Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Action to address non-compliance in premises allowing shisha smoking

Report of the Chief Operating Officer – Neighbourhoods

 

This report provides an update on the work being carried out to address the issues of non-compliance in shisha cafes across the city.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Operating Officer, Neighbourhoods that provided an update on the work being carried out to address the issues of non-compliance in shisha cafes across the city.

 

The Executive Member for Neighbourhoods referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -

 

·         The legislative background and health background to tackling smoking, noting that Manchester had the highest premature mortality rates in the country for the three major smoking related conditions: lung cancer, heart disease and stroke;

·         Describing the joint approach of the Population Health and Wellbeing Team and the Licensing and Out of Hours teams to address the breaches of the Health Act in some shisha premises, as well as the risks of smoking shisha generally;

·         Information on the number of shisha premises per ward;

·         Describing shisha smoking in the context of the premises licensing regime and planning legislation;

·         The issues and concerns associated with such premises that included health implications, tax avoidance, breaches of planning legislation and immigration offences;

·         The multi agency response to these concerns including an update on the Shisha Task Group that provided a forum for partners to share intelligence about these premises and plan multi agency operations;

·         Describing the work undertaken to raise public awareness of the health impacts of smoking shisha, noting that recent analysis showed that smoking rates are now highest in age groups under 25; and

·         Information on the enforcement activities undertaken by the Licensing and Out of Hours Team that included the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices and prosecutions, accompanied by case studies.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

·         Information regarding the health implications of smoking shisha should be published in a variety of languages;

·         Information was sought regarding the laws relating to shisha premises; and

·         What was being done to protect under 18’s who attend such premises.

 

The Head of Planning, Building Control and Licensing informed the Committee that a Premises License was not required as shisha bars generally did not offer any regulated entertainment activities, such as serving hot food after 11pm and/or selling alcohol. However, the Development Compliance Team did investigate alleged breaches of planning control, including, but not limited to, non-compliance with planning permissions, unauthorised operational development, material changes of use of land or buildings and the display of advertisements.

 

The Head of Planning, Building Control and Licensing advised that in addition to the above, a multi agency approach had been developed with such partners as Greater Manchester Police, The Fire Service and HM Revenue and Customs so that a range of powers could be exercised to address issues found at such premises in a coordinated and targeted manner.

 

In response to the comments made regarding the need to safeguard young people the Strategic Lead Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety said that they did work closely with Children’s Services and the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub to address any safeguarding concerns. 

 

The Executive Member for Neighbourhoods described the significant health dangers associated with smoking shisha, stating that research studies had shown that smoking a shisha pipe for one hour was roughly equivalent to smoking one hundred cigarettes. He acknowledged the comment regarding the information leaflets being available in different languages, stating that this would be reviewed.  

 

The Executive Member for Neighbourhoods said that whilst smoking shisha was in itself not illegal, it was however very difficult due to the weather to operate such a business legally. He further commented that the approach taken to tackling shisha premises was widely supported by local communities and that action would be taken against any premises who tried to obstruct officers in carrying out their lawful duties.

 

Decision

 

To note the report.

 

Supporting documents: