Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-committee
Thursday 5th July 2018 2.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Helen Johnson 

No. Item



To appoint a Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the meeting.


Councillor H.Bower was appointed Chairman of the Sub-Committee. 




The review of the premises licence for Judges Restaurant in Northaw had been withdrawn from the agenda by the Council.




To review a personal licence.


(Note:  The public will be excluded for this item as the Sub-Committee considers that the public interest in so doing outweighs the public interest in the hearing).


Introductions and Procedures


The purpose of the meeting was to determine a personal licence for Mr. M under the Licensing Act 2003.


The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting and introduced the Members of the Sub-Committee and the Officers serving the Sub-Committee, explaining the hearings procedure which had been adopted by the Council, copies of which had previously been circulated.


The licence holder confirmed his identity to the Sub-Committee.


Documentary Evidence


A copy of the Licensing Officer’s report, the personal licence, court conviction as well as written information from the Hertfordshire Police Authority were previously circulated.


Report of the Licensing Officer


The Licensing Officer presented his report, of which the purpose was to decide whether to suspend or revoke the personal licence of Mr. M.  The Officer’s view was that Mr. M was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a personal licence since it was his third conviction whilst under the influence of alcohol.


The Licensing Technical Officer stated that the Mr. M was given the opportunity to appeal but they had received no representations.


On 15 January 2009 Mr. M applied to Welwyn Hatfield Council and was granted a personal licence under the Licensing Act 2003.


On 22 November 2019 it was reported in the Welwyn Hatfield Times, Central Herts Court round up that Mr. M was convicted of driving over the drink drive limit on 4 November 2017. A second drink drive offence was committed on 14 November 2017.  Mr. M was fined and banned from driving for 30 months.


Under the Licensing Act 2003 section 127, the holder of a personal license must, as soon as practicable, notify the relevant licensing authority of any change in his name or address as stated in the personal licence. Under Licensing Act 2003 section 132 where a personal licence holder was convicted of a relevant offence and the court had not notified the licensing authority then the personal licence holder must supply a notice containing details of the nature and date of the conviction and any sentence imposed on him. 


Mr. M had failed to abide by the former and latter clauses of the Licensing Act 2003. The Licensing team found out about Mr. M’s convictions via the local paper and from the Court administration.


The Licensing Act 2003 Schedule 4 listed the personal licence relevant offences. Section 14 included an offence under the following provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c.52) –


(b)  section 4 (driving etc. a vehicle when under the influence of drink or drugs).

(c)  section 5 (driving etc. a vehicle with alcohol concentration above prescribed limit).


Personal Licence Holder


Mr. M, the personal licence holder, informed the Sub-Committee that he had moved and that he had not used the licence for the last seven to eight years.  He stated that on both drink drive offences he was not driving but sitting in the car.  He also stated that he suffered from blackouts whilst under the influence of alcohol so had no recollection of the events the next day.   Mr. M advised the Committee that he had detox treatment for his alcoholism in 2017 and had struggled to stay off alcohol. He added he had not drank alcohol for the last six months.



Committee Questions


Members sought clarification on the current address of Mr. M and also whether the blackout was caused by his medication or alcohol, to which Mr. M confirmed his blackouts were caused by alcohol.   Mr. M went on to say that the pain and stress of his hip had been a big factor in his drinking, having his first hip replacement in March 2016.  He had a second hip replacement recently in June 2018, but had remained free from alcohol for the last six months.





Mr. M and the Licensing Technical Officer then withdrew from the room whilst the Committee deliberated.


Mr. M and the Licensing Technical Officer were then recalled and the Chairman gave notice of the Committee’s decision as follows, which would be confirmed in writing to Mr. M:


“The Committee considered the evidence presented by the Licensing Officer and by Mr. M and the documents noting that the convictions were related to alcohol abuse and were not reported to the licensing authority so making compliance with the licensing objectives impossible, as without knowledge problems could not be addressed.  The Committee further considered the evidence of Mr. M that he did not make much use of the licence.  Given the need to ensure compliance with the licensing objectives the Committee had decided to revoke the licence issued to Mr. M on 15 January 2009”.