Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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- Meeting of Licensing Committee (Licensing Act 2003 Functions), Thursday, 24th November, 2016 4.00pm (Item 13.)
13.1 The Chair stated that the last few months had been very busy, during the summer she had been out with a Trading Standards Officer and then with a Licensing Officer which had been very enlightening.
13.2 A number of Councillors had been out on Operation Marble at the end of September and once again this had been remarkably useful. Members had gone out with officers in twos and threes and this had actually been more productive. She had been impressed with the good working relations between a Special Constable trained in licensing with the various pubs and clubs in the city centre. It had been clear that the drugs issue was not neglected and that any found on customers were handed in. The aspect of an effective bar or club which had most struck her was those where there were a suitable number of SIA’s, there was less trouble and people were free to enjoy themselves, so lots of excellent policies in operation.
13.3 Members also visited the Special Stress Area where there were some deeply worrying activities going on, of which the Police were aware. She had been encouraged by the promptness of the police and licensing officers in dealing with them during the following weeks.
13.4 Some successful training events had taken place during the autumn, namely regarding issues surrounding the CIZ zone, proposed changes to the Gambling Legislation and the new immigration and fraud checks that taxi providers would be legally obliged to carry out.
Night Time Economy
13.5 Whist there had been some increase in non-injury violent crime but not violent crime linked to licensed premises in the CIZ and no information had been received in relation to taxi ranks. This increase appeared to be linked to better recording practices rather than an actual increase. Sussex Police had indicated they were prepared to fund taxi marshalls for certain red weekends during 2016/17 and 2017/18 e.g., Halloween, New Year and Bank Holidays. The Head of Community Safety Sussex Police had met with the street pastor co-ordinator and were hoping to increase the number of street pastors from 12 to 40 over the next few months. Additional recruiting was to be undertaken.
13.6 Sussex Police had agreed to support training which would involve bespoke inputs on their syllabus about personal safety and recognised threats and risks. Local context matters such as SIA door staff, safe space, etc., would also be included. The Police were also working with door staff looking at professionalising them even more, training would help them to identify vulnerable people and to encourage them to report issues to the Police.
13.7 In relation to “Safe Space” the Red Cross had agreed that they would continue to support this into the New Year and funding was in place to the end of this financial year, but funding and clinical governance needed to be addressed going forward. The Universities had indicated that they might be able to contribute towards funding. A workshop session with interested parties was being arranged to explore additional services to help manage the night time economy and to look at funding options.
13.8 The Beach Patrol was continuing to be funded by “Resolve” and The North Laine Pub Company.
Late Night Levy
13.9 Government clauses amending the Late Night Levy and placing cumulative impact policies on a statutory footing had been tabled in Parliament that day for the introduction to the Policing and Crime Bill at Lords Committee although as yet the clauses had not been uploaded to the Parliament website.
The amendments had been proposed in order to :
Make the levy more flexible by allowing licensing authorities to target specific geographical locations (rather than, as now, the whole of the local authority area);
Extend the levy to include late night refreshment outlets (with the exception of premises which sold hot drinks only)authority ;
Enable Police and Crime Commissioners to request the licensing authority to consult on introducing a levy; and
Require licensing authorities to publish information about how funds raised by the levy were spent so that those paying it were clearer about how it would be used.
13.10 It was not anticipated that this Committee would be debating the New Late Night Levy until Autumn 2017.
13.11 RESOLVED – That the Chair’s Communications be received and noted.