Agenda item

Cumulative Impact Review work

To provide an update on the review of Licensed Premises in South Holland and the need for a Cumulative Impact Policy (Report of the Executive Manager People and Public Protection is enclosed).

Minutes:

The Chairman agreed to consider the item 5 of the agenda, regarding Cumulative Impact Review Work, immediately after apologies for absence.  This was due to the attendance of Daven Naghen (Maples Solicitors, Spalding) who was present at the meeting to provide any legal advice of matters being considered in relation to Cumulative Impact. 

 

The Licensing and Business Support Manager, Donna presented to the Committee the report of the Executive Manager People and Public Protection, relating to Cumulative Impact Review Work.  In addition to the report Donna provided the Committee with maps of the Spalding Town Centre, which indicated Licensing Premises and their locations. 

 

Cumulative impact is relevant where there is a potential impact on the promotion of the licensing objectives of a significant number of licensed premises that are concentrated in one area.  The four licensing objectives were:

:

·                The prevention of crime and disorder;

·                Public safety;

·                The prevention of public nuisance; and

·                The protection of children from harm.

 

After consultation, a licensing authority could include a cumulative impact policy (CIP) within the statement of licensing policy. The effect of this was to create a rebuttable presumption that applications for premises licences which were likely to add to the existing cumulative impact would normally be refused or subject to certain limitations unless the applicant could demonstrate that there would be no negative impact on the licensing objectives.

 

Each application was still to be considered properly and on its own merit, and applications that were unlikely to add to the cumulative impact on the licensing objectives should be granted. If no relevant representations were received then the licensing authority must grant the licence regardless of whether a CIP was in place.

 

Home Office guidance summarised the following steps that should be followed in considering whether to adopt a CIP:

 

·                Identify concern and consider whether there is good evidence that crime and disorder or nuisance are occurring, or whether there are activities which pose a threat to public safety or the protection of children from harm. If these problems are occurring, identify whether they are being caused by the customers of licensed premises;

·                Identify the boundaries of the area where problems are occurring ;

·                Consult specified persons as identified in the 2003 Act;

·                Subject to the outcome of the consultation include details of the CIP in the licensing policy statement.

 

A review was undertaken in 2013 to decide whether a cumulative impact policy was needed to tackle perceived problems with the off licence trade in Spalding.  Evidence was analysed by the police relating to the number of off licences in the area and alcohol related antisocial behaviour incidents from 2008 to 2012.  An independent analysis of the evidence was also undertaken by a national licensing law firm.  At that time it was concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show a clear link between alcohol related antisocial behaviour and the number of off-licensed premises. 

 

Following on from that a number of other initiatives were introduced with partners to tackle the root cause of problems in that area. These included; Safer Spalding Scheme, Operation Trunk and the Street Pastors.  A Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) was in place in the town centre to tackle the problem of street drinking.  In addition to this work the Licensing Team were now working with the Communities Team and the Police to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to replace the DPPO, and as an additional means to control antisocial behaviour in the town centre.

 

The Home Office had recently tabled an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill proposing to place CIPs on a statutory footing.  The aim of this was to add legal certainty and transparency for applicants, licensing authorities and other responsible authorities, on how CIPs were developed and operated.   The legislation would not require all licensing authorities to consider introducing a CIP.   It laid out the steps a licensing authority would be required to take before publishing a cumulative impact assessment.   Statutory guidance would set out the kinds of evidence licensing authorities may use and the consultation process.   For example:  Why was it considering a cumulative impact assessment; the areas which the assessment related to; and whether the assessment would relate to all premises licences and club premises or only those of a particular kind.

 

There would be a further requirement that the licensing authority carried out a consultation on the CIP at least every 3 years and published a statement about whether the licensing authority remained of the opinion set out in the original assessment. The aim of this was to ensure that licensing authorities used robust and up to date evidence to support the implementation and retention of CIPS in their area.

 

Enquiries had been made by the licensing team to identify information available that would be relevant to a cumulative impact review. The information below was obtained from SHDC Environmental Protection team in relation to nuisance complaints which were linked by the complainant to licensed premises.

 

Table 1 - Environmental Protection nuisance complaints received for licensed premises Aug 2013 to Sept 2016:

 

Time Period

Nature of complaint

Location of licensed premise to which complaint relates

August 2013 to August 2014

Noise from pub

Noise from pub

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from takeaway (building works)

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from restaurant (music and fighting)

 

TOTAL 6

Sutton Bridge

Spalding town centre

Tydd St Mary

Spalding town centre

Pinchbeck

Sutton Bridge

August 2014 to August 2015

Noise from event

Noise from event

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from event

Noise nuisance (alarm)

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from event

Noise from club premises

 

TOTAL 11

Gedney

Moulton

Spalding town centre

Spalding town centre

Spalding town centre

Pinchbeck

Long Sutton

Whaplode

Gedney Dyke

Sutton St Edmund

Spalding

August 2015 to September 2016

Noise from pub

Noise from equipment/takeaway

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from pub

Noise from café

Noise from pub

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from café

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from pub (music)

Noise from pub (equipment)

Noise from pub (music)

 

TOTAL 12

Crowland

Outskirts Spalding

Spalding town centre

Sutton Bridge

Spalding town centre

Crowland

Spalding town centre

Spalding town centre

Sutton Bridge

Sutton Bridge

Sutton Bridge

Spalding town centre

 

 

The data showed an increase in noise nuisance complaints relating to licensed premises in South Holland since 2013, although the numbers remained low.  The data related to complaints made to the council, not every complaint had been substantiated.

