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Purpose and Scope of the Licensing policy

1.1 Introduction


This Statement of Gambling Policy covers the administrative area of South Ribble and sets out how South Ribble Council intends to exercise its functions under the Gambling Act 2005 and the principles that it intends to apply. This policy takes effect on 31 January 2019 and will remain in force until 31 January 2021. During this period the policy will be subject to periodic review and any proposed changes will be consulted upon.

In preparing this policy, the licensing authority has consulted with the following:

  • The Chief Officer of Police for the licensing authority's area;
  • One or more persons who appear to the authority to represent the interest of persons carrying on gambling businesses in the authority's area; and
  • One or more persons who appear to the licensing authority to represent the interest of persons who are likely to be affected by the exercise of the Licensing Authority's functions under the Gambling Act 2005.
  • The full list of consultees is attached at Appendix 1.

A full list of the responses received during the consultation period is available from:

The Licensing Unit
South Ribble Borough Council
Civic Centre
West Paddock
Leyland
PR25 1DH

licensing@southribble.gov.uk

Nothing in this policy statement will override the right of any person to make an application, make representations about an application or apply for a review of a licence as each will be considered on its own merits and according to the statutory requirements of the Gambling Act 2005.

Local Area Profile

South Ribble is situated in the heart of Central Lancashire covering 44 square miles immediately to the south of the River Ribble. South Ribble's location and the excellent transport links to regional and national road and rail networks, together with the proximity of major airports has made it an attractive location in the region for new housing and commercial development. It has recently been successful along with partner local authorities in Central Lancashire to secure City Deal funding which is being used to improve the transport network and economic investment in the Borough.

The population in South Ribble is 103,900 which has remained relatively stable over the last decade following a period of rapid growth in the 1970s and 1980s.

The main townships in the Borough are Leyland, Penwortham, Walton-Le-Dale, Bamber Bridge and Lostock Hall, which also form the main employment and shopping areas. However, there is a mix of urban and rural landscapes and more than 80% of the Borough is designated as greenbelt. The western parishes and the eastern areas of the Borough are largely rural.

There are a number of wards within the Borough which fall within the statistics for deprivation. Applications for premises licences falling within these wards will have to satisfy the Licensing Authority that the granting of a licence would not further contribute to existing deprivation levels or otherwise undermine the protection of children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Gambling establishments

Bamber Bridge East: 1
Bamber Bridge West: 2
Middleforth: 2
Leyland Central: 5
Howick and Priory: 1
Seven Stars: 1
Charnock: 1

1.2 Licensing Authority Functions


Licensing authorities are required under the Act to:

  • Be responsible for the licensing of premises where gambling activities are taking
    • place by issuing premises licences; Issue provisional statements;
    • Regulate members' clubs and miners' welfare institutes who wish to undertake certain gaming activities via issuing club gaming permits and club machine permits;
    • Issue club machine permits to commercial clubs;
    • Grant permits for the use of certain lower stakes gaming machines at unlicensed family entertainment centres;
  • Receive notifications from alcohol licensed premises for the use of up to
    • two gaming machines;
    • Issue licensed premises gaming machine permits to premises licensed to supply alcohol for consumption on the premises where more than two machines are required;
    • Register small society lotteries below the prescribed threshold; Issue permits for prize gaming;
    • Receive temporary use notices; and Receive occasional use notices
    • Provide information to the Gambling Commission regarding details of licences issued
    • Maintain registers of the licences and permits issued under these functions

It should be noted that the licensing authority is not involved in licensing of remote gambling or the national lottery.

1.3 Responsible Authorities


Responsible authorities use their particular area of expertise to help promote the licensing objectives. They are able to make representations about applications and apply for the review of a licence. Responsible authorities will also offer advice and guidance to applicants.

A full list of the responsible authorities and contact details are found in Appendix 3.

The licensing authority is required to state the principles it will apply in exercising its powers under Section 157(h) of the Act to designate in writing, a body which is competent to advise the authority about the protection of children from harm. The principles are:

  • The need for the body to be responsible for an area covering the whole of the licensing authority's area;
  • and The need for the body to be answerable to democratically elected persons, rather than any particular vested interest group in accordance with the regulations, the Council designates the Local Safeguarding Children Board for this purpose. 

1.4 Interested Parties


The Gambling Act defines an interested party as a person who:

  • Lives sufficiently close to the premises to be likely to be affected by the authorised activities;
  • Has business interests that might be affected by the authorised activities; or
  • Represents persons who satisfies the bullet points above.

