Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Community Safety Committee - Tuesday, 9th April, 2024 10.30 am

Venue: Barum Room - Brynsworthy. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hunt and Maskell.

 

(NOTE: Following the meeting it was noted that the Members below had given their apologies via email to the Clerk to the Committee prior to the meeting:

 

Councillors Milton and Whitehead.

 

However, the Clerk to the Committee was not aware of these until after the meeting.

 

Therefore, as a point of clarification, these apologies have been added retrospectively to minutes).

2.

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2024 pdf icon PDF 341 KB

(to follow)

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 19th March 2024 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

3.

Items brought forward by the Chair that should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

The Chair addressed the Committee and requested Committee’s approval to defer item 9 on the agenda to the next meeting of the Committee as she had not had time to undertake the piece of work following the previous meeting.

 

RESOLVED, that item 9 on the agenda be deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Committee on Tuesday 14th May 2024.

4.

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).

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest announced.

5.

Gambling Act Statement of Licensing Principles Review pdf icon PDF 342 KB

Report by Public Protection Manager (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Public Protection Manager (circulated previously) regarding the review of Gambling Act Statement of Licensing Principles.

The Public Protection Manger advised that North Devon Council was under a legal obligation to review its Gambling Statement of Licensing Principles on a three yearly basis.

She explained that the report sought to consult members of the Licensing and Community Safety Committee on a proposed draft revision to the Council’s Gambling Statement of Licensing Principles, in which minor variations were sought, after which a consultation exercise was proposed to follow. It was further suggested that the Council re-consider its stance on whether it should put in place a No Casino Resolution, and if so include this as part of any consultation.

The feedback received as a result of the consultation exercise would then be considered by the Licensing and Community Safety Committee at its meeting on 10th September 2024, prior to a recommendation being made for the adoption of an amended Statement of Principles to Strategy and Resources Committee on 4th November 2024 for approval with or without the amendment by Full Council on 20th November 2024.

She explained that the proposed tracked changes to the Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Licensing Principles detailed in appendix B were not showing on the version that had been published as part of the agenda. So, she uploaded the document to the screen for Members to see where those changes were being proposed.

She drew the Committee’s attention to the following elements within the report and appendices:

·       Section 349(3) of the Gambling Act 2005 required licensing authorities to consult the following when making any revision to the Statement of Principles:

 

Ø  The Chief of Police for the authority’s area;

Ø  One or more persons who appeared to the authority to represent the interests of persons carrying on gambling businesses in the authority’s area; and

Ø  One or more persons who appeared to the authority to represent the interests of persons who were likely to be affected by the exercise of the authority’s functions under the Act.

 

·       Bodies and organisations to be consulted were outlined in the Statement of Principles. Providing transparency over this list allowed additional bodies to approach the Council should they wish to be included in the next round of consultation. Additional organisations had been added by way of this review, inclusive of the Betting and Gaming Council; The Bingo Association; and Gamble Aware.

·       The draft revised statement would be published on the Council’s website.

·       Subsequent to the last review of the Gambling Statement of Principles, there had been a revision to the Gambling Commission’s Guidance to Local Authorities in April 2023, however this appeared to be largely in document formatting and thus there were no major changes in advice to consider in terms of the guidance as part of this review.

·       The Government published the Gambling Act review on 8th December 2020. Its purpose was to examine whether the 2005 Act provided the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Community Safety Updates

Community Safety Partnership Officer to report.

Minutes:

The Committee received an update from the Service Lead - Community Safety Partnership Officer/Harm Risk regarding an update form the Community Safety Partnership in relation to an Antisocial Behaviour meeting that had been held since the previous meeting of the Licensing and Community Safety Committee.

 

The Service Lead - Community Safety Partnership Officer/Harm Risk provided the following update to the Committee:

 

·       Freedom Centre – Update on work undertaken together with the services they provided.

·       Barnstaple was no different to any other town or city across the country with issues such as deprivation, drug use and homelessness.

·       There were multi-discipline officers based at the Freedom Centre, which included housing officers, antisocial behaviour officers together with NHS services with a link to medical services for clients.

