Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

Hello, please sign in to your account. New customer? Creating a new account only takes moments.

find our main contact details and opening hours or find our location.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Pittville Room - Municipal Offices

Contact: Sophie McGough, Democracy Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies received from Councillor Wheeler. Councillor Stafford was in attendance as substitute.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were none.

3.

Update from the Chair and Licensing Team Leader pdf icon PDF 414 KB

Minutes:

Before the substantive items, The Chair and the Licensing Team Leader gave the following updates:

-          CBC has won a Purple Flag award for its management of the night-time economy.  Thanks to officers and the BID for all their hard work to get this.  A press release has gone out;

-          Members due to sit on the SEV scrutiny group on 17th July are requested to submit any questions for the invitee in advance of the meeting;

-          Any more comments in relation to Tewkesbury’s taxi licensing policy consultation should be sent in;

-          In January, Members dealt with a confidential item, revoking the license of a taxi driver due to ongoing criminal proceedings.  The driver was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 16 weeks in prison.  This demonstrates that CBC takes licensing and safeguarding very seriously and won’t hesitate to revoke a licence where there are issues of safety to the travelling public. 

 

4.

Application for renewal of a Hackney Carriage Driver's licence pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officer introduction

The Licensing Team Leader introduced the application as set out in the report, for renewal of a Hackney Carriage driver’s licence, due to expire 25th July.  The applicant did not inform the Council or declare penalty points on his renewal form. 

 

Details of the offences are outlined in the background papers, including the interview outlining the licence holder’s reasons why he did not report them to Council.

 

Members’ questions to officer

None.

 

Applicant’s address

Mr Layton felt sure he had informed the Council of the penalty points (for speeding), though couldn’t recall if this was verbally or by phone.  He said he is not very good at filling out forms, and that subsequent to the interview with Council officers, he has details of where and when the speeding offences took place.

 

Members’ questions to applicant

In response to questions from Members, Mr Layton stated that:

-            He wasn’t eligible to go on a speed awareness course as he had done one just under three years previously, and drivers are only to undertake one course every three years;

-            He couldn’t remember whether he came to the Municipal Offices or telephoned to declare his penalty points.  He was informed that if he had come into the office, he would have been given a form to fill in;

-            He now understands the process, and the need to inform the Council of any penalty points in writing, witnessed by an officer.

 

Member debate

A member felt that a written warning should make it clear that the breach of policy – not letting the Council know – is the main issue here.  In response to a question from another member, the Licensing Team Leader confirmed that the enhanced driving test is similar to a standard practical driving test, but with a higher pass threshold, and at a cost of £40-50, undertaken through the Council’s supplier.

 

A member felt that the question is whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to drive the people of Cheltenham.  He found it difficult to give credence to the applicant’s story, said that taxi drivers should be reliable, and questioned whether the licence should be renewed.

 

Another member agreed  that failing to report the offences was the main issue, and felt that a written warning would be the best option – it is not a soft option, will stay on record, and be taken into account if the applicant ever comes back to Committee.  The Committee is not here to punish the applicant; if he continues to incur penalty points, he will be banned from driving.

 

Two members were concerned about the applicant’s vagueness concerning the speed at which he was travelling. Another member asked the applicant if he had had any other speeding tickets in the 18 years he has been a taxi driver; the applicant confirmed that he had, and had been on a speed awareness course on one occasion.  He also confirmed, in response to a question from a member,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Application for renewal of permission to place an object on the Highway - A-Board pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Minutes:

Officer introduction

The Licensing Team Leader introduced the application for the renewal of an A-board licence at Lakeland on the Promenade, issued in October 2018 by an officer, without referring the application to Committee, which is normal procedure.  An A-board at this location does not comply with policy with regard to the Council’s Revised Outdoor Advertising Protocol, so officers felt it appropriate to refer the renewal application to Committee.  Paragraph 3.1 of the report sets out CBC’s advertising protocol, and this is the test to take into consideration. 

 

Members’ questions to officer

In response to Members’ questions, the officer confirmed:

-       That the A-board is within the Council’s permitted dimensions;

-       That another shop on the row – Slaters – has an A-board because it has no street-level frontage, and Costa Coffee opposite is allowed an A-board, although this is supposed to remain in the tables and chairs area;

-       That the current licence will expire on 17th July 2019.

 

Applicant’s address

The applicant stated that she always ensures the board is discreet and pulled in, and that it always looks professional and well done.  At a time when retail is struggling, it is a helpful tool to bring customers into the store, interesting them in demonstrations and special offers.  She cares passionately about her business but until she applied for the renewal, she wasn’t aware that the correct procedure had not been followed.

 

Members’ questions to applicant

In response to Members’ questions, the applicant confirmed:

-       That the board is currently promoting Lakeland’s three-year guarantee, which is a big selling point.  Promotions and demonstrations are advertised on it, but it is not changed daily;

-       That it makes a big difference to displaying similar promotions in the window, as people can see it clearly from a distance.

 

Member debate

A member felt that the dilemma here is that Council policy does not allow A-boards to shops with street frontage, and if this licence is granted, everyone on the High Street could apply for them. Another member agreed that all businesses would say the same as the applicant, but the Council does not want the town’s pavements cluttered with A-boards.  He is a Lakeland customer and sympathises with the applicant, but felt that with a 14-foot frontage and no extenuating circumstances, there is no need for this renewal to be granted.

