S Mcdonald gave a brief overview of historical arrangements for animal licensing, where conditions placed on licenses were previously formally agreed by the Licensing Committee. License holders could request that conditions were either set or varied or removed to suit their business. The introduction of new legislation meant that new conditions have been set in regulations and cannot be changed in any way.
The report was based on draft procedural guidance and final guidance was still awaited.
Cllr Douris asked why the fees payable were outlined only from October 1 2018 to March 31 2019 as this is only a short time?
NM explained that the new legislation would be coming into force on October 1st and therefore there must be fees in place for applications coming in from 1st October onwards. Also this would give officers a chance to trial how the charges worked out as they need to cover the cost of issuing and administering the licence. Licenses could be granted for between one and three years, but fees would remain the same regardless of the duration as they reflect the cost of administration and set up.
Cllr Douris asked if the system would work like the stars for food premises and if it was true that high risk premises can only receive 4 stars?
SM replied that high risk applicants can obtain 5 stars by asking to be reassessed to upgrade their star rating, but yes, the high risk businesses could only hold up to 4 star rating. NM explained that the stars were restricted by legislation and DEFRA had not even issued application forms as yet.
Cllr Douris expressed his concern that the customer’s perception may be affected if someone only has 4 stars and NM agreed and said that work needed to be done to make this risk rating process clear and understandable to the public.
Cllr Douris drew attention to Page 10 Point 6.2 which refers to food and water intake being monitored and any problems recorded and addressed – he said that he understood this may well be another Defra point, but he felt that this should have a timescale. NM confirmed that it was indeed Defra but it was possible the legislation would be reviewed in the future, when this could be addressed.
That the Licensing and Health and Safety Enforcement Committee set the fees and charges payable by applicants for Animal Welfare licences as set out in Annex 2 of the report for the period from 1st October 2018 to 31st March 2019.
That the Scheme of Delegation in Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution, namely Section 2.5, paragraphs 2.5.15 to 2.5.18 relating to the licensing of pet shops, dog breeding establishments, animal boarding establishments and riding establishments to be amended to reflect the changes to legislation and introductions of new regulations under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, so that the equivalent delegated powers remain such as the rating of premises and appeals in connection to this can be dealt with by officers of the Council, and that the requirement for licensing of animals to be exhibited be delegated in the same way.