CORPORATE SERVICES COMMITTEE 21 March Amendments To The Constitution Delegation Of Licensing Functions Under The Gambling Act 2005

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1 Croydon Council REPORT TO: CORPORATE SERVICES COMMITTEE 21 March 2007 AGENDA ITEM: SUBJECT: CABINET MEMBER: LEAD OFFICER: WARDS: Amendments To The Constitution Delegation Of Licensing Functions Under The Gambling Act 2005 Cllr Steve O Connell, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Crime Reduction Council Secretary and Solicitor All CORPORATE PRIORITY/POLICY CONTEXT: The Council s Constitution sets out the rules and procedures by which the Authority operates and is designed to ensure efficient and accountable democratic management arrangements. The full Council agreed the Authority s Statement of Principles under the Gambling Act 2005 on 27 November FINANCIAL SUMMARY: There are no direct financial implications arising from the proposals in this report. FORWARD PLAN KEY DECISION REFERENCE NO.: n/a For general release 1. RECOMMENDATIONS 1.1 That amendments be made to the terms of reference of the Licensing Committee and other sections of the Council s Constitution as set out at paragraph 3.4 of this report; and 1.2 That the Council Secretary & Solicitor draft the necessary amendments to the Council s Constitution consequent on 1.1 above, to take effect immediately. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2.1 This report proposes changes to the Council s Constitution to reflect the provisions of the Gambling Act It is proposed that the Council s functions as Licensing Authority under the Act be delegated to the Licensing Committee except where they have by law to be reserved to the full Council. CSC210307R06

2 3. THE GAMBLING ACT The Gambling Act 2005 ( The Act ) contains a new regulatory system for all commercial gambling in Great Britain other than the National Lottery and spread betting. Under the Act Croydon Council is the Licensing Authority for the Borough and will issue licenses to premises for gambling including Casinos, Bingo Halls, Adult Gaming Centres, Family Entertainment Centres and Betting Premises, together with various permits and notices to regulate smaller scale or ad hoc gambling. 3.2 Under the Act almost all of the functions of the Council as Licensing Authority are automatically delegated to the Council s Licensing Committee created under the Licensing Act The exceptions to this automatic delegation are the following three functions: (i) (ii) (iii) The approval of a three-year Statement of Principles under the Act (s349) this power may not be delegated and must be exercised by the whole authority; The power to pass a resolution that no casino premises licenses will be granted by the Authority (s166) this power may also not be delegated; and The power to set Licensing fees under the Act (s212) this power may be delegated at the discretion of the Authority. 3.3 In relation to (iii) above, the setting of fees will be the subject of regulations to be issued by the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport. It is likely that maximum fee levels will be set for different types of applications, within which authorities will have some discretion to set their own fees with reference to the principle of full cost recovery. 3.4 In order to reflect the statutory provisions above the following changes are proposed to the Council s Constitution: Article 4.01 Functions of the Full Council To add: o Approval of a three-year Statement of Principles under section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005 and Passing a resolution that no casino premises licenses will be granted by the Authority under section 166 of the Gambling Act Part 3, Section 2.02 Terms of reference of the Licensing Committee To add: o Subject to any matters reserved to the full Council by statute, to

3 exercise all functions of the Council as Licensing Authority under the Gambling Act 2005 including the power to set fees under s212 of the Act. (Note: Responsibility for hearing and determining applications where a hearing is required under the Gambling Act 2005 shall be delegated to the Licensing Sub-Committee) o To comment on the three year Statement of Principles in respect of the Authority s functions under the Gambling Act 2005 prior to its adoption by the full Council; and to make recommendations to the full Council on all Licensing functions under both the Gambling Act 2005 and the Licensing Act 2003 where those functions are reserved to full Council. Part 3, Section 2.02 Terms of reference of the Licensing Sub- Committee To amend as follows: Hearing and determining applications when a hearing is required under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2005 ( the Act ). Hearings will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the relevant Act, relevant Regulations issued under the Act, and the Council s agreed Protocol for Licensing Hearings. 3.5 Once these functions have been delegated to the Licensing Committee it may further delegate down to officers, and as was done for the Licensing Act 2003, adopt a Protocol setting out circumstances in which officers may exercise those powers or refer a matter back to the main Committee. 4. FINANCIAL AND RISK ASSESSMENT CONSIDERATIONS 1 Revenue and Capital consequences of report recommendations The proposals in the report give rise to no direct financial implications and can be implemented within existing budgets. 2 Risks No financial risks have been identified 3 Options None identified. 4 Savings/ future efficiencies The Council s Constitution and the proposed amendments seek to promote the efficient management of Council business and the best use of Council resources. (Approved by: Bola Bajamo, Finance Manager, Policy and Corporate Services)

4 5. COMMENTS OF THE COUNCIL SECRETARY AND SOLICITOR 5.1 The Solicitor to the Council comments that the proposals in this report reflect the provisions of the Gambling Act 2005 and conform with the requirements of the Local Government Acts 1972 and 2000, other relevant legislation and associated Regulations and Guidance. 5.2 Article 15 of the Constitution provides that the full Council may amend the Constitution and that the Corporate Services Committee is empowered to act on behalf of the Council in cases of urgency. The Council Secretary and Solicitor is authorised, after consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member or Committee Chair, to make any necessary amendments to the Constitution consequent on legislation or a decision of the Council, the Cabinet or a Committee. 5.3 The issue of the relevant Regulations setting the threshold levels for licence fees were delayed. Now these have been received it is important that the Council s Licensing Committee determine what level it wishes to set licence fees within those thresholds before licence applications under the new regime start to be received at the beginning of May. As full Council does not meet until 21 st May it is therefore necessary for these delegations to be agreed urgently by this Committee. (Approved by: Gabriel MacGregor, Deputy Council Solicitor (Corporate) on behalf of the Council Secretary and Solicitor) 6. HUMAN RESOURCES IMPACT 6.1 There are no direct Human Resources considerations arising from this report. 6.2 (Approved by: Pam Parkes, Divisional Director, Human Resources & Organisational Development) 7. EQUALITIES IMPACT 7.1 The Council's Constitution, the procedures to promote participation and open government, and the Protocol for Licensing Hearings seek to ensure that decision making, scrutiny and consultation are accessible to all local communities. 8. CRIME AND DISORDER REDUCTION IMPACTS 8.1 The Licensing Objectives of the Gambling Act 2005 are: (a) to prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime;

5 (b) to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and (c) to protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling. 9. ENVIRONMENTAL & DESIGN AND HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACTS 9.1 There are no direct environmental and design or Human Rights Act impacts arising from this report. 10. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION/DATA PROTECTION CONSIDERATIONS 10.1 The Council s Constitution is included in the Publication Scheme which specifies the Classes of Information that the Authority publishes in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act CONTACT OFFICERS: Gabriel MacGregor, Deputy Council Solicitor x BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS: No unpublished background documents were relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

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