Venue: Council Chamber. View directions
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Introductory remarks by the Chairman
The Chairman of the Panel will outline procedures to be adopted in relation to the conduct of the meeting and will introduce the Members of the Panel and other persons present.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and following introductions he set out the procedure that would be followed during the hearing.
It was confirmed that Mr Sivashankar represented his client, Mr Tharmalingam although he confirmed that he did not hold a legal qualification. His company, Compliance Direct Ltd, represented licensees and businesses on licensing matters.
It was noted that Ms Vijitha Thillainathan was attending the hearing as an interpreter to Mr Tharmalingam.
Mr Sivashankar confirmed that some additional information had been provided. The WDC Legal Officer confirmed that this information had been circulated to the Panel and other interested parties.
Apologies for absence
To receive apologies for absence.
Declarations of interest
To receive any disclosure of disclosable pecuniary interests by Members relating to items on the agenda. If any Member is uncertain as to whether an interest should be disclosed, he or she is asked if possible to contact the District Solicitor prior to the meeting.
Members are reminded that if they are declaring an interest, they should state the nature of that interest whether or not they are required to withdraw from the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Mr Clement Vinothraj Tharmalingam, Corner Express, 97 Roberts Road, High Wycombe, HP13 6XD
The Panel considered an application under section 42 of the Licensing Act to transfer a premises licence and also under section 37 to vary a licence in respect of Mr Clement Vinathraj Tharmalingam, Corner Express, 97 Roberts Road, High Wycombe, HP13 6XD
Mr Brian Whittall, WDC Licensing officer, outlined the case to the Panel as detailed in the report, and explained that the applicant had applied under section 42 to transfer the premises licence and under section 37 to vary a licence to specify an individual as a premises supervisor.
In accordance with the legislation, the applicant served a copy of the application on the police who had a statutory period of 14 days in which to raise any objections to the application. Following receipt of a valid representation and in accordance with section 44 and section 39 respectively, the licensing authority must hold a hearing to determine the applications.
Sections 37(5) and 42(6) state: "Where a chief officer of police notified under…. Is satisfied that the exceptional circumstances of the case are such that granting the application would undermine the crime prevention objective, he must give the relevant licensing authority a notice stating the reasons why he is so satisfied." The police stated that the appointment of Mr Tharmalingam as licence holder and designated premises supervisor (DPS) would not be consistent with the licensing objective to prevent crime and disorder.
In September 2019, the Bucks Free Press published a story regarding these premises and the sale of Nitrous Oxide. A number of empty canisters had been found on the floor outside the premises. A visit by an Environmental Health Officer on 15 October 2019 produced more evidence of these canisters outside the premises. Further to these reports, on 13 November 2019, an investigation by Council and police licensing officers took place. On visiting the premises, it was found that the following licensing condition was not being complied with:
"All alcohol products that are available for sale on the premises shall be labelled with a sticker on which the shop name is written."
A significant number of alcohol products did not bear a label containing the name of the premises.
The person identified as being in daily management control of the premises at the time of this visit was Mr Tharmalingam. He stated that he was taking over the business although at this time he was not named as either the licence holder or premises supervisor. These positions were held by a Mrs Tharmini Sureshkumar and Mr Kanaganayagam Shanthakumar respectively.
Under questioning by officers during the visit on 13 November 2019 Mr Tharmalingam confirmed that nitrous oxide was on the premises and available for sale. He confirmed that each canister had a retail price of £7.00. Officers were shown a box of multiple canisters and Mr Tharmalingam was advised that they should not be sold or on the premises unless they were being sold for catering purposes and there was sufficient evidence to confirm this. During this visit, a ... view the full minutes text for item 51.