Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee - Monday 4th December, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Rooms 18.01 - 18.03 - 18th Floor, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP

Contact: Sarah Craddock, Committee and Councillor Liaison Officer  Email:


No. Item



To report any changes to the membership


1.1       The Chair confirmed that Councillor Hazza Taouzzale had substituted for  Councillor Judith Southern on the Committee.


1.2       Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Judith Southern and Councillor Hyams.




To receive declarations by Members and Officers of the existence and nature of any pecuniary interests or any other significant interest in matters on this agenda.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 17 July 2023.



Busking and Street Entertainment Licensing Policy Review pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Additional documents:


4.1       Before the report was introduced, the Chair stated that when the Busking regime came into effect in April 2021, the Council agreed to carry out a review of how it was working after 12 months.  The review has been carried out by Officers and the Committee is being asked to consult on the findings.  The report shows how the licensing regime has been working and it presents a wide range of options to consult on.  These include removing the scheme to amending some parts of the policy and amending the conditions as suggested in the report.  No substantive decisions are being made today apart from approving the report itself and confirming that it should go out to consultation.  All Parties will have an opportunity to comment as part of the consultation exercise. Responses will be considered and at that point Officers will put forward proposals in a report which will be determined sometime in 2024.   The petition which has been received will be passed to the relevant department for consideration and response.  It is not the appropriate time tonight to consider that Petition or any other comments received.

4.2       The Committee then received a report that provided a concise summary of the Busking and Street Entertainment Licensing Policy Review and highlighted the key findings. Then Committee noted that the report outlined various options for the Committee’s consideration and invited agreement consulting on specific proposals .


4.3       The Committee heard how the Council had actively collaborated with key stakeholders and meticulously analysed the available data which had revealed a generally positive trend in the issuance of licences by the Council over the two years of operation.  The Committee noted that there had been an increase in complaints relating to busking and street entertainment in specific areas of the city.


4.4       The key themes that emerged from the Committee discussion were:


·       Overall the review concluded the scheme was sound and well thought out.

·       the justification and implications of the scheme had been well received throughout Westminster by residents and businesses.

·       the importance of engaging in positive dialogue with the Convent Garden Street Performance Association.

·       the difficulties and challenges associated with the enforcement and compliance of the scheme, especially regarding illegal busking, noise nuisance and buskers that exhibited bad behaviour towards City Inspectors.

·       The Committee noted that prosecutions had led to little remuneration.

·       There were repeated complaints regarding Pitch 9 in Leicester Square, mainly in relation to noise nuisance, caused by amplification of music and speech as well as questions on the location of this pitch.

·       It was suggested there needed to be tweaks and changes to some of the terms and conditions to apply for a busking licence including age restrictions so that no one under 14 could apply for a busking licence and those between 14 and 18 should be accompanied by parental consent.

·       the worry that the increase in fees may become a barrier for up-and-coming artists.  Members noted that many a famous performer had started their careers on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Cumulative Impact Assessment pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:


5.1       The Committee received a report which outlined the responses to the consultation on the draft Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) and the final CIA following amendment for approval. The Committee noted that the CIA was not a change in Policy and that it was a statement of findings based on the data collected and analysed and that there would not be any changes to the Statement of Licensing Policy until next year.


5.2       The Committee heard how a wide range of stakeholders had been consulted and discussed how local crime and disorder statistics, prevalence of ambulance attendances, environmental health complaints and resident perceptions had been collected, analysed and included in the assessment. The Committee noted that careful consideration would be given to any boundary change to the Cumulative Impact Areas and Special Consideration Zones.


5.3       The Committee heard that there would be a further proof read to make any minor changes to the assessment before it was published.  Members noted that once the CIA was published it would provide evidence and guidance for Applicants, Responsible Authorities and Interested Parties and would be able to be considered by the Licensing Sub Committee.


5.4       RESOLVED: That the Cumulative Impact Assessment be approved.



Update of Licensing Appeals pdf icon PDF 102 KB


6.1       The Committee received a report which provided a summary of the status of the appeals being dealt with by the Legal Team.  The Committee noted that the summary which included details of the four appeals that Legal Services had been dealing with since July 2023, one of which had had been withdrawn, a new appeal had been received, resulting in three pending determination. It was also noted that Legal Services were dealing with two judicial reviews.


6.2       Members were pleased to hear that three of the Claimants in the Hemming and others v Westminster City Council judicial review had agreed to settle the action.  The Principal Solicitor informed the Committee that she wished to commend Anghel Pufulete, the Senior Litigation Solicitor for all his hard work on the case which was endorsed by the Committee.  The Committee also noted that the other judicial review had also been resolved.


6.3       RESOLVED: That the report be noted.



Any other Business