The Licensing Manager presented the report which was on pages 9-26 of the agenda.
It was enquired as to why only a basic DBS check was required. The Licencing Manager advised the reason a basic DBS check was to be completed was in relation to the requirements to be able to carry out an enhanced DBS check. He continued by advising the law allowed enhanced checks for taxi drivers, however, did not allow enhanced checks to be completed for Street Traders as it was not listed as an occupation which was considered necessary.
Councillor Ononaji thanked Officers for report, he commented the policy was last reviewed in 2011 and queried as to why it was now being reviewed. The Licencing Manager explained there had been no requirement for the policy to be reviewed and updated since the previous review, he explained the Licencing Department now had the responsibility for street trading, however over the last few years had spent a lot of time working on enforcing the restrictions relating to COVID-19.
He continued by advising Members under the Licencing Act there was a requirement in law to review the policy every five years and he agreed with Members that this policy was overdue a review. The Licencing Manager commented although substantial changes were proposed, he felt these were necessary to enhance the job which officers were completing.
Councillor Maney enquired as to whether this was something other Authorities currently completed, he felt it was perhaps overstepping the Councils remit and that it should be the responsibility of the Police. The Licencing Manager commented he understood where Members were coming from however offered the example of an ice cream van being situated outside of a school, the trader would need the correct licence to be able to work the area. He continued by advising the suggestion of completing basic DBS checks for Street Traders was for the safety of the customer as well as the Street Traders themselves.
Councillor Maney commented if there is no government guidance supporting the suggestion of Street Traders having a basic DBS check he couldn't understand why the Council would be looking to do this, as it would generate additional work for a team which was already unstaffed.
During discussions it was enquired as to how the consultation was to be completed. The Licencing Manager advised the consultation would be completed via the council's consultation portal and there would be the opportunity for written responses.
Councillor Snell thanked officers for the report and echoed Councillor Maney’s comments stating there were a number of jobs which did not require a DBS check. The Licencing Manager commented the recommendation was only for Officers to be able to go out to consultation to the trade to seek their views on the proposal of DBS checks be undertaken, the report would be brought back to the committee where the policy could be amended if necessary.
Following the discussion, the Chair asked that an additional recommendation be included that a covering letter be sent to all street traders to advise them of the consultation and highlight the changes with regards to DBS Checks. This was agreed by Members.
Councillor Maney sought that when the report was presented back to the committee it included any government guidance support this proposal and what other Local Authorities were doing in relation to licensing Street Traders.
1. Agree for the reviewed Street Trading Policy to go out to consultation, and
2. That after consultation, relevant responses are reported to the Licensing Committee for consideration, or
3. If no relevant responses are received during the consultation, then for the policy to take effect from the 1April 2023.
4. That a covering letter be sent to all street traders to advise them of the consultation and highlight the changes with regards to DBS Checks.