Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 17 February 2014
Time:
1:30 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

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

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
13/124 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 27 JANUARY 2014.

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 27 January 2014 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

13/125 ITEM FOR INFORMATION - LICENSING ACT 2003 - SUMMARY OF TEMPORARY EVENT NOTICES GRANTED BY OFFICERS 2013


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted a report containing details of Temporary Event Notices granted by Officers during 2013.

 

It was outlined that, under the Licensing Act 2003, small-scale events involving licensable activities could take place without the need for a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate by obtaining a Temporary Event Notice. There were a number of limitations imposed on the use of TENs and these were outlined in the report.

 

Appendix 1 to the submitted report provided details of TENs granted by officers during 2013, including the venue, date and time of event. It was noted that many TENs were granted to premises with existing licences to allow extended hours for alcohol and entertainment for particular events.
 

ORDERED that the content of the submitted report be noted.

13/126 ITEM FOR INFORMATION - LEGAL PROCEEDINGS RESULTS - GENERAL LICENSING


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted a report advising Members of the results of legal proceedings relating to general licensing for the period January 2013 - December 2013.

 

It was noted that the report would be circulated to the Police, Press and the Licensed Trade for information.


ORDERED that the content of the submitted report be noted.

13/127 ITEM FOR INFORMATION - LEGAL PROCEEDINGS RESULTS - TAXI LICENSING


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted a report advising Members of the results of legal proceedings relating to taxi licensing for the period January 2013 - December 2013.

 

It was noted that the report would be circulated to the Police, Press and the Taxi Trade for information.

 

ORDERED that the content of the submitted report be noted.

13/128 ITEM FOR INFORMATION - LICENSING ACT 2003 - COMPARISON OF LICENSING GRANTED 2012 AND 2013


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted a report which provided a comparison of the numbers of applications dealt with in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 between 2012 and 2013.

 

ORDERED that the content of the submitted report be noted.
 

13/129 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC.

 
EXEMPT
Reports of Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services
13/130 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 83/13

The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with a review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 83/13, 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 accompanied by his uncle, verified his name and current 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 and a complaint received from a member of the public on 2 August 2013 with regard to inappropriate parking by the driver.

 

Members were advised that the driver had been interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 15 April 2013 in relation to the offence detailed at 5) in the report, however on that occasion, the applicant had confirmed that there were further motoring offences that were still to be considered by the Magistrates Court and as a consequence, the interview was delayed until the additional matters had been resolved.

 

The additional offences were due to be heard by the Magistrates Court on 1 May 2013 however the case was adjourned until July then August 2013 and the Licensing Office eventually received confirmation that the offences had been heard in November 2013. The applicant had also been unavailable to attend for a number of interview appointments and he was eventually interviewed in relation to all the offences on 21 January 2014.  

 

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

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver and his uncle 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: 83/13, be revoked, as the Committee did not consider the driver to be a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence for the following reasons:-

 

1. The Driver had accumulated 21 penalty points on his licence over a period of five years commencing in 2009 and 9 of the 21 points had been received following the drivers attendance at the Driver Improvement Scheme in February 2013. Members were concerned about the number of offences that the driver had committed that involved issues with regard to safe driving. The Committee considered that the driver's record demonstrated that he had not benefitted from attending the Driver Improvement Scheme.

 

2. Members had concerns about the driver's honesty following information received from Cleveland Police under the Notifiable Occupation Scheme that he had received a caution on 24 February 2013 for theft of a mountain bike from a passenger.

 

In making their decision the Committee had regard to the Council's Policy Guidance on Convictions, Cautions and Complaints which stated that a significant history of offences showing a disregard for safety may result in a licence being revoked unless a period of at least 1 - 3 years, free from conviction , has elapsed, since the date of the last conviction. The driver's last driving conviction was dated 4 October 2013.

 

The driver was reminded of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision.

13/131 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 65/13

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 65/13, 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 details of the offences detailed at 1) to 11) in the submitted report. The case had initially been due to be considered by Members at the Licensing Committee scheduled for 14 October 2013 however on that occasion, the applicant had failed to attend and Members determined to defer the matter to a future Licensing Committee. The Licensing Section had been unable to contact the applicant for a number of months until eventually the applicant had contacted the office on 20 January 2014 to advise that he had been working away; however he still wanted his case to be considered.

