BASINGSTOKE AND DEANE BOROUGH COUNCIL ... ... of Mr Mohid Ahmed submitted an application for a premises

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    BASINGSTOKE AND DEANE BOROUGH COUNCIL LICENSING TEAM

    LICENSING ACT 2003 — REPRESENTATION FORM

    Acting in the capacity of a responsible authority, on behalf of Basingstoke and Deane

    Borough Council's Licensing Team, I wish to submit a representation to support the

    review application served by Hampshire Constabulary in relation to premises licence

    number 05/02743/PREMN (Blue Ginger).

    The review application number is 18/01566/REVIEW.

    My representation relates to the below licensing objectives:

     The prevention of crime and disorder

     The protection of children from harm

    Details of Responsible Authority Application:

    Name: Karen Hill

    Capacity: Licensing Officer

    Contact Details: Licensing Team, Basingstoke and Deane Borough

    Council, Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke,

    RG21 4AH. Telephone: 01256 844 844 Ext. 2787

    Email: licensing@basingstoke.gov.uk

    Appendices attached to this representation:

    KMH/01 Premises licence 05/02743/PREMN

    KMH/02 Issue letter with warning 9 September 2011

    KMH/03 Letter summarizing meeting held on 9 September 2011

    KMH/04 Summary of findings of inspection 26 May 2015

    KMH/05 Letter for PACE interview dated 26 October 2018

    Abbreviations Used:

    1. DPS – Designated Premises Supervisor

    2. PLH – Personal Licence Holder

    3. CLO – Council Licensing Officer

    4. PLO – Police Licensing Officer

    5. EH – Environmental Health

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    Background Information and Details of Representation

    The Blue Ginger is an independent indian restaurant in the small town of

    Whitchurch.

    Blue Ginger has held a premises licence since 24 December 2005.

    Following a refurbishment of the property in 2005, a licensing agent acting on behalf

    of Mr Mohid Ahmed submitted an application for a premises licence on 25 November

    2005. The DPS specified was Mr Mohammed Mustak. No representations were

    received during the consultation period and the licence was granted on 24

    December 2005 as applied for. There have not been any changes to the licence

    since. A copy of the licence can be found at Appendix KMH/1

    In February 2007, Hampshire Fire and Rescue wrote to the licensing team to let us

    know they had carried out an inspection at the premises and identified fire safety

    deficiencies which they were dealing with under fire safety legislation.

    On 5 March 2008, Mr Ahmed contacted the licensing team to say he had not

    received his licence. Mr Ahmed was informed there was a fee for a copy of the

    licence of £10.50. Mr Ahmed was not happy about this and declined to be put

    through to cashiers to make a payment or take their number and said he would post

    a cheque. Mr Ahmed was reminded it is a statutory requirement to display the

    licence Part B.

    On 16 March 2010 Mr Ahmed called again still claiming never to have received his

    premises licence in 2005, he was informed of the March 2008 case note and that it

    appeared he never paid so no replacement was issued. On 17 March 2010, Mr M

    Ahmed made a payment of £10.50 for a replacement licence and a copy of the

    licence was issued.

    On 5 September 2011, an Environmental Health Officer provided a report to licensing

    following a routine food and safety inspection at the Blue Ginger to inform licensing

    that ownership of the Blue Ginger was unclear and that they had been informed the

    DPS, Mr Mustak, had not worked at the premises for 6 months. Mr F

    was the manager. The office also had observed there was no licence on display and

    the premises licence (Part A or Part B) could not be produced at the visit.

    Following this report, Licensing Officers carried out a visit to the premises and

    carried out a routine compliance inspection on 7 September 2011.

    Such visits are carried out routinely by the licensing team to ensure the licensable

    activities are carried out in accordance with the licence and the conditions. Officers

    will visit a premises and assess compliance with the licence and discuss with

    whoever is managing the premises at the time their responsibilities under the

    Licensing Act and to promote the licensing objectives.

