Part D - Decision Making and Enforcement
Administration, Exercise and Delegation of Functions
The powers and duties of the Licensing Authority under the Act may be carried out by the Licensing Committee, by a Sub- Committee or by one or more officers acting under delegated authority.
It is considered that many of the functions will be largely administrative in nature with no perceived areas of contention. In the interests of efficiency and cost effectiveness these will, for the most part, be carried out by officers.
The schedule of delegation of licensing functions is attached at Appendix 3.
Entitlements to appeal for parties aggrieved by decisions of the Licensing Authority are set out in Sections 206 to 209 of the 2005 Act. Appeals must be made to the Magistrates Court for the area in which the Licensing Authority, which has considered the application, is situated.
An appeal has to be commenced by giving notice of the appeal by the appellant to; The Clerk to the Justices, Swansea Magistrates Court, Grove Place, Swansea, SA1 5DB within a period of 21 days, beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified by the Licensing Authority of the decision to be appealed against.
On determining an appeal, the Court may:
- Dismiss the appeal;
- Substitute the decision appealed against with any other decision that could have been made by the licensing authority;
- Remit the case to the Licensing Authority to dispose of the appeal in accordance with the direction of the Court.
- Make an order about costs.
In anticipation of such appeals, the Licensing Authority will give comprehensive reasons for its decisions. The Licensing Authority will address the extent to which decisions have been made with regard to any relevant codes of practice and guidance issued by the Gambling Commission, reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives and in accordance with this Policy Statement.
As soon as the decision of the Magistrates’ Court has been notified to all parties, the Licensing Authority will not delay its implementation and necessary action will be taken forthwith unless ordered by a higher court to suspend such action (for example, as a result of an ongoing judicial review). The Act provides for no other appeal against the determination of the Magistrates’ Court.
Complaints against Licensed Premises
The Licensing Authority will investigate complaints against licensed premises in relation to matters relating to the licensing objectives for which it has responsibility. In the first instance, complainants are encouraged to raise the complaint directly with the licence holder or business concerned to seek a local resolution.
Where an interested party has made either a valid representation about licensed premises or a valid application for a licence to be reviewed, the Licensing Authority may initially arrange a conciliation meeting to address and clarify the issues of concern.
This process will not override the right of any interested party to ask that the Licensing and Gambling Acts Sub-Committee consider their valid objections, or for any licence holder to decline to participate in a conciliation meeting.
Illegally sited Gaming Machines
Gaming machines can only be made available for use where a premises licence, permit or an exemption e.g. travelling fairs, authorises its use. It is not possible to site gaming machines at premises such as off licences, newsagents, takeaways or other retail stores.
When illegally sited gaming machines are discovered, the Licensing Authority will make every effort to seize the gaming machine at the first opportunity to ensure that the gaming machine is removed from circulation.
The Licensing Authority working with the Gambling Commission will investigate offences committed under the Gambling Act 2005 by both the supplier of the machine and the proprietor of the business on which the machine was illegally sited.
The Licensing Authority will usually take formal action against the proprietor of the business where illegal gaming machines have been made available for use on the premises. As part of the proceedings the Licensing Authority will seek to secure a forfeiture order under Section 345 of Act, in order that the machine can then be destroyed.
The Licensing Authority anticipates that similar action will be taken by the Gambling Commission to ensure that formal action is also taken against the supplier of the gaming machine.