Meeting documents

Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee
Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 2.00 pm

Date: Tuesday 22nd January 2019 Time: 2.00 p.m. Place: Executive Room, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

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

PresentAndWithReport toReport of

Councillors B. Summers (CHAIR)
D. Hancock
L. Winnett

M. Woodland � Solicitor
A. Hughes � Team Manager, Licensing
H. Jones � Licensing Officer
Ms K. Lifang, Kung Fu Take Away
Ms W. Zhang, Interpreter
Home Office Immigration Officer
THE CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE COUNCILDEMOCRATIC SERVICES OFFICER
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

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

Noted
2. LICENSING ACT 2003 - REVIEW OF PREMISES LICENCE - KUNG FU, 18 CHURCH STREET, EBBW VALE
Report (306K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (292K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Team Manager Licensing which outlined an application for the review of a premises licence in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003, submitted by Home Office Immigration Enforcement in respect of Kung Fu Take Away, 18 Church Street, Ebbw Vale. A copy of the application was attached to the report.

�

The Team Leader Licensing presented the report and confirmed that the current premises licence permitted late night refreshments on Monday to Sunday for one hour from 11.00 p.m. until 12 midnight. The opening hours of the premises are 5.00 p.m. to 12 midnight Monday to Sunday. The licence was subject to conditions and these were highlighted at section 2.2 of the report.

�

In accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 the applicant had served copies of the application to responsible Authorities and the Licence-holder, and a notice of the application was also displayed at the premises for 28 days to enable �other persons� to make representations. The Officer confirmed that no representations had been received.

�

In considering the application the Licensing Sub-Committee must take into account the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 in particular the licensing objectives highlighted at section 2.5 of the report, along with the guidance issued by the Home Office under Section 183 of the Act, and the Council�s Licensing Policy.

�

The Officer concluded by referring to the options for consideration by the Sub-Committee highlighted at section 3.1 of the report, i.e:

�

� To modify the conditions of the licence, or
� To remove a licensable activity from the scope of the licence; or
� To suspend the licence for a period not exceeding three months, or
� To revoke the licence, or
� Take no action.

�

The Chair then invited the Home Office Immigration Enforcement Officer to outline the reason for the application.

�

The Immigration Officer explained that he worked in the Enforcement Team and part of his role was to conduct intelligence led operations in response to information received regarding illegal workers. On 29th March, 2018 he attended Kung Fu at 18 Church Street, Ebbw Vale, following information received that people were being employed and working illegally. He confirmed that power of entry was obtained under Section 179 of the Licensing Act 2003, and entry was allowed to the premises.

�

On entering the premises he introduced himself to the Company Director, Ms. Lifang, and explained the reason for the visit and presented his warrant card. He confirmed that a Licensing Officer was also in attendance. He asked Ms. Lifang questions regarding the two persons present on the premises, and on the basis of the Q & A it was established that they were being employed and working illegally. The Officer explained that there was a lady working on the front counter taking orders, and a male who was preparing food in the kitchen.

�

The Immigration Officer explained that during the Q & A with Ms. Lifang, she was asked if she had had sight of any Home Office documentation allowing the persons to work in the UK. Ms Lifang said the male had provided documentation but she did not read English, however, the lady had not provided any documentation.

�

The Immigration Officer confirmed that information was passed to the Home Office Civil Penalty Compliance Team and a penalty was served on Kung Fu Limited on 9th November, 2018 for �20k (�10k for each person). The Licence-holder had 21 days to appeal or pay the penalty, and to date no appeal had been lodged and the penalty remained outstanding.

�

The Immigration Officer concluded that on the basis of the investigation that took place it was established that Kung Fu Ltd. had failed to comply with UK immigration laws and were therefore in breach of their licensing objectives. He said the employment of illegal workers encouraged people to breach UK Immigration Laws and encouraged the exploitation of people. The employment of illegal workers also had a significant detrimental impact on legitimate businesses operating in the UK.

�

At this juncture the Chair then invited Ms. Lifang of Kung Fu Ltd. to address the Sub-Committee, via an Interpreter.

�

The Interpreter addressed the Sub-Committee and said that it was would have been impossible for Ms. Lifang to have answered the questions referred to by the Immigration Officer as she had limited understanding of the English language. However, she confirmed that the two persons were both allowed to stay in the UK but were not allowed to work in the UK. She indicated that Ms. Lifang had allowed them to live at the premises free of charge, as an act of kindness, and that the lady was just helping out on the counter for a short period of time, and the male was preparing himself food in the kitchen. They were not paid by the business or working. She said the male was awaiting the decision of his appeal for legal status in the UK, and that she knew he was not allowed to work and did not expect him to work.

�

At this juncture the Solicitor asked the Immigration Enforcement Officer to confirm if the two persons had the right to remain and work in the UK, and the Officer confirmed that this was not the case.

�

The Immigration Officer confirmed to the Sub-Committee that an Interpreter was used to communicate with Ms. Lifang during the visit to the premises.

�

At this juncture the Chair invited questions from Members of the Sub-Committee.

�

A Member asked Ms. Lifang how long she had known the two persons prior to them moving into the premises.

The Interpreter explained that Ms. Lifang knew the man for 6 months prior to him moving into the premises. However, she did not know the lady prior to her moving him, but she was a friend of a person who had worked at the premises previously.

�

At this juncture the Chair thanked everyone for their representations and the Licensing Officers, the Home Office Immigration Officer, representative of Kung Fu Ltd and the Interpreter left the meeting while the Sub-Committee discussed the application.

�

The Sub-Committee thereupon discussed the application for a review of the licence for Kung Fu Ltd, and following deliberation the Licensing Officers and Representatives were invited back into the meeting and the Solicitor read out the decision of the Sub-Committee as follows:

�

The Sub-Committee were of the opinion that the prevention of crime and disorder objective of the Licensing Act had been breached by the Licence-holder. The Sub-Committee was aware of its duty to take steps with a view to promotion of the licensing objectives, and to take appropriate steps to prevent illegal working in the interests of the wider community.

�

After listening carefully to the evidence and taking into account all the representations made, it was the decision of the Sub-Committee that the premises had been used to further crimes of illegal working by persons who had no legal right to remain and work in the UK, and in accordance with the recommendations made in Paragraph 11.28 of the Guidance Notes to the Licensing Act 2003 (April 2018 version) it was

RESOLVED that Option 4 be endorsed, namely that the Premise Licence for Kung Fu, 18 Church Street, Ebbw Vale be revoked.

�

RIGHT OF APPEAL

�

The Solicitor advised the Licence- holder of their right of appeal to the Magistrates Court, against the decision of the Sub-Committee. Any Appeal must be commenced within 21 days of the decision being notified in writing.
�

Agreed
DECISIONS UNDER DELEGATED POWERS