Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services (copy enclosed) on the priorities of the Licensing Section together with an update on rescheduled items and the revised forward work programme.




(a)       the contents of the report be noted, and


(b)       the revised forward work programme for 2022 as detailed in the appendix to the report be approved.


The Public Protection Business Manager submitted a report (previously circulated) on the priorities of the Licensing Section together with an update on rescheduled items and the proposed revised forward work programme for 2022.


The priorities of the Licensing Section reflected the duty placed on the authority in relation to its responsibilities for the licensing function and the effective regulation, control and enforcement of licensees together with the authority’s commitment to safer communities and the development of the economy.  Due to unforeseen priorities the previously approved forward work programme had been amended with items rescheduled and a revised work programme presented for consideration.


Officers provided an update on those items due to be brought forward to the Committee’s December meeting which were discussed with members as follows –


·         Review of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Statement of Licensing Policy


The consultation document on a proposed Statement of Licensing Policy for the taxi trade was in its final stages and officers were working with the Council’s Public Engagement Officer to publish the consultation via the County Conversation portal.


·         Review of Statement of Principles – Gambling Act 2005


A review of the Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles was taking place collectively across the six North Wales local authorities and following its completion officers would submit proposals to the Licensing Committee.


·         Review of Street Trading Policy


The Licensing Committee had previously considered and approved a draft policy for consultation and the establishment of a Sub Group (to include the Chair or Vice Chair together with a representative from each Member Area Group) to further consider the policy.  Preparations were ongoing with the Council’s Public Engagement Officer with a view to publishing the consultation via the County Conversation portal at the appropriate time.  In response to questions the Public Protection Business Manager reported upon the meeting of the Sub Group on 24 November 2021 with further work to be carried out in seeking the views of the City/Town/Community Councils and Member Area Groups as to the specifics for each individual area in order to tailor the policy as appropriate, given that they would be best placed to advise on their own particular localities.  Matters to be considered related primarily as to where street trading should take place in those areas if at all.  A template was currently being prepared for circulation.


·         Statement of Licensing Policy – Licensing Act 2003


At their last meeting the Licensing Committee authorised officers to consult on a revised Statement of Policy.  However, it had since become apparent that the current version of the policy did not meet accessibility requirements and would require significant modification.  Consequently officers were looking to use the template developed by North Wales authorities given there were no significant differences with regard to the content, only in appearance and format.  Officers would report back to a future meeting of the Committee following consultation.


·         Review of Fees and Charges


Fees and charges for the administration of taxi licensing were last reviewed in 2018 and although they should be reviewed on a regular basis the timing of that work had been deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Work was also ongoing to implement an online application system which would significantly alter the application process.  In addition, officers had also received requests for a review of the hackney carriage tariff charges which were last updated in 2018.  Consequently officers proposed to proceed with both reviews simultaneously and consult with current licensees with a view to reporting back to the Committee in March 2022.


Members noted the update and approved the proposed revisions to the forward work programme.  Given the amount of business to be transacted at the Committee’s next meeting and work involved in that regard, there was some debate as to the merits of a pre-meeting beforehand for members to familiarise themselves with the report items prior to formal consideration.  After a brief debate it was agreed that the Public Protection and Business Manager discuss with the Chair and Vice-Chair a little nearer the time as to whether a pre-meeting with members would be beneficial.  Councillor Brian Jones was particularly keen for any outstanding ongoing work to be concluded during the current council term where possible.




(a)       the contents of the report be noted, and


(b)       the revised forward work programme for 2022 as detailed in the appendix to the report be approved.


Supporting documents: