Stag Parties, Hen Parties now oldie parties set to hit New Earswick?

An application by JRHT to modify the license that they have for the sale of alcohol at Hartrigg Oaks elderly persons complex has run into opposition.

First the Police objected, then an action group of over 80’s declared the plan to be contrary to Quaker traditions.

The proposal is to permit the sale of alcohol to non-residents from 11:00 to midnight, Monday to Sunday.

Residents can buy and consume alcohol at any time.

A licensing committee will hear next week that some residents fear that the Trust intend to open up their on-site restaurant to casual users.

The Trust have denied this

A large number  of residents have written to support the  licence application

Noise complaints about Acorn Rugby ground event

We understand hat several residents complained about noise coming from an event taking pace at the Acorn Rugby ground yesterday (Sunday evening). The source of the complaint seems to have been bands playing outdoors. They stopped at 9:00pm.

We understand that this was a charity event although it is unclear whether it formed part of the councils summer holidays “Shine” programme as stated on publicity posters.

It is the second time that complaints about events at the rugby ground have been made. The organisers of another charity event, held in August, had resorted to sellotaping posters to the outside of local noticeboards, causing damage in one case. (information is posted within the noticeboards upon request)

Fly posting is often a source of complaint when fairs visit Thanet Road (as they will shortly).

New licensing arrangements, introduced a few years ago, mean that organisations no longer have to apply for special licences to organise events like these. Instead they rely on a  general license issued on request by the Council to land owners. (in this case the land is owned by the Council but it is on a long lease to the club).

Licences can be revoked if terms and conditions are not observed.

In this case, the frequency of outdoor events may be approaching the point where the license could be reviewed.


Popular York bar and restaurant wants to expand into Lendal

The “House of Trembling Madness”, currently occupying premises in Stonegate, has applied for a licence to operate in 14 Lendal.

The popular destination was recently described in “Trip Advisor”  in the following terms

Fabulous tiny pub for which we were glad we waited to get in to.  Great beers and old world charm – justly popular with all ages – and all friendly. Lots of food being served but we just tried the beers – some are 50% or 60% proof! 

The main problem for the license applicant is that the new premises fall within what the Council calls the “cumulative impact zone”.

There is a presumption against providing additional outlets selling alcohol in the zone. The policy was a reaction to increasing problems with anti social behaviour and drunkenness on City centre streets.

The Council has however been largely ineffective in applying the restriction and it is likely that the application will be granted when considered on 5th March. Conditions are likely to be applied to any new license, with opening hours one possible issue.

Details of the application can be found here 

100 hours community service for theft and unlicensed scrap dealing

As part of the council’s drive to prevent fly-tipping by ensuring waste carriers are licensed, on Tuesday (21 November) a scrap metal dealer was prosecuted for stealing two items from a house and for being unlicensed.

In May 2017, a council officer witnessed Christopher Smith, aged 48 of James Street, York, enter a garden, take a vacuum cleaner and a steam cleaner and put them into the back of the van he was driving. When challenged, he claimed it was his aunt’s home and became abusive. On checking it was found that his aunt did not live there.

In July 2017, Mr Smith was stopped by neighbourhood enforcement officers as he was using a vehicle loaded with scrap metal. The van had no scrap metal dealers licence on display and Mr Smith refused to answer questions at the time. Further investigation found that his licence with City of York Council had expired in March 2017 and he had failed to respond to reminders from the council’s licensing team.

Mr Smith failed to attend interview or respond to questions under caution about the offence of carrying waste without a scrap metal dealers licence or a waste carrier licence, both of which are legal requirements.

At York Magistrates Court on Tuesday 21 November 2017, Mr Smith pleaded guilty to one offence of theft, one offences of transporting controlled waste without a waste carrier licence, operating as an unlicensed scrap metal dealer, failing to provide information about business waste being carried and disposed of.

Mitigation offered to the court included a claim that the theft was opportunistic. Further mitigation offered was that at the time, Mr Smith was showing the ropes of the family business to his son to whom he was handing it over, and that it would be his son who would apply for a dealers licence in the future. Mr Smith claimed too that he was illiterate so could not keep records or read enforcement letters. He is now working for a delivery company.


York Council consultation systems failing

The first residents knew of a plan to extend alcohol sale times at the local Tesco express store on Acomb Wood Drive was when one found a vandalised notice in a hedgerow.

It was unclear where, or for how long, the Council notice had been displayed but the date for representations had already passed.

Late night alcohol sales – in this case the application would allow sales from 7:00am to 11:00pm seven days a week – are an issue in the area where an adjacent pub already supplies on premises needs.

Residents only find out about licensing applications if they happen to access an obscure part of the Councils web site. On the page, they can download the latest list.

There is no option for interested parties to be alerted to changes through text or Email alerts.

We think that the Council needs to up its game on consultation and make use of increasingly sophisticated social media channels.

It still hasn’t rolled out the much-promised personal account system which it claimed would allow every individual citizen to interact with the authority.

6 months after access to litter reports was rolled out – with some success – other service reports are still dogged by inadequate feedback systems.

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)

Thanet Road proposed road humps

Worse still is the publicity given to TROs. This is a statutory activity. The Council is required to advertise any proposed changes to parking, access, speed limit and other transport restrictions.

For many years, the draft orders appeared on an obscure page in the local paper.

One would reasonably think that in 2017 the orders would also be displayed on the Councils web site.

