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Agenda item

Update on the Work of Public Protection and Environmental Health Service

Minutes:

The Committee were updated on the Council’s Public Protection and Environmental Health Service during the period of October 2018 – December 2018.

 

During this period Animal Welfare Licensing came into force on 1st October 2018 and was designed to strengthen animal welfare, particularly around puppy sales.

 

The new regulations will:

·         Ensure that breeders show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made.

·         Tighten regulations so that puppy sales are completed in the presence of the new owner – preventing online sales where prospective buyers have not seen the animal first.

·         Ban licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of 8 weeks.

·         Regulate adverts, including on the internet, by ensuring licensed sellers of all pets include the seller’s licence number, country of origin and country of residence of the pet.

·         Introduce a new “star rating” for dog breeders, pet shops, dog and cat boarding providers and others informing potential customers of how well businesses comply with welfare standards. The star rating will dictate how often the businesses are inspected with those with better standards receiving fewer inspections than those with fewer stars

 

It was noted that 14 applications had been processed for the licence which 13 had been awarded 5 stars - the licences remain in place for 3 years.

 

Taxi Safety Operation

 

A taxi safety check was carried out on 30th November in Darwen. Six vehicles were stopped by the Police and looked over by a vehicle examiner from the Council’s Motor Vehicle Testing Station.

 

Licensing staff also looked to make sure the correct licences were in place for the vehicles and their drivers.

 

All of the vehicles were found to be in a safe condition, with just one taxi given 7 days to put minor problems right – a missing heat shield and a replacement number plate.

 

 

Gambling

 

Members were informed that the Gambling Commissions had worked with licensing authorities and local police to test compliance with the law in place to protect children from the risks gambling can pose.

 

A national series of test purchases on a sample of pubs in England found that almost 90% failed to prevent children accessing 18+ gaming machines. Staff from Public Protection at Blackburn with Darwen took part in the project and found that 7 out of the 8 pubs checked allowed children to use the slot machines.

The National figure for the current failure rate (89%) compares to an average failure rate of 15% for other age restricted products such as alcohol or tobacco.

 

 

 

Routine work carried out

 

The following table provides some of the key figures on work carried out by members of staff working in the Licensing Team from 1 October – 31 December 2018.

 

Vehicle licences processed

453

Driver licences processed

302

Licensing Act licences processed

24

Visits to new DPSs

27

Inspections of premises/vehicles carried out  

105

 

Taxis statistics

 

The Department for Transport had published its 2018 taxi & private hire statistics. The 2018 statistical analysis showed that the “total number of licensed taxi and private hire vehicles and licensed drivers in England reached record levels in 2018.”

 

There are now a total of 285,400 licensed taxi and private hire vehicles in England, up 1.7% from last year. The number of licensed PHV operators increased by 3.4% from the previous year. This was still a decline of 9.2% since the peak in PHV operators at 16,500 in 2009. The figures for Blackburn with Darwen follow these national trends.

 

Alcohol

 

The latest alcohol and late-night refreshment statistics for England & Wales have been published. The report includes statistics on premises licences, club premises certificates, personal licences, late night refreshment, 24-hour alcohol licences, temporary event notices, early morning alcohol restriction orders, late night levies, and late-night refreshment exemptions. It also includes statistics on cumulative impact areas, reviews, hearings and appeals.

 

Overview

As at 31 March 2018, compared with the previous year, there were:

 

• 723,800 personal licences, a 5% increase (35,600)

• 212,800 premises licences, a 1% increase (1,100)

• 14,100 club premises certificates, a 1% decrease (200)

• 8,100 premises with 24-hour alcohol licences, a 6% increase

• £1.7 million raised by late night levies

• 222 cumulative impact areas in place

 

Reviews

 

The report concluded that 600 reviews were carried out and this continues the long term decline since 2010 (1,300); however, the figures have slightly increased this year. Where action was taken following a completed review, 212 licenses were revoked or a club premises certificate was withdrawn. In the year ending 31st March 2018, LAs received 85 applications for an expedited review.

 

Interim steps were taken for 70 expedited reviews:

 

The licence was suspended in 48 cases

• Other conditions were added or modified in 23 cases

• The operating hours were modified in 6 cases

• The designated premises supervisor was removed in 6 cases

 

Personal licences

 

In the year ending 31 March 2018, 26 personal licenses were revoked. 24-hour licences including estimates, there were 8,100 premises with 24-hour alcohol licences as at 31 March2018, a 6% increase on the previous year.

 

Temporary event notices (TENs)

 

In the year ending 31 March 2018, including imputed estimates, 147,200 TENs were used which represents a 6% increase of 8,900 compared with the previous year

 

 

RESOLVED – That the Committee note the updates contained in the report.

That the Licensing Team be thanked for their hard work.

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