Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 26 November 2012
Time:
1:30 p.m.
Place:
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor B Taylor (Chair), Councillor J A Walker (Vice Chair); Councillor Biswas, Harvey, Kerr, Loughborough, G Purvis and Williams.
Officers:
B Carr, M Caveney and T Hodgkinson.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor R Arundale, Councillor R Brady, Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor M Hudson, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor P Sharrocks
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
12/47 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 5 NOVEMBER 2012

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 5 November 2012 were submitted and approved as a correct record..

12/48 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
12/49 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: 157 : REF: 45/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: 157 : Ref: 45/12, 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 friend (who was also his former employer), 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 a complaint received by the Licensing Section on 23 July 2012 regarding the driver's behaviour on Saturday 21 July 2012. The complainant and his witness allege that the driver was plying for hire outside the North Ormesby Institute when he refused to carry a wheelchair bound passenger.

 

A copy of the complaint and witness statements from the two taxi drivers who made the complaint  was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. The driver was interviewed by the Council's Licensing section in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act on 21 September 2012 and a full transcript of the interview was attached at Appendix 2 to the report. members were advised that the incident had also been witnessed by the son of one of the complainant's, however the Licensing Section were unable to obtain a statement as the witness was currently serving in the armed forces in Afghanistan.

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee. The driver spoke in support of his case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee, the Principal Licensing Officer, the Council's Legal Officer and the two witnesses.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer showed Members via google maps the location of the incident and the driver confirmed to Members that he had been parked in the unofficial taxi rank near to the North Ormesby Institute at the time of the incident.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver's witness was invited to address the Committee and respond to questions from a Member of the Committee, the Principal Licensing Officer and the Council's Legal Officer.

 

The two complainant's were invited to address the Committee one by one and respond to questions from Members of the Committee, the driver, the Principal Licensing Officer and the Council's Legal Officer.

 

 It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver and his witness, the two complainants 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 Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: 157 : Ref: 45/12, be suspended for a period of four weeks, for the following reasons:-

 

1. The Committee considered the two complainants to be credible witnesses.

 

2,. The Committee believed that the driver was plying for trade at the time of the incident as he was parked in an area that he knew  was used as an unofficial taxi rank and Members believed that the driver had deliberately refused to allow the wheelchair bound passenger to travel in his vehicle.

 

3.  When Members of the Committee, the Principal Licensing Officer and the Council's Legal Officer asked the driver questions about the incident that occurred on 21 July 2012, the driver contradicted the information contained in the statement he gave to the Licensing Section when interviewed in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act on 21 September 2012.  

 

4. The driver's refusal to take a wheelchair bound passenger constituted an offence under the Town Police Clauses Act. 

 


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


 

12/50 REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 34/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Hackney Carriage Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 34/12, 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 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 in relation to the offence detailed at 1) in the submitted report and the failure of the driver to undertake the Driver Improvement Scheme at his own expense as directed by the Licensing Committee on 2 April 2012.

 

Members were advised that the Licensing Section had written to the driver on a number of occasions to ascertain if he had undertaken the Driver Improvement Scheme. The driver had been interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer and had confirmed that he had been unable to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme due to financial constraints.   

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to speak in support of his case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee, the Principal Licensing Officer and the Council's Legal Officer.

 

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 Hackney Carriage Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 34/12, be suspended until such time that the driver had undertaken the Driver Improvement Scheme at his own expense.

 

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

12/51 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 41/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 41/12, 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 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 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 4) in the submitted report.

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee. 

 

The driver spoke in support of his application 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 Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 41/12 be retained but the driver be required to undertake the Driver Improvement Scheme at his own expense within the next two months.

 

The driver was advised that if he did not complete the Driver Improvement Scheme within the required timescale that there was a possibility that his licence would be suspended. until he had completed the Driver Improvement Scheme.

 

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

12/52 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 46/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 46/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised Members that the applicant had attended but had been called away to undertake the school run and had therefore asked if his application could be deferred to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

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

 
ORDERED that consideration of the application for Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 46/12, be deferred to the next meeting of the Licensing Committee to allow the driver a further opportunity to attend.

12/53 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 47/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 47/12, 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 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 8) 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 case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee, the Principal Licensing Officer and the Council's Legal Officer.

 

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 Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 47/12 be refused for the following reasons:-

 

The applicant had a history of offences, including an offence of possession of an offensive weapon other than a firearm. The Council's Policy Guidance relating to the relevance of convictions, cautions, complaints and driver conduct when considering applications under the provisions of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (MIscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 specified that an application for a licence would normally be refused unless a period of at least 3-5 years, free from conviction, had lapsed since the date of the conviction or the completion of any sentence imposed, whichever is the later date.

 

Members also considered the failure to provide a specimen to be a particularly serious offence and the Chair advised that at this point in time the Committee did not consider the applicant 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.
 

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