Venue: Members to access the meeting via Teams. Members of the press & public may listen to the live stream on the Council's website: https://democracy.maldon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=156&MId=2241
Contact: Committee Services
To appoint a Chairman for hearing
RESOLVED that Councillor M F L Durham be appointed Chairman for the meeting.
IN THE CHAIR: COUNCILLOR M F L DURHAM
The Chairman welcomed everyone to this remote meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee, held under new regulations which had come into effect in response to the COVID-19 situation. The Chairman then went through some general housekeeping arrangements for the meeting.
A roll call of those Members present was taken.
Apologies for Absence
There were none.
Disclosure of Interest
To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interest or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6 – 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members.
(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interest as soon as they become aware should the need arise through the meeting.)
Councillor M F L Durham declared in the interest of openness and transparency he had been a personal licence holder for approximately 30 years.
To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery, (copy enclosed).
The Chairman sought confirmation that all present were in possession of and had read the report of the Director of Service Delivery along with Appendices A – C. Introductions were made at this point.
The Licensing Officer outlined the application for review of the Premises Licence at the Jolly Sailor, Church Street, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5HP.
The Chairman then outlined the procedure that would be followed at the meeting and invited the applicant, Mr Ghela, Lead Specialist: Community, to make his opening statement.
Mr Ghela took the Committee through his submitted application and the extensive pack of evidence he had submitted. Mr Ghela referred to the four licensing objectives and set out the mains points from this application which related to each objective.
The Lead Legal Specialist and Monitoring Officer advised Mr Ghela that the evidence pack was not available to the public and had only been submitted to Members of the Committee, the Licence holder and his Solicitor. Mr Ghela was requested to provide details of documents when he referred to them.
Mr Ghela advised that he would not be calling any witnesses.
Members of the Committee were given the opportunity to raise questions to Mr Ghela to which he responded. Mr Seeley, the licence holders’ Solicitor was then given the opportunity to question Mr Ghela. Mr Seeley raised a number of questions relating to the evidence presented, the information raised and provided in response included:
· Confirmation that the complaints had been received from four different householders;
· The Licence holder had held a licence at the premises for over 31 years and during that time there had not been any other complaints in relation to the premises.
· During the period of complaint there had been a number of other premises in the surrounding area which had been service good and drinks.
· No representation had been received from the responsible authorities in relation to this review. Mr Ghela referred to email correspondence with the Police following concerns regarding social distancing.
· Following correspondence from the Council, the Licence holder had introduced a number of measures in response to various issues raised. It was however confirmed that additional signage along the quay which the Council was to erect had yet to be done.
The Chairman then invited the applicant’s legal representative Mr Seeley to make his opening statement to the Committee. Mr Seeley referred to the representations he had submitted on behalf of the Licence Holder, Mr Brett and in particular the following points:
· The unblemished record of Mr Brett at the Jolly Sailor;
· There had been relatively few individual complaints and no independent verification of them;
· There was no evidence to establish a link to the Jolly Sailor given the number of other establishments in the vicinity;
· The measures put in place by Mr Brett, including signage, staff personal protective equipment, litter picking adjacent areas and social distancing enforcement;
· The two video clips and photographs submitted show that the Jolly Sailor was complying with its legal responsibilities.
In response to questions ... view the full minutes text for item 1221.
Post Committee Decision
The Sub-Committee considered the representations of Mr Ghela and Mr Seeley carefully in relation to the Licensing Objectives. Mr Ghela stated that there were various allegations made about social distancing, lack of use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), noise nuisance, littering and public urination. Although the members accepted that these allegations were concerning there was insufficient evidence to show that the most of these allegations related to the Jolly Sailor. On the issue of PPE it was not demonstrated that this would have been a breach of legal requirements during May and June.
The Sub-Committee are of the view that the Maldon District Council should visit the premises within 14 days to confirm that the correct working practices are being followed as required by the Coronavirus Act and related Regulations to satisfy any concerns the public may have as result of this review of the premises licence. This is only a recommendation.
The Committee also recommend that if Mr Brett wishes to carry out similar outside activities he should contact the Council in advance to ensure that he complies with all legal requirements.
RESOLVED that the application for a review of the premises licence be dismissed and consequently no changes are to be made to the licensable activities or to the conditions in the premises licence.