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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee Tuesday 10th January 2012

 

Report of the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services

 

For Information Report - Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this Report is to appraise Members of the amendments that the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 will make to the Licensing Act 2003.

Recommendations

It is recommended that Members note the contents of this Report.

Background

2.             Since 2003 there have been minor amendments made to the Licensing Act 2003.

3.             The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 will have the biggest impact on the Licensing Act 2003 to date.

4.             A commencement date has yet to be announced, although there is speculation that the amendments concerning Temporary Event Notices will be commenced prior to the start of the Olympic Games in 2012. 

5.             The following is a brief outline of the amendments the Police Reform and Social Responsibilities Act 2011 will make to the Licensing Act 2003.

6.             Members will continue to be kept informed of developments in relation to commencement dates.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.             The Licensing Authority itself will become a responsible authority, and will be able to make representations in relation to applications and apply for the review of a licence in its own right.

8.             The Local Health Board also becomes a responsible authority and will receive copies of all applications. The Board will be able to make representations in relation to applications and will also be able to apply for a review of a licence.

9.             At this time a member of the public can make representations in relation to an application or apply for a review of a licence only if they live or work within the vicinity of a premises or represent someone who does. The 2011 Act allows for anyone to make a relevant objection.

10.        The Licensing Authority will be required by regulation to advertise applications including reviews in a prescribed form to bring it to the attention of persons who live, or are involved in a business within the Licensing Authorities area and who are likely to be affected by the application

11.        The test for whether conditions and the nature of those conditions should be attached to a Licence is currently whether they can be considered "Necessary" for the promotion of the Licensing Objectives. "Necessary" will be replaced by "Appropriate" thus giving wider discretion to the Licensing Authority.

12.        Environmental Health Officers will be able to object to applications for a Temporary Event Notice should officers determine that an application undermines one or more of the Licensing Objectives.

13.        Temporary Event Notices will become two separate notices "Standard Temporary Event Notice" and a "Late Temporary Event Notice". Standard Temporary Event Notices will be accepted by the Licensing Authority at least 10 working days before the event, Late Temporary Event Notices will be accepted by the Licensing Authority between 9 and 5 working days before the event takes place. A copy of either notice must also be served on the Police and Environmental Health.

14.        If notices are sent electronically the Licensing Authority must forward the notice to the Police and Environmental Health by the next working day.

15.        Both Temporary Event Notices will be able to last for a maximum of 168 hours (1 week), rather than the existing 96 hours (4 days), and premises can operate under the authority of a Temporary Event Notice  for up to 21 days a year (rather than the existing 15 days).

16.        There is suggestion that the Government does not want Late Temporary Event Notices to become the norm, therefore limits have been set. Personal Licence holders will be allowed to apply for 50 Standard Notices and 10 Late Notices. Non Personal Licence holders will be able to apply for 5 Standard Notices and 2 Late Notices. e.g. Should a Personal Licence holder apply for 50 Standard Notices or 10 Late Notices then no further Notices will be granted, however if the Personal Licence holder applies for 49 Standard Notices and 9 Late Notices then he will not reach the upper limit, the same applies for non Personal Licence holders. All Temporary Event Notices are and will be granted per calendar year.

17.        Conditions may be added to either of the Temporary Event Notice if the Licensing Authority considers (a) it is appropriate to do so and (b) that those conditions are already included on the premises licence or club premises certificate for those premises and (c) it would not be inconsistent with carrying out the licensable activities under the Temporary Event Notice. For example, a licence condition to use door supervisors can be extended to include the period covered by the Temporary Event Notice.

18.        The Police and Environmental Health will have three working days in which to object to a Standard Temporary Event Notice application as opposed to the current two working days for the Police. An application for a Late Temporary Notice is submitted at the applicants risk as the Police or Environmental Health may veto the event. There is no right of appeal under these circumstances.  

19.        Fines for persistently selling alcohol to children will increase from £10,000 to £20,000. The period that offenders can be ordered to cease selling alcohol by the Police or Trading Standards Officers in those circumstances is varied from a maximum 48 hours, to a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 336 hours (14 days).

20.        Where it is appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives, a Licensing Authority may make an Early Morning Restriction Order to prohibit the sale or supply of alcohol between midnight and 6 am. The Order can specify the days, times or parts of the Authorities area to which it applies, and may be on a temporary basis. Early Morning Restriction Orders may be varied or revoked and may contain exemptions.   

21.        The Licensing Authority may suspend a Premises Licence or a Club Premises Certificate where the annual fee has not been paid unless (a) the non payment was an administrative error (on anyone's part) or (b) the holder has notified the Licensing Authority in writing that liability for the amount of the fee is disputed. and that a grace period of 21 days has not expired. Suspension will be operative at least 2 working days after the grace period of 21 days.

22.        Subject to Ministerial approval, the Licensing Authority will have the power to set certain fees on a cost-recovery basis. The costs may also include the costs of acting as other responsible authorities such as Planning under the Act.

23.        The review of Licensing Policy Statements will be extended to every 5 years from every 3 years.

24.        Further relevant offences have been added to those that may potentially disqualify people from holding personal licences as follows : - (a) failing to co-operate with preliminary breath tests for drink-driving (b) attempting to commit any relevant offence (c) conspiracy to commit any relevant offence (d) common law offence of conspiracy to defraud.

25.        Licensing Authorities may decide that a Late Night Levy is to apply in its area, after considering: (a) policing and other costs for reducing or preventing alcohol-related crime and disorder between midnight and 6 am (b) and the desirability of raising revenue in accordance with regulation, of which not less than 70 per cent must be applied to the local policing body.

26.        The Late Night Levy must apply to the whole of the licensing area, subject to any time restrictions of premises liable to pay for it.

27.        Failure to pay the levy may result in it being recovered as a civil debt and lead to suspension of the Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate.

28.        Regulations will set out the matters of which the Licensing Authority must be satisfied before deciding that a levy is to apply in its area.

29.        The power to designate an alcohol disorder zone under the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 is to be repealed.

30.        The Secretary of State must carry out  a review of the amending provisions contained in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, and set out the conclusions in a report to Parliament, as soon as reasonably practicable five years after all the amendments have been brought into force.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

31.        The current nationally prescribed fees and charges for the Licensing Act 2003 do cover the full cost of providing the service. The new provisions will allow for Local Authorities to set their own fees. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

32.        A Licensing Authority must carry out its functions under the 2003 Act with a view to promoting the licensing objectives.

Crime and Disorder Implications

33.        Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 local authorities must have regard to the likely effect of the exercise of their functions on, and do all they can to prevent, crime and disorder in their area.

34.        A Licensing Authority must carry out its functions under the 2003 Act with a view to promoting the licensing objectives. 

·               Prevention of Crime and Disorder - The Licensing Authority is committed to reducing crime and disorder across the country.  Reducing crime and the fear of crime is important to the community, especially vulnerable members of the community such as the very young and elderly

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

35.        The Licensing Authority is obliged to deal with all aspects of the Licensing Act 2003 on an impartial and equitable basis, it's also required to apply its Licensing Conditions on a equitable basis in respect of all applications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

36.        To protect the health and safety of the community by ensuring businesses meet legislative requirements, controlling infectious diseases, encouraging responsible dog ownership, controlling pests and regulating animal health and welfare. To maintain a fair and equitable trading environment.

Policy Framework and Budget

The proposals in this Report are in accordance with the policy framework and budget

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

37.        None

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

38.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Kate Thompson, Principal Licensing Officer Tel: 01446 709105

Officers Consulted

None

Responsible Officer:

Peter H Evans, Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services

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