 

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

The applicant addressed the Committee 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 review.

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

ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: Ref: 65/13, be refused, as the Committee did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence for the following reasons:-

 

1. The applicant had six convictions involving dishonesty and the Committee therefore considered that the applicant had demonstrated a propensity to be continually dishonest.

 

2. The applicant had five offences for failing to surrender to custody and the Committee considered that the applicant appeared to have a total disregard for authority.

 

In making their decision the Committee had regard to the Council's Policy Guidance on Convictions, Cautions and Complaints which stated that if an applicant is convicted of more than one offence of dishonesty , showing a propensity to be continually dishonest, an application will normally be refused regardless of the time elapsed since the conviction or completion of the sentence imposed.

 

The driver was reminded of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision.

13/132 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 8/14

The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with a review of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 08/14, 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 current 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 three incidents of inappropriate parking by the driver.

 

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

The driver addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members of the Committee and the Principal Licensing Officer.

It was confirmed that there were no further 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 review.

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

ORDERED that Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 8/14 be suspended for a period of two weeks for the following reasons:

 

The Committee considered that the driver had failed to adhere to previous warnings in relation to inappropriate parking and his actions amounted to a disregard for public safety.

 

In making their decision the Committee considered that the applicant had breached Byelaw 8 of the County Borough of Teesside Hackney Carriage Byelaws (by failing to proceed to a hackney carriage stand when plying for hire). The driver had previously received two written warnings for inappropriate parking and the Committee considered that a stronger message needed to be given to the driver on this occasion and that the suspension was necessary and proportionate in the circumstances.

 

The driver was reminded of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision.

13/133 REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 10/14

The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with a review of Hackney Carriage Driver Licence, Ref: 10/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised that the driver's legal representative had contacted the Licensing Section after the paperwork for the Committee had been circulated, stating that he had not had the opportunity to go through his client's evidence and he had therefore requested that the Committee consider deferring the matter.

ORDERED that review of Hackney Carriage Driver Licence Ref: 10/14 be deferred to the next meeting of the Licensing Committee to provide the driver and his legal representative with the opportunity to attend the meeting.

13/134 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 7/14

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 07/14, 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 details of the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the submitted report.

 

The applicant had previously been licensed as a Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle driver on 22 August 2005. The licence was granted following an appearance before the Committee with regard to an offence which was now considered to be too old to be of relevance to the driver's current application. On that occasion, the Committee granted the application but issued a warning to the driver with regard to his future conduct.  

 

The applicant appeared before the Committee in relation to an incident detailed at 1) in the report where the applicant had been abusive towards the Licensing Officers and he had failed to comply with requests from Authorised Officers. The Committee had allowed the applicant to retain his licence but issued him with a further warning about his future conduct.

 

The applicant had last appeared before Members on 10 January 2011 in relation to the offence detailed at 2) in the report and further issues that were discovered relating to unpaid fines during the sentencing for the above offence. On that occasion, the Committee decided to revoke the applicant's licence.  

 

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

 

The applicant addressed the Committee 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: 07/14 be granted.

 

In granting the application, the Committee had taken into consideration that the applicant had been free from convictions for a period of three years. The applicant was reminded of the requirement to treat the Licensing Officers with respect at all times and to remember to provide the Officers of any information with regard to a change in circumstances. The applicant was also reminded that it was his responsibility to check that the appropriate insurance cover was in place at all times.

13/135 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE OPERATOR LICENCE: REF: 11/14

The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Operator Licence, Ref: 11/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The two applicants, who were accompanied by a representative, verified their names and addresses and confirmed that they had received a copy of the report.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the details of the application.


The applicants representative confirmed that the contents of the report were an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to speak in support of the application. The applicants representative spoke in support of the application and responded to questions from Members of the Committee.

 

The Committee was advised that both operator's existing company names would be retained within the name of the new operating company.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicants and their 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 Operator Licence Ref: 11/14 be granted.

 

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