Special Meeting (Wirral Council) Part 2 20/2/2012 Anna Klonowski Report

Well I’ve finally uploaded the last of the footage I took at the Special Council meeting a week ago to Youtube. A few videos ended up with errors so about three speeches have been cut.

It’s all in a playlist now if you want to see it from start to finish. Part 1 (all 15 minutes of it) from two weeks ago when it was first adjourned can be viewed by clicking the link.

Part 1 of the resumed adjourned meeting is below and forms part of a playlist so you can easily get to the next part. A speech of Cllr Green is missing at the end as I ran out of battery and about three speeches have had to be shortened due to errors on the video file. It should give a good idea about what it was about if you weren’t there though, and as promised during the meeting itself a number of names of people and organisations have now been made public.

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Licensing Act 2003 Subcommittee Wirral Council 22/2/2012 Part 2 North Star, 294 Laird Street, Birkenhead, CH41 8ER

The meeting resumed after lunch with the same panel (Cllr Bob Wilkins (Chair), Cllr Eddie Boult and Cllr Steve Niblock) and officers as before, with three members of the public/press, a solicitor and two people involved with the licence. The report on this agenda item can be found here.

Cllr Bob Wilkins welcomed people to the hearing, introduced himself and the panel and asked officers, the police and others to introduce themselves. Four officers present earlier for part one of the meeting introduced themselves. The two police officers stayed the same. Three others introduced themselves including Chris Johnson (solicitor), ????? ????? and another ????? ?????.

The Chair, Cllr Wilkins asked if they could confirm the documentation sent out had been received?

Margaret O’Donnell said they had additional documentation circulated to councillors and to the other parties, which was additional documentation.

The Sergeant said the late documentation was in relation to an arrest yesterday. There was an NG15 form regarding a ??????? ??? and a copy of the interview.

Cllr Niblock confirmed he had it. Cllr Bob Wilkins said if there was any additional documentation to present or whether they wished to call extra witnesses?

The Police said they would not at this moment in time.

Cllr Wilkins asked the police to present their case, then there would be the opportunity to ask questions. The representative of the licence holders would get their chance to put across their case, followed by questions. They would proceed and hear views, and make their decision in accordance with the statement of Licensing Policy and statutory guidance and the four licensing objectives which were preventing crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Margaret O’Donnell outlined details of the conditions on the licence, which was for sale of alcohol, recorded music and dancing seven days a week 11am to 11pm with some non-standard times involving Good Friday and Christmas Day regarding the sale of alcohol.

She said they may take one or more of the following steps which included modifying the conditions, removing the Designated Premises Supervisor, suspending the licence for a period of up to three months, revoking the licence and taking no action.

Cllr Steve Niblock asked the police about the anonymous letter and why it wasn’t seen as vexatious as it was anonymous?

The police sergeant explained that the anonymous letter had arrived in January 2012, this was after the event and the premises had been raided. He said the letter ??????? and came in after the event. He said he accepted it was anonymous and received after the ?????. He said it was unidentified.

The Chair Cllr Bob Wilkins asked Sergeant Jenkins of the Police to speak first.

Sgt Jenkins thanked members of the panel. He said the Premises Licence Holder for these premises is one John Joseph Diable, but recently one of his business partners, Mr Wharton had made an application to be the Premises Licence Holder of these premises. The Designated Premises Supervisor was Christopher Ridgeway Jones and he’s here today.

The Chair, Cllr Bob Wilkins asked if John Joseph was the Designated Premises Supervisor or Christopher Ridgeway Jones?

Ken Abraham, legal adviser to the panel said to clarify that it was Mr. Wilson who was here and had applied to be Premises Licence Holder, not Mr. Wharton. He asked Sergeant Jenkins to clarify what he’d said.

Sergeant Jenkins apologised for referring to Mr. Wilson as Mr. Wharton. “You’re Mr. Wharton?”. He apologised again. He said Chris Ridgeway Jones, owned it with his wife Mary. On the evening of the ??rd ?????, officers of the Wirral Licensing Unit and Tactical Team, attended the North Star public house in Birkenhead in an ongoing licensing operation.

