Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 23 April 2012
Time:
1:30 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor B E Taylor (Chair), Councillor J A Walker (Vice Chair);
Councillor R Arundale, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor R Kerr, Councillor E Lancaster, Councillor P Purvis (substitute for Councillor G Purvis), Councillor P Sharrocks, Councillor M B Williams
Officers:
B Carr (Agenda items 7 onwards), C Cunningham, J Dixon (Agenda items 1 to 6 only), and T Hodgkinson.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor R Brady, Councillor M Hudson, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor K J Morby, Councillor G Purvis
Declarations of interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest made by Members at this pont of the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
11/949 MINUTES OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 2 APRIL 2012

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 2 April 2012 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
 

11/950 ITEM FOR INFORMATION

REVOCATION OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE, REF 76/11 - RESULT OF MAGISTRATES COURT APPEAL

 

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted a report to advise Members of the outcome of a recent Magistrates Court Appeal.

 

On 9 January 2012 the Licensing Committee considered the suitability of Driver Ref 76/11 to continue to hold a combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence in light of a number of complaints regarding the driver’s behaviour. Members considered evidence presented by two Police Officers and a Middlesbrough Council Parking Officer.

 

Members chose to revoke the driver’s licence on the grounds that there had been two separate complaints submitted in respect of the driver’s behaviour and accepted that the statements provided by the complainants were a true reflection of events. Members believed that the driver had acted wholly inappropriately and that his behaviour had been unacceptable.

 

The driver submitted an appeal against the decision and the matter was considered at Teesside Magistrates Court on 27 March 2012. The Court chose to dismiss the appeal therefore the driver was no longer a licensed driver.


NOTED


 

11/951 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC.

ORDERED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that, if present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
 

EXEMPT
11/952 REVIEW - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE
NO. 183 - REF NO: 14/12.


REVIEW - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO. 14/12

 

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 14/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The driver, who was in attendance at the meeting verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

A witness statement taken from the complainant was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and a witness statement submitted by the complainant’s mother was attached at Appendix 2. A copy of the driver’s statement in relation to the incident was attached at Appendix 3.

 

The complainant, accompanied by her mother, was in attendance at the meeting and both confirmed the contents of their respective statements.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report in relation to a complaint submitted to the Licensing Section regarding the driver’s alleged behaviour on 27 December 2011. The complainant, who was registered blind and required the assistance of a trained guide dog, and her mother, alleged that the driver was unwilling to carry them as passengers in his vehicle as he did not have a dog guard fitted to his vehicle.

 

The driver was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 10 April 2012 when he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and offered an explanation in relation to the incident on 27 December 2011. The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

The driver was invited to provide his version of events in relation to the incident and answered questions from Members of the Committee and the Principal Licensing Officer.

 

Both witnesses were invited to provide their version of events in relation to the incident and answered questions from Members of the Committee and the Principal Licensing Officer.

 

All parties were afforded the opportunity to respond and sum up and to answer further questions from Members of the Committee.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and all interested parties and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council’s Legal Services and Members’ Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.

 

Subsequently all interested parties returned and the Chair announced the Committee’s decision.

 

ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 14/12, be suspended for a period of two weeks, for the following reasons:-

 

1. The Committee believed that the driver deliberately refused to allow the complainant to travel in his vehicle, knowing that she had an assistance dog.

 

2. In accordance with Section 168 of the Equality Act 2010, a taxi must allow an assistance dog to travel with a disabled person and to remain with that person.

 

3. The Committee considered that the driver must ensure he treated all passengers with respect and to assist vulnerable persons, and that he had not done so in this case.

 

The driver was reminded of his right of appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days from the date of the decision.

11/953 APPLICATION - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE
REF NO: 12/12


APPLICATION - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO. 12/12

 

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 12/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The applicant was in attendance at the meeting and verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case relating to the offence detailed at (1) in the submitted report.

 

The applicant confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to speak in support of his case and answer Members’ questions.

 

The applicant presented his case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee, the Principal Licensing Officer and the Council’s legal representative.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council’s Legal Services and Members’ Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.

 

ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 12/12, be granted but the applicant be given a warning about his future behaviour.

 

In making the decision to grant the licence the Committee considered the Council’s Policy Guidance on Convictions involving dishonesty and the fact that the applicant had only one conviction involving dishonesty and more than five years had elapsed since the date of that conviction.
 

11/954 APPLICATION - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE
REF NO: 13/12.


APPLICATION - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO. 13/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 13/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The applicant was in attendance at the meeting and verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case relating to the offences detailed at (1) to (3) in the submitted report. A letter from the victim’s father was appended to the report.

 

The applicant confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to speak in support of his case and answer Members’ questions. The applicant submitted copies of a certificate he had obtained for a course he had undertaken in 2010 at Middlesbrough College in relation to taxis and customer safety. The applicant also submitted a statement apologising for the incident and refuting some of the allegations contained in the statement from the victim’s father. A letter from the HM Courts & Tribunals Service advising that there were no outstanding fine accounts in respect of the applicant was appended to the applicant’s statement.

 

The applicant presented his case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee, the Principal Licensing Officer and the Council’s legal representative.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council’s Legal Services and Members’ Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.

 

ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 13/12, be granted but the applicant be given a warning about his future behaviour.

 

In making the decision to grant the licence the Committee considered the Council’s Policy Guidance on Convictions in relation to violent offences and the fact that more than four years had elapsed since the date of the applicant’s conviction for battery. The applicant had also apologised for his behaviour and had attended a college course in relation to taxis and customer safety and had fitted a hands free phone kit to his car.

11/955 ANY OTHER URGENT ITEMS WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR MAY BE CONSIDERED.

 
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