·       There was also a drug and alcohol misuse service in operation at the centre to enable people to engage with the service more easily.

·       Substance abuse was identified as the main cause of homelessness.

·       There were day centre volunteers who provided clients with warm meals and support in a caring environment.

·       The centre was seen as a gateway to services allowing clients to have a hot meal and drink whilst offering support mechanisms and services to help them with their addictions together with accommodation. Representatives from the Job Centre also visited the centre on a weekly basis to encourage clients to seek eventual employment.

·       The sleeping pods, which were located at the Salvation Army and Hardaway Head car parks were seen as the first step to getting people into accommodation.

·       There were also three additional sleeping pods located at the Freedom Centre to cater for the more vulnerable of clients.

·       There was on site security present in the building overnight, w which ensured the safety of clients and employees whilst providing a caring and supportive function within the centre.

·       The CCTV service was a vital tool for Barnstaple and could be utilised for evidence gathering and combined with the Street Marshalls had reduced antisocial behaviour by 15% over the previous 12 months.

·       Due to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan there had been an impact upon the supply route for the importation of illegal drugs, which was currently blocked. As a result, gangs were now turning their attention to the use of synthetic drugs as a substitute. However, these modified drugs were often much stronger and in some cases could even lead to death.

·       At the most recent meeting of the Community Safety Partnership Steering Group, there was an offer from various groups to hold a workshop to discuss issues within Barnstaple and the wider North Devon. The purpose of the meeting would be to discuss how all parties could work together to make Barnstaple feel safer for the general public. As part of this workshop, the invitation would be extended to the Licensing and Community Safety Committee to seek their input.

·       The Chair of the Committee had attended the meeting of the steering group where detox beds were discussed and would be speaking with the organisations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Alternative Arrangements for the Appointment of Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Report by Corporate and Community Services Officer (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Governance, (circulated previously) regarding the Alternative Arrangements for the Appointment of Sub-Committees 2024.

 

The Corporate and Community Services Officer explained that the report was considered on an annual basis following the meeting of Annual Council.

 

She advised that the Sub-Committees for the forthcoming year 2024/25 had been appointed based on how they had operated over the previous 12 months. However, Members were welcome to appoint them as they were for 2023/24 if that was their preference.

 

She highlighted the following points to the Committee:

 

·       That the allocation of members to the Sub-Committees could change and that Chairs were not appointed ahead of the hearing being arranged.

·       Substitute members were no longer designated, if the need for a substitute arose the hearing would be adjourned or continue, with the applicants permission, with just two members.

·       If a Member of a Sub-Committee found themselves to have a conflict of interest then they should notify the Corporate and Community Services officer as soon as possible so an alternative Member could be appointed to sit on the Sub-Committee.

 

The Committee discussed the gender balance of the Sub-Committees, which had been highlighted by previous Committees in the preceding years.

 

The Corporate and Community Services officer confirmed that gender balance had been taken into consideration in the appointment of the Sub-Committees for 2024/25.

 

In response to a question regarding the seeking of a substitute member to sit on a Sub-Committee that was gender balanced. The Corporate and Community Services officer advised that the requirement was maintained where possible. However, she acknowledged that it was often very difficult to meet this requirement with the restricted availability of working members and that as a result it was not always possible.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(a)  Five Sub-Committees, each with three Members with the delegated powers as detailed in Appendix A of this report be appointed;

 

(b)  Alternative arrangements be made for the appointment of Members of the Sub-Committees of the Licensing and Community Safety Committee in accordance with the powers set out in S17 of the Housing and Local Government Act 1989 and the provisions of the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990;

 

(c)  The alternative arrangements provide that the membership of the Sub-Committees of the Licensing and Community Safety Committee be not politically balanced;

 

(d)  Members be appointed to the Sub-Committees as detailed in Appendix A of the report;

 

(e)  A Member be selected by Corporate and Community Services to act as a Substitute Member for each Sub-Committee meeting should the need arise for a Substitute; and

 

(f)    The appointed Sub-Committees be restricted in that they may not further delegate any of their powers to an Officer of the Council or any other body.