Appointment of sub-committees and substitutes
The Licensing Officer introduced the report, he explained that in September 2017 the licensing committee had adopted a revised committee structure. Since this had become effective, the full committee met quarterly and was responsible for establishing sub-committees, acting as a consultee to Cabinet/Lead Members and dealing with briefings and training.
He advised that under the committee’s revised structure they were proposing to establish three sub-committees, a miscellaneous committee, one for dealing with sexual entertainment venues (SEV) and an alcohol and gambling sub-committee. Alternatively, the committee could opt to include the determination of SEV’s within the remit of the miscellaneous sub-committee. The number of Members required for each committee was outlined at section 1.5 of the report. He informed the committee that since the re-structure the miscellaneous sub-committee had met on 8 occasions and the alcohol and gambling on 7, 2 of which were to deal with SEV’s.
During the debate the Members made the following observations:
· That by establishing a third sub-committee purely to deal with SEV’s would be more bureaucratic and cause more unnecessary administrative work for Democratic Services.
· As they were so infrequent it would be long periods of time before minutes got approved.
· That by establishing a separate sub-committee purely to deal with SEV’s would appear prejudicial.
· They intended to rotate the Members on each sub-committee to ensure Members got a broad range of experience.
One Member queried why it wasn’t a necessity for the Alcohol and Gambling sub-committee to be politically balanced. The Legal Officer advised that as it was quasi-judicial it was not required to be under legislation. Some Members agreed that it wasn’t necessary and felt that when the sub-committee was short on Members it was not always easy to ensure they were both quorate and politically balanced. Others agreed that it was impractical and it was very rare that there was cross party disagreement in any case.
The committee proceeded to vote on whether the Alcohol and Gambling sub-committee should be politically balanced.
Upon a vote it was 3 for 5 against.
A short discussion was had regarding the possibility of returning back to the previous committee structure which saw the full licensing committee deal with the majority of matters and then draw upon 3 Members from the full committee to deal purely with Alcohol and Gambling. The Chair, however, reasoned that it was unnecessary for the full committee to meet to deal with minor applications such as an A-board and that by establishing sub-committees would put their time to better use. It was agreed that further discussions could be had and the committee structure be reviewed if this was deemed necessary.
The sub-committee proceeded to vote on whether to establish two sub-committees as follows
1. A miscellaneous licensing sub-committee who would have responsibility for hackney carriage, private hire, miscellaneous licensing functions and SEV’s.
2. An Alcohol and Gambling sub-committee.
Upon a vote it was unanimously
Resolved that two sub-committees be established one to deal with miscellaneous licensing functions and SEV’s and an Alcohol and Gambling sub-committee.
The sub-committee agreed the membership of the miscellaneous sub-committee as follows:
It was agreed that the other Members of the committee would act as substitutes for the miscellaneous licensing sub-committee, and subsequently, the substitutes would be as follows:
Councillor Collins nominated Councillor Willingham as Chair of the miscellaneous sub-committee which was agreed.
Resolved that Councillor Willingham act as Chair on the Miscellaneous Sub-Committee.
Councillor Harman nominated Councillor Seacome as Vice Chair of the miscellaneous and Councillor Collins nominated Councillor Parsons.
Upon a vote it was 3 in favour of Councillor Seacome and 5 in favour of Councillor Parsons.
Resolved that Councillor Parsons be Vice Chair of the Miscellaneous Sub-Committee.
It was agreed that Members for the Alcohol and Gambling sub-committee would be selected from the full committee on a first come first serve basis and those who were not on the miscellaneous sub-committee would be called upon first. Councillor Parsons proposed Councillor McCloskey as Chair for this sub-committee, however, following a discussion it was agreed that the Chair would be determined at each meeting.