He continued by stating that it was an ongoing licensing operation, taking place on that evening and several licensed premises were scheduled to be visited. He said a police ??? unit and a ????? ??? also accompanied the officers.

On entering the premises, officers noticed that it was extremely ????, he spoke with the ??? for ???. He formed the opinion that ??? appeared ???? and when asked about ???, he looked ????. He was asked to ???? the location of the ??? and stated it was in the ????. Officers entered the ???? where they found the ??? between ???? ???? which was ???? in ????. There was no ??? for it, on the ??? and the officers believed that the ???? had been used to ????. “I did send some photographs down, but I do appreciate they are of poor quality. I’ve had a problem with my printer today, in order to print some colour photographs off. But that appears is the situation that we found.”

He handed out the photos.

Margaret asked if ????? had seen these?

????? answered ???.

Sgt Jenkins continued, “When ????? was ????? these, he stated that he ????? ????? the ???? of ??? ???? and that he ???? ???? for ???? ??? ??? ??? ???? ????. He was informed at that the time that he was to be arrested on suspicion of the theft of gas and that’s what subsequently happened.”

He said “As you can see there are no ????? or ???? ??? ??? ??? there and it is ???? ?? ??? ??? ???. The ???? from ??? ??? attended. He said that the ???? was ????? and that ??? ??? ??? ??? was both ???? and that no ???? or ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? to the ??? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????. ”

“The public house was then closed due to ???? ????. The ???? was ???? and the ??? ???? to the ???? was ????. The owner of the premises, ???? ???? then arrived at the premises, he wanted to ????. When ???? about the ???? ????, he stated he’d been ????? called ??? ??? and that the former ???, one ???? ??? and a former ???. ???? ???? was then arrested on suspicion of the ??? and he was then conveyed to the Custody Suite in Birkenhead. ”

“From what we understand, ???? was a former ???? ??? of ??? ???. We believe that the ???? of ???? had ????. ???? had ???? ???? ???? ???? and ???? ???? ??? to ??? ???? on the ???? ???. Bearing in mind we’re now on the **rd of *******.”

“You must also give note that on the 3rd October 2011 Constable Rita Jones of the Police Licensing Unit had served a section 19 closure order on the premises, which had been trading since the 27th September 2011 and that the then ???? that ?????, that person was ???? ???. A ??? ???? pertaining to the ???? ?? ? ???? had been ???? to the ???? ???. ”

“The closure order was rescinded on the 4th October 2011, once the ???? ???? had ???? ????. Once the issues of ??? had been addressed, the police ??? ???, had ???? in the ?????? that a ???, that a ???? that was ???? on the premises was ???? ??? ?? ???? ????. This ??? was duly arrested for being in possession of a controlled drug, namely ?????? and ??? too was arrested and charged with the offence. ”

“On the 3rd December 2011, a **** was made that **** were being **** on the premises. On the 22/2/2011 a ****** was **** in the *** **** the **** ****. Seven people were arrested in connection with this *****, including *** ***. No **** evidence was **** which could positively **** any of the *** people arrested. ”

“**** **** the premises and **** it out to an associate **** ****. The **** *** *** *** ***, which was **** was estimated to be £***** to £*****. He ***** police with a ***** on **** and he ***** his right to ***** when ****. The Crown Prosecution Service said the ***** were *****, but that **** evidence to bring a prosecution was not available. The police reference number is what is stated there. ”

Sgt Jenkins said he would take the Crown Prosecution Service file as ****, as the panel could peruse it without him needing to refer to it. He said he could quote from it if you wish me to. It should be. It’s an MG3.

Ken Abraham asked about the page number?

Cllr Bob Wilkins said page 26, Cllr Steve Niblock confirmed it was page 26 in the recent one.

The police continued that on the 19/11/2010 there had been a arrest for an assault which was on police records. There had been also in 2010 two women fighting in street, who were both arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

There was the alleged issue of ***** ****, which in his view compromised the licensing objective of preventing crime and disorder and the safety of public. The detained person had been released on bail pending further enquiries and he confirmed that a criminal investigation was ongoing and he appreciated it was not within the remit of the panel to prejudge it. The persons responsible in his view could not have **** to ***** **** as it was ****. He referred to **** and ****. The police had ***** the premises for a ****.

