Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Pittville Room - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Sophie McGough, Democracy Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Wheeler.

 

Councillor Boyes acted as substitute.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

The Chair stated that all five Members and the licensing team leader visited Club Covert on Monday lunchtime, and that he personally visited the ford in School Road, Charlton Kings, in connection with Agenda Item 5.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2019

Minutes:

A councillor asked for it to be made clear that the incidents reported by the police during race week were not related to any form of sexual assault. These amendments have now been made.

 

The minutes were then signed as a correct record of the meeting.

 

 

The Chair wanted to formally congratulate Colin Pilsworth and Licensing for the continuation of the Purple Flag accreditation. Further he wanted to congratulate Sarah Hughes and Licensing for the 4 successful plying for hire prosecutions and the successful street obstruction prosecution.

4.

Application for a Street Trading Consent pdf icon PDF 319 KB

 

 Mr Edward Danter

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair explained to the applicant how consideration of his application would proceed.

 

Officer introduction

 

The Licensing Team Leader introduced the application for grant of a street trading consent, at a previously-used location on the Strand, trading between 8th November to 31st December 2020 at the times and on the days outlined in the application.  An image of the trading van is attached at Appendix 2 of the officer’s report.  Members were advised that they could grant  the consent if they considered it appropriate in this location or refuse the application as it does not comply with street scene policy or for any other reason.

 

There have been a number of objections, included with the papers, and paragraph 3.2 of the officer report reminds Members to be mindful of the assessment criteria when considering whether to grant or not. 

Under ‘licensing comments’, the report sets out CBC’s assessment criteria regarding number of locations and type of trading.  This is not an approved location, but Members are reminded that policy does not necessarily fetter discretion.  It is up to Members to take the needs of the area into consideration and the case’s individual merits..  

 

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

-           the location is the same as that used at Christmas 2019;

-           the unit is a scaled-down version of that previously used and this was the version used at Christmas 2019;

-           the site is not designated under policy but has been used by this applicant a number of times before and should be considered on its merits; and

-           there have been no complaints to CBC about the unit during the Christmas 2019 season.

 

 

Applicant’s address

 

The applicant said he has been trading since 1986, and 2020 will be his fourth year at this location.   His family has traded for three generations, and last year invested a lot in a new custom-built, smaller unit to comply with what was required.  It has been very successful, there have been no complaints, and he would like to continue trading at this location.

 

In response to Members’ questions, the applicant confirmed:

-           that the principal product would be pork rolls, turkey rolls, and Gloucester sausage.  Coffee is secondary to this;

-           that later opening hours have been applied for on Thursdays, because although late night shopping is not as popular as it used to be, most shops stay open until 8-9pm leading up to Christmas;

The Chair pointed out that the hours set out on the application are a maximum, not a requirement.

 

Member debate

 

Members made the following points:

-           looking at the objections, these are the same every year, and Members did not believe it was particularly fair to say this outlet competed with Sainsbury’s – as the products were not the same.  There are no concerns about the operator, who has traded for a long period without significant problems;

-           there are two types of competition – direct and substitute – and as people only  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Review of a Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence pdf icon PDF 205 KB

 

 Mr Samir Jamshidi - HCD076

Minutes:

Review of Hackney Carriage Driver’s licence

 

The Chair explained to the applicant how consideration of his application would proceed.

 

Officer introduction

 

The Licensing Team Leader explained that the applicant’s hackney carriage driver’s licence is due for renewal in January 2021, but CBC received a complaint on 9th January 2020, the nature of which is outlined in the background papers of the officer’s report.  Officers felt that this was serious enough to warrant a review.  Options are set out at 1.4.1-1.4.4 in the officer report.  Members were reminded that the decision as to whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage drivers licence is based on the civil standard of proof, i.e on the balance of probabilities.

 

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

-           the first image in the background papers accompanying the officer’s report shows the depth gauge, which the applicant says he did not see, above the windscreen, and was the best picture available on the night;

-           two of the photos were taken on the night of the incident, the other two the morning after.

 

Applicant’s address

 

The applicant stated that the job, to pick up a customer from The Merryfellow on School Road in Charlton Kings, was booked for 10.30pm. He stated that it was raining.  After the pick-up, he tried to go a short-cut route and, arriving at the river, didn’t see the warning sign or think the water looked dangerous.  He has been using the road for 10 years, and had no problems before, and the customer did not complain about him using this shortcut route.  He has never noticed the sign not allowing cars down this road, other than for access, before.

 

In response to Members’ questions, the applicant confirmed that:

-           he has been driving from 2008, and has had a hackney carriage driver’s licence from October 2010;

-           he has had no other similar incidents or lapses of concentration;

-           he has driven the route regularly, both day and night, and not noticed the no entry sign before; most drivers take this shortcut to avoid traffic;

-           he did not drive down School Road to pick up the customer; he came from a previous job in Cirencester Road;

-           he knows the route well, and although there had been a lot of rain, has experienced this before and would not have deliberately put himself or his passenger in danger;

-           if his passenger had been a wheelchair user, he would not have driven through the river;

-           he had not noticed the danger signs, warning of fast flowing water during heavy rain;

-           his passenger lives in Battledown;

-           when his engine cut out in the river, he called 999; emergency services asked if he was able to get out safely – he was – and advised him therefore to call a breakdown service;

-           his passenger walked home.

 

 

 

Member debate

 

Members raised the following concerns:

 

-           the applicant, a professional driver  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Application for a Private Hire Driver's Licence pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Mr Julian Charles

Minutes:

 

PHD licence

 

The Chair explained to the applicant how consideration of his application would proceed. The applicant was accompanied Mr Gordon Milne, present to act as a character witness.

 

Officer introduction

 

The Licensing Team Leader introduced the application for a private hire driver’s licence.  The background papers set out the applicant’s convictions and endorsements, and policy requirements regarding the expected time lapse between these and the re-issuing of a licence.  Members can grant the licence, if they consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person, or refuse if they do not consider this to be the case  He reminded Members that it is the council’s statutory duty to only grant a licence to fit and proper people, and that the applicant still needs to undertake other assessments.  He confirmed that the burden of proof, on the balance of probabilities,  is on the applicant, to show that he is fit and proper to hold a licence.

 

Applicant’s case

 

The applicant said that he had not had a licence since 2012.  He said that since 2012 his life had fallen apart, and he was struggling to survive and live, dealing with sick parents amongst other things.  He said he needs his job as a taxi driver and that he is trying to get his life back on track.

 

The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that the applicant has submitted a detailed written statement, which is included in the background papers, and that this should be taken into account by Members.

 

In response to questions from Members, the applicant confirmed that:

-           he has no convictions or incidents of violence; under the influence of alcohol, he has made some embarrassing mistakes – but no violent offences and never while a work;

-           he has not sought or received any counselling for his issues; he has tried to explain his situation in four sides of paper, but it is not a simple story;

-           he believed himself to be under the limit in the incident in November 2013, having  had one glass of wine; he drove one hour later, was pulled over by the police and was a fraction over the limit; after 1.5 hours at the police station, he was allowed to drive home.  He realises now he made a huge mistake in driving after the glass of wine;

-           the incident in 2015 was more complicated and after drinking in a local pub, he exchanged abusive texts with his step-father following being evicted by him, which he now regrets.  Rather than carry his shopping home, he decided to drive the three-minute journey, being angry and not thinking clearly.  When he arrived home his step-father had reported him to the police and they were waiting to breathalyse him;

-           he understands that policy expects people to be free of drink-driving offences for five years before a licence can be re-issued, except in exceptional circumstances.  He said he is still looking after his sick parents, and is permanently on call to help them.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Application for a Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence pdf icon PDF 331 KB

 

 Mr Steven John Burrows

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Officer introduction

 

The Licensing Team Leader introduced the application for the grant of a sexual entertainment licence at Club Covert, 12-14 Bath Road.  The dates and hours are set out in the report, to coincide with The Festival in March 2020.  The application form, site location, and all objections are included in the appendices of the officer’s report.  He confirmed that there has been no objection from the Chief Officer of Police, and two objections had been received from local residents. Mandatory and discretionary grounds for refusal are set out in the report.

 

One of the objectors stated that Club Covert is not part of Cheltenham’s Night safe scheme, but this is no longer the case, and Eroticats is also an associate member.  The conviction of the alcohol licence holder at Club Covert is not relevant to this application, although Members need to understand the relationship between the two, and to what extent he will be involved with the running of the sexual entertainment venue.  Members may also want to consider its Public Sector Equality Duty when determining this application – guidance is set out a 7.3.3 in the officer report. 

 

The Licensing Team Leader also reminded Members that while Club Covert currently falls just outside the area in which the council permits the licensing of SEVs, it has previously granted a licence for this location, and they should also note that policy doesn’t fetter discretion.  Every application must be considered on its individual merits and circumstances, but equally Members must not deviate from CBC’s policy without good reason to do so.

 

Applicant’s address

 

The applicant was represented by his solicitor, Mr Younis, who made the following comments:

 

-           this is a new application from Club Covert, to operate at the times set out in the application form, for the Cheltenham Festival in March;

-           the applicant has operated a SEV at The Two Pigs from 2017; he is experienced in the business – an important factor, carrying significant weight;

-           Parliament made it lawful to operate SEVs as part of retail and leisure activity in 2009;

-           there are two grounds for objection – mandatory and statutory – but not moral.  In this case, mandatory grounds can be disregarded.   Regarding discretionary grounds, Club Covert is currently just outside Cheltenham’s permitted area for SEVs, but two previous clubs have been licensed at this location, and on February 11th 2020, Cheltenham Borough Council’s Cabinet will consider a new policy area, which will encompass 12-14 Bath Road;

-           previous decisions would suggest that these premises are deemed suitable for a SEV; it is not in a vicinity frequented by under-18s after 8.00pm, near a place of worship, school or college.  The location should therefore not be a concern here;

-           the fact that the police have not raised any objections or made any comments is of paramount importance, reflecting the view of the suitability of the applicant and the proposed venue.  If the police had any concerns about either, they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Any Other Items the Chairman Determines Urgent and Which Requires a Decision

Minutes:

None