Agenda item

Environmental Health and Licensing Sections Update


The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 4 - 47) and the supplementary agenda update (at pages 1 - 10) as jointly-delivered and summarised by the Enviromental Health Team Leader and Licensing Enforcement Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.


Scale of Fees and Charges


It was reported the new Scale of Fees and Charges had been brought into line with neighbouring Leicestershire authorities.


The Environmental Health Team Leader stated that the Operator’s Licence Competency Test was now £40 (and not £36 as stated on the Scale of Fees and Charges as at section 2.1, vi). She stated that if Members’ were in agreement with the changes, they would then be published on our website.


Councillor Mrs H E Loydall stated that she appreciated the time and work taken in updating the Scale.


Food Hygiene Inspections


Councillor Mrs H E Loydall asked if the statistical data for Food Hygiene inspections ratings A-E could be explained in more detail. 


The Environmental Health Team Leader advised that the rating looked at a number of issues (viz. from how the establishment is managed to how they have improved from the previous inspection) and confirmed that E was the highest rating and A was the lowest.  If a business had to be revisited, then that business would be on the Council’s radar to visit more regularly, for example, six monthly instead of yearly.


Councillor J Kaufman enquired as to why a newly opened business had a high rating. 


It was explained that if the business still had the same owners/management, that they would remain with the original rating.


Licensing, Enforcement and Taxi Updates


It was reported that following a complaint regarding taxis operating illegally in the Borough, the Licensing Enforcement Officer attended Manor Road, Oadby on an evening last September (2016) and during that time stopped thirty Leicester City Council licensed taxi vehicles and spoke to the licensed drivers. Where appropriate, she advised them that they were operating illegally as they were out of their jurisdiction and they were given a boundary map.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer had also been speaking with the Head of Security at the University of Leicester to enable him to educate the students as to which taxis they should and should not be using given that the safety of students was paramount.  She had also been in contact with ‘Rock Star Events’ who were the promoters for events held at the O2 Academy, University Road, Leicester.  Most of the events which require taxis were held on Wednesdays and Friday nights, therefore further spot checks would be undertaken during these times during term time.


Councillor Mrs H E Loydall stated that in relation to taxi licensing on Manor Road, all events should be arranging a number of buses to/from planned events.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer confirmed that buses were in operation and ran frequently, but some students decide to take a taxi instead if they were waiting.


The Chair commented that the Borough is now at saturation point with (hackney carriage) licensed vechiles who had transferred over form Leicester City Council.


The Licensing Officer stated that by law, the Council could not restrict the number of licensed drivers, however the Council could make a restriction on the number of licensed vehicles but believed this was not necessary at this time.


Councillor Mrs H E Loydall stated that the amount of taxis around the Borough was now very noticeable and suggested it did need to be looked at imminently.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer stated that in September 2016, there were 96 licensed Hackney Carriage vehicles and at present 156, which was a 62% increase.  For holders of combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers licences, there were 208 in September 2016 and at present 282, which was an increase of 26%.


Councillor Mrs H E Loydall stated that she was very concerned at the numbers of licensed drivers/vehicles, especially as the Borough is only 9 square miles.  She suggested this Council’s policy be reviewed to circumscribe any further increases.  She asked how did the numbers compare with other authorities of a similar size.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer was said to be working on a joint operation on Oadby Road, Leicester with a Leicester City Council Licensing Officer and Sergeant Booth from Leicestershire Police on 12/13 May 2017. There is also to be a Joint Agency Group meeting on 9 May 2017 and both Council’s Licensing Officers were to attend.


The Senior Democratic Services Officer / Legal Officer warned Members and Officers not to engage in any debate in respect of enforcement matters that would disclosure into the public domain in open session any confidential and, or, exempt information which would otherwise be excluded (in accordance and as defined in the respective paragraph(s) 1, 2, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (Exempt Information)).


The Licensing Enforcement Officer and Sergeant Booth were said to have visited several taxi companies and licensed premises which included an establishment on London Road which had recently changed management.  The noise levels at the premises were said to be concerning neighbours, particularly when patrons come outside to smoke and that the police undertook a house to house survey. At present, the Licensing Enforcement Officer is trying to liaise with Civil Enforcement Officers to see if they can work a shift up until midnight to combat the issue of illegal parking.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer together with an Enviromental Health Officer had visited a further establishment on several occasions and they had now been issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN).  There was to be a further function there on 8 April so would be attending again to see if the CPN was being complied with.


Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)


Councillor G A Boulter enquired as to when the report on Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) would be published.


The Environmental Health Team Leader stated that it was currently being worked on and that she was liaising with the Legal Services to ensure all processes and timescales were met.


Dog Fouling and Stray Dog Service


The Enviromental Health Team Leader made reference to the report on dog fouling which was delivered to previous meeting of the Service Delivery Committee. She also reported that the stray dog service was to continue providing evening and weekend cover.


Councillor Mrs H E Loydall asked if the Environmental Health team could put together an educational article to be published in Letterbox regarding dog fouling and the penalties etc. It was opined that the public did not seem to be aware that they could dispose of dog foul in any bins around the Borough (not just dog foul bins).


Councillor G A Boulter stated that labels could be affixed to normal bins advising that it is acceptable to dispose of dog foul in them.


Regulatory Updates


The Enviromental Health Team Leader stated that an email had been received from the Home Office in relation to new guidance on the Policing and Crime Act 2017 containing information on the eligibility to work.


Councillor G A Boulter stated that Members of the Committee would require training to update them on the new policies and legislation.


Councillor H E Loydall suggested that in any future training this ought to include and report on abandoned vehicles, stray dogs etc. especially for new Members.


Better Business for All (BBfA)


The Enviromental Health Team Leader referred to the BBfA as mechanism to ‘educate whilst we regulate’.  She was said to be attending a meeting in relation to the BBfA and would report back to a subsequent meeting of the Committee.


Matters Reported to the Service Delivery Committee Meeting on 21 March 2017


The Enviromental Health Team Leader advised the Committee that information was provided at Appendix 4 for their perusal.


It was moved by the Chair and seconded by Councillor Mrs H E Loydall and




(i)     The contents of the report be noted by Members; and

(ii)    The amended Scale of Fees and Charges for 2017/18 be approved.

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