Agenda and minutes

Licensing - Monday, 20th March, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Gavin Day  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Andy Fry and Timothy Pearman.



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 188 KB

To consider the minutes for the Licencing (Parent) Committee of 9th January 2023.


The minutes of the Licensing Committee of 9th January 2023 were presented to Members.



The minutes of the Licensing Committee held on the9th January 2023 were approved as a true and accurate recordand signed by the Chair.



Public Speaking


At the invitation of the Chair a statement was read out from Mr Asim Nazir, Redditch Taxi Association (RTA) with regard to agenda item 5 (minute No 18).



Delegating out of age criteria to officers - Consideration of consultation responses. pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Additional documents:


At the invitation of the Chair, the Principal Officer (Licensing) Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) presented their report.


Officers informed the Committee that on 17th October 2022 Members had directed Officers to undertake a consultation with the relevant stakeholders regarding delegating decisions for age criteria applications to WRS Licensing Officers.


The consultation period was conducted between 21st October 2022 and 16th December 2022, and was undertaken using an online survey tool. In total 121 responses were received, the replies and other comments received were detailed on pages 97 to 105 of the Public Reports pack.


The results of the consultation were originally due to be considered by the Licensing Committee on 9th January 2023. However, shortly before that meeting was due to begin, concerns were raised with Officers that some respondents to the survey may have purposefully submitted multiple responses. After an initial inspection, it was decided that further analysis of the responses received was required and with the approval of the Chair the item was deferred.


On further analysis of the responses received, it was identified that of the 122 responses, 82 had come from IP addresses which had submitted multiple responses, with 42 coming from a single IP address. There were further concerns raised regarding the period of time in which the responses were submitted with all the 42 replies from the single IP address being submitted during a 90-minute period.


Officers drew Members attention to Appendix 4 on page 107 of the Public Reports pack which detailed to Members where multiple responses were received from a single IP address.


Finally, Officers highlighted that after further discussion with Crossgates Depot, it was confirmed that a member of the safety inspection team would be available to assist with the age criteria extension vehicle examination should Members be minded to delegate the process to Officers.


During the course of a lengthy round of questions from Members, Officers clarified the following points:


  • That Local Authorities across the country were evenly split with Officers and Members making decisions with regard to age criteria applications. Officers further highlighted that in the 5 other districts that Worcester Regulatory Services (WRS) covered, Worcester City Council and Wyre Forest District Council (DC) delegated this to Officers, and that Bromsgrove DC, Wychavon DC and Malvern Hills DC retained Member decisions referring applications to Sub-Committee meetings.
  • The overall workload impact for Licencing Officers would be negligible, but there could be a time (and therefore cost implication) saving for Officers in the Legal and Democratic Services Departments, although this cost had not been calculated.
  • That drivers would have their 6 monthly safety check and age criteria examination on the same day.
  • Attempts would be made to alternate the decision-making Officer, in order to ensure one Licensing Officer did not make decisions on all the drivers in the Borough. To facilitate this the eight Licencing Officers employed by WRS would be utilised in rotation.
  • The two Principal Licencing Officers would perform regular audits to ensure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Review of Sex Establishment Licensing Policy - Consideration of consultation responses. pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:


At the invitation of the Chair, the Principal Officer (Licensing) WRS, (WRS) presented their report, as detailed on pages 109 to 113 of the Public Reports Pack.


Officers highlighted to Members that they had updated the policy as it had not been reviewed since 2015. Officers further clarified that there were no sex establishments in the Borough and that there had not been any enquiries.


The only response to the consultation was from the Office for the Director of Public Health who had requested that they be consulted with on any applications received for a sex establishment licence. Officers saw no problem with this request. The relevant stakeholders list was detailed on page 112 of the Public Reports pack and had been updated to reflect this.


Members were all in agreement with the updated policy and the need to periodically review policies.


On being put to a vote it was




therevised Sex Establishment Licensing Policy, as detailed on pages 109 to 113 of the Public Reports pack be approved and to take effect on 1st April 2023.



Hackney Carriage Table of Fares - Annual review pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Additional documents:


The Principal Officer (Licensing) WRS, presented their report and in doing so drew Members attention to pages 148 to 153 of the Public Reports pack.


Officers highlighted that RTA were consulted with prior to the report and that they had confirmed they did not want a further increase in the table of fares, due to concerns that the cost of living had already impacted on the number of customers.


Taking into account the latest fuel price, the current rate of inflation and the views expressed by RTA, Officers had recommended that no changes were made to the table of fares.


Officers clarified the following after questions from Members:


  • That in the general countrywide league table of fares, Redditch sat in the lower middle portion.
  • That the table of fares indicated the maximum fare, a driver could choose to charge less.
  • There were costs incurred in calibrating the fare machines, it may not be cost effective for drivers to increase fares by small incremental amounts due to this charge.


Members sympathised with the drivers and the competitive market against UBER, Members therefore respected the trades desire to keep the maximum fare low now that fuel costs were on a steady decline.


On being put to a vote it was




the Licensing Committee note the contents of the report andthat no further action was required.



Verbal Update - Bleed Control Kits in Licensed Premises


The Principal Officer (Licensing) WRS, provided a verbal update on bleed control kits in licensed premises.


Officers informed Members that WRS would only be able to mandate having bleed control kits by attaching a condition to a license and that would only be possible at the application or review stage process, so unfortunately WRS could not put a blanket requirement for all licensed premises to have a bleed control kit.


Officers further informed the Committee of the work being done by WRS in conjunction with Inspector Field of the Safer Neighbourhood Team, West Mercia Police and Mr Pete Martin who was a local anti-knife campaigner.


Through the efforts of Inspector Field and Mr Martin, more venues were agreeing to purchase bleed control kits. Mr Martin was also keeping a track of where kits were being adopted and updated WRS with any new establishments regularly.


To further combat knife crime, premises owners were being encouraged to use handheld metal detectors and a portable knife arch owned by West Mercia Police, the uptake of these measures varied between different establishments.


Officers from WRS and West Mercia Police have worked together to produce a letter to urge venues to purchase bleed control kits, this letter was being hand delivered by uniformed Police Officers to each venue. It was further highlighted by Officers that there was legislation which would be coming into place, that would impose a legal duty upon owners to mitigate terrorism risks for any publicly accessible place, therefore, premises owners were being urged to become compliant prior to this legislation coming into place.




the Verbal update on bleed control kits in licenced premises be noted.




Work Programme pdf icon PDF 94 KB


The Chair requested that the table of fares be added to the work programme for the coming Municipal year.


The Chair further requested that a report be presented to a future meeting of the Committee on the MOT provision/process at Crossgate Depot, as there had been some reports of difficulty getting an MOT timeslot by drivers.


Members asked that the start time of the meeting be discussed with the Chair in the next Municipal year as they expressed the opinion that an earlier time of 18:00 hours would be more suitable.




the Licensing Committee Work Programme 2023/2024 be updated to include the items discussed, as detailed in the preamble above.