Agenda and minutes

Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee - Wednesday, 17 March 2021 2:00 pm

Venue: By Skype

Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Lorna Douglas, Audrey Forrest, George Freeman, Jean Moffat and Richard Trail.




There were no declarations of interest.



Report by Head of Legal and Regulatory Support


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  In line with recent legislation for Civic Government Hearings, the parties (and any representatives) were given the options for participating in the meeting today.  The options available were by Video Call, by Audio Call or by written submission.  For this hearing Police Scotland opted to proceed by way of Audio Call and Sgt McGinnis joined the meeting by telephone. 


The Committee had agreed at a hearing on 17 February 2021 to continue consideration of this matter to give the Licence Holder the opportunity to attend as it had been intimated at that time that notification of the hearing had not been received by the Licence Holder within the requisite period of notice of 14 days.


It was noted that the Licence Holder was not present for this hearing.  The Council’s Senior Solicitor, Sheila MacFadyen, advised that a recorded delivery letter notifying Mr Graham of this hearing had been received at the address on his Licence within 14 days but he had not been in touch to confirm whether or not he would be in attendance.  Mrs MacFadyen advised that an attempt to contact Mr Graham by phone had been made in respect of the previous meeting but there was no reply.  A phone call had not been made on this occasion.


The Committee were asked to consider how they would wish to proceed.


The Committee agreed to proceed with the hearing.


The Chair then outlined the procedure that would be followed and invited Sgt McGinnis to speak in support of the Chief Constable’s complaint.




Sgt McGinnis referred to a letter dated 15 January 2021 which advised that the Chief Constable requested, in terms of Paragraph 11(1) of Schedule 1 of the Act, that the Committee suspend Mr Graham’s licence.  The Chief Constable complained, in terms of Paragraph 11(2)(a) of Schedule 1 of the Act that Mr Graham was no longer a fit and proper person to hold the licence.  In support of the Chief Constable’s request the letter referred to an incident which occurred on 1 October 2020 whereby Mr Graham was charged with contravening Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and also charged under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, Section 90(2)(a).  The letter also referred to an incident which occurred on 14 November 2020 whereby Mr Graham was charged with four contraventions of Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.  He was also charged under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) act 2012, Section 90(1)(a) and 90(2)(a). 


Sgt McGinnis advised that following submission of that letter, the Procurator Fiscal had rolled these 2 cases together and proceeded with 8 charges – 3 under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, 2 for resisting arrest, 2 coronavirus charges and one for Police assault.  A pleading diet was set for 1 April 2021.




Councillor McCuish asked Sgt McGinnis if the Police knew where Mr Graham was.  Sgt McGinnis said that they were aware of his home address and that she would be happy to check if that corresponded with the address held by the Council and, if necessary, the Police could assist with delivering any letters.


Councillor Blair expressed concern that attempts had not been made before this meeting to find out if Mr Graham would be in attendance.  He questioned why an attempt to contact him by phone had been made last time but not this time.


Councillor Kinniburgh advised that Councillor Blair’s concerns were noted and would be taken on board by the Legal Team.  He said that it had been confirmed that notification of this hearing had been received at the address on the Licence and that there was no reason to suspect that the Licence Holder had moved to a different address.


Councillor Taylor commented on the pattern of behaviour reflected in these charges and that, for his part, it was clear the Committee had to take some action.  He sought clarification on how the Police came to be alerted to these incidents.  Sgt McGinnis advised that the first incident was witnessed by Police Officers and the second was reported by a member of the public.


Councillor Hardie sought and received confirmation that 2 of the charges against Mr Graham were under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 – breach of the peace aggravated by sexual orientation.  Sgt McGinnis explained that this was when there was threatening or abusive behaviour by way of making reference to someone’s sexual orientation and that it became a hate crime.




Police Scotland


Sgt McGinnis advised that the 2 incidents were similar in nature and, the fact that 8 charges were being proceeded by the Procurator Fiscal, indicated that they have taken on board the seriousness of these incidents.  She confirmed that Police Scotland stood by the request to suspend the Licence.


Sgt McGinnis confirmed that she had received a fair hearing.




Councillor Colville said that 1 April was not far away and advised that he thought it would be better to await the outcome of that Court Hearing before jumping to any conclusions.  He commented that he thought he would be correct to say that if the Committee agreed to suspend the Licence, determination of the length of the suspension could not be taken without the Licence Holder or representative being present to address the Committee.


Councillor Kinniburgh sought clarification on that point.  Mrs MacFadyen advised that normally the Licence Holder or their representative was given the opportunity to respond to a suspension.  She said it would be better if they were given that opportunity.  She pointed out that the Licence expired on 21 March 2021 and that it was open to Mr Graham to apply for renewal of that Licence. She confirmed that no application to renew the Licence had been received at this point.


Councillor Redman said that he would support what Councillor Colville  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.