A PACE ***** of the **** which was authorised as a result of the *** which resulted in four males being arrested. He draw the panel’s attention to the **** of *** ***. On the night we had ***** make **** ***. **** **** is a **** **** officer. He confirms that **** *** **** the **** **** with a *** *** of **** on the */*/20**. No **** has been **** since ****. ****.

Over the course of the past few days **** *** has actually been arrested. He has **** **** *** *** ***. If you come to the MG15, *** *** was interviewed at **** hours and it took him *** minutes by Constable *** at the **** **** ***. *** was cautioned and the caution was explained. *** was asked ****. **** ****.

***. The **** had gone out in error. To explain ***. ***. That **** should be ***** with. We*** clear that **** *** and the **** is that ****. There *** no doubt ****. The premises is owned by *** ****, showing that he is the leaseholder. The land belongs to the Council. He leases it from the Council.

Sgt Jenkins said he believed these premises were involved in alleged criminal activity. A number of people have been arrested. Although six people were arrested, none of these people were charged. He referred to the alleged criminal offence currently under investigation.

He said the police can’t go into pubs on a regular basis, as there are 1,300 licensed premises on the Wirral and they only have a small team. He said premises were within the control of the Premises Licence Holder, whoever they appointed as Designated Premises Supervisor. He advocated revoking the licence, as he felt conditions wouldn’t be effective. He asked the panel to seriously consider revocation.

???? and **** = information removed because it’s an active criminal investigation.

For more information on this story you can read Liam Murphy’s version in the Liverpool Echo

Licensing Act 2003 Subcommittee Wirral Council 22/2/2012 Part 1 Appointment of Chair, Lifestyle 82-84 Town Meadow Lane, Moreton, CH46 7TB

Panel:

Cllr Bob Wilkins (Chair)
Cllr Eddie Boult
Cllr Steve Niblock

The papers for this meeting can be found here.

Agenda Item 1: Appointment of Chair

Cllr Bob Wilkins said he was the Chair of the panel and that on either side of him was a councillor, who were also on the panel of three.

He asked councillors, committee officers, the police and those present to introduce themselves (slowly).

The following people gave their names:-

Anne Beauchamp (Committee Clerk)
Ken Abraham (Legal adviser)
Margaret O’Donnell (Licensing)
Richard Leyland (Licensing Team Leader)
Unknown
Sergeant ??? (Merseyside Police)
Constable Paula ???? (Merseyside Police)
Unknown (solicitor?)
Unknown male
Unknown male

Agenda item 3: Lifestyle, 82-84 Town Meadow Lane, Moreton, CH46 7TB

The Chair, Cllr Bob Wilkins asked if the appropriate notices and information had been sent out? Margaret O’Donnell said there had been additional paperwork on Monday and yesterday as well. Those documents would be referenced today. She said there were no additional further details for consideration.

Cllr Bob Wilkins asked if there would be any additional witnesses. He asked the applicant if they had provided all the document they wishes the panel to see?

The police answered no (to both questions).

Cllr Bob Wilkins explained the procedure he would be following. He said he would give the applicant time to present his case, questions coud be asked. Once that was over those from the licenced premises would have a chance to put their case, and an opportunity given to ask questions of them.

He said they would also be considering advice issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 and the four licensing objectives which were:-

prevention of crime and disorder,
public safety,
the prevention of public nuisance and
the protection of children from harm.

Merseyside Police Authority 20/2/12 12/13 Budget Meeting Pt 2 – Police Authority agree to raise Council Tax police precept by 3% and refuse Council Tax Freeze Grant

The members of the Merseyside Police Authority met to decide on the 2012/2013 Budget after their meeting last Thursday had been adjourned.

There were two options to decide between. The first option was whether to accept a one-off Council Tax Freeze grant for 2012/2013 which equated to what they would have gained from a 3 percent rise in the police precept on the Council Tax bills for Merseyside residents. The second option was to reject the Council Tax Freeze grant and increase the Council Tax precept by 3 percent for Merseyside residents.

Neither option made any difference to the 2012/2013 budget, but did to budgets from 2013/2014 onwards.

The Chair welcomed people to the reconvened meeting. He said they wouldn’t go through the whole report again. He asked for a proposal.

