Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU

Contact: Committee Section 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


An apology for absence was received from Cllr Gary Harding and Cllr Jordan Meade attended as his substitute.  An apology for absence was also received from Cllr Gurjit Bains.


To sign the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 146 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 5 September 2023 were signed by the Chair.



To declare any interests members may have in the items contained on this agenda. When declaring an interest a member must state what their interest is.


Cllr Meade declared an ‘other interest’ in Item 5 (Review of Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003), in that he was the Chairman of the Gravesham School and Street Pastors Charity which provided support to people in the night-time economy.


Cllrs Jordan Meade, Leslie Pearton, Derek Ashenden and Helen Ashenden declared an ‘other interest’ in Item 5 (Review of Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003) in that they were all members of Higham Village Club.



Review of Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee were presented with the review of Gravesham Borough Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003.  The purpose of the report was to feedback to Members on the responses received during the public consultation on the review.


Members were informed that Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003 required licensing authorities to prepare and publish a statement of its licensing policy every five years. The policy must be published before the licensing authority carried out any licensing functions under the 2003 Act.  The current Statement of Licensing Policy was approved by Full Council on 18 December 2018 and came into effect on 16 April 2019. It would consequently expire on 15 April 2024.


The Assistant Licensing Manager advised that the draft policy was presented to the last Licensing Committee in September where some changes were requested and had been implemented.  Since then, a 6 week consultation period had been carried out in accordance with the previously agreed methodology, with the inclusion of consulting with the Kent Licensed Victuallers Association (KLVA).  Members were updated that only one response was received during the consultation process, which was from KLVA.  Member’s attention was drawn to appendix 1 of the report which outlined their comments and the suggested amendments.


The Committee were advised their approval and recommendation was sought, for the Statement of Licensing Policy to be put before Full Council for approval on 5 December 2023.  


The Committee discussed the review and the following points were highlighted:


  • Members sought clarification regarding page 19, Policy 1 and the period of time that was referred to in the section.  The Regulatory Services Manager explained that there was no set time period and that the decision was dependent on the nature of the offense, which was at the discretion of the panel when considering the factors.  Members felt the wording should explain this fact.  The Regulatory Services Manager highlighted that there was a similar element within the Hackney Carriage Licence Policy which covered timeframes, however it would not be practicable to include at the post consultation stage of the process. The Chair suggested that a comparison with the approach adopted in the Hackney Carriage Policy, be investigated at the next review. The Regulatory Services Manager agreed and appreciated the panel may require more detailed guidance in this area when making decisions.
  • Concern was raised regarding the lack of a map showing the Borough ward boundaries within the introduction of the policy.  The Regulatory Services Manager advised that a link to the Electoral Commission map had been incorporated, but an amendment would be made to include a picture of the map in this section also, with the caveat that it is satisfactory with the Digital Team with regards to accessibility.
  • Members queried why Gravesham did not have a Late Night Levy in place already (outlined on page 27 of the report) and asked for clarity on what a Late Night Levy involved.  The Regulatory Services Manager explained that Gravesham had considered a levy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Update on Anti-Spiking Work between the CSU and Licensing


The Assistant Licensing Manager gave Members a verbal update on the Anti-Spiking Work between the Community Safety Unit (CSU) and Licensing.


The Committee were informed that guidance from the Local Government Association recommended licensing authorities incorporate anti spiking and sexual harassment within their policy.  Members were advised that the licensing team were working in conjunction with the CSU to operate a campaign to prevent against and increase awareness of sexual harassment and spiking.  The exercise would offer preventative tools towards protecting both staff and customers of licensed premises.


The team would be conducting their first joint night-time economy visit on Wednesday 22 November with additional dates in the future. It was explained that during the visit the CSU officer would recommend training and the licensing representative would carry out an inspection, to ensure that everything needed was in place.  Each premises would receive a promotional bag containing drink covers, pens and information leaflets.  It was hoped that distributing the promotional bags amongst licensed premises, would bring the issue to the attention of license holders and reinforce their responsibility to the safety of their customers.


Members were advised that the policy amendment in relation to anti spiking and sexual harassment, was for all new applicants to address, so there was a need to update all current license holders.  The Assistant Licensing Manager informed the Committee that there were plans to produce a newsletter for licensed premises. The first of which would have a piece on the risks of spiking and the preventative measures.  There would also be the opportunity for free bystander training with Best Bar None.


The Committee discussed the campaign and raised the following queries:


  • Members queried whether the sample drink covers could be sourced through local channels and whether reusable covers would be a more sustainable option.  Members were advised that the sample disposable covers were purchased through Drink Safe, although there were other options on the market.  Members were advised for promotional purposes, the disposable drink covers had been the more cost-effective option, but there were reusable silicon drink covers on the market also.
  • The Committee questioned the cost of the disposable drink covers for the promotional exercise.  The Regulatory Services Manager informed Members that the cost had been shared between the Licensing and CSU’s existing budgets and that, from memory, this amounted to approximately £800.
  • Concern was raised regarding spiking via injection of needles and how more could be done to address the issue.  The Regulatory Services Manager expressed that injecting someone with any substance was a police matter.  The licensing authority had the power to remove a licence or enforce/impose conditions such additional door staff and searches, however the issue was Police led.
  • Members queried whether drink covers could be promoted via the Gravesham website.  The Regulatory Services Manager highlighted that the initial exercise was intended as a promotional piece of work to raise awareness to the night-time economy, however the project would further develop in time.


Verbal update on Licensing Panel hearings and decisions since the last Committee meeting


The Committee were informed there were no new updates on Licensing Panel hearings and decisions since the last Committee meeting.