Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 5 November 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 R Arundale, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor R Brady, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor D G Loughborough, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor G Purvis and Councillor M B Williams.
Officers:
C Cunningham, J Dixon and J Hodgson.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor M Hudson, Councillor R Kerr, Councillor P Sharrocks.
Declarations of interest:

 

Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor Loughborough Non-pecuniary
 

Agenda Item 8 – Driver’s representative known to him.

 

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
12/40 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 15 OCTOBER 2012

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 15 October 2012 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

12/41 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
12/42 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE 118: REF: 39/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 39/12, 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 a complaint regarding the driver’s behaviour on 11 April 2012.

 

It was noted that the driver was first licensed with the Council in May 1994 and appeared before Members in relation to offences committed prior to 1992 and, therefore, no longer relevant to this application. On that occasion his licence was granted. The driver appeared before Members in June 2000 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) and 2) in the report and was permitted to retain his licence but given a warning regarding his future conduct. He again appeared before Members in June 2001 in relation to the offence at 3) when he was issued with a strong warning. He appeared before Committee again in July 2004 in relation to the offence at 4) when he was permitted to retain his licence on condition that he completed the Driver Improvement Scheme. As the driver allowed his licence to expire he did not undertake the scheme.

 

In November 2008, the driver appeared before Members and all of the offences, detailed at 1) to 7) in the report, were considered. The Committee refused his application due to his previous convictions and the two previous warnings issued by the Committee in relation to his behaviour. The applicant next appeared with a fresh application in April 2009. On that occasion his application was granted but he was required to completed the Driver Improvement Scheme within three months. There was an unavoidable delay in the driver undertaking the course, however, he did complete it in September 2009 and a copy of the instructor’s report sheet was attached at Appendix 1 for information.

 

The driver last appeared before Members in October 2009 following the offence detailed at 8), when he was permitted to retain his licence but issued with a strong warning regarding future behaviour.

 

The driver now appeared before Committee following a complaint submitted by an ambulance driver relating to his behaviour on 11 April 2012. The driver was initially interviewed by a Licensing Officer on 13 June 2012 in relation to the complaint. He was subsequently interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 2 October 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 8) in the submitted report.

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address 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 Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 39/12, be retained. The Committee expressed concern in relation to the confusion surrounding the parking permits issued by the hospital to the driver's operator and advised that clarification in relation to the arrangements would be sought by the Council from the hospital and confirmed to taxi operators.
 

12/43 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 Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The driver, 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 3) in the submitted report. Members were reminded that the matter was due to be considered at Committee on 15 October 2012, however, the driver had failed to attend and Members chose to defer the matter to the next meeting to allow the driver a further opportunity to attend.

 

The driver was first licensed with the Council in October 2008. He was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 27 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 driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee.

 

It was confirmed that there were no questions and the driver 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 Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 35/12, be retained, but that the driver be required to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme, at his own expense, within two months or the assessor's first available date thereafter. The driver currently had six points on his licence, with three points recently removed and the Committee acknowledged that the driver would have had an additional three points on his licence had he not completed a speed awareness course recommended by the Police.
 

12/44 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 applicant, who was in attendance at the meeting accompanied by his wife and legal representative, 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 a complaint submitted by a member of the public on 21 March 2012 relating to an incident on 4 March 2012. Full details of the complaint were contained within the report. It was noted that following the initial complaint, (copy attached at Appendix 1), officers had difficulty in obtaining further information from the complainant, however, a witness statement was obtained from another passenger in the vehicle at the time of the incident, a copy of which was attached at Appendix 2. The driver was subsequently interviewed by a Licensing Officer on 10 August 2012 and a copy of the interview note was attached at Appendix 3.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer highlighted that it would not be usual to bring a matter to the Committee’s attention where a complainant had not provided any additional details of the incident in statement form, however, due to some information provided by the driver during interview, officers were concerned regarding the driver’s ability to understand and interact with his passengers. Officers, therefore, believed it to be a matter for the Licensing Committee to consider.

 

The driver was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 5 September 2012 when he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and confirmed his previous explanation in relation to the incident.

 

It was highlighted that the driver was initially applied for a Private Hire Vehicle driver licence in May 2010, however the licence was not granted until June 2011 as the driver failed the knowledge test on numerous occasions. The driver succeeded in passing the entire driver test on the twelfth occasion.

 

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

 

The driver’s legal representative sought clarification that the matters under consideration were the issues of dangerous driving and passenger fares. The Senior Licensing Officer confirmed that this was correct.

 

The driver’s legal representative presented the case in support of the driver and the driver responded to questions from Members of the Committee. The driver provided copies of two character references for information.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver, his wife and legal representative 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 37/12, be retained but that the driver be given a warning regarding his future conduct, particularly in relation to ensuring the correct fares for passengers.


** DECLARATION OF INTEREST

 

At this point in the meeting, Councillor Loughborough declared a non-pecuniary interests in relation to the next agenda item as the driver’s representative was known to him. He withdrew from the meeting and, therefore, took no part in the discussion or determination of the case.
 

12/45 REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 40/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 40/12, 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 accompanied by his representative, 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 a complaint submitted to the Licensing Section by a member of the public in relation to an incident that occurred on 2 May 2012.

 

The driver was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 10 September 2012 when he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware, offered and explanation in relation to the offence detailed at 1) and in relation to the complaint.

 

Full details of the complaint were contained within the report and witness statements from both passengers were attached at Appendix 1. A note of the initial interview in relation to the complaint undertaken on 9 July 2012 was attached at Appendix 2.

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee. The driver and his representative addressed the Committee in support of the driver and responded to questions from Members of the Committee.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver, his representative 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 Driver Licence, Ref 40/12, be retained but that the driver be given a warning regarding his future conduct, particularly in relation to ensuring passenger safety.

 

** Councillor Loughborough returned to the meeting at this point.
 

12/46 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE: REF: 42/12

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence, Ref: 42/12, 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.
 

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