 

A member said that, as this A-board was permitted originally be mistake, there is no reason to deviate from licensing policy.  A-boards create clutter and are trip hazards; Lakeland can promote its offers and wares in its street-level shop front window. Another member agreed that it was unfortunate that the error was made in the first place, but the Council must keep pavements safe for the visually impaired, and therefore A-boards have to be limited.

 

Applicant’s response

Ms White understood Members’ comments but, for future reference, questioned why she was sent a renewal letter when the licence had been granted in error.  She has paid £125 renewal, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Application for Street-Trading licence pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officer introduction

The Licensing Team Leader said the application is for a new street-trading consent to sell hot drinks and cakes from a coffee bike (image provided) outside 117 High Street (John Lewis plc), initially for three months, with trading hours as set out in the officer report.  The assessment criteria are listed at Paragraph 3.2 of the report, with a number of objections from local traders included in the background papers.  The Committee can approve if Members feel it is acceptable, or refuse if they feel it does not comply with Council policy.  They should determine the application with a view to promote Council policy, and need to aware that the proposed site is not an approved location. 

 

Members’ questions to officer

None.

 

Applicant’s address

Mr Nigel-Jones said he had done a lot of research before choosing this particular location, and opted for it because it is a much improved area, with a wide pavement, and at a good distance from another coffee street vendor who trades outside Cavendish House.  

 

 Members’ questions to applicant

In response to Members’ questions, Mr Nigel-Jones confirmed that:

-       He would sell organic coffee and orange juice, and organic crisps from local farmers using biodegradable packets; the coffee cups will also be biodegradable;

-       There is a litter bin approximately 5 yards from the proposed pitch; he will be responsible for his own rubbish;

-       The bicycle is electric and can be cycled, but he will bring it in a van, at 7.30am;

-       He considered the Council’s street-trading policy and other local coffee shops when doing his research, and concluded that the nearest coffee shop – Costa – would not be too worried about competition from him.  He considers this location to be a good one, as John Lewis has made it an up-and-coming area, the footfall is good, there are benches and litter bins;

-       The power for making coffee etc will come from a lithium battery in a sealed unit underneath the counter; other equipment is operated by gas, from a small container inside the bike;

-       He applied for a three-month licence initially as he is a little worried about the winter months, and would want to discuss with the Council the possibility of a canopy or awning over the bike to protect customers from the rain.  He would want to extend the licence if possible.

 

Member debate

A member said that, as with the previous application, the Council has endorsed a policy and it is for the Committee to enforce it.  The policy does not support a bike here.  Moreover, the Council has worked hard to attract John Lewis and other major retailers to the town, and spent a lot of money on public realm work in this area – it now looks good, and it would be a shame to clutter the pavement with pop-ups.  He believes strongly in fair competition and attaches serious weight to the effect of this business on established businesses paying rent and rates.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Application for a variation of a Sexual Entertainment Venue licence pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officer introduction

The Licensing Team Leader told Members that the current SEV at the Two Pigs will expire early in 2020, and that the scope of this application relates only to a variation – additional dates to coincide with race meetings in October, November and December.  There have been two objections, as set out in the report, but no comment from the Chief of Police.  Mandatory and discretionary grounds for refusal are detailed in the report at Paragraphs 4.4 and 4.5, and Members should also be mindful of their public sector equality duty and the effect of granting this application on the protected group as set out in 2010.

 

Questions to officer

In response to Members’ questions, the Licensing Team Leader confirmed that:

-       The application is in line with previous applications from this applicant for sexual entertainment at this venue.  It is used as a SEV at most major race events.

-       Police and Council licensing officers inspect the venue once or twice a night during race events and, apart from some minor issues, no comments or concerns have been raised;

-       The venue is inspected every six months or so, outside the SEV dates when operating as a normal pub

-       No sexual assaults or incidents attributable to Two Pigs customers have been recorded by the police.

 

The applicant had no questions for the Licensing Team Leader at this point. 

 

The representative of GRASAC asked what the link is between sporting events and sexual entertainment in Cheltenham; this doesn’t occur in other cities.  The Licensing Team Leader stated that it dates back to when the Blue Rooms operated as a permanent SEV in Cheltenham.  In 2011, a statutory exemption allowed premises to put on sexual entertainment once a month without a licence.  There is nothing the Council can do about it, but if premises want more than one night a month, as in the case of the Two Pigs, they need to apply for a licence.

 

Applicant’s address

The applicant’s solicitor confirmed the additional dates and times requested:  Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October; Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November; and Friday 13th and Saturday 14th December, all 8.00pm to 5.00am.   The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that these are the dates on the application form.   

 

The solicitor said the licence has been held since January 2017; when it was originally applied for, a number of objections were raised but none have been raised since then.  As stated by the Licensing Team Leader, there have been no issues or objections from the police, and only very minor incidents have occurred which have been fully resolved to the satisfaction of the police and local authority.  The applicant respects the local area and actively participates in the Cheltenham NightSafe scheme, which is linked with the police and aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

The application has been properly advertised, and copies of the public notice are available.

 

Regarding the objections raised,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

ANY OTHER ITEMS THE CHAIRMAN DETERMINES TO BE URGENT AND WHICH REQUIRES A DECISION

Minutes:

None.