The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 26/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
The Councils Legal Representative advised the Committee in relation to the procedure to be followed in relation to this case, in that the complainant should join the meeting first to provide her version of events in relation to the complaint and then withdraw from the meeting whilst the applicant joined the meeting to provide his version of events in relation to the incident and to present his application.
The complainant, accompanied by her mother, joined the meeting. The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The complainant verified her name and address and was asked to present her version of events in relation to the alleged incident that on 28 September 2011. The complainant gave an account of the incident and responded to questions from Members.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the complainant and her mother withdrew from the meeting.
The applicant then joined the meeting. 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 Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to information passed to the Licensing Section by Cleveland Police on 30 September 2011 that the applicant had been arrested in relation to an alleged incident involving a passenger in his private hire vehicle on 28 September 2011. Following receipt of the information, a decision was taken to suspend the applicants Private Hire Vehicle driver licence with immediate effect until the Police investigation had been completed. The decision was taken following consultation with the Chair of the Licensing Committee, Assistant Director of Community Protection and the Councils Legal Services.
On 7 February 2012, the Licensing Section received confirmation from Cleveland Police that the Crown Prosecution Service would not take any further action in relation to the matter as it was not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence available. However, the complainant confirmed that she wished to pursue the matter and it was considered that, in light of the allegation, the matter be considered by Committee.
During the period that the applicants licence was suspended, his licence expired. Therefore, the applicant appeared before Committee with a fresh application. The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 17 July 2012 when he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and offered information in relation to the allegations made against him. This information was detailed within the submitted report.
The applicant confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee.
The applicant spoke in support of his application and responded to questions from Members.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Councils Legal Services and Members Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.
Subsequently all interested parties returned and the Chair announced the Committees decision.
ORDERED that the application for a Private Hire Driver Licence, Ref 26/12, be granted.