Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, ME10 3HT. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

No. Item


Emergency Evacuation Procedure

The Chairman will advise the meeting of the evacuation procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. This is particularly important for visitors and members of the public who will be unfamiliar with the building and procedures.


The Chairman will inform the meeting whether there is a planned evacuation drill due to take place, what the alarm sounds like (i.e. ringing bells), where the closest emergency exit route is, and where the second closest emergency exit route is, in the event that the closest exit or route is blocked.


The Chairman will inform the meeting that:


(a) in the event of the alarm sounding, everybody must leave the building via the nearest safe available exit and gather at the Assembly points at the far side of the Car Park. Nobody must leave the assembly point until everybody can be accounted for and nobody must return to the building until the Chairman has informed them that it is safe to do so; and


(b) the lifts must not be used in the event of an evacuation.


Any officers present at the meeting will aid with the evacuation.


It is important that the Chairman is informed of any person attending who is disabled or unable to use the stairs, so that suitable arrangements may be made in the event of an emergency.





The Chairman ensured that those present were aware of the emergency evacuation procedure.



To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 31 July 2019 (Minute Nos. 174 – 178) as a correct record.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 31 July 2019 (Minute Nos. 174 – 178) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

Councillors should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for  themselves or their spouse, civil partner or person with whom they are living with as a spouse or civil partner.  They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.


The Chairman will ask Members if they have any interests to declare in respect of items on this agenda, under the following headings:


(a)          Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI) under the Localism Act 2011.  The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared.  After declaring a DPI, the Member must leave the meeting and not take part in the discussion or vote.  This applies even if there is provision for public speaking.


(b)          Disclosable Non Pecuniary (DNPI) under the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council in May 2012.  The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared.  After declaring a DNPI interest, the Member may stay, speak and vote on the matter.


(c)          Where it is possible that a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts would conclude that there was a real possibility that the Member might be predetermined or biased the Member should declare their predetermination or bias and then leave the room while that item is considered.


Advice to Members:  If any Councillor has any doubt about the existence or nature of any DPI or DNPI which he/she may have in any item on this agenda, he/she should seek advice from the Monitoring Officer, the Head of Legal or from other Solicitors in Legal Services as early as possible, and in advance of the Meeting.



No interests were declared.


Public Session

The Council operates a scheme of public speaking at meetings of the

General Licensing Committee. Requests to speak at the meeting must

be registered with Democratic Services by 4.30pm on Friday 14 February 2020 and must be related to an item on the agenda. Each speaker has a maximum of three minutes to speak.



There were no requests from the public to speak at this meeting.

Part B Minutes for the General Licensing Committee to decide


Gambling Act 2005: Local Area Profile pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Community was invited to introduce the item and he thanked the officer for the report.


The Committee considered the report for the addition of a Local Area Profile (LAP) to the current Statement of Principles – Gambling Act 2005.  The Licensing Officer explained that the Gambling Commission recommended that Local Authorities undertook a LAP to examine the risks associated with gambling.  He said that the information gained from the process would provide a better understanding of where gambling premises were located and increase awareness of any identified risks.  The Licensing Officer explained that since 6 April 2016, gambling operators had been required to undertake risk assessments for their premises, taking into account the nature and characteristics of the local area.  He outlined the general aims of the LAP as noted in Appendix I to the report: the Draft Gambling Act 2005 Swale Local Area Profile, and said that the information received would provided a footing for the decision-making process in gambling contexts.  The Licensing Officer gave an overview of the adverse harm that gambling had on individuals, communities, deprived areas, and vulnerable people, both health wise and financial and explained that the impact could be short-term or long-term.  The Licensing Officer outlined the measures that Councils could take in sharing data, and sign-posting to support services.  He drew Members’ attention to the various maps in the document showing locations of gambling premises, and where gambling counselling was sited.  The Licensing Officer also referred to the statistics in the Appendix of who had contacted the counselling group, with the age of the gambler, gender and the debt that they were in.  There was also information on the location of recovery centres, crime, at or near gambling premises, deprived areas, and the location of religious institutions in relation to gambling premises.


The Licensing Officer summarised and said that this was not a finished document and the LAP would develop over time with increased intelligence.  The process would encourage a proactive approach to risk which was likely to reduce compliance and enforcement action.


Members were invited to ask questions and make comments.


In response to a question on the maps, the Licensing Officer confirmed that each location where there was a gaming permit was indicated on the map.  Members were also advised that online bingo was not regulated by the Council.


A Member noted that Town Councils were not listed on page 7 of the report as proposed consultees, and requested that they be added so that both Town and Parish Councils were consulted.  The Member also added that the most up-to-date information needed to be included, as there was a premises indicated on the map that was no longer there.


In response to a question, the Contentious Team Leader explained that although there might be a perception that there were more betting shops in the high street than in previous years, this was not the case, and there were actually less.  He said the largest amount of betting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 540.


Street Trading Policy pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Community was invited to introduce the item and he thanked the officer for the report.


The Committee considered the report which set-out information and guidance on a new draft Street Trading Policy which required Members’ comments and approval prior to formal consultation.  The Licensing Officer explained that the Council regulated street trading in the Borough, and on 23 July 2010 Swale Borough Council (SBC) designated all streets in the Borough as ‘consent streets’ and as such any street had to obtain a street trading consent from the Council.  The Licensing Officer said that the existing Street Trading Policy, approved by the Council in July 2013 was attached as Appendix I to the report, with the reviewed draft Street Trading Policy at Appendix II.  She referred to the amendments to the Policy, outlined in paragraph 3.3 of the report, and explained that there would be a 12-week consultation period.  The Licensing Officer added that fees had not changed since 2013 and these would also be reviewed.  She explained that the proposals would make the Policy more robust, and the Policy would be submitted to Full Council later in the year for adoption.


Members were invited to ask questions and make comments.


A Member asked for more information about the fees charged to event organisers.  The Licensing Officer explained that the individual store holder at an event was now required to obtain their own consent.  This protected the event organiser from being responsible for something the stall holder might do that later led to further action being taken by an agency.  She stated that if the fees were set appropriately, they would not be more prohibitive than they were now, but the system would be more structured.  She added that applications needed to be submitted in good time to enable them to be processed.




(1)      That it be noted that the report and appendices would also be presented to the Policy Development and Review Committee.

(2)      That the draft Street Trading policy as attached at Appendix II to the report be approved for a formal consultation period of 12-weeks.

(3)      That delegated authority be given to the Resilience and Licensing Manager to make any amendments required by Members to the draft policy.


Taxi Road Safety - discussion item


The Resilience and Licensing Manager introduced this discussion item.  She explained that she had been in discussion with the Cabinet Member for Community about the Kent Fire and Rescue Road Safety Experience in Rochester.  She asked for Members views on whether they thought this course should be made available or mandatory to taxi drivers in the Borough.


Members made the following comments;


·         This experience should be made mandatory;

·         we should consider sending a few drivers from a large taxi firm;

·         the Council controlled the Taxi Policy, but the drivers were not the Council’s employees, however, they could be encouraged to attend;

·         attendance at the event could be added as a mandatory to Licensing Sub-Committee driver suspensions;

·         we should consider working with other authorities to send our taxi drivers with theirs;

·         this was an excellent scheme, and an eye-opening experience; and

·         taxi-drivers would not have to attend, unless it was included in the Policy.


The Licensing Officer briefly outlined other courses that could be relevant to taxi drivers in the Borough, which included customer care, disability awareness, and a driving test.




(1)      That the points raised in this item be noted and looked into further.