An application for a Review of a Premises Licence in respect of Diamond Banqueting Suite, Skinner Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 4LD had been received from West Midlands Police.
The Chair welcomed all parties to the hearing and invited all those present to introduce themselves. All parties did so. He outlined the procedure to be followed and all parties confirmed that they understood the procedure.
Debra Craner, Section Leader Licensing provided an outline of the application. Aimee Taylor, Licensingand Regulatory Officer, West Midlands Police, applicant for review, confirmed that the summary was accurate.
The Chair then closed the live session and the press and public were excluded from the meeting under paragraph 7 of schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972.
The Chair invited West Midlands Police to present their application. Aimee Taylor, West Midlands Police, did so as per Appendix 3 and 4 of the report. She stated that the Premises Licence Holder had undermined the four licensing objectives and asked for revocation of the licence.
The Chair afforded all parties present the opportunity to question the applicant in relation to her submission. Miss Taylor responded to questions asked.
The Chair invited the Premises Licence Holder to make representations.
Mr Gavin Ward, Solicitor representing the Premises Licence Holder, did so and stated the following:
· Mr Singh, Premises Licence holder had operated Diamond Banqueting Suite successfully since April 2008.
· The effect of the pandemic meant the business could not trade and was not making any money so his client had used the kitchen area of the premises as an online clothing business.
· His client had leased parts of the premises out and had produced leases to this effect.
· The leases commenced prior to the raid by the Police at the premises. During that time his client had not visited the property often because the sale of clothes mainly took place online.
· His client accepted that he did not notify the Licensing Authority of the change of use, however because the activities supposedly being undertaken by the tenants did not concern licensable activities, he did not consider it a major concern.
· English was not his client’s first language and that was why communication with Ms Taylor on 20 April 2021 was so difficult.
· His client had not had the requisite keys to allow Ms Taylor access on that day to the other areas of the premises.
· His client was a man of good character and had never been in trouble with the Police before.
· That the committee should work with his client and not seek to remove him as DPS, suspend the licence or revoke it.
The Chair afforded all parties present the opportunity to question Mr Ward in relation to his submission. Mr Ward responded to questions asked.
The Chair invited the Licensing Authority to make representations. Amitabh Singh, Section Leader Licensing did so as per Appendix 5 of the report. He stated that the Premises Licence Holder had failed to uphold the licensing objectives, and knowingly breached the conditions of the premises licence. Therefore he supported the Police’s submission for the premises licence to be revoked.
The Chair invited all parties present to question the Licensing Authority in relation to its submission. Mr Amitabh Singh responded to questions asked.
The Chair invited Public Health to make representations. Michelle Smith, Principal Public Health Specialist did so as per Appendix 7 of the report.
She stated that the Premises Licence Holder had shown an irresponsible disregard for the licensing objectives and Public Health supported the Police’s application for the licence to be revoked.
The Chair invited all parties present to question Public Health in relation to its submission. No questions were asked.
The Chair invited all parties present to make their final address.
West Midlands Police made a final statement.
Richard Philips, Senior Solicitor, suggested to members that the decision should be sent out to all parties within 5 working days in order to protect any exempt information.
Members agreed to this and the meeting was closed.
An application was received from the West Midlands Police on 26 April for a review of the Premises Licence in respect of Diamond Banqueting Suite, Skinner street, Wolverhampton, WV1 4LD. The application was made pursuant to s51 Licensing Act 2003 (as amended.)
The Sub-Committee heard and read from the applicant (West Midlands Police) that:
The Sub-Committee heard from Mr Ward, Solicitor for the Premises Licence Holder and read from Mr Singh that:
The Sub-Committee heard from Amitabh Singh, from Licensing responsible authority that:
The Sub-Committee heard from Ms Michelle Smith for Public Health as responsible authority, that:
In considering all of the submissions and all of the circumstances of the application for a review, the legislation and the s182 guidance and the options open to it in s52(4) Licensing Act 2003, the decision of the Sub-Committee was to revoke the premises licence. This was because none of the other options available to it, in the committee’s view, would serve to uphold the licensing objectives.
Criminal activity had taken place at the premises which is of a very serious nature. The Licensing Sub-Committee determined on the balance of probabilities, that even if the Premises Licence Holder was unaware initially of the activities of his tenants, he would have become aware before the Police visits on 20 and 21 April 2021. He had also demonstrated a flagrant disregard for his duties as Premises Licence Holder in failing to notify the licensing authorities about the change of the use of the premises and failed to comply with the conditions of licence.
All parties have a right of appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of receipt of this decision.
A copy of the written decision would be forwarded to all parties.