Licensing Policies - Making Your Voice Heard
Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Councils are working together to review their various licensing policies and develop new ones, and we are giving everyone that could be affected a chance to have their say.
The policies under development and review are:
- Taxi Licensing (Hackney and Private Hire Vehicles, Drivers and Operators)
- Street Trading
- Street and House to House Charity Collections (new policy)
- Scrap Metal Collectors and Dealers
- Sex Establishments (shops, cinemas and entertainments) (new policy)
- Film classification (new policy)
This will be an on-going process that is due for completion by Summer 2019. If you want to have your say, you can either:
- Keep an eye on this web-page, which will be updated as each stage is reached and completed, and/or
- Ask us to notify you by e-mail or letter whenever a new consultation stage commences (please note that draft policies will only be available electronically).
- Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
How will the policy reviews work?
Anyone who could be affected by our licensing policies had an opportunity to make initial comments, and these were reported to the Licensing Committee. The decision of the Committee was not to update existing policies, but to create two new policies for Sex Establishments and Charity Collections that we don’t already have.
Following this first consultation stage we will now develop draft policies based on:
- Any appropriate legislation, which lays down the standards we are obliged to enforce and what the local authority can and cannot do.
- Any appropriate statutory guidance, to which we are obliged to have regard, and any other significant guidance etc. We will also consider the policies of other local authorities so that we can develop similar standards where appropriate.
- Any existing policies and working practices, which will remain as they are unless there is compelling reason to change.
- Any general comments we receive at stage one of the process.
You will have a minimum of 12 weeks to comment on these draft polices via this website. Any significant changes to our existing policies and practices will also be notified directly to businesses that may be directly affected, and a minimum of 12 weeks given to respond.
All consultation responses will be reported to members so that they can take these into account when making their decision. If anyone feels that their views have not been taken into account, they can contact members or ask to speak at the committee meeting.
Once approved by the relevant committee, the policies become part of our legal licensing process, and will be notified to any business or person seeking a licence.
Q & A
Why are we reviewing our licensing policies?
Policies are an important part of our licensing process as they tell businesses, service users and residents what to expect from licensed premises and businesses, and create a level playing field that is as fair as possible to everyone.
It is important that these policies are reviewed to keep them up to date with the law, technological advances etc.
What can be included and excluded from our policies?
We are limited in what we can include or exclude by the law and statutory guidance, so we won’t be able to do everything that residents and businesses may want. Where we have flexibility, we will consider the views of anyone affected by our licensing activity, and we will also consider what is happening in other local authorities so that we offer similar services and standards where possible.
We will try to find a balance that lets licensed businesses etc. operate effectively and profitably, but protects service users, local residents and communities.
Who can comment on our policies?
Anyone can comment – although we will give more weight to individuals or businesses that might be directly affected by that policy (which could include an existing or potential licence holder, service user or local resident affected by the licensed activity, for example).
How widely will we consult?
Anyone in the EU is entitled to apply for a licence, and we can get applications for some licences from anywhere in the world. Service users visiting the area can also be from anywhere in the world, and it’s therefore just not practicable to talk to everyone that could be affected by our licensing work here in Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent. To try and be fair to everyone, we will:
- Work on making sure that residents and businesses in the area, who are the most likely to be affected, are kept informed
- Make access to the consultation process available to everyone, no matter where they are in the world, via our web-site. We are happy to send notifications on request to keep anyone interested updated and included.
- Specifically speak to licence holders, trade associations, and anyone we know is interested in applying for a licence if we are proposing something that could significantly affect them
Can I respond after the consultation closes?
The short answer is no – we need to draw a line if this process is to get anywhere, and it isn’t fair on those that have responded in time if we allow other consultees more time.
Last Modified: 05/12/2018
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