To consider an update on the functions carried out under the Licensing Act 2003, Gambling Act 2005 and other aspects of Licensing.
The Committee considered the Licensing Annual Report 2014/2015 which provided an overall view of the activities, under the Licensing Act 2003, Gambling Act 2005 and other aspects of Licensing, and to inform the Committee on any issues anticipated in the ensuing year. The report detailed the work carried out by Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) Enforcement and Licensing Teams for Redditch Borough Council.
The Senior Licensing Practitioner, WRS, introduced the report and in doing so informed the Committee that since 1st June 2010 the WRS Licensing Team had taken over operational delivery of the statutory functions of licensing and enforcement of regulated activities and businesses operating under the Licensing Act 2003 on behalf of Redditch Borough Council.
Under the terms of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2005, each local authority was required to prepare and publish a licensing policy which has to be reviewed every five years. During 2014 a review of the Licensing Act 2003 policy was completed.
A further review of the Gambling Act 2005, Statement of Principles was due this year, and had, as detailed at Minute Number 24, been presented to Members during the course of the meeting, whereby Members had approved the draft Statement of Principles for the purpose of consultation.
The report also detailed the number of new licences issued and granted by Redditch Borough Council in 2014/2015, under the Licensing Act 2003; the number of premises which had continued to be licensed by the Council under the Gambling Act 2005. The number of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensed vehicles and drivers had remained fairly consistent.
In October 2013 the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into force within the Borough. Under this new legislation the Council was responsible for issuing mobile scrap metal mobile collector licences and scrap metal site licences. The Council had issued six site licences and 24 mobile collector licences. The Licensing Team were responsible for enforcing the legislation in partnership with the Police and Environment Agency.
In response to questions raised by Members, the Senior Licensing Practitioner, WRS, informed the Committee that scrap metal dealers were required to have a mobile collector licence from every authority in areas they collected from. WRS welcomed any enquiries or concerns from Ward Members and members of the public with regard to scrap metal mobile collectors. He further informed Members that individuals and not their vehicles were licensed as mobile collectors.
Members raised several questions and made suggestions with regard to scrap metal collectors displaying their licences in a predominant position in order for it to be easily seen by members of the general public. The Senior Licensing Practitioner, WRS, agreed to investigate and liaise with other authorities with regard to licences being displayed.
A brief discussion followed with regards to age exemption applications presented to Licensing Sub-Committee’s and MOT advisory information included with the applications. The Council’s Legal Advisor advised Members that they were required to inspect the cosmetic condition of vehicles and were not expected to approve the mechanical viability of vehicles; that was the role of the Council’s depot. He also advised Members that commercial consideration should not be taken into account when considering an age exemption vehicle application.
The Senior Licensing Practitioner, WRS, informed Members that the taxi trade had requested that the Council’s current policy on age exemption vehicles be reviewed, as they felt that modern vehicles were being manufactured to a high standard and therefore expected to be road worthy for a considerably longer period of time.
Members thanked the Senior Licensing Practitioner, WRS for his comprehensive report and the advice and information provided during the course of the meeting.
that the Licensing Annual Report 2014/2015, as presented, be noted.