Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing and Community Safety Sub Committee A - Monday, 15th November, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Barum Room - Brynsworthy. View directions

Items
No. Item

12.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Henderson and L. Spear.

13.

Declarations of Interest

(Please complete the form provided at the meeting or telephone Corporate and Community Services to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting.  Interests must be re-declared when the item is called, and Councillors must leave the room if necessary).

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

14.

To agree the agenda between Part 'A' and Part 'B'

(Confidential Restricted Information).

Minutes:

Agreed

15.

Determination of application for a review of a premises licence, Rumours, 42 Boutport Street, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1SE pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Report by Licensing Officer (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Also Present:  Mr Andrew Richards (Designated Premises Supervisor, (DPS)), Mr John Dunkley (Solicitor of DPS), Mr Nigel Angrave (Person who had made a representation), Inspector Andrew Wills (Devon and Cornwall Police), Paul Butler (Devon and Cornwall Police) and Sergeant Dave Curtis (Devon and Cornwall Police).

 

The Chair introduced himself and invited everyone present to introduce themselves.

 

The Legal Officer outlined the hearing process.

 

The Licensing Officer outlined his report.  The Fire Authority had submitted a representation but were unable to attend the hearing.  The premises is situated in the centre of Barnstaple where there was a mixture of residential and other business properties.  The Licensing Officer made clear that the offences listed at paragraphs 4.41, 4.4.2 and 4.4.3, related to Public Health and which currently was not a Licensing Objective.  The relevant Licensing Objectives were listed at paragraph 5.1.  The Fire Service had been in attendance at an unrelated incident in Boutport Street when they observed several intoxicated persons outside the premises which led them to have concerns over safe evacuation of the premises in the event of an emergency.  The relevant statutory guidance considerations issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, and published by the Home Office, April 2018 were listed at paragraph 7.4.

 

The DPS’s Solicitor outlined his case and gave the Members the following points:

 

·         The premises had been licensed for the last 17 years.  The club was next door to the Horse and Groom Pub and outside the premises was a fairly wide pavement.  Other licensed pubs nearby were listed as The Panniers, Marshalls, Lush further down Boutport Street and when open the Rising Sun opposite.  The pavement was a very busy thoroughfare and not used solely by the clientele of Rumours. 

·         During the months of Lockdown 2 other premises in the area were not operating

·         In May 2020 when restrictions were lifted and activities were resumed the police saw a spike in their logs this could be due to the increase in customers to the premises as nowhere else had reopened

·         The problems that had occurred in May early June had been resolved.  A new CCTV system had been purchased and installed and was subsequently found to be of inferior quality so had been further upgraded

·         At 2pm today a Safety Inspection was due to be carried out by the Fire Service

·         The alarm system had been fully reviewed and was due to be reviewed again in November 2021

·         SIA door staff were provided with counter clickers and had always been used

·         They planned to join in on the town management radio link up system

·         There was a clear policy of no drinks/bottles to be taken outside but the clientele had found inventive ways to take drinks outside

·         Incident log reporting did happen and all staff were now trained and a document detailing the training that had been undertaken would also be kept

·         Any young person who looks to be under 25 was asked for identification

·         Any incidents involving customers whereby a ban  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Exclusion of Public and Press and Restriction of Documents

RECOMMENDED:

 

(a)  That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item as it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 7 of Part 1 Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended from time to time), namely Information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime;

 

(b)  That all documents and reports relating to the item be confirmed as “Not for Publication”.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item as it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 7 Part 1 Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended from time to time), namely information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime;

 

(b)  That all documents and reports relating to the item be confirmed as “Not for Publication”.

17.

Determination of Application for a Review of a Premises Licence, Rumours, 42 Boutport Street, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1SE - To receive evidence from the Devon and Cornwall Police. Log (attached).

 

Following consideration of the representations made by the Devon and Cornwall Police, it is RECOMMENDED that the public and press be re-admitted to the meeting to enable the Sub-Committee to consider the determination of application for a review of a premises licence in respect of Rumours, 42 Boutport Street, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1SE under item 5 on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

The Solicitor for the DPS then gave responses to the representations made by the member of the public, and the Fire Service as follows:

 

·       Response to Person who made a Representation:

·       The underage drinkers seen on the street could not be linked to Rumours as there was a pub immediately next door whose clientele also stood on the pavement outside

·       The rear of the currently closed Rising Sun pub backed onto Church Walk which was a dark area and unfortunately subject to people urinating.  It was denied that clientele from Rumours were urinating in the street as there were facilities at the premises

·       Not aware of drug activity at the premises, known drug users do not frequent the premises

·       Response to the Fire Service:

·       The first bullet point was a very general remark

·       The second bullet point was denied and found to be a generalised remark

·       The third bullet point the records were available to be produced on request

·       The fourth bullet point relates to people milling about on the pavement, the entrance to Rumours was the width of the door, the intoxicated individuals seen outside could not be linked to Rumours.  It was denied that ID was not checked.  It was possible that clientele seen entering without a check had already been in and out many times and the doorman had checked ID once earlier

 

Paul Butler, Licensing Officer with Devon and Cornwall Police then gave points from his report (circulated previously), as follows:

 

·       The Police had been trying to resolve the issues with the Licensee over the last 15 months it was unfortunate that a resolution had not been found

·       In May 2021 a request for an Action Plan from the DPS was made which was to detail how further infringements of the Licensing objectives could be met

·       It was reported door staff, when asked about the DPS, replied that they did not know what that meant

·       Young persons were gaining entry without being asked for ID and there was no order to the queue at the door

·       Concerns of a report of underage youngsters being served alcohol and obviously drunk being allowed on the premises.  The staff were under the impression that youngsters under the age of 18 were allowed in the premises until 9 pm

·       Despite several interventions by the Police there had been no change to the behaviour of the clientele

·       A change of management to a more experienced person had not worked out as they had found the situation too difficult to manage

·       The DPS had never been present at the premises when visited by the Police

·       The underlying issue causing the problems was over intoxication of alcohol

·       No other premises in the town had the same numbers of offences registered

·       Clientele leaving the premises showed signs of heavy drinking, the loss of inhibition this causes leads to either the person being left very vulnerable or turning violent and causing public order offences

·       It was the view of the Police that even with a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.