It appears not.

Use the search facility on the Councils web site and no TROs are displayed.

It is almost as if the Council didn’t want drivers to find out what they are planning to do!

If objections to an draft Order are received, the Council is required to consider them and make a public decision on each.

One of the TROs currently out for consultation concerns Thanet Road where a 20-mph speed limit – and traffic calming measures – may be introduced.

Anyone searching for Thanet Road on the Council web site will be disappointed.

It is a shame that the Council doesn’t make better use of its web site, Facebook and Twitter together with more traditional methods like noticeboards.

The noticeboards in Windsor Garth and Ascot Way (both close to Thanet Road) have not had any notices of any sort displayed on them for over a year!

Current York Council consultations

Licensing variations

DrunksA consultation on a proposed review of City of York Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy has opened.

At the Licensing Committee meeting on 25 April, it was agreed to pursue North Yorkshire Police’s request to amend the local authority’s current policy. Published in 2014, it includes a ‘Special Policy’ which relates to applications for the variation of a premises licence or club premises certificates.

The police believe these variations to licensed hours or style of operation can have as much impact locally as granting a new license. To give these variations greater weight and to reflect that they can significantly change the nature of the original license conditions, the force has requested that the policy’s ‘Effects of the Special Policy’ section is changed.

This section of the policy currently reads:
5. “Application for the variation of a premises licence or club premises certificate due to a change of style of operation:

Any application for the variation of style of operation which is subject to relevant representations will be considered on its own merits having regard to the promotion of the licensing objectives

6. Application for the variation of a premises licence or club premises certificate resulting in an extension of the premises and increased capacity:

There will be a presumption to refuse such applications, where relevant representation are received and where the increase in capacity would undermine the licensing objectives unless the applicant can rebut the presumption that the granting of such a variation would undermine the licensing objectives.

7. Application to vary the hours of operation attached to a premises licence or club premises certificate:

All applications that seek to extend the licensed hours will be considered on an individual basis. No different policy will apply in this area as opposed to the rest of the city.”

The a new form of words proposed is:

5.  “The following variations are considered to be material:

• change in style of operation

• physical extension of the premises that increases capacity

• extension of hour of operation

and therefore, there will be a presumption to refuse such applications, where relevant representations are received [deleted and] unless the applicant can rebut the presumption that the granting of such a variation would undermine the licensing objectives.”

Views can be sent by email to: or posted to Licensing Section, City of York Council, Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York YO10 3DS.

Other current Council consultations

More restrictions on York City centre pub hours?

It could become more difficult for pubs and clubs in York to extend their opening hours in future.
Crime trends in York alcohol zone - report extract April 2016

Crime trends in York alcohol zone – report extract April 2016

The police have asked the York Council to crack down on premises within the cumulative impact zone (essentially the City centre) which seek longer opening hours.

The move comes against a background of increasing violence and disorder on some City centre streets.

The restrictions would affect any premises wanting to extend their hours to open beyond 11:00pm and also any licences seeking an overall increase in opening hours each day.

A report will be considered by the Council on 25th April. If approved the proposal will be subject to public consultation.

Large number of objections to Bootham Crescent license application

Bootham Crescent

A proposal by the owners of Bootham Crescent – home of York City Football Club – to extend its entertainment and alcohol licenses to cover the period from 10:00am until midnight each day has attracted 13 objections. This is a relatively large number for an application concerning an established facility.

The changes to the stadium’s license will be considered at a meeting tomorrow (Monday)

Most of the objections relate to concerns about additional noise and disruption. Others point to parking and other issues particularly if outdoor concerts are authorised.

A list of conditions which are likely to be imposed has been drawn up by officers

NB York City were due to move into a new ground at Huntington next year. Delays in the plan have been revealed with details likely to be revealed at a meeting taking place on 27th August 2015

Gambling policy consultation starts in York

The Gambling Act 2005 requires the York Council to review it’s ‘Statement of Licensing Policy’ every three years.

The Counslot-machines-italycil published its current policy in December 2012, so it expires in December 2015.

The policy has been updated to include relevant changes in legislation and we are now seeking your views on any other changes that may be considered necessary.

Taking part in the consultation

To take part in this consultation download a copy of Gambling Act Policy 2015 draft document and provide your comments by email or post,no later than Monday, 28 September 2015.

If you would prefer a printed copy of the policy please contact Licensing Services.

Next steps

The results of this consultation will be considered by the ‘Gambling, Licensing and Regulatory Committee’ in November, before being approved by ‘Full Council’ in December.

Controversy as Council plan late night drinking in footstreets area

York’s newly enhanced Exhibition Square could stage late night outdoor entertainment events.

A licensing application from the York Council itself will be considered on Tuesday 7th April

The application, if successful, would allow alcohol consumption thoughout the whole of the footstreets area until 11:00pm at night. The current license prohibits outdoor alcohol sales after 2100 hours.

 The new license would also allow “Films, Live Music, Recorded Music and Performance of Dance” until 11:00pm

There have been several objections to the plan.

The present Council simply doesn’t seem to understand that their promotion of York as a “Party City” is partly responsible for the hen/stag night disorder that is fast driving many people away from the City Centre.

If a special event needs an exemption from the reasonable restrictions that currently are in force, then the organisers should apply on an individual basis.

York residents will then be able to say whether they believe that the public good outweighs any disorder risks.