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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD

Contact: Jackie Tunstall  020 7527 3068

Items
No. Item

93.

Introductions and procedure

Minutes:

Councillor Phil Graham welcomed everyone to the meeting and officers and members introduced themselves.  The procedure for the conduct of the meeting was outlined.

94.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Vivien Cutler and Matt Nathan.

95.

Declarations of substitute members

Minutes:

Councillor Marian Spall substituted for Councillor Nathan and Councillor Paul Convery substituted for Councillor Cutler.

96.

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.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

97.

Order of Business

Minutes:

The order of business would be as the agenda. The Chair proposed that the evidence for the three items on the agenda be heard together, although the decisions would be made separately. He invited the parties to make submissions regarding this matter and all parties agreed with this approach.

 

98.

PREMISES LICENCE REVIEW - CLUB AQUARIUM, 256-260 OLD STREET, LONDON EC1V 9DD pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

The Chair stated that the Sub-Committee had read all the papers that had been published and provided by the police and the licensee’s solicitor by email.  The Sub-Committee had now received bundle 1 of 1.  The licensee was requested to highlight key documents in the bundle for the Sub-Committee to consider during the 20 minutes allowed.  The Sub-Committee had seen CCTV footage for the 12, 28 December, 1 and 3 January and body-worn camera footage from the 20 October.  This was footage that had been served on all parties.

 

The licensing officer confirmed that the following papers had been circulated after the despatch of the agenda to the Sub-Committee:- a letter from the holder of the shadow licence, a letter from the night-time industries association, a letter from the Night Czar and a witness statement from Chief Inspector Holyoak. An additional folder with evidence from Club Aquarium and two folders with evidence from the Police were set before members of the Sub-Committee. These would be interleaved with the agenda papers.

 

The police representative stated that the issues were summarised in two police statements.  Firstly, there had been too much crime. There had been 17 incidents that they considered could be properly connected to the premises. Of these incidents, 14 were violent crimes and patrons were either victim or suspects.  Four crimes were on door staff and it was stated that there should be no distinction between staff or others where there was violent crime. There had been four incidents of sexual assault. There was a public order incident on the 20 October and issues regarding overcrowding around the cloakroom area as detailed at PLL 31 and 34 in the papers. The venue had a large capacity and was in the cumulative impact zone. The venue was engaging with the police but despite joint meetings with the police and council, words and new policies had not been enough.

Secondly, the police were disappointed that since the review submitted there had still been a number of incidents.  As detailed in PLL15 (minutes of the 16 October), the venue had made positive steps but it was still under scrutiny and it was suggested at this meeting that a contributing factor could be the late hour that patrons were allowed to enter the venue. On the 20 October, police had been called at 2:05am as door staff had been unable to handle a large crowd. Seven officers were in attendance (PLL19) and met a hostile crowd who had no tickets for the event that evening.  It was considered that the door staff were antagonising the crowd. It was noted that the event had been oversold by only 28 tickets. The overcrowding had been caused by an announcement at an O2 event about an after party at Club Aquarium. These incidents were a drain on police resources. The review had been submitted on the 6 December and since then there had been an incident on the 21 December (PLL 30), the 27 December  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.

99.

PREMISES LICENCE REVIEW - CLUB AQUARIUM, 256-260 OLD STREET, LONDON EC1V 9DD ("SHADOW" PREMISES LICENCE) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

See Minute No 98 above for details of discussion.

 

RESOLVED

That the shadow premises licence, in respect of Club Aquarium, 256-260 Old Street, EC1V 9DD, be modified to the following licensing hours:-

 

·         Sunday to Thursday 8am to 1am

·         Friday and Saturday 8am to 2am.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION

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 listened to all the evidence and submissions and considered the material provided. 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 considered Home Office Guidance, paragraph 9.12 which sets out that the police should usually be the licensing authority’s main source of advice on matters relating to the promotion of the crime and disorder licensing objective.  The Sub-Committee noted that the guidance sets out that it remains incumbent on all responsible authorities to ensure that their representations can withstand scrutiny.

