Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, Gravesend, Kent

Contact: Committee Section 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


An apology for absence was received from Cllr Valerie Ashenden. Cllr Lee Croxton attended as her substitute. An apology for absence was also received from Karen Hurdle.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2016 were signed by the Chair.



Declarations of Interests


No declarations of interest.



Public Health and the Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 241 KB


The Committee received a presentation from the KCC Public Health Specialist regarding public health and the Licensing Act 2003, identifying areas of prevalent drinking problems and conditions in the Borough (please see supplementary).


Following Members questions the KCC Public Health Specialist explained that:


  • On slide 3 the ‘benchmark’ referred to in the key is the national average
  • Binge drinking is classified as drinking over a certain amount of units (8 units) in one drinking session i.e a bottle of wine or three strong beers a night would be classified as binge drinking
  • Currently a questionnaire called Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) is used by KCC Public Health which asks the user five questions about their alcohol intake and determines what kind of drinker you are classified as, as well as associated health problems
  • Public Health are more than happy to work with the ward Councillors in the areas of Gravesham that are most at risk of alcohol related health problems and to raise awareness of these issues
  • The information is taken from the office of statistics and hospitals so it would not necessarily cover the street drinkers that congregate in Gravesham Town Centre however this is the same for all districts in Kent; measuring the actual alcohol intake of each person in Gravesham would be an impossible task
  • The more deprived areas of Gravesham  are the ones who are at more risk for alcohol specific conditions, as shown on slide 4 of the presentation
  • This is the most up to date information KCC Public Health has on the subjects within the presentation and there have been no further predictions yet for under 18 specific hospital admissions past 2015
  • In 2011 Public Health became a Responsible Authority, to be consulted under  the  Licensing Act 2003. Health, however, is not one of the licensing objectives of the Act and licences cannot be refused  on the basis of health
  • With regard to the suggestion of a  pop up shop in high alcohol areas that informs people of the amount of units they are drinking, - funding would need to be set aside for it, but happy to look into working with Ward Councillors regarding the issue
  • GP practices are a very good way of promoting health and sensible alcohol consumption., KCC have offered payments to local practices to offer the IBA assessments as they do in   Thanet, but so far there has been a very low uptake
  • The KCC Public Health Specialist explained that since the budget came to KCC, it has been ring-fenced until March 2018 but that  there have been some reductions in the drug and alcohol services offered


The Assistant Director outlined a few additional points to Members:


  • The Public Health staff at the Gr@nd have been trained to  deliver IBA assessments 
  • KCC and districts (including Gravesham BC) are moving towards new ‘district health deals’ and an improved and more community based way of delivering their public health interventions. Partnership working will be key.
  • A lot of work has  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Review of GBC Statement of Licensing Policy for Sex Establishment and Sexual Entertainment Venues pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:


Members were presented with a proposed draft revised Statement of Licensing Policy for Sex Establishments and Sexual Entertainment Venues.


The Licensing Manager outlined the following points to the Committee:


  • Having a published policy is not a statutory requirement for this type of licensing, but it is good practice. It aids transparency and consistency for both trade and public.
  • The licensing policy sets out the expectations and procedures for the establishments to follow.
  • The policy does not set a maximum limit as to how many sex establishments could be set up in the Borough. Each application would be determined based on its own merits.
  • The policy was first adopted in October 2010, having been developed  in conjunction with the Kent and Medway Regulatory Licensing Steering Group and there have been no significant changes to it as of yet
  • The fees have increased this year with a 2% increase making new licenses cost £2,680 and £1,213 for a renewal 


Cllr Thompson requested that in future all councillors within a ward that an application is submitted for should be alerted to it.


Cllr Milner assured the rest of the Committee that this already occurs as she received notification of the application for the Sex Establishment in Queen Street.


Cllr Scollard brought to the attention of the Licensing Manager a premises operating in Northfleet which may need to be licensed under this legislation




1.         Approved and adopted the draft Gravesham BC Statement of Licensing

            Policy for Sex Establishments and Sexual Entertainment Venues (as attached      at Appendix 2 to the report)


2.         Agreed that the revised policy be published and to become effective from 1           April 2017



Demonstration of the new on-line street knowledge testing system for taxi drivers and viewing of the safeguarding/CSE video incorporated within that training


Members were shown a demonstration of the new online street knowledge testing

system for  taxi drivers as well as the safeguarding/CSE video. The CSE training

video was developed and jointly funded by several Kent authorities acting in



The Licensing Manager highlighted the following key points and answered Members



  • At the moment the taxi street knowledge tests are paper based; all of the tests are created and marked manually which is very time consuming and the possibility of human error exists.
  • We are introducing an online test system called Classmarker. This system lets the Licensing Team design a pool of questions and then the system creates each test and handles all of the marking.
  • The system is completely customizable, the questions can be updated at all times and it increases efficiency as the computer will mark all the tests immediately and the results can then be accessed by officers.
  • At the moment the tests are currently handled in Committee Suite 4 and monitored by Licensing Officers. It is intended that the online tests would be conducted at the Gr@nd as they have a suitable room with 8 desks, each with a built in laptop and access to the internet.
  • All taxis licensed by Gravesham have internal CCTV both for the safety of the passengers and driver. Currently footage is only available to Police on request and our own officers cannot access any of the CCTV footage themselves. This is under review.
  • Uber do operate in Gravesham but the legislation is such that they do not need to be licensed by the Council,
  • The Licencing Manager acts as one of the officer Safeguarding Champions for the Borough  


Cllr Pearton proffered the idea that there should be an additional number separate to 101( the police non-emergency number) to report possible safeguarding crimes as this line  is constantly busy and can take several hours to report anything.


The Chair thanked the Licensing Manager for his informative run through of the new street knowledge testing system.