Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 13 August 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); Councillors R Arundale, S Biswas, T Harvey, T Mawston, G Purvis and M B Williams.
Officers:
J Dixon, J Hodgson and B Roberts.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor R Kerr, Councillor P Sharrocks.
Declarations of interest:

 

Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor J Walker Non pecuniary Agenda Item 6 - Application for PHVDL, Ref No: 25/12 - Ward Councillor/recognised applicant.
     
Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
12/13 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 23 JULY 2012

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

12/14 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
12/15 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF: 26/12

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 Council’s 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 applicant’s 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 Council’s 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 applicant’s 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 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 a Private Hire Driver Licence, Ref 26/12, be granted.
 

12/16 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHCILE DRIVER LICENCE - REF: 25/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 25/12, 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 in attendance at the meeting, 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 the offences detailed at 1) to 14) in the submitted report. The applicant had previously appeared before Committee in April 2011 when Members considered his application for a Private Hire Vehicle driver licence and, on that occasion, chose to refuse the application due to the applicant’s history of convictions involving dishonestly and his disregard for the Licensing Authority’s policies and procedures.

 

The driver was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 30 July 2012 when he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and offered explanations in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 14) in 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 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 in respect of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 25/12, be refused as the Committee did not consider the applicant to be fit and proper to hold a licence for the following reasons:-

 

1. The applicant had a history of convictions involving dishonesty. The Council's Policy Guidance in relation to convictions involving dishonesty advised that if an applicant was convicted of more than one offence involving dishonesty, showing a propensity to be continually dishonest, an application would normally be refused regardless of the time lapsed since the conviction or the completion of the sentence imposed.
 

2. The Committee believed the applicant to have a total disregard for the Licensing Authority and its policies and procedures.
 

3. Members considered that a longer period free from convictions was required before the applicant should re-apply for a licence.

 

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

12/17 APPLICATION FOR COMBINED PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE/HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE: REF 27/12

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: 27/12, 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 in attendance at the meeting, 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 the offences detailed at 1) to 4) in the submitted report. The applicant was previously licensed with Middlesbrough Council in December 2007 and appeared before members in August 2009 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) and 2). On that occasion, he was permitted to retain his licence but required to completed the Driver Improvement Scheme due to concern expressed regarding his motoring convictions. The applicant completed the Driver Improvement Scheme in November 2009 and a copy of the driver assessment sheet from the course was attached at Appendix 1.

 

The applicant submitted an application to renew his licence in November 2010 and it came to the attention of the Licensing Section that he had failed to report the offence detailed at 3) in the submitted report. In December 2010, the applicant advised the Licensing Section in relation to the offence at 4). The applicant was referred to Committee in January 2011 when Members decided to revoke his licence. The applicant subsequently appealed the decision and Teesside Magistrates Court upheld the Committee’s decision in May 2011.

 

The applicant now appeared before Committee with a fresh application. The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 2 August 2012 when he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and confirmed his previous explanations in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 4) in 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 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 in respect of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver Vehicle Licence, Ref 27/12, be granted but that the applicant be issued with a warning regarding his future conduct. The applicant was reminded of the dangers of using a mobile telephone whilst driving and in relation to excess speeding. The driver was also reminded of the requirement to report any offences to the Licensing Office, as required by condition of his licence.
 

12/18 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF : 23/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 23/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

Members were reminded that the matter was due to be considered by Committee on 23 July 2012, however, the driver failed to attend and Members subsequently decided to defer consideration of the matter to the next meeting to afford the driver a further opportunity to attend.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer advised that the driver had contacted the Licensing Section prior to the meeting to advise that he would not be attending as he no longer intended to renew his licence which was due to expire on 30 November 2012.

 

ORDERED that, due to the driver's intention not to renew his licence or attend Committee for review of his licence, the Licensing Section write to the driver requesting that he surrenders his Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 23/12.
 

12/19 ANY OTHER URGENT ITEMS WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR MAY BE CONSIDERED.

There were no urgent items for consideration.

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