Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 14 May 2012
Time:
1:30 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor Taylor (Chair), Councillor J Walker (Vice Chair); Councillors Arundale, Biswas, Harvey, Kerr, Mawston, G Purvis, P Sharrocks and Williams.
Officers:
B Carr, C Cunningham and T Hodgkinson
Apologies for absence:
Councillor R Brady, Councillor M Hudson, Councillor E Lancaster, Councillor K J Morby
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
11/1022 MINUTES OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 23 APRIL 2012.

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 23 April 2012 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

11/1023 DELEGATION OF POWERS UNDER THE LICENSING ACT 2003, AS AMENDED BY THE POLICE REFORM AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT 2011.

The Director of Legal and Democratic Services submitted a report to advise Members of amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and to seek endorsement of the appropriate delegation of powers to officers.


Members were advised that as a result of the above amendments which came into force on 25 April 2012 the licensing authority had been added to the list of Responsible Authorities. As a result of the amendments, the Licensing Authority now had the power to make representations to applications in relation to premises licences, club premises certificates and provisional statements and any variations to them. The licensing authority also had the power to apply for a review of a licence or such other authorisations.

 

The amendments to the Act also gave licensing authorities the power to suspend licences or authorisations in respect of the non-payment of annual fees for licences.

 

In order to carry out the above functions it was proposed that Members delegate the power to make representations in relation to applications and variations, apply for reviews, suspend licences or authorisations for non payment of annual fees to the Assistant Director of Community Protection.

 

It was also proposed that where the licensing authority intended to make representations at a hearing or make an application for a review of a licence that the officer making the representations or application for a review would be treated as a party to the hearing in accordance with the Licensing Sub Committees usual procedures and the Licensing Act (Hearings) Regulations 2005. It was also proposed that the officer designated to make representations or submit an application for a review should be a different person to the officer presenting the Committee report or commenting on the report on behalf of the authority.

 

ORDERED that Members delegate the following functions under the Licensing Act 2003 as amended by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to the Assistant Director of Community Protection or any successor role:-

 

1. The power to make representations in respect of applications for or variations to premises licences, club 

    premises certificates and provisional statements;

 

2. The power to apply for a review of a licence or other such authorisation under the Act;

 

3. The power to suspend a licence or other such authorisation under the Act for failure to pay the annual fee;

 

4. That where a hearing is necessary to consider representations or an application for a review, the officer

     making the representations or application will be treated as a party to the hearing in accordance with the

     Licensing Sub Committees usual procedures and the Licensing Act (Hearings) Regulations 2005;

 

5. That when it is necessary for an officer to attend such a hearing in order to present a report or comment on a

     report to the Licensing Sub Committee, that officer should not be the same person as the officer making

     representations or applying for a review.
 

NOTED

 

11/1024 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
Reports of the Assistant Director Community Protection Service
11/1025 REVIEW - PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 16/12.

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 16/12, 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 14/12, be retained but the applicant be given a warning about his future behaviour.
 

11/1026 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 18/12.

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 18/12, 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 (5) in the submitted report. The Principal Licensing Officer clarified that the driver had completed the Driver Improvement Scheme on 15 October 2010.

 

The applicant advised that three of the points listed in the Committee report had occurred before he was licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle Driver otherwise he confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

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

 

In response to a query regarding whether the applicant had been ordered to pay any costs to the Council as a result of losing his subsequent appeal to the Teesside Magistrates Court against the Licensing Committee’s decision to refuse his previous application on 12 December 2011, the applicant advised that he was not aware that he had been required to pay costs and that he had not received any paperwork with regard to payment of them.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised Members that full costs of £279 had been awarded against the applicant to be repaid at £20 per week and he clarified whether the applicant had been present at the court hearing. The applicant confirmed that he was present at the court hearing and stated that his solicitor had advised that he would receive a letter explaining everything to him.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer subsequently made enquiries with the Magistrates Court and the Council’s Legal section and advised that the procedure for the collection of fines and costs had been amended the previous year. The Magistrates Court were unable to enforce the payment of the above and as a consequence a decision had been made for the Council to liaise with defendants with regard to the payment of fees or costs and for the Council to carry out any subsequent recovery action.

 

The Chair of the Committee advised that Members should make a decision on all the information contained in the report however as there was some doubt whether the applicant had received any notification regarding the payment of costs then Members should not take into consideration the non payment of costs when making a decision.

 

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 the application for Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 18/12, be refused as all of the Members did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to drive a Private Hire Vehicle for the following reasons:-

1. The applicant had accrued a total of 15 points on his licence over a period of three years as a licensed driver;

 

2. Members did not consider the applicant to be a safe driver in light of his convictions for speeding and the use

    of a mobile phone whilst driving;

 

3. The applicant had previously been issued with two warnings in 2008 and 2010 with regard to his future

    conduct;

 

4. That despite the applicant having undertaken the Driver Improvement Scheme the assessor had indicated 

     that there was still room for improvement particularly in relation to speed and safety issues.

 

Members made their decision in line with the Council's Guidance on Convictions which states that "a significant history of offences showing a disregard for safety may result in the application being refused or licence revoked unless a period of at least 1-3 years, free from conviction, has elapsed, since the date of the last conviction or reinstatement of the DVLA licence, whichever is the later. The driver's licence was restored in April 2011, which was just over one year ago and Members considered that this time period was insufficient for the applicant to demonstrate that he was a safe driver.

 

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

11/1027 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 19/12.

The Assistant Director Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: No. 19/12, 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 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 in relation to the applicant’s 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 application and answer Members’ questions.

 

The applicant presented his case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee.

 

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.

 

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

 

ORDERED that the application for Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: No. 19/12 be granted.
 

11/1028 ANY OTHER BUSINESS - PAYMENT OF FEES AND COSTS

Members requested that the Principal Licensing Officer check that all outstanding fees and costs awarded to the Council at the Magistrates Court throughout the past year had been processed by the Council.

 

ORDERED that the Principal Licensing Officer report back to a future Licensing Committee on the situation with outstanding fees and costs awarded to the Council at the Magistrates Court.

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