 

Lincolnshire Police and SHDC Communities Team had also been asked to contribute to this review.   The information related to the NC27 policing area which was primarily Spalding Town Centre.

 

Table 2 - Information provided by Communities Team for Alcohol Related  Anti Social Behaviour incidents April to July 2014 to 2016:

 

 

2014

2015

2016

Drunken Behaviour

Apr

May

Jun

July

Apr

May

Jun

July

Apr

May

Jun

July

10

13

9

21

12

8

11

7

8

9

7

8

Total

53

38

32

Street Drinking

Apr

May

Jun

July

Apr

May

Jun

July

Apr

May

Jun

July

5

8

9

7

4

7

2

5

0

4

4

2

Total

29

18

10

 

The recorded incidents for drunken behaviour included drunken behaviour outside pubs and clubs, domestic premises and in the street but did not necessarily equate to street drinking incidents.  A maximum of 10 incidents were purported to relate to street drinking.   Those 10 incidents that were reported to the Police in April to July 2016 related to various locations including Aldi car park, Gore Lane, Swan Street, Victoria car park, Hall Place and the Sheep Market.

 

The Committee considered the information and the following points and queries were raised:

·         Could a decision not to grant a Licence in a Cumulative Impact Area be appealed against?

 

The Licensing and Business Support Manager advised that, like with any other application that was refused, an applicant could appeal against a decision to not grant a licence. 

 

·         If there are a lot of Licensed Premises in one location surely there would be issues?

 

In the case of Spalding, there were no figures to suggest that there was a problem.  But also, if incidents were reported it would be very hard to associate any incident with a particular premises. 

 

·         The public perceives that there were issues, were those figures shared with the public?

 

The information gathered was provided by the Police, and was to be included within the minutes of the meeting, which would also be of public record. 

 

·         How was the Town Centre defined?

 

The information provided was based on Police beat areas, which was similar to the DPPO which was in place. 

 

·         Had the effect of a CIP in other areas been looked at and what effect had it had?

 

It was very difficult to compare one area with another, there were so many factors to make it hard to see if what worked in one place would mean it would work in another. 

 

·         Could information from Accident and Emergency wards be gathered?

 

It would be hard to relate any data to particular premises, especially as South Holland did not have any emergency care facilities,  the nearest ones were Peterborough and Boston. 

 

Councillor Chandler advised that he had been involved when a Cumulative Impact Policy had been considered in 2013, at that time the figures gathered did not suggest that there was a problem,  the Police and the Legal advice did not support implementation. 

 

Councillor Dark noted that although there was no evidence to support the need of a CIP, the public did have a perception that there was a problem and that Spalding would benefit from one.  He suggested that further communication to the public on the Licensing Act 2003 was perhaps needed and if incidents occurred encourage the public to report them.    The Chairman advised that she had in the past been involved with an article in the local press about the Licensing Act 2003 and Premises in South Holland. 

 

Daven Naghen, Maples Solicitors Spalding advised that to take any decision relating to a CIP members would have to give it careful consideration, and acknowledge any risks or challenges that any Policy may pose.  He noted that a policy would only deal with new applications for licences and not those that  were already in place. 

The members of the Committee considered the recommendation but agreed that there was not sufficient evidence to support going forward with a CIP.  Instead members considered the options available to them, as indicated within the report: 

 

·                The Committee note the contents of this report and do nothing;

 

·                The Committee request that further work is carried out and legal opinion is sought in relation to evidence for a CIP;

 

·                The Committee consider that there is sufficient information at this stage to proceed with a formal review and consultation process. 

 

Members agreed that none of the options reflected their views and that the following recommendation be proposed:

 

That officers provide further evidence that may support a CIP and that be reported to  Committee along with a list which identified the  pros and cons of putting a CIP in place. 

 

Members were all in agreement, with the recommendation and noted that no further work should take place unless there was sufficient evidence and it was important to know exactly what the risks were, if one were in place. 

 

AGREED:

 

That officers provide further evidence that may support a CIP and that be reported to Committee along with a list which identified the pros and cons of putting a CIP in place. 

 

(Ken McErlain (Communications Officer) and Daven Naghen (Maples Solicitors, Spalding) left the meeting at 8.11pm., after consideration of the above item). 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: