Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Barum Room - Brynsworthy

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Hunt.


To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2023 pdf icon PDF 234 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2023 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Items brought forward which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered by the meeting as a matter of urgency


There were no items, which in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered as a matter of urgency.


Declarations of Interests

Declarations of Interests. (Please telephone the Corporate and Community Services team to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting. Interests must be re-declared when the item is called. A declaration of interest under the Code of Conduct will be a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, an Other Registrable Interest or a Non-Registrable Interest.  If the item directly relates to your interest you must declare the interest and leave the room for the item, save in the case of Other Registrable Interests or Non-Registrable Interests where you may first speak on the item as a member of the public if provision has been made for the public to speak.  If the matter does not directly relate to your interest but still affects it then you must consider whether you are affected to a greater extent than most people and whether a reasonable person would consider your judgement to be clouded, if you are then you must leave the room for the item (although you may speak as a member of the public if provision has been made for the public to speak) or, if you are not, then you can declare the interest but still take part).



There were no declarations of interest announced.


Community Safety Updates

Crime Safety Partnership Officer to report.


The Committee received an update on the Community Safety Partnership activities.


The Community Safety Partnership Officer, Tim Birtwisle, introduced the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer, Kate Morne, who gave an outline of the work she carried out.  Her role involved in the main, the escalation of the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) process within North Devon.  This meant the issuing of formal warnings, notices, issuing of fines, injunctions and possible criminal action.  The Police provided daily reports on the activities of street attached persons along with any tenant disputes.  In relation to tenancy disputes she worked on behalf of North Devon Homes and other Housing Associations.  To help people addressing their underlying issues she worked with the outreach team.


Her work led her to liaise closely with the Council’s legal team and over the last year 34 warning letters with attached conditions had been issued.  Fourteen Community Protection Notices some of which related to street drinking in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe had been issued.


The Street Marshals provided vital information to her and helped tackle issues of complaints made around aggressive street begging.  The Public Safety Protection Order in place around Barnstaple gave the powers to confiscate alcohol from those drinking on the streets.


Working with young people to help them avoid getting involved in ASB.


In response to questions, the ASB Officer gave the following replies:

·         The introduction of Street Marshals happened during the Covid pandemic to help with social distancing and had been very successful.  Funding to continue the service was being investigated.

·         The Street marshals were deployed to Ilfracombe two days a week, but not the same two days each week.

·         Any welfare concerns should be reported to the Police either via 999 if immediate danger to life or via the non-emergency contact 111.

·         During the summer holidays, the start time for the Street marshals could be later so they could finish later. 

·         Areas of concern where ASB was taking place at present were known to the team.


The Chair thanked Kate Morne for her update and all the work her and the team do.


The Community Safety Sergeant with the Police, Kevin Connar, then presented an update on the issue of Hate crime and diversity.


He gave the Committee the following information:

·         The priority of addressing the topic of diversity and hate crimes was adopted by the CSP in January 2024.

·         The topic of hate crime was affecting a larger number of people in communities.

·         The first quarter of the year shows that the CSP were on track and the practices adopted by this CSP was being looked at as a model of best practice and replicated and adopted by other CSP’s in Devon.

·         Four strands were identified that it was felt would deliver on the impact and influence we wanted it to have. 

·         The first action of the Partnership was to seek opportunities to increase the diversity representing the community within its own membership.

·         The second action was to create events and activities throughout the year  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


General Licensing Activities update

Public Protection Manager to report.


The Committee received an update from the Public Protection Manager.


The Public Protection Manager gave updates in areas arising from January 2023 onwards and outlined areas of work for future planning within the Licensing team as follows.




Welcome to new member of staff Charles Northcott, joining the Council just over six months ago. Mr Northcott worked formerly with the Police and has a wealth of experience; he was a great addition to the Licensing Team.


Animal licensing


Warrant and Associated Caution

A warrant was applied for and executed in January 2024 in respect of animal welfare concerns at a licensed breeder for alternative activity. A Simple Caution was issued to the alleged offender based on the circumstances that presented.


A second successful prosecution for the Council regarding an unlicensed dog breeder that followed once an inspection was undertaken in December 2022.

In a significant development for animal welfare, Mr Gosling of Whitemoor Equestrian Centre, East Anstey, Devon EX16 9JS, faced legal consequences for unlicensed dog breeding. The hearing took place on Friday 1 March 2024 at Barnstaple Magistrates Court.

Between September 19, 2023, and September 28, 2023, Mr. Gosling was found responsible for breeding dogs without the required licence and selling animals as pets in the course of a business without proper authorisation contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

Despite being unable to attend the hearing, Mr. Gosling submitted a guilty plea reply form, confirming his acknowledgement of the charges.

During the hearing, magistrates received statements from North Devon Council’s Licensing Officer, which detailed evidence of the offences. In attendance the Licensing Officer highlighted the unlawful activities and answered questions from the bench. The Officer confirmed the licence application requirements. Details about the state of the buildings at Mr. Gosling's property and the new Defra requirements were also presented.

In Mr. Gosling's absence, magistrates found him guilty on all counts. The verdict included fines for each offence, a victim surcharge, and prosecution costs, totalling £10,059.76.

Animals (Penalty Notices) Act 2022

New legislation from January 2024 introduced penalty notices for animal licensing offences. A penalty notice under the act gave an individual or corporate body the opportunity to avoid prosecution for a criminal offence by paying a fee. The payment of a penalty notice did not require an admission of guilt and would not result in a criminal record. They were intended to add to and complement the current suite of enforcement and regulatory options, and support early redirection through behaviour change, to promote compliance with animal health and welfare rules.

The notices were not designed for serious offences or for minor breaches where advice and guidance in the first instance would be sufficient in rectifying the issue.

A penalty notice should relate to a single offence. If, after a penalty notice had been issued, an individual continued or repeated the offending conduct; Councils may issue a further penalty notice.

There was no limit on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Licensing and Community Safety Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 314 KB

To consider and approve as correct records the minutes of the following meetings (attached):


(a)  Licensing and Community Safety Sub-Committee B: 23 November 2023

(b)  Licensing and Community Safety Sub-Committee C: 23 February 2024

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing and Community Safety Sub-Committee B held on 23 November 2023 (circulated previously) and the minutes of the Licensing and Community Safety Sub-Committee C held on 23 February 2024 (circulated previously) be approved as correct records of those meetings and signed by the respective Chairs.