Meeting documents

Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee
Monday, 23rd April, 2018 10.00 am

Date: Monday 23rd April 2018 Time: 10.00 a.m. Place: Executive Room, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale.

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndWithReport toReport of
Councillors: D. Bevan (Acting Chair)
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Agenda Coversheet (167K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.


Noted
3. APOLOGIES

There were no apologies for absence received.



Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. LICENSING ACT 2003 - PREMISES LICENCE REVIEW - GV SUPERMARKET, 222 KING STREET, BRYNMAWR.
Report (37K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (300K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (168K/bytes)
Appendix 3 (71K/bytes)

LICENSING ACT 2003 - PREMISES LICENCE REVIEW -
GV SUPERMARKET, 222 KING STREET, BRYNMAWR

Prior to the commencement of the Meeting the Members of the Sub-Committee nominated Councillor Derrick Bevan to take the Chair.

Consideration was given to the report of the Licensing Officer which was presented to inform the Sub-Committee of an application for a Premises License Review received in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 in respect of GV Supermarket, 222 King Street, Brynmawr.

The Licensing Officer spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein. Members were reminded that when considering the application they must take account of the provisions in the Licensing Act 2003 and the Licensing Objectives as follows:

- The prevention of Crime & Disorder
- Public Safety
- The prevention of public nuisance
- The protection of children from harm

The Chair then invited Mr. Moore, the Home Office Immigration Officer, to address the Committee. He explained that part of his role was to conduct intelligence operations, and that Immigration Officers had visited 222 King Street, Brynmawr, and had arrested one person whose tourist visa had expired. It was evident that this person had been allowed to work in the premises and had been paid for this work illegally. A Civil Penalty had been issued which was paid in full with no appeal being lodged, and he felt that this clearly indicated the acceptance of the charges against the Applicants. He continued that situations such as this had potential to lead to exploitation of vulnerable people and had a harmful effect on businesses carrying out legal employment. He therefore requested that the necessary and appropriate action be taken by the Committee.

The Chair invited the Applicants' Solicitor, Mr. Kevin Lines to address the Committee.

Mr. Lines thanked the Committee for adjourning the previous meeting due to him being on leave. He stated that the Applicants fully accepted responsibility for the situation they found themselves in and would very much like to apologise.

He explained that Mr. Singh had arrived in Britain on a Tourist Visa which had run over the expiry date. He had been staying with Mr. G. Singh Bath as he was a family friend and it was the culture to embrace family and friends whilst visiting the UK. During Mr. Singh's stay he often accompanied Mr. Singh Bath to the wholesalers and various other locations and this subsequently drifted into the situation of him helping out at the shop and being given money, which would have been given to him anyway as this was often the case with visiting guests. It was noted that Mr. Singh had not at any time applied for work at the shop.

Mr. Lines stated that Mr. Singh Bath readily admitted culpability and deeply regretted his actions; he explained that the profits of the business were minimal and he had therefore borrowed the financial penalty of 7,000 which was paid with no Solicitor intervention. It was made clear that this situation would never happen again as, apart from one employee at the Rassau store, the owners carry out the work themselves.

It was noted that Veerpal Kaur was the personal licence holder and lived above the Brynmawr store. It was felt that should Mr. Singh Bath lose the DPS, Mr. Pravin Shah, who had been the previous owner of the Rassau store, would act as DPS if this was acceptable.

Mr. Lines stated that the Committee had the option of either imposing the removal of the DPS or suspending or revoking the licence, which undoubtedly would impose further financial penalties and the possibility of the owners not being able to continue to run their business. There was also the option of revoking the licence which he felt would be totally inappropriate, as this premises had clearly been run efficiently and correctly in the past with this issue being a 'blip'.

Mr. Lines also made reference to an incident of immigration in North Hampshire where the licence had been revoked following 3 visits by Immigration and a substantial fine of 45,000 enforced. This subsequently resulted in the fine not being paid and the company declaring bankruptcy. He requested that the decision of the Committee be determined on how the situation originally arose; he reiterated that there would not be a repetition of this incident as lessons had been learned.

The Chair asked if it was known whether the illegal immigrant remained in the UK, and Mr. Moore stated that the day Immigration visited the premises the illegal immigrant was removed, but recent correspondence indicated that he still resided at 222 King Street, Brynmawr. However, Mr. Lines categorically confirmed that this was not the case and the illegal immigrant had not returned to any premises owned by the Applicants since his arrest.

The Chair asked Mr. Singh Bath how long the Illegal Immigrant had been a visitor and he responded that originally it had only meant to be for a few days but he remained for 3 to 4 months.

The Licensing Officers, Immigration Officers, Applicants, and Solicitor withdrew from the meeting at this juncture.

The Sub-Committee discussed the application for the Premises Licence Review and a decision was unanimously reached.

Following deliberation the Applicants were invited back into the Meeting.

At the request of the Chair the Solicitor to read out the decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee, as follows:-

The Solicitor stated that the Sub-Committee were concerned that the actions of the Licence-holder were a serious breach of the crime and disorder licensing objective and that the Licence-holder had not conducted the proper checks to determine that an employee had the legal right to work in the UK. There was a distinct lack of due diligence by the Licence-holder to fulfil his lawful obligations.

The Solicitor advised that careful consideration had been given by the Committee to the Options for consideration which were:

1. To modify the conditions of the licence
2. To remove a licensable activity from the scope of the licence
3. To remove the Designated Premises Supervisor
4. To suspend the licence for a period not exceeding three months
5. To revoke the licence
6. Take no action

The Premises Licence-holder and the Home Office Immigration Department were also advised that they had the right of Appeal against the decision made by the Sub-Committee to the Magistrates Court and that any Appeal must be commenced within twenty one days of the decision being notified in writing.

After listening carefully to all evidence placed before the Sub-Committee it was therefore:

RESOLVED that Option 3 be endorsed, namely:

- To remove the Designated Premises Supervisor and;

- A condition be placed that the Licence-holder of the Premises must, in future, carefully check documents which demonstrate any person working at the premises has entitlement to work in the UK.

Agreed
DECISIONS UNDER DELGATED POWERS