Agenda and draft minutes

General Licensing Committee
Wednesday 12 February 2020 9.35 am

Venue: Committee Room 2, East Pallant House. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services on 01243 534685  Email:  democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

25.

Chairman's Announcements

Any apologies for absence that have been received will be noted at this point.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Mr G Evans and Mrs T Bangert.

26.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the General Licensing Committee meeting held on 27 February 2019.

Minutes:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 February 2019 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

27.

Urgent Items

Chairman to announce any urgent items which due to special circumstances are to be dealt with under agenda item 8b.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

28.

Declarations of Interests

Details of members’ personal interests arising from their membership of parish councils or West Sussex County Council or from their being Chichester District Council or West Sussex County Council appointees to outside organisations or members of outside bodies or from being employees of such organisations or bodies.

 

Such interests are hereby disclosed by each member in respect of agenda items where the Council or outside body concerned has been consulted in respect of that particular item or application.

 

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are to be made by members of the Committee in respect of matters on the agenda or this meeting.

Minutes:

Mr Moss declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 6 as his niece earned an income from dog walking.

29.

Public Question Time

Questions submitted by members of the public in writing by noon on the previous working day (for a period of up to 15 minutes).

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

30.

Revised Fees and Charges 2020 for the Animal Welfare Licensing Regime pdf icon PDF 73 KB

This is a recommendation from the January 2020 Cabinet meeting.

 

That the Committee approves the new fees and charges for 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman explained that in recent years a number of licensing policies had been adopted, some of the policies were now due for renewal and there were two such policies on the agenda today.

 

Mr Horne introduced the report and summarised the key points.

 

The Chairman explained the Environmental Health Team exercise considerable control over the breeding of animals within the district, and were very professional in how matters were dealt with, including the keeping of exotic pets which often presented a challenge.

 

Members sought clarification in relation to the length of time of a license was in existence for and if the enforcement element was based on historical enforcement actions.  Mr Horne confirmed that under the previous provision, licence ran for one year with the exception of dangerous wild animals which ran for two years.  Licenses now run for one, two or three years depending on risk rating.  Dangerous Wild Animals licenses still run for two years, and Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition licence runs for three years.  With regards to enforcement actions, that had been calculated in terms of the new regulatory regime, and noted that enforcement under the previous scheme was not considered to be as much of a priority as now. 

 

Members sought further clarification regarding livery yards, including those which provided the facilities for owners taking partial or full-time care of their horses, if they were included under ‘Franchise Animal Boarding’, and if they were required to have a licence.  Mr Horne confirmed that such establishments were not licensable under the animal licensing regime. Members queried if they were required to have veterinarian inspection, and if the licensing regime covered the hire of animals for riding.  Mr Horne explained that arrangements of this type were private contractual arrangements, but were not outside the animal welfare law and therefore if complaints were made, they would require investigation.

 

Members sought further clarification regarding commercial dog walking and whether a licence was required.  Mr Horne confirmed that dog walking was not under the regulations, which only relate to the boarding of animals (cats and dogs).

 

Members sought further clarification with regards to licensing for commercial zoological establishments.  Mr Horne advised that this was outside the topic under discussion, but the Authority issued zoo Licenses and suggested this item was included for a future meeting of the committee. 

 

Members sought further clarification in relation to the various categories of licence type and whether a more detailed explanation was provided.  Mr Walling confirmed that there were more precise guidance for each of the categories which explained when an enterprise was in or out of scope for the requirement of a licence, but the general rule was whether a commercial element existed.  Mr Walling added that in relation to new dog breeding establishments, this referred to those that were ‘new’ and therefore had not previously been licenced.  An initial inspection for this for licence was carried out with a qualified veterinarian present, and thereafter the inspection may  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

The Council's proposed revised House to House Collection Policy pdf icon PDF 107 KB

That the Committee approve the revised policy.  (To note: the changes within the policy are highlighted in red).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Knowles-Ley introduced the report and summarised the key points.

 

Members sought clarification regarding charitable collections and commercial collections, such as a modern equivalent of a ‘Rag & Bone Man’.  Mr Knowles-Ley responded this would not include the sale of items over a social media platform which was considered as a sales transaction, but if doorstep collections were for charities, that was when this licensing regime was implemented.   The definition of a charity is one which is registered with the Charities Commission and charitable organisations would not have charitable status, but if it could be demonstrated that a collection was for charitable purposes, the Authority would support the organisation in obtaining a licence.

 

Members commented upon the collections carried out by The Lions Christmas collections using a mock sleigh and santa, and that the extended 21 day period in December would aid this activity, which achieved significant fund-raising for the organisation.  Mr Knowles-Ley explained that there were a number of national charities (currently 47) which held a national exemption order and were just required to notify the local Authority of the impending activities in relation to collections.  Mr Knowles-Ley further explained that last year the Authority received eight applications and cited examples of these organisations which included Christian Aid, The Air Ambulance Service, Scope, The Fisherman’s Mission and The Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal).

 

Members queried if there had been any requirement with regards to enforcement.  Mr Knowles-Ley responded that they had been notified by a homeowner that a number of bags had been dropped, contact had been made with the entity purporting to be collecting for the charity and they had demonstrated that they had a contract with the charity, but officers had been able to establish that this collection should not have been made within Chichester District.

 

Members sought clarification regarding the clothes aid franchises, which collected bags on behalf of charities and were paid to do so, and whether all organisations were treated similarly including those collections for which 100% of the funds raised was received by a charity.  Mr Knowles-Ley responded that when people donated items to a charity they preferred that all the funds raised are received by the charity, but it was lawful to collect for charities as a business.  There has been a reduction in those enterprises from which charities were receiving only 20%.  When an application was received there was a requirement to explain what the intentions were and following the collection there was a form to complete with a statement of accounts, including what it had cost to undertake the collection, and how much had been received for the items sold.  Those calculations were checked by officers and recorded on a database, this was reviewed to ensure that percentages initially given were achieved and those that fell short were informed.  The Authority's preference was for a minimum of 70% of the funds raised received by the charity; however, Mr Knowles-Ley explained that this was not a legal requirement specified  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Consideration of any late items as follows:

(a)  Items added to the agenda papers and made available for public inspection;

(b)  Items which the chairman has agreed should be taken as matters of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be reported at the meeting.

 

Part 2

(Items for which the press and public are/may be excluded)

 

That in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (the Act) the public and the press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item on the agenda for the reason that it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted that there would be disclosure to the public of “exempt information” being information of the nature described in Paragraph 1 (information relating to any individual) of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

There are no restricted items for consideration by the General Licensing Committee at this meeting.

33.

Exclusion of the press and public

Part 2

(Items for which the press and public are/may be excluded)

 

That in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (the Act) the public and the press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item on the agenda for the reason that it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted that there would be disclosure to the public of “exempt information” being information of the nature described in Paragraph 1 (information relating to any individual) of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

There are no restricted items for consideration by the General Licensing Committee at this meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

There was no requirement to exclude the press and public at this meeting.