Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 15 October 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 S Biswas, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor R Kerr, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor P Sharrocks and Councillor M B Williams.
Officers:
C Cunningham, J Dixon, T Hodgkinson and S Williams (agenda item 4 only).
Apologies for absence:
Councillor R Arundale, Councillor R Brady, Councillor M Hudson.
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
12/31 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 24 SEPTEMBER 2012

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 24 September 2012 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

12/32 SCHEME OF DELEGATION

The Assistant Director of Environment submitted a report to seek approval for the delegation of a number of powers and duties which were currently the responsibility of the Licensing Committee.

 

S Williams, the Council’s Rights of Way Officer, was in attendance at the meeting to present the report and respond to any queries from Members of the Committee.

 

It was explained that certain functions were currently delegated to the Licensing Committee by the Council and now approval was sought to pass that delegation to officers for efficiency of operating the highway function. The Assistant Director of Environment would then be empowered to delegate the functions to suitably qualified and competent staff.

 

Following a recent review of the Council’s Definitive Map, it was identified that the power to authorise highway furniture was not delegated to the Highways and Transportation Manager and currently sat with the Licensing Committee (S 147 Highways Act 1980). The review identified that many officers did not have the necessary delegated authority to make decisions/give authorisation on behalf of the Council for many of their day to day duties and officers were currently making decisions without having the powers to do so.

 

Appendix 1 to the submitted report provided a list of 10 functions for which approval of delegated powers to the Assistant Director of Environment was sought.

 

ORDERED that the following powers be delegated to the Assistant Director of Environment:-

 

1. Power to grant a street works licence (s.50 NRSWA 1991).

 

2. Power to grant permission for provisions, etc of services, amenities, recreation and refreshment facilities on highway and related powers (s.115E, s. 115F and s.115K HA 1980).

 

3. Power to permit deposit of builders skip on highway (s.139 HA 1980).

 

4. Duty to publish notice in respect of proposal to grant permission under Section 115E of Highways Act 1980 (s.115E HA 1980).

 

5. Power to licence planting, retention and maintenance of trees, etc in part of highway (s.142 HA 1980).

 

6. Power to authorise erection of stiles, etc on footpaths and bridleways (s.147 HA 1980).

 

7. Power to licence works in relation to buildings, etc obstructing the highway (s.169 HA 1980).

 

8. Power to consent to temporary deposits or excavations in streets (s.131 HA 1980).

 

9. Power to dispense with obligation to erect hoarding or fence (s.172 HA 1980).

 

10. Power to restrict the placing of rails, beams, etc over highways (s.178 HA 1980).
 

12/33 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
12/34 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF 33/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 33/12, 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 Principal 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 was first licensed with Middlesbrough Council in January 2007 when he appeared before Members in relation to four offences now considered too old to be of relevance to this application. Members granted his licence on that occasion with a warning that any further offences would result in a review of his licence by the Committee.

 

It was highlighted that in April 2011, Licensing Officers were in the process of arranging for the applicant to appear before Members in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the submitted report, when the applicant advised that he had been disqualified from driving following the offence at 4). The applicant subsequently surrendered his Private Hire Vehicle driver licence at that time.

 

The applicant now appeared with a fresh application. He was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 18 September 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 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 consideration of the application in respect of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 33/12, be deferred until such time that the applicant had successfully completed the Driver Improvement Scheme, at his own expense, and returned to Committee, for the following reasons:-

 

1. Whilst the applicant did not currently hold a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, he had been disqualified from driving, under the totting up procedure, for accruing 9 penalty points on his DVLA licence and Members considered it appropriate for the applicant to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme prior to considering his application, due to his poor history of motoring offences.

 

SUSPENSION OF COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE NO. 10 - ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

ORDERED that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 10, the Committee agree to vary the order of business to deal with Agenda Item 8) as the next item of business to allow the driver in relation to Agenda Item 7) additional time to arrive.

 

12/35 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF 37/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 37/12, 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 accompanied by his wife, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised Members that he had received a telephone call from the driver’s legal representative to advise that he had recently been instructed to act on the driver’s behalf, however, he was unable to attend the meeting due to prior commitments. The driver confirmed that he wished to be legally represented and requested that the Committee consider deferring consideration of the case to its next meeting.

 

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

 

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

 

ORDERED that consideration of the review in respect of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 37/12, be deferred to the next meeting of the Licensing Committee to allow the driver to be legally represented at the meeting.

12/36 APPLICATION FOR COMBINED PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE/HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE: REF 38/12

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: 38/12, 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 Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 7) in the submitted report. The applicant had first appeared before Members in June 2009 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 7). On that occasion, the Committee refused his application due to his poor driving history and the Home Office/Department of Transport guidelines (used by the Licensing Committee at that time) that recommended a period of three years free from conviction in relation to violent offences, such as assault, prior to issuing a licence.

 

The applicant now appeared before Committee with a fresh application. The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 20 September 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 7) 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 Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 38/12, be refused as Members did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold a Combined Licence at this time, for the following reasons:-

 

1. Members considered the applicant to have a propensity to be dishonest.

 

2. Members were concerned that the applicant had committed a range of offences that included dishonesty, violence, road traffic offences, obstructing a Police Officer, breach of Community Punishment Order and offences involving taxis.

 

3. Members were concerned that the applicant had a total disregard for authority as he had breached his community punishment order on two occasions and obstructed a Police Officer by providing false details.

 

4. The applicant's representations at the meeting included that he had been young when he had committed the offences, however, the Committee considered this not to be the case.

 

The Chair highlighted that the Committee recognised the applicant had not had any further convictions since 2008 and that he may wish to re-apply at some point in the future, however, at this point in time the Committee did not consider him to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

 

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

 

SUSPENSION OF COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE NO. 10 - ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

ORDERED that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 10, the Committee agree to vary the order of business to deal with Agenda Item 7) as the next item of business.
 

12/37 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF 35/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 35/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer confirmed that the driver had failed to attend and that he had made no contact with the Licensing Office in relation to his non-attendance.

 

Subsequently, Members determined to defer consideration of the review to allow the driver a further opportunity to attend Committee.

 

ORDERED that consideration of the review in respect of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 35/12, be deferred to the next meeting of the Licensing Committee to allow the driver a further opportunity to attend.
 

12/38 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF 36/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 36/12, 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 Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the submitted report. It was noted that the applicant had three further offences that were not detailed in the report as they were committed when he was a minor.

 

The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 25 September 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 3) 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 36/12, be granted.
 

12/39 ANY OTHER URGENT ITEMS WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR MAY BE CONSIDERED.

There was no urgent business to be considered.

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