Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Monday, 8th July, 2024 11.00 am

Venue: The Executive Meeting Room - Third Floor, The Guildhall, Portsmouth. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: Democratic@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Ian Holder, Councillor Lee Hunt and Councillor Rajah Ghosh.

2.

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

Councillor George Madgwick declared that he had seating outside his restaurant but this was on private land and did not need a licence and was not a conflict of interest in determining the matter.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 27 November 2023 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

RECOMMENDED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 27 November 2023 be approved as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of 27 November 2023 were approved.

4.

Pavement Licences - Business and Planning Act 2020 and Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Purpose of Report

The purpose of this report is threefold:

 

·         To provide an update on the pavement licensing regime which was introduced on a temporary basis during the pandemic under the Business and Planning Act 2020 and has now been made permanent under the Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023.

 

·         To approve the relevant fees payable for new and renewal applications and to delegate decision making to the Head of Service; and

 

·         To recommend to Council the delegation of this function to the Licensing Committee and the associated delegations as set out in the recommendations below.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

a)    That the Licensing Committee note the changes to the pavement licensing regime as set out in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023;

 

b)   That the Licensing Committee approve the relevant fees payable for new and renewal applications as follows:

 

New applications:                    £500

Renewal applications:            £350

 

c)    That the Licensing Committee recommends to Council the delegation of this function to the Licensing Committee together with:

 

·         Delegation to the Head of Service to undertake the administration of all pavement licensing matters pursuant to the Business and Planning Act 2020 as amended by the Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023.  To include the power to grant, renew, refuse or revoke pavement licences, including confiscation of unauthorised furniture on the highway, and subject to such standard and special conditions as considered appropriate.

 

·         Delegation to the Head of Service to recommend to the Licensing Committee, from time to time, such fees and/or other reasonable expenses/charges to recover the costs of administration and compliance with pavement licensing requirements.  (Subject to the maximum cap applied by the Secretary of State for fees that may be charged).

 

·         Delegation to the Head of Service to refund such fee(s) for unsuccessful applications as considered appropriate on individual merit.

 

·         Delegation to the Head of Service to establish, amend, vary and/or substitute any necessary application forms, guidance notes, processes, and other necessary documentation commensurate with these proposals.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Nickii Humphreys, Licensing Manager, presented the report.  The purpose of which was:

 

1)    Provide an update on the pavement licensing regime which was introduced on a temporary basis during the pandemic under the Business and Planning Act 2020 and had been made permanent under the Levelling up and Regeneration Act 2023;

 

2)    To approve the relevant fees payable for new and renewal applications and to delegate decision making to the Head of Service;

 

3)    To recommend to Council the delegation of the function to the Licensing Committee and the associated delegations as set out in the recommendations.

 

Ms Humphreys told the committee that any applications are subject to full consultation with other PCC services and external partners.

 

Ms Humphreys advised that the matter would also be going to Full Council the following week in order for Council to approve the delegation of this licensing function to the Licensing Committee.  This was necessary as, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000, this is a licensing function which is not the responsibility of an authority's executive and therefore was necessary for Council to delegate the function to the Licensing Committee.

 

Ms Humphreys clarified that under the Highways Act 1980 the current fees charged for licences were in the majority, higher than the fees now being recommended.  As an example, the majority of applications start at £531 a year upwards to £1328.  Under the new legislation, the maximum capped fees that a local authority may charge are £500 for the grant of a pavement licence and £350 for subsequent renewal periods thereafter.  Based on the pavement licences currently in operation, analysis of the licensing budget in respect of the fees for pavement licences and amenity permits, the proposed fees would ensure that the current budget estimates could be delivered.

 

Ms Humphreys drew attention to the Secretary of State guidance at Appendix A.

 

Ms Humphreys noted that the new Act provides for some enforcement capabilities which did not exist before. 

 

Questions and Comments

 

Councillor Brown agreed to the delegation of powers to officers but asked if this would still provide members with the ability to request call ins.

 

Ms Humphreys clarified that the delegation would provide licensing with the ability to grant all the licenses, but it was up to the Committee how they would like the decision making to happen.  She stressed that officers were able to manage the process in the same way it was done under the Licensing Act.  They would be able to deal with minor variations, add conditions or remove conditions with the committee's delegation and would only need to bring matters to the committee if there was a significant matter that would require decision making to be undertaken by the licensing sub-committee.

 

Councillor Madgwick asked if the licences issued under the Amenities and Highways and Pavement Licences would all be bought together under one umbrella.

 

Ms Humphreys confirmed this was correct.  Any licences for tables and chairs on the highway under the Highways  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.