London Borough of Sutton:

Minutes for Licensing Committee meeting, Jun 9 2009, 10.00AM official page

Other committee documents for London Borough of Sutton :: Licensing Committee details

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Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA

Contact: Peter Snow 

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of the meetings held on 10 March and18 May 2009 (ENCLOSURES).

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The Minutes of the meetings held on 10 March and 18 May 2009 were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chair.




Report of the Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability (ENCLOSURE).

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By Minute 423/07 the Committee adopted a procedure for licensing hearings under the Licensing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2005.  It had become apparent that the procedure did not follow subsequent best practice, in that legal advice given to members of the Sub-Committee in private session was not repeated to the parties in open session so that they might make further representations on that advice.  The legal adviser could then confirm or vary the advice as necessary.


By following best practice the Authority would ensure that hearings were conducted in a fair and open way, and follow the same principles applied in court proceedings.  Although there had not been any legal challenges to, or complaints about, the authority’s procedure it would be prudent to make an appropriate amendment, and a suitable additional paragraph to the procedure was submitted for consideration.


            Resolved: That the procedure to be followed at hearings of Licensing Sub-Committees, approved by Minute 423/07, be amended by the addition at the end of the procedure of the following paragraph:-


                        “If the legal adviser gives advice to the Sub-Committee in private session that advice will be repeated to the parties to the hearing in open session and they will be given the opportunity to make representations on that advice.  The legal adviser will then either confirm or vary the legal advice given to the Sub-Committee.”




Report of the Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability (ENCLOSURE).


Best Bar None was a national accreditation scheme, supported by the Home Office, that had been created and developed by Greater Manchester Police in conjunction with the United Kingdom drinks industry.  It was designed to recognise and reward good and safe working practices in public houses, nightclubs and bars.


The first awards had been held in Manchester in March 2003 and the scheme was now running in more than 80 towns and cities in the United Kingdom.  The key elements of Best Bar None were the promotion of responsible licensed trade management and socially responsible drinking; and commitment to caring for and protecting customers, and to reducing the potential for disorder in town centres and public places arising from alcohol abuse. 


The benefits of introducing a scheme in Sutton were outlined.  Police officers were present to explain the scheme and to respond to questions.  The police proposed to hold a launch event in Sutton in July for the start of the 2009 Best Bar None awards, to which all local licensees would be invited.  Those businesses that wished to participate in the annual scheme would be inspected by fully trained and accredited assessors and scored against locally determined criteria.  Premises meeting the minimum standard set by the assessors would be awarded Best Bar None approval and would be able to display signage outside and inside their premises and be listed on the Council’s web site.  The top five premises in each category would be judged for the overall awards and the winners would be announced at a high profile awards ceremony in January 2010.


There would not be any financial implications for the Council.  There could be a small charge to businesses entering the scheme in future to offset some of the administration costs, but the set up and on-going running costs would be met through sponsorship and funding streams explored by the police.  Radio Jackie had offered sponsorship and the training costs for assessors had been met already by the police.


Similar schemes were operating or proposed in Croydon and Kingston.  The scheme in Sutton would be operated mainly by officers in police safer neighbourhood teams, whose duties already included visiting licensed premises regularly.  Particular attention was drawn to the support of licensed premises locally for the scheme and to the expected reduction in alcohol-related crime and disorder that it would bring.  However, some members were nevertheless concerned that officers involved in the scheme would spend less time on operational duties.


            Resolved: To support the proposed scheme.





            Resolved: That under section 100(A)(4) of the Local government act 1972, as amended, the press and other members of the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the next item of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the act, which would not be in the public interest.




Report of the Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability (ENCLOSURE)



The Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability reported that the Gambling Act 2005 provided for licensing authorities and the Gambling Commission to undertake enforcement action relating to offences under the Act. 


The Gambling Commission and Blackpool City Council had both undertaken programmes of enforcement action recently, the results of which were summarised.  The Gambling Commission had produced a subsequent action plan, which they proposed should be implemented before licensing authorities undertook enforcement action locally.


Arrangements for a programme of local enforcement action, together with the offences that might be found and the penalties, were outlined.


Attention was also drawn to a study by the Gambling Commission of gambling by young people and its consequences.


            Resolved: (i) That the Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability inform the Gambling Commission of the Committee’s disappointment in their attitude towards the enforcement of the provisions of the Gambling Act 2005.


(ii) That the programme of local enforcement action be noted and a report on the outcome be submitted.


            (iii) That, where it is justified by the circumstances, the Committee support the institution of criminal proceedings against offenders in respect of the Gambling Act 2005, rather than the review of the premises licence by the Authority.


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