Agenda item

Quick Stop, 14 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SG (Ferndale)

Minutes:

At the start of the proceedings, the Legal Officer informed the Sub-Committee that information had been published on the Council’s website and was served to the relevant licence holder at the time the information had been published. However, it had not been published on the website when he had viewed it nor had it been available when Mr Dadds had viewed it. However, as the Licensing Officer had confirmed that it had been sent to the person named as licence holder at the time, it had been properly served.

 

Mr Dadds, representative for Mr Ghaffoor, stated that he had previously raised an objection to the additional papers because he had not had time to inspect them. However, he no longer objected to the circulation of the additional papers. 

 

He had made an application yesterday for a transfer of the premises licence to Mr Ghaffoor. He understood that the application included Mr Ghaffoor’s passport, however the Licensing team had informed that they had not received proof of residency. He needed to seek assurances that the application for the transfer of the premises licence had been accepted so that confirmation could be obtained on his position to be able to address the Sub-Committee as the representative of the premises licence holder.  

 

The Legal Officer stated that if an application was made electronically, then under the Licensing Act (2003), the application needed to contain appropriate right to work documents.  The Licensing team stated that they had not received the relevant documents.  Even if the documents were to be provided during this meeting, they would not have been submitted within business hours and therefore the application would be considered as having been received the next day. Therefore, a valid application for a transfer of a premises licence could not be considered as having been received. The Sub-Committee could either proceed as originally proposed and could ask questions of any person that and they felt could appropriately address the Sub-Committee regarding application or adjourn the application. However, in any case, Mr Dadds could not be given a free-standing right to address the Sub-Committee, but simply answer questions asked by the Sub-Committee.   Further, it might also be said that the application to transfer could have been made more promptly.

 

At this point in the proceedings, the Police and the Licensing Manager informed that they were seeking a revocation of the premises licence.

 

 

In response to questions from Members, Mr Dadds, representative for Mr Ghaffoor, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      He was contacted by Mr Ghaffour on 20 September 2019, he then spoke to the Council and completed relevant consent forms.

·      The application to transfer the premises licence was made after all the appropriate documents had been processed. A valid application to transfer the premises licence had been made yesterday.

·      A valid application for the transfer the premises licence had been completed.

·      He wrote to the Council but was told that no valid application had been received. His assistant had submitted the application for him and had informed him that there was no client application on the Council’s website to attach proof of identification, but remembered attaching three items of identification onto the application.

·      A valid application to transfer the premises licence had been made and the Council was informed on 20 September 2019 that he would represent Mr Ghaffoor. 

The Licensing Officerinformed the Sub-Committee that an application had been received on 18 September 2019 but was missing appropriate identification information. These documents had been sent at 7:39pm after the Sub-Committee had commenced. The original application had been sent but was invalid.

 

Mr Ryan Dowling, Metropolitan Police, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      The matter in question before the Sub-Committee had only arisen this evening.

·      The application to transfer the premises licence had not been seen by all parties.

·      The representations made so far raised particular questions.

·      Firstly, if the application to transfer the licence was a valid application and secondly, if the Sub-Committee wished to adjourn a hearing which had been submitted due to a closure order as the application needed to be heard by 7 October 2019.

·      The premises was currently closed.

·      The Police was present at the meeting to address the Sub-Committee.

·      Mr Ghaffoor would have received some kind of a notice of the hearing and would have had some time to submit a transfer of the premises licence.

 

Ms Bina Patel, Licensing Manager, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      The Licensing team had not received a valid application to transfer the premises licence.

·      It was the duty of Mr Ghaffoour and his representative to ensure that the application submitted was valid.

·      The current licence holder had been aware of the hearing and had not contacted the Licensing team.

·      All relevant parties were present at the hearing and the review application should be heard.

Mr Arif Kokkoz, Public Protection Officer, stated that he agreed with Ms Patel.

 

In response to questions from Members, Mr Dadds informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      The regulations outlined that that a transfer application took effect when the application was submitted not when it was received by the Licensing team.

 

Adjournment and Decision

At 8.52 pm, the Sub-Committee withdrew from the meeting together with the Legal Advisor and Clerk to deliberate in private.

The Sub-Committee had heard and considered representations from all those who spoke. Legal advice was given to the Sub-Committee on the options open to them and the need for any decision to be proportionate.

Announcement of Decision

Members returned to the meeting and addressed all those present at the meeting.

At this point in the proceedings, the Legal Officer informed that it was important to ensure fairness for all parties. Regulation 21A of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005 that an application was given when it was submitted electronically by way of a relevant electronic facility.  Email was unlikely to be a relevant electronic facility but the Sub-Committee might wish to treat the application as valid and hear from the licence holder.

Ms Patel stated that if the application to transfer the premises licence was to be treated by the Sub-Committee as a valid application, then responsible authorities had the right to consider the individual nominated to be the new licence holder and the responsible authorities had not had enough time to consider the individual as the responsible authorities had not had time to consider the application of the transfer of the premises licence.

 

Mr Dowling stated that the Police would submit representations objecting to the transfer of the premises licence due to the doubts about the premises licence holder’s suitability as a premises licence holder.

 

The Legal Officer stated that section 42(6) of the Licensing Act allowed the Police to object to the transfer within 14 days of the application and that would be subject to another hearing. The hearing for the objection to the transfer of premises licence and the review of the premises licence following the closure order could be heard in one meeting.

 

Mr Dowling stated that if the application of the transfer of the premises licence was to be treated as valid, then the hearing for the objection to the application for the transfer of the premises licence would logically proceed a hearing for the application of the review following a closure order. The Police would object to a valid application for the transfer of the premises licence.

 

Ms Patel stated that her position remained unchanged and felt that a strong case had not been made for the Sub-Committee to consider an adjournment. There was enough information available for the application for the review of the premises following a closure order to proceed as normal. If a valid application was in place regarding the transfer of the premises licence, then the Licensing team could submit an objection regarding the application in any case.

 

Mr Dadds stated that he felt the application to review the premises licence following a closure order should be adjourned because proceeding with the application at this meeting could result in an unfair hearing. Although it was inconvenient to seek a new date for a Licensing Sub-Committee, such an inconvenience should not stand in the way of natural justice.

 

Mr Dadds stated that he would not make an application to vary the closure order and the premises would remain closed and the application to review the premises following a closure order would not be affected.

Announcement of Decision

Members, having heard from all relevant parties present at meeting decided that to adjourn the application.

RESOLVED: to adjourn the application.

 

The application would be adjourned until on 3 October 2019.

 

Supporting documents: