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Appointment of Chair
Councillor Udy was elected as chair for this meeting. She welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee necessitated by the COVID-19 restrictions and explained how the meeting would work and the procedure that would be followed (for hearings where representations are from "other persons" i.e. residents). Introductions were made by those present. The meeting had been rescheduled from Friday 11 September due to technical issues.
Declaration of interests
There were no declarations of members' interests. Although Councillor Udy did not have an interest, she noted that she had worked for Clarence Pier 16 years ago.
The purpose of this report is for the Committee to consider an objection notice
given by a relevant person namely the Chief Officer of Police and in respect of
a Temporary Event Notice (“TEN”) received by the licensing authority under
our reference (20/02607/LATENS, 20/02608/LATENS and 20/02610/LATENS).
The committee is requested to determine the objection notice.
Derek Stone, Principal Licensing Officer, introduced his report and explained that the hearing was being held as the police had issued an objection notice. The applicant then submitted more detailed documents with capacity reduced from 499 to 75 people. Additional information relating to Covid-19 and site plans were also submitted on 8 September and a revised risk assessment on 9 September.
In response to questions from members, the Principal Licensing Officer explained that Environmental Health and the police are informed when Temporary Event Notices (TENs) are submitted. There is no requirement under the Licensing Act 2003 to notify public health.
The Legal Advisor explained that if the TEN was modified today to limit the number of people attending the event, and the police withdrew their objection, then the applicant would be expected to operate to the revised number. Conditions can only be imposed on a TEN where there is an existing licence, which is not the case here. If there was a previous premises the conditions could be transposed. TENs cannot be granted; they are technically notifications and can either be allowed or a counter-notice issued if refused.
Under statute numbers are limited to 499 people. If the application is modified then that is what is considered and if it led to a withdrawal of objections the applicant would be expected to abide by any amendments.
Mr Thurston confirmed that the figure of 75 people included staff as well as members of the public.
PC Pearce asked if the amendment to 75 people had to be formally agreed or was a "gentleman's agreement." The Legal Advisor explained that negotiations and modifications to a TEN can take place before a hearing. If the TEN is modified by agreement then a hearing may be unnecessary. The applicant would be bound by an agreement modified by negotiation so it is stronger than a "gentleman's agreement". Mr Thurston said he would be happy to undertake any further formal process to reduce numbers.
There were no other questions for the Principal Licensing Officer.
Mr Thurston said he understood the sentiment and concerns behind the police objections to the TEN. The event was seen as a large-scale drinking event but the revised plans show that it is a small-scale, well-controlled family event to complement existing attractions in the fairground.
There were no questions for the applicant.
PC Pearce raised the following points on behalf of the police:
· The backdrop to the application is Covid-19. The situation improved over the summer but infection rates are now increasing. The main priority is to keep rates low and avoid a citywide lockdown.
· The police had concerns around drunkenness, violence, vulnerability caused by drunkenness, loud singing and dancing, and the lack of detail in the application.
· There is still uncertainty over the numbers, bearing in mind that conditions cannot be attached to TENs. The original application stated up to 499 people, further written information stated 75 and now the applicant has given a verbal undertaking. ... view the full minutes text for item 23.