Grant of a premises licence in respect of: Mila, 102-104 Belmont Road, Hereford, HR2 7JS - Licensing Act 2003
To consider an application for a grant of a premises licence in respect of: mila, 102-104 Belmont Road, Hereford, HR2 7JS.
Members of the licensing sub committee of the council’s planning and regulatory committee considered the above application, full details of which appeared before the Members in their agenda and the background papers.
The principal licensing officer presented the report.
Trading Standards outlined their objective to the grant of a premises licence to Mr Hersh Mohammad for Mila. The premises had previously been subjected to Trading Standards investigations in relation to persistent breaches of the Licensing Act 2003 including the selling of illegal tobacco, alcohol and the employment of illegal workers. Trading Standards believes that the evidence shows that Hersh Mohammad is not a fit and proper person to hold a premises licence as he was on the premises when illegal alcohol was found. The applicant had previously had a premises licence application refused. Mr Hersh Mohammad has not been able to provide or offer conditions to show that he can run the premises in order to uphold the four licensing objectives.
The representative from West Mercia Police confirmed that he had authority to represent the police.
The police then outlined their objection to the grant of a premises licence and outlined the following:
· The police and HMRC have visited the premises in December 2018 and found 32 bottles of non-duty paid vodka.
· A police review of the premises licence had been launched and the premises licence had been revoked by the sub committee in March 2019. Mr Mohammad had not appealed the sub committee’s decision.
· The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme which in place since 2015 was relevant. This was HMRC legislation which in place to ensure that any alcohol purchased to be sold comes from an approved wholesaler approved by HMRC.
· There was no indication that Mr Mohammad was aware of this scheme or had ensured that the alcohol stock had been obtained legally.
· It was the view of the police that Mr Mohammad should have known where the alcohol stock had come from.
· If the sub committee were minded to grant the premises licence, then modified conditions had been sent to the principal licensing officer.
The sub committee then heard from the applicant’s solicitor who highlighted the following
· It was disappointing that he had not been instructed earlier as the matter had been dealt with differently.
· There was no evidence to tie any wrong doing at the premises to Mr Mohammad.
· Anything prior to the latter part of last year was unrelated to his client as he was not living in Hereford at the time.
· Mr Mohammad had been living in Blackburn and had been told through a contact about the premises and he wanted to see them.
· The history of the premises was in relation to the bricks and mortar and not Mr Mohammad
· Mr Mohammad was a personal licence holder and was assessed by Blackburn Council as a being fit and proper person and this allows him to be a designated premises supervisor (DPS ) for the sale of alcohol.
· The lease had been signed in November and Mr Mohammad had bought the premises with the stock.
· The raid then took place and found a small amount of non-duty paid vodka with a value of just over £300. It was acknowledge that Mr Mohammad had not carried sufficient due diligence when he purchased the premises.
· The sub committee were reminded that their decision should be evidence based and any decision was justified as appropriate.
· Since Mr Mohammad had purchased the premises, there had been sales of tobacco but there was no evidence of illegal tobacco or the selling of tobacco to the underaged. He had traded responsibly.
· Mr Mohammad was happy to accept West Mercia’s amended conditions which were circulated at the sub committee meeting.
· Mr Mohammad would also be happy to add a new condition which required him to appoint an independent auditor to come in twice year unannounced to ensure that condition 10 was being complied and a report prepared which would be sent to the police and trading standards.
Following members’ questions, it was confirmed that the raid on the premises had taken place on 12 December 2018 and the premises had been purchased on 23 November 2018.
The sub committee’s decision is to grant the premises with the offered conditions as modified by West Mercia’s conditions which are attached to this decision notice and a new condition as follows:
The management of Mila will arrange an independent audit of licensed stock, no less than twice a year. Such independent audit to be unannounced and the results to be reported back to the West Mercia Police, Trading Standards and Licensing Authority. The results to be provided within four weeks of the audit taking place.
The sub committee had carefully considered the representations from the principal licensing officer, trading standards, West Mercia Police and the applicant’s solicitors. The sub committee decided that the grant of the premises with the replacement conditions proposed by the police, an amendment to condition 10 and a new condition regarding an independent audit of licensable stock twice a year which promote and uphold the licensing objectives On the basis of the evidence presented to the sub committee and the new conditions, it was believed that the applicant will promote & uphold the licensing objectives.
- Committe Report Mila 23.07.19, item 40. PDF 348 KB
- Appendix 1 - Application to grant a premises licence, item 40. PDF 13 MB
- Appendix 2 - Trading Standards Representation, item 40. PDF 294 KB
- Appendix 3 - West Mercia Police Representation, item 40. PDF 15 KB
- Appendix 4 - Supporting document from West Mercia Police, item 40. PDF 121 KB
- Appendix 5 - Supporting information from West Mercia Police, item 40. PDF 7 MB