Agenda item

Draft Revised London Borough of Barking & Dagenham - Statement of Licensing Policy 2022-2027 - Public Consultation


The Council’s Senior Licensing Officer (SLO) presented a report on the draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2022-2027, that covered the licensing of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late-night refreshment in Barking and Dagenham which the Council was required to publish and review every five years.


As the Licensing team’s experience of operating the current 2017-2022 policy had not given rise to many issues, the review was primarily intended to bring the document in line with current law and guidance and best practice. Several new sections had been added, dealing with:


·  Public Spaces Protection Orders, which replaced Designated Public Protection Orders in 2017;

·  Illegal worker requirements that came into effect in 2017;

·  ACT Action Counters Terrorism awareness e-learning and;

·  The ‘Ask Angela’ campaign (the ‘Ask Angela’ codeword could be given by customers to premises staff if they felt unsafe, for discreet assistance).


The process of reviewal required a period of public consultation, which was due to run for a minimum of six weeks through the late Summer and Autumn of 2021. The Council was required by law to consult with other responsible authorities, representatives of license holders and representatives of licensed trades, and it was anticipated that this would be done through a combination of online questionnaires and direct letter drops. The consultation responses, once received, would be taken into account in developing a final draft for the policy. The final document would then come back to the Committee towards the end of the year, before final approval was required by the Assembly in 2022.


In response to several questions from Members, the SLO stated that:


  • Licensees would be consulted during the consultation process and directed to any proposed changes that the Council had at this stage. Their views would be considered and once the Council had an agreed final document, the Licensing team would notify licensees of any changes that affected them. The final document would also be published and made available for any new applicants, or operators who wished to refresh themselves on the Policy.
  • The Licensing team would endeavour to emphasise relevant new policy developments to individual operators as and when they engaged with them.
  • The Licensing team used the Statement of Licensing Policy to outline its position on many issues; however, it could not by law impose standard conditions on licensees. It was therefore open to licensees to consider their own business operations and needs and propose to the Licensing team, how they would manage their premises and the conditions that they felt were appropriate for the operations that they were running. The Statement of Licensing Policy would act as a reference point for licensees.
  • The licensing process provided for consultation and conciliation, and the Licensing team would use this process to discuss any issues with the applicant. If an agreement could not be reached, any contested points would come to the Committee for Member decision. 
  • Whilst previous licensing law dealt much more with the technical and structural details of licensed premises, current law focused on the four Licensing Objectives. Although ‘public safety’ was of these objectives, fire safety was controlled under separate law. Whilst there could be conditions that touched on fire safety, such as emergency escape arrangements, fire safety deliberations were now dealt with under fire safety orders; however, the Licensing team did consult the Fire Brigade and were aware of their process around the different premises. 
  • The Licensing team would take advice from the Council’s Communications team on the timing and publicising of the consultation. It would aim to find the most effective means to ensure that the consultation was accessible for all.