/2013 – TO REGISTER LAND AT SULLY TERRACE, PENARTH AS A TOWN OR VILLAGE GREEN UNDER SECTION 15 OF THE COMMONS ACT 2006 (OM) –

 

The Committee received a report which apprised them with a formal update with regard to the application to register an area of land bounded by Sully Terrace, Archer Terrace and Westbourne Road in Penarth and to confirm that this application had been withdrawn and would not require further consideration.  An initial report was presented to the Committee on 5th November 2013 in respect of the application, a copy of which, together with the minute, was attached to the update report. 

 

At the 5th November 2013 Committee meeting it was resolved that a non-statutory Public Inquiry be convened to consider the application.  Subsequently the applicant had decided to withdraw the application and formal confirmation of this had been received. 

 

Following presentation of the report Members raised concerns about the amount of time that had been spent on considering the application and in response were advised that the Council had a statutory requirement to determine these applications as the Registration Authority for the administrative area by virtue of the Commons Act 2006. 

 

Members noted the volume of the paperwork circulated for this item, which had also been circulated to an earlier meeting of the Committee.  The view was expressed that this was a waste of resources and officer time for an item that had been withdrawn.

 

Following consideration of the report, the Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the content of the update report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To confirm that the Committee was aware of the withdrawal of the application.

 

 

1131   EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC –  

 

RESOLVED – T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

1132   DISCIPLINARY MATTER – C. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPH S 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

The Committee was informed that C. had been invited to attend the meeting, however was not in attendance.  The Committee received the report to determine whether or not C. was a fit and proper person to hold a Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles Driver Licence.

 

Members considered the matter in private. 

 

Having considered the report and supporting documents, the Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T C. remained a fit and proper person to hold a Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers Licences and a final warning letter be issued in relation to C.’s future conduct and failing to report matters to the Licensing Authority.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the information presented and that C. was committed to complying with the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s conditions attached to the licence for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles drivers.

 

 

1133   FOR INFORMATION REPORT – M. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

The Committee received a report to inform them of action taken by officers of the Licensing Section in relation to the revocation of M.’s Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licences. 

 

Following the presentation of the report it was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To confirm that Members were aware of the action taken by officers under delegated authority. 

 

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