 

The police stated that they were relying on all the same evidence that had been submitted for the review of the licence held by Club Aquarium. The police summarised their evidence under four headings:-

1)   Too much crime

2)   Problems since premises on notice of review

3)   Timing

4)   Intoxication.

 

The Sub-Committee noted the submissions from the NTIA that the safe management of cultural events was a challenge across London. The remedy was not to take away a licence but to attempt to resolve issues with key stakeholders.

 

Club Aquarium presented the Shield report which scrutinised the police evidence and it was submitted that a number of crimes presented by the police could not be attributed to the premises. However, the Sub-Committee concluded that the incidents put forward by the police were linked to the premises.  The Sub-Committee considered the Shield report and were not persuaded that crimes should be categorised as not attributable to the premises. The Sub-Committee considered that, in terms of the promotion of the crime objective, there should be no distinction of violence towards staff or anyone else. The Sub-Committee were of the view that, where a crime report was self-generated by the venue staff, this should be recorded as an incident at the premises.

 

The Sub-Committee noted the licensee’s representations as set out in their letter dated 23 January 2020. However, the level of crimes at the premises were a concern to the Sub-Committee and it considered that the licensee would have some powers over Club Aquarium in the context of their business relationship. Furthermore, as a premises licence holder, the licensee should demonstrate the promotion of the licensing objectives.

 

The Sub-Committee was particularly concerned about the timing of the offences and the level of intoxication associated with a large number of the reported offences. The Sub-Committee noted that the offences were generally occurring in the early  ...  view the full minutes text for item 99.

100.

SUMMARY LICENCE REVIEW - CLUB AQUARIUM, 256-260 OLD STREET, LONDON EC1V 9DD pdf icon PDF 24 MB

Minutes:

See Minute No 98 above for details of discussion.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)   That the premises licence, in respect of Club Aquarium, 256-260 Old Street, EC1V 9DD, be revoked.

 

2)   That the interim steps of suspension remain in place pending the final determination of any appeal.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION

The Sub-Committee listened to all the evidence and submissions and considered the material provided. 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 considered Home Office Guidance, paragraph 9.12 which sets out that the police should usually be the licensing authority’s main source of advice on matters relating to the promotion of the crime and disorder licensing objective.  The Sub-Committee noted that the guidance sets out that it remains incumbent on all responsible authorities to ensure that their representations can withstand scrutiny.

 

The police summarised their evidence under four headings:-

1)   Too much crime

2)   Problems since premises on notice of review

3)   Timing

4)   Intoxication.

 

The licensing authority submitted that since 2014 the licensee and management have attended seven different officer panels. It was submitted that there had been plenty of engagement with management and more so in the last eighteen months and although measures had been put in place incidents were still occurring.

 

The Sub-Committee noted the submissions from the NTIA that the safe management of cultural events was a challenge across London. The remedy was not to take away a licence but to attempt to resolve issues with key stakeholders. The Sub-Committee also noted the promoter’s view that the issues could be resolved by the local authority and police working together with the premises.

 

The licensee submitted that the management and personnel at the premises were engaging with the crime prevention objective and co-operating with the police.  The licensee submitted that discussions with the police and licensing authority should continue. The licensee presented the Shield report which scrutinised the police evidence and it was submitted that a number of crimes presented by the police could not be attributed to the premises. The licensee offered a number of changes to the licence conditions including a new condition that there would be no admission or readmission of customers to the premises after 3.30am.

 

The Sub-Committee concluded that the incidents put forward by the police were linked to the premises.  The Sub-Committee considered the Shield report and were not persuaded that crimes should be categorised as not attributable to the premises. The Sub-Committee considered that, in terms of the promotion of the crime objective, there should be no distinction of violence towards staff or anyone else. The Sub-Committee were of the view that where a crime report was self-generated by the venue staff, this should be recorded as an incident at the premises. The level of crimes at the premises were a concern to the Licensing Sub-Committee and in particular, the level of intoxication associated with a large number of the reported offences.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 100.