It was proposed to reject the Council Tax Freeze grant for 2012/2013 and increase the Merseyside Council Tax police precept by 3 percent compared to its 2011/2012 level.

It was moved as an amendment to accept the Council Tax freeze grant for 2012/2013 and not increase the Merseyside Council Tax police precept for 2012/2013 compared to its 2011/2012 level.

A councillor spoke for the amendment and against the motion. Cllr Kate Wood spoke for the amendment and against the motion. The Chair commented that the Merseyside Police Authority sets the precept independently of the Merseyside local authorities who collected the Council Tax on their behalf.

Janet referred to a story on the BBC website. She had asked for a copy of the press release and felt the BBC had mixed it up as they had used a figure of £2 million instead of £1.865 million. She also didn’t understand the BBC article suggested there would be a loss of forty officers, which made out there would be a deficit when the revenue Budget for 2012/2013 was neutral between the two options.

She had an issue with the survey using survey monkey that the Police Authority had done. She said it was biased as option 1 was for putting up the Council Tax precept and that people could vote in it as many times as they liked, she herself had voted three times. She said although the proposed increase was small,would some residents would have to cut their heating bill to afford the increased Council Tax.

The Chair asked the Chief Executive to clarify.

The Chief Executive referred people to table 14 on page 45. He pointed out the issue was with the 2013/2014 Budget, not 2012/2013. He explained that the issue was never 2012/2013. The issue was what happened after 2012/2013 to the one year Council Tax Freeze grant.

He continued by pointing out in 2013/2014 if the Council Tax Freeze grant was accepted, then it led to a £2 million gap, as the grant would be dropped out of the Budget for 2013/2014. This meant the Council Tax base for 2013/2014 would be reduced [compared to increasing the precept for 2012/2013] and the effect of the Council Tax Freeze Grant was close to £2 million.

Referring to the survey, Paul Johnson explained that it had been sent out to libraries and they had made it so that more that each person could vote more than once. He said they had been criticised on Thursday for reorganising a meeting so quickly, which gave little opportunity to the public of Merseyside. They had achieved some helpful information, but if Authority members thought it was not up to scratch they were at “liberty to ignore” it.

The Chair said he was not going to give a summay out unless he was asked for it. In the short period of time he only intended to introduce it if there was another stalemate. It had been raised, but it did have limitations.

An Authority Member referred to a “lot of misunderstanding”. They then referred to Liverpool City Council deciding on the Council Tax levels and the effect on them of receiving or refusing the Council Tax Freeze Grant. The Member thought the effect over five years for the Police Budget could come to Ł9 million.

The Member referred to the “poorly paid on benefits” who had faced “Housing Benefit cuts” when “nobody gave a monkeys”. He then went onto refer to Working Tax Credit cuts and Winter Fuel Allowance reductions from Ł250 to Ł150.

He was arguing that the 3% rise would not lead to greater numbers of officers on the frontline as in previous years. However it would allow injured and ill officers to be tacken off their backroom jobs and made redundant, which would lead to a longterm saving.

This could lead to [approximately] forty new officers. If they were not going to recruit now then in a couple of years there would be a big gap and experienced officers who needed to pass their skills and advice on would have left Merseyside Police.

A series of popular Youtube videos of adjourned meetings at Wirral Council.

First we have the ever popular Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting of the 6th February 2012 which was (after recording stopped due to running out of tape adjourned). Now with subtitles it has been viewed (at the time of writing) 228 times, has been embedded in an article on Wirral Leaks and a blog post here.

The Chair herself of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Patricia Glasman even talked to me about it on the 13th February 2012! After she’d talked to me I realised I needed to put subtitles on it.

Now with subtitles, this video has been viewed by many viewers in the UK and a viewer from Finland who watched it twice! Speakers in it are Cllr Patricia Glasman, Cllr Cherry Povall, Cllr Simon R Mountney and Bill Norman.

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Secondly another adjourned meeting on the same subject (although this time the entire meeting and not just a segment). This one is the Council meeting from Monday 13th February, again on the AKA report.

The Council meeting from Monday 13th February is adjourned to Monday 20th February at 7pm.
The Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee from Monday 6th February is adjourned to (date unknown to be decided by Chair and spokespersons).

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