Meeting documents

Safety and Licensing Committee
Tuesday 1 July 2003

Date of meeting: 1 July 2003
Document type: Minutes
Committee: Safety and Licensing Panel
Attendees: Sybil Bruce Gary Phipps Robert Vines Jonquil Naish Albert Cook Mike Skinner
Title: SAFETY AND LICENSING PANEL, Minutes of meeting 1 July 2003

Abstract (plain text version of the report)
Subject to acceptance as
a correct record at the
next Meeting

REGULATORY BOARD

SAFETY AND LICENSING PANEL

MINUTES of a meeting of the Regulatory Board, Safety and licensing Panel held on Tuesday 1 July 2003 at Shire Hall Gloucester.

Membership:

Sybil Bruce P * Albert Cook P
Gary Phipps P Anthony Lynch A
Robert Vines P Mike Skinner P
Jonquil Naish P

P = Present: A = Apologies/Absence: S = Substitute: * = Chairperson

1. ELECTION OF CHAIRPERSON-Councillor Bruce was duly elected as Chairperson for the meeting.

2. APOLOGIES - Apologies were received fro Councillor Lynch

3. PUBLIC QUESTIONS –No public questions were received.

4. MEMBERS' QUESTIONS - No members' questions were received.

5. APPLICATION FOR ASSENT TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EXPLOSIVES MAGAZINE AT HANGAR 42, D SITE, ASTON DOWN, STROUD, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, GL6 8 GA.- The Panel considered the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

Following an introduction of the Panel members and officers, the Chairperson explained the procedure to be followed.

The applicant, Mr John Nicholls was then invited to explain the application and provide any information that he felt relevant to the application.

Mr Nicholls provided background information of the company, Firework Factors, including a summary of Firework Factors role, position in the market, relationship with retailers and investment. Copies of company brochures were provided to the Panel.

Mr Nicholls emphasized that the company did not wish to be involved in the manufacture of fireworks and dealt with predominantly sealed fireworks but may on occasions have to repack damaged boxes.

Mr Nicholls currently had a licence issued by the Health and Safety for a magazine near Wetherby, Yorkshire. The reason for moving was mainly for economic reasons, particularly as the majority of the customers were based in the South of England.

Mr. Nicholls then provided information on the location of Hangar 41 and was aware that a site visit by the Panel members had taken place earlier that day. The Panel were informed that the Health and Safety Executive were content with the building and storage of the fireworks. Mr Nicholls informed the Panel that the fireworks were very safe and if there were a fire in the hangar the fireworks would simply burn themselves out. The hangar was a former aircraft hangar built of very solid concrete walls and a concrete roof.

The proposed trailer in the yard would like the main building, have security systems by way of a wireless alarm system connected to the security gate and with a 24 hour security presence at the site. An application to store the trailer in the hangar instead of being left in a secure area outside the hangar was being considered by the H & S Executive on Monday, the 7th July.

In respect of the packing shed, the rules were such that only 6 boxes of fireworks could be repacked at any one time. Mr Nicholls informed the Panel that in the case of fireworks catching fire in the packing shed there would not be an explosion, as the fireworks would just burn themselves out. There was a water supply to the hangar, which was currently being repaired.

An explanation regarding the transportation of the fireworks from entry into the country to the magazine and onto the customer was provided including the identification and plating of the vehicles and the professional drivers used.

The Panel raised a series of questions and sought clarification on a number of issues as well as making observations which they would invite the H&SE to consider when granting a licence ;
- the likely consequences of a fire in the building
- the amount of fire extinguishers, in particular hand held extinguishers for use on site
- the safety of the packaging used
- the security of the hangar and probably of more concern the security of the trailer
- the law regarding the storage of the fireworks at the outlets
- the likely number of damaged packages in a season
- the responsibility for checks on the licensed premises (H&SE)

The Panel also reiterated concerns pertaining to the security of the site and the potential for unauthorized access. Mr Nicholls informed the Panel that he was prepared if necessary for the alarm system to activate at the security gate and direct to a appropriate police station.

The Panel also requested that Peter Jones, Executive Director:Community Services and Chief Fire Officer draft a suitable Condition to the licence regarding an adequate water supply to the site and seeking guidance on hand held fire extinguishers in the Hangar.

The Chairperson asked Mr Nicholls if there was anything additional he wished to say to which the response was no. The Chairperson then asked if Mr Nicholls was content that he had received a fair hearing to which the response was “Absolutely”.

Mr Nicholls then withdrew from the meeting and the Panel then considered the application in depth and at some length.

RESOLVED

THAT the application for assent to the establishment of an explosives magazine at Hangar 41, D Site, Aston Down, Stroud, Gloucestershire be given subject to a number of observations which they would invite the H&SE to consider when granting the Licence and subject to a condition of assent as follow;

Water for fire fighting purposes is to be provided to the written satisfaction of the County’s Chief Fire Officer prior to the site being operational. Such provisions to be maintained for as long as the site is operational as a magazine for explosives.

The observations of the Panel were as follows:

i) The members of the Panel were concerned with the evidence presented by the applicant in relation to fire safety issues, in that the applicant was not contemplating the installation of hand held fire extinguishers on site. The Panel therefore requests that the H&SE advise the applicant, prior to the grant of the licence, on the installation of fully maintained and regularly inspected hand held extinguishers on site in a quantity that the H&SE consider appropriate.

ii) The members of the Panel were also concerned with the evidence presented to the applicant in relation to two practical points, particularly in relation to the potential for unauthorized access to the hangar issues. Whilst it is not in dispute that the hangar doors are substantial in construction, the access door location within the hangar door is merely secured by an open padlock an present. It is understood that the applicant will be installing a wireless sensored burglar alarm on site but we understand that the alarm will be linked to the security gate. The Panel is concerned that any alarm system would have more effect if it were linked to the emergency services rather than just to the security gate.

iii) The members of the Panel are concerned that the on site risk assessments should be to the complete satisfaction of the H&SE before the licence is granted.

Chairperson.

Meeting finished at 15:50