Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall - Bridge Street, Bideford, EX39 2HS. View directions

Contact: Mary Richards  Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence for the meeting.



There were no apologies for absence.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 October.


It was proposed by Councillor Hackett, seconded by Councillor Inch and –




That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 October be agreed and signed as a correct record.


(Vote: For 6, Abstentions1)    



Declarations of Interests

Members with interests to declare should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is being considered.


Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.



Agreement of Agenda Items Part I and II


There were no Part II items.


Urgent Matters of Information to be Brought Forward with the Permission of the Chair and the Committee


With the permission of the Chair, the Lead Licensing Officer advised Members that the taxi meters contain calendar control chips which count the bank holidays and he had been alerted by the taxi drivers that the these need to be updated for 2020 bank holidays. 


It had been suggested by the trade that a review of taxi fares be carried out at the same time.  This will require a general consultation with the trade to ascertain whether they wish to have a fare change and if so, what the proposed rates would be.  This would then be followed by a formal consultation process.  The meters have to be changed by 1 April which means the consultation would have to take place in January but this would miss the January committee meeting and the March committee would be too late.  It was proposed therefore, that the meeting be held on 12 or 19 February and that the meeting scheduled for 15 January be postponed.  Decision to be agreed when discussing the Forward Plan.




Paul Butler, Police Licensing Officer

To receive a verbal update.



Paul Butler introduced himself giving a brief history of his career.  He currently works as the Police Licensing Officer for North Devon and Torridge. 


Mr Butler gave an overview of the role of the Licensing Officer and the escalation process, providing information about the sources from which intelligence came.  He stressed the importance of the quality of evidence and the requirement to support with evidence the measures taken to engage with the Licence Holder or Designated Premises Supervisor.  A paper was circulated to the Committee listing incidents in public houses and the actions the police had taken.  The role also encompassed off-licenses where incidents of sales of high percentage alcohol to under age drinkers presented issues.  Other areas of involvement included the sale of butane gas and Young Farmers Clubs.


Looking forward, Mr Butler will be involved with the implementation of the Pub Watch Scheme in Bideford and possibly Holsworthy. TDC have arranged a Pub Watch information event for licensees to take place at Caddsdown on 30 January 2020. It was hoped that the Police Pubs Against Drugs  initiative could also be  implemented sometime next year.


Mr Butler referred to the Police & Crime Commissioner’s guidance on best practice in relation to tackling street drinking and read out information regarding the significant costs incurred because of street drinking “… not simply crime and anti-social behaviour on the street but also associated costs such as hospital visits, repeated 999 calls and opportunity costs of resources used to target their needs.  Alcohol Concern’s Blue Light project estimated that the average annual cost of a high-risk, change resistant drinker is around £35,000 including health, criminal justice and anti-social behaviour costs.”


Crime summary figures for Torridge were presented.


Members were informed about prosecutions, court costs and other options for addressing offences, such as cautions, fines and mediation.


It was proposed by Councillor James, seconded by Councillor McKenzie and –




That under Section 100(a)(4) of the Local Government Act (as amended) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business because of the likely disclosure of exempt information by virtue of Paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.


(Vote: For – unanimous)



Part II


Paul Butler Police Licensing Officer - Part II Information


Mr Butler detailed a recent incident outside a pub in the Torridge area.  The premises did not have external CCTV, however the perpetrators had been picked up on public CCTV but the footage had been poor.  Mr Butler detailed the events that had followed and how this had led to a reclassification of the incident.


Mr Butler gave updates on other establishments in the district.


Members were advised that they should report any incidents to the Lead Licensing Officer as the first point of call.


The Lead Licensing Officer thanked Mr Butler for his proactive approach and the wealth of information provided.


The Chair thanked Mr Butler for the presentation.


Mr Butler left the meeting.




Re-admittance of Press and Public


It was proposed by Councillor James, seconded by Councillor Hackett  and –


Resolved: That the press and public be readmitted.


(Vote: For – Unanimous)


Taxi Feeder Rank

To receive a verbal update from the Lead Licensing Officer.


The Chair advised that the Community & Resources Committee had approved the recommendation from the Licensing Committee -


That a feeder rank system be established on the concrete apron area of the Quay side for a monitoring period of 12 months.


It was noted that the Environmental Health & Community Safety Manager had raised her concerns over safety issues.


Increased signage had been requested and a report will be brought to the Committee.


Climate Change - Taxi Policies

Climate Change - Taxi Policies.


The Lead Licensing Officer informed the meeting that the taxi policy was due for renewal next year and a consultation with taxi drivers will be held.


The Chair alluded to the Notice of Motion due to go to Full Council on Monday 9 December.  The motion was that TDC encourage the transition to electric taxis in Bideford.


Members discussed.  It was established that the major issue will be the provision of charging points. The proposed area is the responsibility of Devon County Council so their approval would be required.  It was noted that the transition to electric taxis in Bideford will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the Climate change Working Group


Sex Establishment Policy pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To receive the report of the Lead Licensing Officer.

Additional documents:


The Lead Licensing Officer advised the existing policy was due for review. Although there are no sex establishments in Torridge and there is no statutory requirement on authorities to have a policy, it is good practice to have a policy and ensure it remains up to date.  The  only changes were in relation to names and addresses and there was more information on safeguarding.


It was proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded by Councillor James and –




That the revised policy, to take effect from 1 January 2020 and a further review take place in 5 years or sooner if there are any amendments to relevant legislation, be approved.


(Vote: For – unanimous)


Licensing Service - Business Report pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Licensing Service - Business Report.


The Lead Licensing Officer presented the report which detailed the performance of the licensing service for the period 1 April - 30 September.


Demand on the Service was very similar to last year and there had been a decrease in Licensing Act applications but an increase in taxi applications largely due to the move to 3 yearly licenses coming up for renewal.


The Lead Licensing Officer provided clarification in response to questions and agreed to bring a report to committee summarising the animal licensing legislation.



Consideration of the Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 186 KB


The Forward Plan was reviewed and updated.