Agenda and minutes

Meeting taking place in person at the Town Hall, Licensing - Monday, 8th November, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Sarah Sellers  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item




There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of Interest

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and / or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.



There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 397 KB

To confirm as a true record the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 19th July 2021.




the Minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 19th July 2021 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chair.


Public Speaking


There was no public speaking.


Revised Statement of Principles under Gambling Act 2005 - Consideration of Consultation Responses pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Additional documents:


Members received a report setting out the outcome of the consultation exercise regarding the Gambling Act 2005 Draft Statement of Principles and seeking approval of the Revised Draft Statement of Principles attached to the report at Appendix 3.


The Senior Practitioner (Licensing) (SPL), Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) presented the report and advised Members that the current Statement of Principles for the Council had come into force on 31st January 2019.  Under the Gambling Act 2005 there was a requirement to renew the Statement of Principles every three years.  Accordingly, an updated version would need to be adopted to come into effect no later than 31st January 2022.


It was noted that Members at Licensing Committee had approved a Draft Statement of Principles for consultation purposes on 19th July 2021.  The consultation had been sent to the relevant statutory consultees including the police, responsible authorities and other public bodies.  The consultation had also been open to members of the public and had been made available on the Council’s website and publicised through social media and the local press.  The consultation period had run from 6th August 2021 to 1st October 2021.


The SPL advised Members that two substantive responses had been received.  The first response at Appendix 1 was from a firm of solicitors representing the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) which was a group representing the interests of operators in the gaming and gambling industry.


The SPL summarised the representations made on behalf of the BGC and took Members through paragraphs 3.19 to 3.24 of the report.  It was noted that two of the suggested amendments had been accepted by officers and incorporated into the Draft Statement of Principles as detailed in paragraphs 3.22 and 3.24.


Officers had also considered a further representation to remove the words “significant numbers of” from paragraph 10.2 of the Draft Statement of Principle.  This was in the context of gambling related harm in section 10 of the Draft Statement headed “Public Health and Gambling”.  Officers had decided not to accept that proposed amendment on the basis of statistics that 0.5% of the population were affected by problem gambling which officers believed could be described as “significant numbers”.


The second response was received from the Charity GambleAware and Members were referred to the content of the response at Appendix 2.  Due to lack of resources on the part of the charity, the response did not set out suggested alterations to the Draft Statement of Principles but did provide links to a number of useful tools and publications that could be used by licensing authorities to help identify areas with increased level of risk.


It was noted as set out at paragraph 3.28 of the report that these tools and publication would be helpful in the context of updating the Local Area Profile for Worcestershire.


Members were referred to the Draft Statement of Principles at Appendix 3. The SPL advised that here had not been any substantial changes to the existing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Review of Hackney Carriage Table of Fares pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


The Senior Practitioner (Licensing), Worcestershire Regulatory Services, introduced the report and in doing so reminded members of the responsibility of Licensing Authorities under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to set the maximum fares than can be charged.


Members were referred to the current table of fares at Appendix 1 of the report and were reminded that these were the fares that had been in effect since 16th November 2018.


Prior to that there had been a significant period of time when no increase had been made and the SPL advised that it would be preferable to avoid such a long gap with no increase being repeated.


The Committee had re-considered the table of fares in November 2019 and November 2020 but on those occasions representations had been received from the Chairman of the Redditch Taxi Association that the Association did not wish to request an increase.


In preparing this report, the Redditch Taxi Association had been consulted and their comments were set out at paragraph 3.15 of the report, namely that they were not seeking an increase in the Table of Fares. The reason given for this was that the trade was still quiet following the Covid-19 pandemic, and hackney carriage drivers were trying to maintain competitive with the private hire sector.


The report was therefore for noting and a further report would be brought before Members in November 2022 to re-visit this issue of fares.


In response to questions from Members, the SPL clarified that the amount in the Table of Fares was the “maximum” a Hackney Carriage Driver; there was no restriction on lower fares being charged.


Whilst acknowledging that the trade was not asking for an increase on this occasion, Members expressed concerns that they did not want to see a repetition of the previous situation where an increase was delayed in coming forward for several years.  This was particularly the case bearing in mind the affect of inflation on the cost of fuel and vehicle operating costs.


The SPL re-iterated that a report would be brought before Members again in November 2022, and that in the meantime it was open to the Redditch Taxi Association to request that an increase be considered by Members if their position changed.


A request was made that for the next annual report officers include some information from the Consumer Price Index or Retail Prices Index as a comparator and to illustrate the affect of inflation on the fares.




That the Licensing Committee note the contents of the report and that no further action is required at the present time.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 96 KB


Members were referred to the Work Programme at page 63 of the agenda and officers outlined the items due to be considered at the next two meetings of the committee.




The Licensing Committee Work Programme 2021/22 be noted.