Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Kaposvar Room - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Sean O'Neill  01225 395090

Items
No. Item

10.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 7.

 

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Officer advised the meeting of the procedure.

11.

ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIR (IF DESIRED)

Minutes:

RESOLVED that a Vice-Chair was not required on this occasion.

12.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Emma Dixon and Michael Norton. Cllr Neil Butters substituted for Cllr Norton.

13.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:

(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

Minutes:

There were none.

14.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

Minutes:

There was none.

15.

ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC - TO RECEIVE DEPUTATIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS OR QUESTIONS

Minutes:

There were none.

16.

MINUTES: 14 OCTOBER 2015 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair

Minutes:

These were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

17.

SAW CLOSE CASINO LIMITED - VARIATION TO SCHEDULE 9 AGREEMENT UNDER THE GAMBLING ACT 2005 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

A small casino licence was awarded by the Council in 2012 for the operation of a casino at Saw Close in Bath.  At this time a Schedule 9 agreement under the Gambling Act 2005 was drawn up which listed conditions which should be fulfilled by the casino operator prior to, and upon opening of the casino.  In view of the time period which has elapsed since the confirmation of the agreement, there is a need to provide clarification to ensure that the agreement remains workable and relevant for both the Council and casino operator.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Team Manager – Environmental Protection and Licensing presented the report. She introduced Duncan Kerr (B&NES Team Manager Business Growth), Suzanne Davis (representing Century Casinos) and Craig Hoptrough (General Manager of Saw Close Casino).

 

She said that the proposal before the Committee today was in the nature of a tidying-up exercise. The tendering process for the casino had begun nearly six years ago. On 16 August 2012 a Schedule 9 agreement had been entered into between the Council, Global Gaming Venture (Group) Ltd, Deely Freed Estates Ltd, and Anthony Wollenberg, which specified a number of benefits that the Licensee had to provide, including local employment opportunities. On 20 June 2017 Century Casinos Europe GmbH had purchased the entire share capital of Saw Close Casino Ltd, the company set up to operate the casino. Saw Close Casino Limited had expressed uncertainty about the interpretation of conditions of the Schedule 1 of the Schedule 9 agreement relating to the provision by the operator of employment opportunities. It was felt that there was a need to clarify these conditions. In addition it was felt that because of changes to the local job market since 2012 and the difficulties that the operator might face in recruiting suitably-qualified staff, the applicable fine outlined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 of the Schedule 9 agreement should be waived, if the operator had made reasonable endeavours to recruit suitably-qualified local staff. It was therefore proposed to an additional condition to Paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 to the agreement, as detailed in paragraph 5.5 of the report. The original Schedule 9 agreement was attached as Appendix 1 to the report and the proposed variations as Appendix 2.

 

The Team Manager – Business Growth said that because of the increase in the number of hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars in Bath, the job market was much more competitive than when the agreement had originally been made. It was therefore felt that the conditions needed to be made fairer for the casino operator. Ms Davis and Mr Hoptrough said the employment situation had been very different when the original Schedule 9 agreement had been agreed. Mr Hoptrough said that overall percentage of staff to be recruited locally would be increased, but the target would be generalised across the whole work force rather than limited to specific roles. There would be a commitment to training and internal promotion for filling vacancies for professional gambling staff.

 

A  Member expresses surprise that it was lawful to allocate a proportion of jobs to local residents. The Team Leader – Resources Legal Team confirmed that such an agreement between parties was perfectly lawful.

 

In reply to questions from Members Mr Hoptrough stated:

 

  • Gambling was the sole business of the casino, though there were several lounge areas and three bars. There would not be a dedicated restaurant, but food would be available. There would be some entertainment in a multi-use room on the second floor, but the room would also be used for gambling.

 

18.

REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE UNMET DEMAND SURVEY REPORT pdf icon PDF 77 KB

The Council currently regulates the number of Hackney Carriage Proprietor Licences (HCPLs) in the city of Bath.  Because of this the Council is under a duty to carry out a review of any significant unmet demand every three years.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Team Manager – Environmental Protection and Licensing presented the report and introduced Ian Millership, a consultant who had undertaken the latest unmet demand survey on behalf of the Council.

 

She explained that because the Council regulates the number of Hackney Carriage Proprietor Licences in the city of Bath, it is under a duty to carry out a review of any significant unmet demand every three years, and can create new Hackney Carriage proprietor licences for the city, if the survey finds that there is significant unmet demand. The latest survey had found that there was no significant unmet demand. The recommendation to the Committee was that it should recommend that the number of vehicles licences in Zone 1 (city of Bath) should remain at the present number of 125, and that the limitation policy should remain in place.

 

Mr Millership gave a presentation on his unmet taxi demand survey report. A copy of his PowerPoint slides is attached as Appendix 1.

 

After his presentation Members made comments and asked questions.

 

The Chair asked whether the Council could reduce the number of licences, if it was found that demand had decreased. Mr Millership replied that it could. A council near to where he lived had imposed a moratorium on new licences, and if an existing licence was surrendered, a new licence was not issued to replace it. The Team Leader – Legal advised that licences could only be revoked for defined reasons.

 

In response to questions from Members, the Senior Public Protection Officer stated:

 

  • A Hackney Carriage Proprietor’s Licence for the city of Bath is seen as something of a cash asset because a Hackney Carriage can operate more flexibly than a private hire vehicle, and with the limitation policy in place there is a restricted market for operators.

 

  • Hackney Carriage drivers in Bath tend to prefer certain ranks to work from than others, although there is encouragement to use a range of ranks.

 

  • All new Hackney Carriages have to be wheelchair-accessible.

 

  • There is very low demand for Hackney Carriages from wheelchair users.

 

  • Some drivers had a preference for working in the day, others for working at night.

 

A Member asked about air quality. The Team Leader – Environmental Protection and Licensing replied that the Council  had been mandated to improve air quality by 2021 as part of the National Air Quality action plan; efforts would be made to make it easier for the public, including taxi operators, to own vehicles with cleaner engines and to improve the emissions performance of taxis. A Member referred to taxis idling adding to the air pollution. The Team Manager- Environmental Protection and Licensing said that consideration was being given to anti-idling areas; conversations with various parties were taking place about this. The Team Leader – Resources Legal Team said that idling is an offence under the Road Traffic Act, and that Civil Enforcement Officers have the power to issue penalties to drivers who idle.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Kew and seconded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.