Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD
Contact: Jackie Tunstall 020 7527 3068
Introductions and procedure
Councillor Sheila Chapman welcomed everyone to the meeting and officers and members introduced themselves. The procedure for the conduct of the meeting was outlined.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Marian Spall.
Declarations of substitute members
Councillor Satnam Gill substituted for Councillor Marian Spall.
Declarations of interest
If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:
§ if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;
§ you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency.
In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.
If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.
*(a) Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.
(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.
(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.
(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.
(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.
(g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital.
This applies to all members present at the meeting.
Councillor Alice Clarke-Perry stated that she was a ward councillor for St Peter’s Ward.
Order of Business
The order of business would be Item B2, B3 and B1.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 April 2019 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
The licensee did not attend the meeting and the Sub-Committee agreed that it would be in the public interest to hear the application in his absence.
The licensing officer reported that the licensee attended training on 14 May and had also sought advice from the licensing team. However, since that time they had not heard from him. The licensing team had visited the premises twice and both times the shutters had been down.
The trading standards officer reported that the licensee had engaged initially and had attended training but there had been a further underage test purchase and seizure of illicit alcohol following an officer panel in February. There were no refusals logs or training logs and no traceability for the illicit alcohol.
The licensing authority fully supported the review. There had been significant breaches of the licence and there had been illicit alcohol for sale in the premises. The licensing authority supported revocation of the licence.
The police stated that this was a very challenging part of the borough and a crime hotspot. The police had no confidence in the licensee and considered that the licence should be revoked.
The public health officer reiterated the concerns raised.
That the premises licence, in respect of Harveys Off Licence, 295 Caledonian Road, N1 1EG, be revoked.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The licensee did not attend the hearing and had given no notice that he would not attend. The Sub-Committee considered under Regulation 20 whether it was in the public interest to adjourn and agreed to continue with the hearing.
The Sub-Committee listened to all the evidence and submissions and read all the material. The Sub-Committee reached the decision having given consideration to the Licensing Act 2003, as amended, and its regulations, the national guidance and the Council’s Licensing Policy.
The Sub-Committee heard evidence from the Trading Standards team that, although the licensee had engaged initially, there had followed a further failed test purchase of alcohol by a minor and the seizure of illicit beer. There were no training records, no refusals log and no traceability of illicit alcohol.
The Sub-Committee heard evidence from the Licensing Authority that the licensee seemed unaware of his legal obligations or the licensing objectives and there were significant breaches of conditions. He had attended training on the 14 May 2019 and had asked advice but the premises were apparently closed when two visits had been made on the previous Wednesday and Friday. He had not responded to the review.
The Sub-Committee heard evidence from Public Health that they recommended revocation and reiterated the concerns raised.
The Sub-Committee heard evidence from the police that it was a very challenging area, a crime hotspot. The police had zero confidence in the ability of the licensee to manage his premises and recommended revocation. It was essential that someone competent should be in charge of the premises.
The Sub-Committee noted that the licensee had failed to engage or to implement advice given despite attending training and going before the officer ... view the full minutes text for item 64.
The licensing authority stated that they had nothing further to add to the representation on pages 33-35 of the agenda. She highlighted that she was very concerned about the standards of management. The licensee had sold alcohol to a 15 year old. He had previously failed to attend an officer panel arranged following a Challenge 25 test purchase failure. She considered that due to the serious nature of the issues the licence should be revoked or, if the licence holder could persuade the Sub-Committee otherwise, a three month suspension with additional conditions. She stated that the team had visited on Friday 14th June and high strength alcohol was still being sold.
The police officer reported that it was the designated premises supervisor who had sold to the 15 year old. At the time Mr Patel had seemed disinterested in the customer when serving. He stated that selling alcohol to those underage had a direct impact on anti-social behaviour and in March 2019 80 of the 402 crimes reported in the area were related to anti-social behaviour. He was concerned that the licensee had been invited to an officer panel but had not attended. He had no confidence in the licensee and fully supported the recommendations of the licensing authority.
The public health officer highlighted that her representation was on pages 58-60 of the agenda. Islington had the highest rate of alcohol specific admission in London among those under 18 years. Off licences played a significant role in underage access to alcohol. Around half of young people aged between 11 and 15 who had drunk alcohol reported buying alcohol rather than being given alcohol by someone else. She fully supported the recommendations of the licensing authority.
The Trading Standards officer reported that, following a Challenge 25 test purchase operation in January 2019, the licensee was advised that an underage test purchase in the near future would be likely. No contact was made by the licensee and on the 19 March 2019, the licensee sold alcohol to a 15 year old. He stated that he had been too busy to attend an officer panel. There was a serious lack of management control and a revocation or long term suspension was supported.
The community safety officer stated that he had been working with a nearby hostel for adult men with mental health needs. He had received about 13 complaints from the public about the service users from the hostel which were alcohol related. Although they could not be directly attributed to the Silver Star, it was the nearest premises. He had spoken to the licensee and tried to convince him not to sell high strength alcohol because of the number of complaints received around aggressive begging and drinking in a public place. Following a complaint, the hostel manager had spoken to a service user who had confirmed that he had purchased alcohol from the Silver Star. The park was very close to the off licence and the residents of ... view the full minutes text for item 65.
The licensing authority reported that their representation was on pages 71-73 of the agenda. The licensing team had visited the premises on Friday 14 June in the evening and noted that the premises was closed. There were two licensees for this premises. Should it not be considered necessary to revoke the licence, it was suggested that there may be the option of suspending the licence and removing the designated premises supervisor (DPS). There was a possibility that the wife of the DPS could obtain a personal licence.
The trading standards officer reported that the licensee failed a Challenge 25 test purchase operation in January 2019. The licensee was invited to training. The training was not booked by the licensee. A further test purchase was held in March 2019 but no sale occurred. The licensee had failed to engage, had not submitted a minor variation and failed to attend the free session for licensees.
The community safety officer reported that there had been approximately 11 complaints over the past year or so about the service users and alcohol related incidents. The two off licences B and B and Silver Star were nearby. In May, two service users were seen drinking by the shop, although it was accepted that the alcohol may not have come from this premises.
The licensee stated that he had nothing further to add to the statement he had made in the previous case for Silver Star. (see minute 65)
In response to questions it was noted that the difference between the two premises was that B and B was more focussed on by his wife. It was noted this his wife did not have a personal licence and she was unable to attend the meeting as she had family at home.
That the premises licence, in respect of B and B Convenience Store, 271 New North Road, N1 7AA, be suspended and modified as follows:-
a) The designated premises supervisor be removed from the licence.
b) That the following conditions be applied to the licence.
· No high strength beer, ager or cider of 6.5 % abv or above shall be sold other than premium beer, lager or cider.
· No single cans are permitted to be sold at the premises
· The licensee shall adopt a ‘Challenge 25’ policy and promote it through the prominent display of posters.
· The licensee shall put arrangements in place to ensure that before serving alcohol to persons they believe to be less than 25, staff ask to see accredited proof of age: that is, proof of age cards carrying the ‘PASS’ logo (and no others), a passport, or UK Driving Licence bearing the photograph and date of birth of the bearer.
· The licensee shall ensure that staff are trained about age restricted products and ensure that they sign to confirm that they have understood the training. The licensee shall keep records of training and instructions given to staff, detailing the areas covered, and make them available for inspection upon request by the ... view the full minutes text for item 66.