Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest

To receive any apologies for absence and declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Mr Dadds requested that the meeting be adjourned to allow him to consider the Council’s scheme of delegation in light of the omission of 226 letters (221 of which were identical) of representation. He said it was members, not officers, who had delegated authority to dismiss public representations.

 

The Council’s Solicitor said these representations had been considered and highlighted their inclusion in the report.

 

The Chair granted the request and adjourned the meeting for 15 minutes.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10.40am

 

The meeting was reconvened at 10.55am

 

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting, explained procedure and introduced the Panel.

 

The Chair declared a non-pecuniary interest as the Queen Victoria was situated in his ward.

 

The Council’s Solicitor said these representations had been considered and highlighted their inclusion in the report.

 

The Chair granted the request and adjourned the meeting for 15 minutes.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10.40am

 

The meeting was reconvened at 10.55am

 

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting, explained procedure and introduced the Panel.

 

The Chair declared a non-pecuniary interest as the Queen Victoria was situated in his ward.

 

2.

Application for a Premises Licence Queen Victoria, Great Dunmow pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider the application for a Premises Licence - Queen Victoria, Great Dunmow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In response to a question from the Chair, Mr Dadds, as the applicant’s Solicitor, confirmed he would be speaking on behalf of his client.

 

Mr Dadds said the identical letters of representation, which had been drafted by his office, should be considered as material evidence as they demonstrated that over two hundred local people supported the Queen Victoria in its pursuit of a licence. He claimed that officers should have responded in writing to these representations. He said a practical way forward would be to allow him to present the letters as evidence and for the Panel to decide how much weight would be given to the representations during their deliberation.

 

The Council’s Solicitor referenced the Constitution and Regulation 19 of the Licensing Act; she said it would be for Members to determine how much weight was given to the letters, and that the Council had engaged with the public and fulfilled its statutory duty by advertising this licensing application in a local newspaper and on the council’s website. However, she said she had no objections to Mr Dadds presenting these letters as evidence during the panel hearing.

 

Mr Dadds said a procedure needed to be put in place when dealing with representations of the public; each individual should have been written to with an explanation of why their representations had been considered irrelevant.

 

The Solicitor said the letters had been considered and were referenced in the report. It would be for Members to decide how much weight was given to these representations during their deliberations.

 

The Chair confirmed that Panel members were aware of the letters. He asked the Licensing Team Leader to present her report to the Panel.

 

The report set out details of the Queen Victoria application for a new premises licence. The application had been referred to Committee as representations had been received from Essex Police regarding the prevention of Crime and Disorder licensing objective, as there were concerns that the applicant represented a continuation of the previous management who had been charged with illegal working practices on a number of occasions. The Council’s Licensing Policy was read out for Members’ consideration.

 

The Chair asked the representatives of Essex Police to set out their case.

 

Mr Burke presented the report outlining the reasons why Essex Police were objecting to the application on the grounds of the Prevention of Crime and Disorder licensing objective. He said the premises were raided numerous times since 2013 and illegal workers had been found on each occasion. Whilst these illegal working practices were undertaken by previous management, the applicant had been a shareholder in Aldbrook LTD, the owner and operator of the Queen Victoria, since the company’s inception in 2011. He said the company’s history demonstrated a trend in illegal working practices and, as the applicant represented a continuation of management, there was real concern that the Prevention of Crime and Disorder objective would be undermined if the licence was granted.

 

Councillor Loughlin asked whether the Queen Victoria had a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.