Agenda and minutes
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The Chairman explained that the meeting would be conducted in accordance with the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panel (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 No. 392.
The Chairman welcomed all Members, officers and members of the public to the meeting.
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.
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 noon Friday 31 July 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.
Report added 31.7.20
The Resilience and Licensing Manager introduced the report which set-out details and implications of the Business and Planning Act 2020 which proposed to make it easier for premises serving food and drink such as bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing. She explained that measures included in the Act modified provisions in the Licensing Act 2003 to provide automatic extensions to the terms of on-sales alcohol licences to allow for off-sales.
The Resilience and Licensing Manager stated that the proposal was a temporary measure to boost the economy, with provisions lasting until 30 September 2021. She explained that the default hours in which off-sales would be permitted would be up-to 11pm, or until the current on-sales licensing hours for the premises ended, whichever was earliest. The provisions would also apply to temporary conditions to licences where there was a pre-existing permission for off-sales. The conditions would set the hours of off-sales to match those for on sales, allow off-sales of alcohol in open containers and allow deliveries of alcohol to residential or work buildings. The conditions would suspend existing conditions that were more restrictive.
The Act also introduced a new, temporary, fast-track process for businesses to obtain permission, in the form of a “pavement licence”, from Swale Borough Council for the placement of furniture such as tables and chairs on the pavement outside their premises which would enable them to maximise their capacity, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. The pavement licence would also only be valid until 30 September 2021.
The Resilience and Licensing Manager reported that the new temporary measures placed a cap on the application fee at £100 for businesses, and introduced a new 14-day determination period, ensuring that businesses could obtain licences in a timely and cost-effective manner aiding their financial recovery. She explained that there were enforcement powers contained in the Act to enable the Local Authority to attach conditions, to allow licences that breached conditions to be revoked, or if the highway was no longer suitable and these were set-out at Appendix I of the report. The Resilience and Licensing Manager drew attention to Appendix II of the report which set-out the process for dealing with an application.
Members were invited to ask questions. A summary of the questions and responses are outlined below:
· Referred to condition (4) of Appendix I of the report, and asked how some premises would find sufficient space as some pavements were not 1.2 metres wide? The Licensing Officer understood the concerns of the Member; however the condition was a national one that the Council was bound by. She advised that the main aim of the condition was to ensure adequate distancing was provided to allow disabled access;
· would the “pavement licence” conditions be applied dependent on each application, so condition (3) would only be imposed if appropriate? The Licensing Officer explained that condition (3) was already imposed by Kent County Council (KCC) at some premises ... view the full minutes text for item 35.