In determining whether someone lives sufficiently close to particular premises so as to be affected, the Licensing Authority will take into account factors including, but not limited to:

  • The size of the premises
  • The nature of the premises
  • The proposed activities at the premises
  • The distance from the premises of the person making the representations
  • The nature of the complaint

In determining whether a person has a business interest which would qualify them as an interested party, the Licensing Authority will consider factors including, but not limited to:

  • The size of the premises;
  • The catchment area of the premises; and
  • Whether the person making the representation has a business interest in the catchment area that would potentially be affected by the gambling activities under consideration.

The Licensing Authority will not apply a rigid rule to its decision making and every representation will be considered on its own merits. The Licensing Authority will always have regard to the Gambling Commission Guidance to Local Authorities and this policy when determining whether a person is an interested party.

The authority would

"Business interests" will be given its widest possible meaning and may include partnerships, charities, faith groups and medical practices.

Interested parties can be persons who are democratically elected such as Councillors and MPs. No specific evidence of being asked to represent an interested party will be required as long as the Councillor/MP represents a ward likely to be affected. Likewise, Parish Councils likely to be affected will be considered to be interested parties.

Other than these persons, this authority will require written evidence that a person "represents" someone who either lives sufficiently close to the premises to be likely to be affected by the proposed activities and/or has business interests that might be affected by the proposed activities. A letter from one of these persons requesting the representation is sufficient.

If individuals wish to approach Councillors to ask them to represent their views, then care should be taken that the Councillors are not a member of the Licensing Committee dealing with the application. If there are any doubts, then please contact South Ribble's Licensing Unit.

1.5 Exchange of Information


The Licensing Authority will, in accordance with Sections 29 and 30 of the Act exchange information with the Gambling Commission where the request does not conflict with the Authority's duties under the Data Protection Act 1988.

The Licensing Authority will, in accordance with Section 350 of the Act exchange information with other persons or bodies identified in Schedule 6 of the Act where the request does no conflict with the Authority's duties under the Data Protection Act 1988.

The Authority does not currently have any specific protocols with Schedule 6 bodies; however, it will keep this position under review and establish suitable protocols where it is deemed necessary or advantageous to do so.

1.6 In this regard, the Authority will act in accordance with the provisions of the Act in its exchange of information, which includes the provision that the Data Protection Act 1998 General Data Protection Regulation will not be contravened and that the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will be adhered to. Privacy Notices relating to any information provided to the Authority in the exercise of its duties under the Act are available at www.westlancs.gov.uk/licensing. However, it should be noted that details of those persons making representations will be made available to applicants to allow for negotiation and, in the event of a Hearing being required, will form part of a public document. Any person making a representation, or applying for review of a Premises Licence, will be informed that their details will be disclosed.

In the context of the Gambling Act, this means that South Ribble Borough Council will only retain information that relates to the processing of applications for licences, permits, permissions and representations. This information will only be retained for the period of time it is needed for processing. Thereafter in line with the relevant retention schedule's.

Applications and representations are documents which are in the public domain and are therefore available on request and may be published on the website as part of the information supplied if a hearing is arranged, or on the public register.

Information will also be shared with other regulators or persons if this is prescribed by the Secretary of State.

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act allows anyone to request access to information. These requests are normally made in writing either by email or letter. In certain circumstances a fee may be required, or we may ask for more specific information. Requests will be dealt with within 20 working days and the information will be released if possible. If it is not possible to release the information an explanation will be provided together with details of how a complaint can be made to the Information Commissioner. The information will be released in the format requested unless it is in the public interest not to do so.

1.7 Human Rights


Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for a local authority to act in a way which is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention)

The Licensing Authority will ensure that it will act in accordance with the Convention when determining any application under the Gambling Act 2005. In particular the Licensing Authority will have regard to the following:

  • Article 1 - every person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his or her possessions. A licence is considered a possession in law and people should not be deprived of their possessions unless it is in the public interest;
  • Article 6 - the right to a fair hearing
  • Article 8 - the right to respect for home and family life
  • Article 10 - the right to freedom of expression.

1.8 Race Equality


The Licensing Authority shall act in accordance with its duties under the Race Relations Act 1976 as amended. In particular the legal obligation placed on it to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups.

1.9 Disability Discrimination Act 1995


The Licensing Authority expects all applicants and licence holders to be clear of their own responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

1.10 Delegation of functions


The Licensing Committee established by the Licensing Authority to deal with matters arising under the Licensing Act 2003 shall also deal with matters under the Gambling Act 2005. To facilitate an efficient and cost effective service for all parties involved in the licensing process, it is normal practice in routine, uncontested decisions for the Licensing Authority to authorise a senior officer to deal with the matter on their behalf. Appendix 1 sets out the scheme of delegations under the Gambling Act 2005. Decisions in respect of contested applications or licence reviews will be made by a Licensing Sub-Committee.

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