Introduction

Due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, licensing hearings at both Licensing Panels and the Licensing (Sexual Entertainment Venues) Sub-Committee are being held remotely.

Existing procedure rules still apply with regard to applicants, interested parties and responsible authorities addressing or being represented at hearings but there are variations in light of current restrictions and how remote meetings work.

More information is available on our remote council meetings pages.

Registering to speak at licensing hearings

Only those who have made a relevant representation during the consultation period for a licensing application and the applicant are entitled to speak at a hearing, though they can nominate a representative to speak for them or call witnesses. To find out more about making a representation, visit our licensing pages.

We cannot accept other requests to speak, but it will be streamed to the public - unless a meeting is dealing with confidential items - so that they may listen and watch, should video be available.

Notice of Attendance

Once a hearing has been scheduled, those who made a valid representation – responsible authorities and interested parties – and applicants / licence holders will be sent a notice with the hearing details and a notice of attendance form. 

The notice of attendance should be returned by 7pm, 2 working days before the meeting. Where a party has not indicated their intention to speak by this time, it will be assumed they do not wish to address the hearing. Reasonable attempts will be made to accommodate those submitting late notifications, but their participation will not be guaranteed.

On your notice of attendance you should indicate:

  • Whether you will be attending, and if so if you want to address the hearing.
  • Regardless of whether you are attending or not, if you will be asking somebody else to represent you at the hearing.
  • If you or your nominated representative wish to call witnesses.

For any person registered to speak, we require an email address so we can send them an invitation to the hearing.

For the purposes of remote hearings, we require a single lead speaker to be nominated in case of connection issues. Unless advised otherwise, we will presume that is the person who made the representation if they have asked to address the hearing or their representative if they have nominated one.

If the lead speaker’s connection fails when the application under consideration is that on which they are addressing the Panel, the meeting will be adjourned or the Chair may choose to move to another item if appropriate while the connection is re-established. Where the connection of another member of the party is interrupted, the Chair will not ordinarily adjourn the meeting but will have the discretion to do so where considered appropriate.

All persons registering to speak should consult our privacy notice.

Procedure at the meeting

For details on preparing for a remote Licensing Panel / Sub-Committee meeting, see our deputation pages.

People who have registered to speak at the remote meeting should, using the details provided to them in advance by the clerk, join the remote meeting no later than 5 minutes before the meeting starts to allow time to check their audio and video connection with the committee clerk. They will then be asked to mute themselves and turn off their video feed until they are called to speak.

People simply wanting to watch the meetings can do so via the live stream available online.

Order of business

The meeting will usually run in the order set out in the agenda. A meeting may be considering several applications, so parties may have to wait some time until the hearing of the application with which they are involved starts.

Agendas will be published as normal but unfortunately, we cannot provide hard copies of agendas at the moment. Agendas will all be published online via our democracy pages.

At the start of each application, the Chair will ask all registered speakers for that application to introduce themselves and outline the procedure to be used. The procedure changes depending on the type of application, but for the majority of applications the procedure is as follows:

  • Licensing Officer’s introduction to the report
  • Admission of late papers (see below)
  • Any amendments to the application are set out by the applicant (up to 2 minutes permitted)
  • Responsible authorities (15 minutes, shared by all responsible authorities)
  • Interested parties (15 minutes, shared by all interested parties)
  • Applicant / licence holder (15 minutes)
  • Summaries by each representative group (up to 2 minutes per group)
  • Deliberation by the Panel / Sub-Committee with a decision made and reasons given.

After the Licensing Officer’s introduction and the submissions of each representative group, there may be questions of clarification from the Panel / Sub-Committee as well as other parties as permitted by the Chair.

The procedure, including order and time limits, vary depending on the application. You should consult the front of the agenda for the procedure to be used. The Chair will also outline this at the start of the application.

Addressing the meeting

Parties who have registered to address the meeting are reminded to keep themselves muted with the video turned off until they are called to speak, and to mute themselves and turn off their video when finished speaking. You should only use the chat to indicate you are having audio connection issues.

When making your submission to the hearing, you should:

  • State your name and your role, whether an affected resident, responsible authority representative, applicant or otherwise.
  • Bear in mind the Panel / Sub-Committee will have read your written representation, so it would be helpful if you were concise and avoided repetition as it is your only chance to make your views heard.
  • Keep to time, whether you have the full 15 minutes to speak or a shorter period of time because you are sharing. You will be warned when there is a minute left. If you go over time, the Chair may cut-off your speech.

Once your submission has concluded, you may not address the Committee again, other than to answer questions.

It is expected that anyone who has registered to speak will conduct themselves in an orderly manner and only speak when called upon by the Chair. You may be warned, muted, or if necessary ejected from the remote meeting if the Chair deems your conduct to be sufficiently disruptive.

Late Papers

Parties to a licensing hearing may submit further late materials no later than 7pm, two working days before the meeting is due to start. These will be published online and circulated to the Panel members. 

At the start of the relevant item, after the officer’s presentation, the Chair will confirm which late papers have been circulated and invite each representative group to set out in up to 2 minutes per group why the papers should be accepted or not. The Panel / Sub-Committee will then decide whether to admit the papers – taking advice as needed from officers – and take any adjournment necessary to ensure all voting members have read them.

Decisions

The Panel / Sub-Committee will deliberate in public and other participants should remain muted at this point, not use the meeting chat. The Panel / Sub-Committee will discuss the application, evidence provided – both verbally and in writing – and the relevant licensing policies. At the end of their discussion they will agree whether to approve the application – in full or with modifications such as additional conditions – or to refuse it, and give their reasons.

Contact with Licensing Committee members

Licensing Committee members have a responsibility to make decisions with an open mind and they are generally not permitted to discuss specific details of individual licensing applications with any party. Contact with any party outside of agreed processes could be prejudicial to the decision and might mean that the councillor could not take part in that decision. Therefore, you are strongly advised not to contact Licensing Committee members directly on any application, both before or during the meeting.

You may contact a ward councillor in relation to a licensing application, but you should try to speak only to those ward councillors who are not members of the Licensing Committee. They may agree to represent your views at the meeting or you can nominate them as a witness on your notice of attendance. If you contact a ward councillor who is a Licensing Committee member, s/he may advise you to approach another ward councillor for help, so they can take part in the decision and not be seen as prejudiced.

Contact details

For further enquiries about the procedure at licensing hearings please contact:

Licensing Panels

Donna Alexander-Morrison
Committee Services
London Borough of Camden
Town Hall
Judd Street
London WC1H 9JE  
Phone: 020 7974 5319
E-mail: licensing.committee@camden.gov.uk
Fax: 020 7974 5921

Licensing (Sexual Entertainment Venues) Sub-Committee

Ben Lynn / Sola Odusina
Committee Services
London Borough of Camden
Town Hall
Judd Street
London WC1H 9JE
Phone: 020 7974 5653 / 6884
E-mail: licensing.committee@camden.gov.uk
Fax: 020 7974 5921