Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Contact: Alan Garside /Jodie Kloss  Email: democraticservices@watford.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

    Minutes:

    There was a change of membership for this meeting; Councillor Scudder replaced Councillor Bolton.

     

2.

Disclosure of interests

    Minutes:

    There were no disclosures of interest.

     

3.

Minutes

    To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2020.

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting held on the 9 March 2020 were agreed. They would be signed once members and officers returned to the Town Hall.

     

4.

Review of Sex Establishment Licence Policy pdf icon PDF 405 KB

    • View the background to item 4.

    A report of the Senior Licensing Officer asking the committee to approve a new Sex Establishment Licensing Policy.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The committee received the report of the Senior Licensing Officer which sought approval for a revised Sex Establishment Licensing Policy after the expiry of the current policy later that month.

     

    A consultation exercise had taken place and responses had been received from the police, the Business Improvement District (BID) and the sole existing licence holder for the premises located on Market Street. The police and the BID were content with the existing policy. However, the licence holder requested that either an additional sexual entertainment venue be permitted in The Parade, in line with an earlier policy  or one sexual entertainment venue (SEV) be permitted within a consolidated area encompassing Market Street and The Parade.

     

    The recommendation in the report was to move to a larger consolidated area where one SEV would be permitted. There had previously been a SEV on The Parade which had closed and the limit in the area had been reduced following that closure. It was noted that Watford had a diverse night time economy and that the change would still mean that any SEV would remain within the town centre policy (LP3) area. The existing premises had been trading for over a decade under the current regime.

     

    The committee noted the BID and police responses to the consultation to retain the existing policy and questioned the need for any changes. Officers underlined that the proposed policy would retain the number of premises as one. The existing premises was considering moving and the proposed policy would not open the way for a second premises for them or for other operators. The council, as the licensing authority, would retain control and each application would have a wide consultation process to include the police, local residents, councillors and others and would be judged on its merits. Additionally, the premises would need to apply separately for an alcohol licence which would also be subject to a consultation process.

     

    Following the receipt of consultation responses, informal discussions took place with the police. Whilst they retained their opposition to additional premises, there were some community safety advantages to the venue relocating to The Parade where other premises which required policing resources were situated. There were also benefits such as more CCTV, taxi ranks, lighting and access. Committee members noted the footfall levels on The Parade which included more young people and children. However, it was also noted that Market Street had high footfall levels and the existing premises was located next to bus stops.

     

    Discussing the powers the council had over the frontages of SEVs, officers drew the committee’s attention to the standard conditions for these premises. These included limits on advertising and required windows to be blacked out. No changes were suggested to these conditions.

     

    Taking the council’s place-shaping role into consideration, members had concerns that on the renewal of the proposed policy there would be pressure to further increase the number of SEVs permitted on The Parade. It was felt that the proposed policy would make it more difficult for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

 

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