Venue: Town Hall, Eastbourne
Contact: Simon Russell on 01323 415021 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) by members as required under Section 31 of the Localism Act and of other interests under the Code of Conduct.
None were declared.
Report of Specialist Advisor
The Chairman introduced members and officers present and detailed the procedure to be followed at the meeting.
The Specialist Advisor outlined the report detailing the application for a review of the premises licence for HJ Food Ltd trading as Ocean Gastronom, 9 Seaside Road that had been made by East Sussex County Council Trading Standards service on the 23rd June 2015 under the prevention of crime and disorder licensing objective.
The reason for the review was that East Sussex County Council Trading Standards found illegal cigarettes stored on the premises that did not comply with the relevant tobacco products regulations and had no UK duty paid. Trading Standards also expressed concerns that the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) and premises licence holder, Miss Jenya Dimitrova was not acting suitably in regards to control of the premises. A copy of the review application was included at appendix 2 to the report.
During the statutory consultation process that had run from the 24th June 2015 to 21st July 2015 a further representation had been received from Eastbourne Borough Council’s Licensing Team supporting the recommendation made by Trading Standards that Miss Dimitrova be removed as DPS. This was included at appendix 3 to the report.
A letter had been received from Miss Dimitrova confirming that she was unable to attend the hearing tonight. The letter also advised that a new sub-tenant had been found who was interested in taking on the property with the benefit of an existing premises licence. Miss Dimitrova asked the Sub-Committee to not revoke the premises licence. The Sub-Committee confirmed that they would take this into account when making its decision.
Mr Graham Wolstenholme and Mr Barnaby Brown representing East Sussex County Council Trading Standards addressed the Sub-Committee. They advised that the company HJ Food Ltd that was trading as Ocean Gastronom in Eastbourne also operated two other premises, in St Leonards on Sea and Tunbridge Wells which had been subject to investigation and review proceedings for similar offences.
Mr Wolstenholme reported that on 29th May 2014, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seized illegal tobacco at Ocean Gastronom. Sussex Police then contacted Miss Dimitrova advising her of the severity of allowing illegal tobacco on the premises and how this undermined the licensing objectives, notably the prevention of crime and disorder. At this stage Miss Dimitrova declared that she was not aware of the illegal activity. Mr Wolstenholme also stated that the premises CCTV system was not operational at that time and the refusal book had not been updated in over a year, which were both statutory licence conditions.
On the 20th June 2014, 112 packs of non-duty paid cigarettes were seized from a store in Tunbridge Wells owned by HJ Food Ltd. Miss Dimitrova was the DPS and premises licence holder for the premises in addition to Ocean Gastronom in Eastbourne and Moscwichka in St Leonards on Sea. A review hearing took place and on the 27th August 2014, Tunbridge Wells ... view the full minutes text for item 2.