Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU
Contact: Committee Section
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.