Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 18 June 2012
Time:
1:30 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor R Arundale, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor P Sharrocks, Councillor B E Taylor, Councillor J A Walker, Councillor M B Williams
Officers:
B Carr, C Cunningham and J Hodgson.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor S Biswas, Councillor R Brady, Councillor M Hudson, Councillor R Kerr, Councillor E Lancaster, Councillor T Mawston
Declarations of interest:

There were no declarations of interest made by Members at this point of the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
12/1 MINUTES

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 14 May 2012 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
 

12/2 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
12/3 APPLICATION - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF. NO.20/12

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: 20/12, 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, who was accompanied by his prospective employer verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Senior 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 Senior Licensing Officer advised Members that the offences detailed at (2) to (3) of the report had been dealt with via a fixed penalty notice and as such did not appear on the applicant’s CRB disclosure form. The Council would therefore have been unaware of these offences if the applicant had not declared them on his application form.

 

The applicant 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 applicant’s prospective employer spoke in support of the applicant’s application.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant, the applicant’s prospective employer 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 Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: No. 20/12 be granted but the driver be given a warning about his future behaviour.

 

In granting the application Members acknowledged the honesty of the applicant in declaring the offences detailed at (2) and (3) of the report which would not have otherwise been drawn to the attention of the Committee.

12/4 REVIEW - COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF. NO.15/12

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: 15/12, and Hackney Carriage Driver Licence, Ref: 17/12 where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer advised Members that a complaint had been received about the driver licence no Ref: 15/12 from another member of the taxi trade (Hackney Carriage Driver Licence 192: Ref 17/12). The driver had subsequently made a counter allegation against the other taxi driver and as a consequence a decision was made to refer both complaints to the Licensing Committee.

 

The Chair invited both drivers into the room along with the legal representative in respect of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 15/12. The two drivers and the legal representative were asked whether they would have any objections if both reports were considered at the same time with both the driver’s and the legal representative present. The two drivers and the legal representative confirmed that they had no objections.

 

The Chair advised that additional information had been received from driver licence No Ref: 17/12. The other driver and his legal representative confirmed that they had received a copy of the additional information which included a statement from driver licence No Ref: 17/12 and information obtained by the driver from Cleveland Police. The Senior Licensing Officer circulated the additional information to all Members of the Committee and the two drivers and the legal representative left the room to give Members the opportunity to consider the additional information.

 

The two drivers and the legal representative were invited back into the room and the Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The Chair asked both drivers and the legal representative whether they would like the witnesses present when the Senior Licensing presented the reports. The legal representative for driver licence No Ref: 15/12 confirmed that he would prefer the Senior Licensing Officer to go through the reports without the witnesses present.

 

The driver licence No Ref 15/12 verified his name and address and his legal representative confirmed that they had received a copy of the report.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report in respect of driver licence No Ref: 15/12 setting out the circumstances of the case relating to the complaint. The driver and his legal representative confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

The driver licence No Ref: 17/12 verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report in respect of driver licence No Ref: 17/12 setting out the circumstances of the case relating to the complaint. It had been previously highlighted that the address contained in the report for the driver was incorrect. The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

The Chair asked both drivers if there was anything that they wished to add to their statements. Both drivers confirmed that there was nothing further to add to their statements.

 

All Members of the Committee, the two drivers and the legal representative were shown a copy of the CCTV footage dated 12 November 2012.

 

The legal representative for driver licence No Ref: 15/12 presented his case and the driver responded to questions from Members of the Committee and comments from the other driver. The driver provided Members with his version of the events that occurred on 12 November 2012.

 

The driver licence No Ref: 17/12 presented his case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee. The driver also provided Members with his version of the events that occurred on 12 November 2012. It was confirmed that the witness whose statement was included at Appendix 2 of the reports had had to leave because of work commitments.

 

All parties were afforded the opportunity to respond and sum up.

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 to the room and the Chair asked both drivers and the legal representative if they would like to hear the decision in respect of both complaints with all parties present. Both drivers and the legal representative confirmed that they had no objections to all parties remaining in the room and the Chair subsequently announced the decisions.

 

ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 15/12, be suspended for a period of four weeks, for the following reasons:-

 

1. The Committee believed that the driver licence No Ref: 17/12 was going about his lawful business as a taxi driver waiting at the rank when the CCTV footage showed that driver licence No Ref: 15/12 had double parked at the rank, displayed aggressive behaviour and initiated the incident that occurred on 12 November 2012. The driver licence No Ref: 15/12 approached the other driver’s vehicle, leant into it and when driver licence No Ref: 17/12 had tried to close the door, driver licence No Ref: 15/12 kicked the door. Witnesses had also confirmed that driver licence No Ref: 15/12 had again approached the vehicle of driver licence No Ref: 17/12 and hit the driver.

 

2. The Committee found the driver licence No Ref: 17/12 and the supporting witness statements to be credible.

 

3. The Committee considered that the behaviour of driver licence No Ref:15/12 on 12 November 2012 and the actions towards driver licence No Ref:17/12 prior to the incident had resulted in an harassment warning being issued by the Police in accordance with the police log attached at Appendix 3 to the report.

 

4. The Committee considered the behaviour of driver licence No Ref: 15/12 to be unacceptable for a taxi driver in Middlesbrough and imposed the suspension to deter such conduct in the future.