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    Under the Act, where a premises licence authorises the sale of alcohol it is a

    mandatory condition that a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) must be

    specified. In order for the sale of alcohol to take place, the DPS must hold a

    personal licence. In addition, it is a mandatory condition that every supply of alcohol

    must be made or authorised by a person who holds a personal licence.

    If the DPS is a different person to the licence holder, they are also involved

    whenever possible in the inspection, as he/she has overall responsibility for the sale

    of alcohol at the premises, therefore discussion includes his/her awareness of all

    relevant matters that he/she needs to effectively monitor and control the sale of

    alcohol.

    The DPS, Mr Mustak, was not present at the inspection, neither was Mr Ahmed, the

    licence holder. Officers spoke with a part time waiter who was present. Several

    instances of noncompliance were found; no training records or DPS authorisations

    available or incident log. The main concern was the level of supervision over the

    sale of alcohol as officers were informed by the staff member present that the DPS,

    Mr Mustak, only visits once a month. A meeting with the DPS was scheduled for 9

    September 2011. Before the meeting took place, Mr Bill Donne of Silver Fox

    Licensing Consultants, contacted Licensing on behalf of Mr Ahmed. He requested a

    copy of the premises licence and identified several improvements that had already

    been made and that he was working with his client regarding the areas of non-

    compliance of licensing matters.

    Following receipt of payment of £10.50 on 8 September 2011, a copy of the licence

    was issued. The issue letter included a warning regarding display and retention of

    the premises licence. See appendix KMH/02

    The meeting took place on 9 September 2011. It was attended by Mr Mustak (DPS),

    Mr F (Manager), Mr Donne and two Licensing Officers from the

    Council. Mr Ahmed did not attend. Mr Donne provided details and evidence to

    demonstrate improvements that had been made to ensure compliance with the

    licence conditions. A letter summarising the meeting and outcomes was sent to Mr

    Ahmed on 26 September 2011. This included the recommendation that as Mr

    F was manager and in day to day control at Blue Ginger it would more

    appropriate for him to be the DPS. Appendix KMH/03

    Mr F applied for and was granted a personal licence on 30 March

    2012. No application to change the DPS at Blue Ginger was made, Mr Mustak

    remained, and still is the DPS.

    On 11 May 2015 the licensing authority received information that a group of 16 year

    old boys had gone into Blue Ginger on Saturday 9 May and requested, and were

    served, alcohol. They were not accompanied by an adult. It was alleged the staff

    asked to see ID but none was produced. Another customer in the premises verified

  • Page 4 of 8

    he knew they were 18 years old and the member of staff accepted this and a couple

    of the group were subsequently served alcohol.

    I visited the Blue Ginger on 19 May 2015 but only two front of house members of

    staff were on site and neither were able to answer any questions about the licence. I

    arranged to revisit on 26 May 2015 and met Mr F , the manager. He

    informed me Mr Mustak was unavailable as he was away on business. Part B of the

    licence was on display but not all the pages. There was now a notice on display

    signed by the licence holder, Mr Ahmed, that Mr F and two front of house

    members of staff (Mr F and Mr D ) are authorised to produce Part A of

    the licence in his absence. There was also DPS authorisation signed by Mr Mustak

    for all front of house staff (signed by Mr Mustak, dated 15 January 2015). An age

    verification policy was on also display however this was for Challenge 21 and the

    premises policy is for Challenge 25. A minimum measures notice was also on

    display to inform customers still wine was served in a 125ml measure although this

    was not on the drinks menu card and when asked Mr F said they do not

    service still wine in 125ml. I had concerns, therefore, that although documentation

    was in place to demonstrate compliance with the conditions, there still appeared to

    be a lack of understanding in practice.

    Mr F provided evidence of training carried out for staff by Silver Fox

    Consultancy (Bill Donne). This was dated 15 January 2015. Mr F

    explained training is normally carried out annually by Silver Fox Consultancy and

    new staff attend training in Reading but following my visit Mr Donne had been asked

    to come in and carry out training in house to all staff. This was a four hour session

    held on Saturday 23 May 2015 including projector with slides and includ