Agenda Item No. 10
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 19th June 2018
Report of the Director of Environment and Housing
Harmonisation of Fireworks Licensing Conditions
Purpose of the Report
- To advise the Joint Committee of a review of existing licence conditions pertaining to fireworks
- To seek approval for introduce common conditions for fireworks to achieve harmonisation across the Shared Regulatory Services region and ensure that conditions remain fit for purpose and reflect best practice going forward.
It is recommended that the Joint Committee
- Notes the content of this report and approves the minor amendments proposed to achieve harmonisation of fireworks licence conditions across the SRS region
- Authorises the Head of Shared Regulatory Services to make any further amendments that may prove necessary over time, to fireworks licence conditions.
Reasons for the Recommendations
- Harmonisation of licence requirements into a single, SRS-wide set of conditions will ensure
greater efficiency for enforcement and licensing staff, and
greater certainty and clarity for the businesses concerned
- Authorising the Head of Shared Regulatory Services to make minor amendments as the need arises would enable changes in licensing best practice to be reflected promptly, without the need to bring repeated reports to the Joint Committee.
- The storage of fireworks and associated activities are controlled by the Explosives Regulations 2014. The Regulations are made under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Regulations identify the local authority as the competent authority to licence premises to store fireworks; that licensing function has been assigned to the Joint Committee under the Joint Working Agreement.
- The licence conditions prevailing in each of the three local authority areas upon the creation of the Shared Service in 2015 have continued to operate since that time. This means three sets of licence conditions apply, depending on the location of the premises.
- The three sets of conditions are not greatly different from each other as they should be based on national best practice standards. However, the current arrangement requires enforcement officers and licensing staff to ensure on every occasion that a licence is being granted under the specific set of conditions pertaining to a particular location.
Relevant Issues and Options
- The current situation gives rise to confusion among businesses, particularly those trading in different locations across the SRS region. Harmonisation of fireworks licensing by the creation of a single set of conditions for the region would result in greater efficiency for SRS officers and greater certainty for businesses, particularly those with a presence in more than one of the SRS local authority areas.
- The proposal to harmonise the licence conditions needed to achieve this consistency relate primarily to the way conditions are currently worded rather than their purpose and effect. The proposed harmonised conditions are set out in Appendix 1; the existing conditions applicable in Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are set out in Appendices 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
- Given the minor, harmonising nature of the proposed changes it is not thought necessary to go out to formal consultation with the trade; however licensees will be made aware of the changes well ahead of their taking effect in September 2018.
- Additionally, it is proposed that the Head of Shared Regulatory Services is authorised to make minor changes to the agreed harmonised licence conditions going forward, thereby avoiding the need for repeated reports to be brought to the Joint Committee on every occasion that amendments are needed.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
- There are no adverse resource implications for the service; the use of a harmonised set of conditions would enable the service to streamline processes and make efficiency savings.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
- There are no immediate sustainability or climate change implications associated with this report.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
- Under relevant legislation, the Council is allowed to recover costs for Regulatory activity and the issuing of permits and licences.
Crime and Disorder Implications
- There are no immediate crime and disorder implications associated with this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
- There are no anticipated equal opportunities implications associated with this report. Through the monitoring and regular review of licensing regimes, the Shared Service will ensure that its enforcement activity reflects this position and is in keeping with the Equality Statements and Policies of the participant authorities.
- Achieving a harmonised set of conditions for fireworks licences links with the participant authorities' stated objectives which are reflected in the Shared Regulatory Service themes of, 'Improving health and well-being', Supporting the local economy and 'Maximising the use of resources''
Policy Framework and Budget
- The key service and improvement objectives contained in the SRS Business Plan identify and link to the Corporate Plans of each Council. This proposal is focused upon health and well-being and supporting the local economy, along with the maximising resources component of the plan. It is intended that the adopted Scrutiny regime will engage in the review and developments of plans, policies and strategies that support the corporate objectives of each Council.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
- No specific consultation on the proposal is planned
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
- The SRS is currently scrutinised through the arrangements in pace at each partner Council.
Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services
Corporate Director, Bridgend County Borough Council
Assistant Director, City of Cardiff Council
Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Miles Punter, Director Housing and Environment