(Director of Neighbourhoods) to consider the attached report.
The Senior Licensing Officer, Kim Tuckey introduced the report on fees for temporary road closures. She noted that the Council at its meeting on 17 December 2013 (minute 86) resolved that the Council exercises its powers to make temporary road closures from 1 April 2014 at a cost of £170; and that the Licensing Committee give further consideration to the charging of this fee for primarily charitable events.
The meeting noted that we had received a request from Epping Town Council to waive the fee for a road closure for the Christmas Market and other similar events. In order to consider this and any other similar requests, this Committee would need to make a recommendation to the Council on the levying of fees for temporary road closures for charitable events.
The Committee noted the options that were available to them were:
(a) Not to allow a waiver of a fee; or
(b) To offer a reduced fee for charitable events – and to make a recommendation on the size of the reduction envisaged; or
(c) To waive the entire fee for any charitable event.
Councillor Angold-Stephens noted a potential difficulty as some traders would want to donate some of their profits to a charitable cause, how would this be classed. This was a grey area. A purely charitable event would be OK. Mr Nolan noted that it maybe that if a Town/Parish Council requests this you would grant it, but if an individual trader asked, we could legitimately ask how much profit they would take and how much would go to charity.
Councillor Lion noted that we should not just use the term ‘Christmas Markets’ but use a more general term. Mr Nolan noted that we do use the term ‘…and other similar events.’
Councillor Smith commented that we should be helping local councils to encourage local enterprise and help with minimal costs to help them engage with different communities. We can be a little generous in this regard and can review this at a later date to see if it’s being abused.
Councillor Leonard was concerned about charging charities as this could put a lot of the charities off applying and he would support waiving all fees at charitable events.
Councillor Angold-Stephens proposed that they waive the fees for any charitable events. It would be up to the applicant to substantiate that it was for a charitable or community event run by a Town or Parish council for the benefit of the local community. This was agreed by the Committee.
1. That the request from Epping Town Council to waive the fee for road closure for the Christmas Market and similar events be noted;
2. That a report go to the next full council meeting recommending that road closure fees were waived for any charitable or community events run by a Town or Parish Council for the benefit of the local community; and
3. That any applications that would need a decision for the waiver of road closures fees be delegated to a Licensing Sub-Committee.