Green councillors are asking for improvements to the Licensing policy which is to be discussed at full council on Wednesday.
A licensing policy has to be approved every five years and is one of the few decisions that goes to full council.
Douglas Johnson, councillor for City Ward and a member of the Licensing Committee, said,
“We are asking the council to consider more detail on crime and public nuisance when it receives licensing applications.
We don’t agree the issue of street drinking around West St has gone away or is out of date. It should be considered carefully if anyone wants to open a new off-licence there. We think the areas around West St and Division St still need special consideration because of problems of public nuisance, street drinking and disorder.
“We also think the council should address serious issues of knife crime and harassment of women.
The current licensing policy, passed in 2016, identifies a number of “areas nearing stress” where new licences need careful thought. These include West St, Division St, Broomhill and Ecclesall Rd.
Cllr Ruth Mersereau, who is also a member of the Licensing Committee, said,
“It’s vital that the Council’s Licensing policy shows a clear commitment to supporting the health, safety, and well-being of all its residents.
“There is no reason that putting such safeguards in place would negatively impact Sheffield’s hospitality businesses, which has successfully achieved Best Bar None awards. Rather, it would protect them from new operators with lower standards.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The new Licensing policy is to be debated at the full council meeting on 2nd December. A draft of the policy is available at http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=7675
- The current licensing policy from 2016 is at: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam/sheffield/docs/business/licensingandtradingstandards/Licensing%20Act%202003%20-%20Statement%20of%20Licensing%20Policy%202016.pdf
- Our comments about the “dismal” approach to licensing are at: https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2020/11/09/a-dismal-approach-to-licensing-policy/
- Sheffield Green Party’s proposal to be made on Wednesday 2nd December is:
That this Council approves the Statement of Licensing Policy, as reported, with the following modifications:
- Retention of the existing policy statement on Areas nearing levels of stress, namely,
“The licensing authority is particularly concerned about the following areas:
|Area||Reason for concern|
|The concentration of late night alcohol licensed premises and levels of crime and disorder, as well as the proximity to residential properties in some cases.|
|West Street, Devonshire Street and Division Street||The number of off licences and the related problem with street drinking and public nuisance in this area.|
|Broomhill||The number of late night refreshment premises in close proximity with patrons causing noise and disturbance when migrating between destinations.|
|Ecclesall Road||The number of liquor licensed premises, especially those with outside drinking areas, and late night refreshment premises in close proximity to residential dwellings causing noise and disturbance.|
Applicants making applications for premises licences in these areas are advised to carefully think about the licensing objectives and the above areas of concern.
Applications for late night premises in any area of the city are expected to demonstrate a commitment to a very high standard of management and ensure that the operation of the premises will not create a public nuisance nor result in additional crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour in the area.
The licensing authority continues to monitor the areas it considers are nearing levels of stress, and will consider implementing a cumulative impact policy should the evidence show a major problem that cannot be tackled any other way.
In determining any applications for these areas, the licensing authority (sub-committee) will still take care to ensure the Guidance to the Act is applied and consider the merits of all individual cases.”
2. Addition of a policy on knife crime in order that applicants are required to consider proportionate and practical measures to reduce knife injuries in the night-time economy such as through door searches and entry systems for the detection of metal blades.
3. Addition of a policy on sexual harassment and domestic abuse in order that applicants are required to consider a proportionate and practical approach to protecting members of the public from sexual harassment, and providing a confidential and safe way of exiting the building safely to members of the public who are concerned for their own safety.