 

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

 

In the case of the Review of Hackney Carriage Driver Licence HD 192 - Ref: 17/12:

 

ORDERED that no action be taken in respect of the complaint regarding driver licence No: Ref: 17/12 and that Hackney Carriage Driver Licence, Ref 17/12, be retained for the following reasons:-

 

1. The Committee considered driver licence Ref: 17/12 to be a credible witness and at least one other witness had supported the driver’s version of events.

 

2. The previous complaints and the complaint in respect of the incident that had occurred on 12 November 2012 had resulted in the Police issuing a harassment warning to driver licence No Ref: 15/12.

 

3. At the time of the incident the Committee considered that driver licence Ref: 17/12 was going about his lawful business as a taxi driver at a taxi rank.


 

12/5 REVIEW - HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE - REF. NO. 17/12

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: 15/12, and Hackney Carriage Driver Licence, Ref: 17/12 where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer advised Members that a complaint had been received about the driver licence no Ref: 15/12 from another member of the taxi trade (Hackney Carriage Driver Licence 192: Ref 17/12). The driver had subsequently made a counter allegation against the other taxi driver and as a consequence a decision was made to refer both complaints to the Licensing Committee.

 

The Chair invited both drivers into the room along with the legal representative in respect of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 15/12. The two drivers and the legal representative were asked whether they would have any objections if both reports were considered at the same time with both the driver’s and the legal representative present. The two drivers and the legal representative confirmed that they had no objections.

 

The Chair advised that additional information had been received from driver licence No Ref: 17/12. The other driver and his legal representative confirmed that they had received a copy of the additional information which included a statement from driver licence No Ref: 17/12 and information obtained by the driver from Cleveland Police. The Senior Licensing Officer circulated the additional information to all Members of the Committee and the two drivers and the legal representative left the room to give Members the opportunity to consider the additional information.

 

The two drivers and the legal representative were invited back into the room and the Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The Chair asked both drivers and the legal representative whether they would like the witnesses present when the Senior Licensing presented the reports. The legal representative for driver licence No Ref: 15/12 confirmed that he would prefer the Senior Licensing Officer to go through the reports without the witnesses present.

 

The driver licence No Ref 15/12 verified his name and address and his legal representative confirmed that they had received a copy of the report.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report in respect of driver licence No Ref: 15/12 setting out the circumstances of the case relating to the complaint. The driver and his legal representative confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

The driver licence No Ref: 17/12 verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report in respect of driver licence No Ref: 17/12 setting out the circumstances of the case relating to the complaint. It had been previously highlighted that the address contained in the report for the driver was incorrect. The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

The Chair asked both drivers if there was anything that they wished to add to their statements. Both drivers confirmed that there was nothing further to add to their statements.

 

All Members of the Committee, the two drivers and the legal representative were shown a copy of the CCTV footage dated 12 November 2012.

 

The legal representative for driver licence No Ref: 15/12 presented his case and the driver responded to questions from Members of the Committee and comments from the other driver. The driver provided Members with his version of the events that occurred on 12 November 2012.

 

The driver licence No Ref: 17/12 presented his case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee. The driver also provided Members with his version of the events that occurred on 12 November 2012. It was confirmed that the witness whose statement was included at Appendix 2 of the reports had had to leave because of work commitments.

 

All parties were afforded the opportunity to respond and sum up.

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 to the room and the Chair asked both drivers and the legal representative if they would like to hear the decision in respect of both complaints with all parties present. Both drivers and the legal representative confirmed that they had no objections to all parties remaining in the room and the Chair subsequently announced the decisions.

 

ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 15/12, be suspended for a period of four weeks, for the following reasons:-

 

1. The Committee believed that the driver licence No Ref: 17/12 was going about his lawful business as a taxi driver waiting at the rank when the CCTV footage showed that driver licence No Ref: 15/12 had double parked at the rank, displayed aggressive behaviour and initiated the incident that occurred on 12 November 2012. The driver licence No Ref: 15/12 approached the other driver’s vehicle, leant into it and when driver licence No Ref: 17/12 had tried to close the door, driver licence No Ref: 15/12 kicked the door. Witnesses had also confirmed that driver licence No Ref: 15/12 had again approached the vehicle of driver licence No Ref: 17/12 and hit the driver.

 

2. The Committee found the driver licence No Ref: 17/12 and the supporting witness statements to be credible.

 

3. The Committee considered that the behaviour of driver licence No Ref:15/12 on 12 November 2012 and the actions towards driver licence No Ref:17/12 prior to the incident had resulted in an harassment warning being issued by the Police in accordance with the police log attached at Appendix 3 to the report.

 

4. The Committee considered the behaviour of driver licence No Ref: 15/12 to be unacceptable for a taxi driver in Middlesbrough and imposed the suspension to deter such conduct in the future.

 

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

 

In the case of the Review of Hackney Carriage Driver Licence HD 192 - Ref: 17/12:

 

ORDERED that no action be taken in respect of the complaint regarding driver licence No: Ref: 17/12 and that Hackney Carriage Driver Licence, Ref 17/12, be retained for the following reasons:-

 

1. The Committee considered driver licence Ref: 17/12 to be a credible witness and at least one other witness had supported the driver’s version of events.

 

2. The previous complaints and the complaint in respect of the incident that had occurred on 12 November 2012 had resulted in the Police issuing a harassment warning to driver licence No Ref: 15/12.

 

3. At the time of the incident the Committee considered that driver licence Ref: 17/12 was going about his lawful business as a taxi driver at a taxi rank.



 

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