Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 16 June 2014
Time:
1:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
J A Walker (In the Chair); Councillor R Arundale, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor R Brady, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor M Thompson, Councillor M B Williams
Officers:
B Carr, C Cunningham and T Hodgkinson
Apologies for absence:
Councillor M Hudson, Councillor P Sharrocks, Councillor B E Taylor
Declarations of interest:
Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor Biswas Non Pecuniary Agenda Item 5 - Review PHV Driv Lic: Ref 25/14 - Driver known to Councillor
Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
14/9 MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PREVIOUS LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 19 MAY 2014.

The minutes of the previous Licensing Committee held on 19 May 2014 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

14/10 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 or 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 Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services
14/11 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 25/14


** Councillor Biswas had previously declared an interest in the following agenda item and was not present at the meeting whilst the item was considered.

 

The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 25/14, 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, 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) and 2) in the submitted report; a complaint submitted with regard to the standard of the applicant's driving received on 15 March 2012 and an incident involving a vehicle driven by the driver that occurred on 16 November 2013; which was witnessed by the Principal Licensing Officer and a Police Officer.

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 Combined Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 25/14 be suspended for a period of two weeks and the Driver be required to undertake the Driver Improvement Scheme at his own expense, within two months, for the following reasons:

The Committee noted that historically, there had been issues in relation to the driver’s standard of driving which had resulted in the driver being disqualified from driving in 2002. The Committee had recognised that the disqualification was some time ago however the following recent incidents had highlighted further safe driving issues;

 

  • In 2011, the driver had been convicted of two offences which showed a disregard for road safety and demonstrated unacceptable driving standards;
  • The Committee upheld a complaint submitted by a member of the public in March 2012. The lady was so concerned about the standard of driving that she feared for her safety and considered that she should submit a complaint to alert Licensing Officers with regard to her concerns;
  • In November 2013, the Principal Licensing Officer and a Police Officer had witnessed the driver carrying out a dangerous manoeuvre which resulted in him driving through a red light.

Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations from the driver. The Committee considered the Council's Guidance on Convictions which advises that, in relation to minor motoring offences, if an applicant had 9 or more points on their DVLA licence and/or a history of poor driving, a current licensed driver would be expected to complete such a course at their own expense.

 

Although the driver did not currently have nine points on his licence, in view of the history of incidents involving unsafe driving, the Committee considered that the suspension of his licence and the requirement to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme would ensure that the applicant would drive safely in the future and protect the public.

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

 

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

14/12 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 27/14


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 27/14, 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 accompanied by his future 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 details of the offences detailed at 1) to 5) in the submitted report. The case had initially been due to be considered by Members at the Licensing Committee scheduled for 19 May 2014, however on that occasion, the applicant had failed to attend and Members determined to defer the matter to a future Licensing Committee. The applicant had contacted the Licensing Section following that meeting to advise Officers that he had not received any of the paperwork in relation to the Committee meeting.

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

 

The applicant's future employer addressed the Committee on behalf of the applicant and the applicant 

responded to questions from Members of the Committee.
 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant and his future employer, 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: 27/14 be granted but the applicant be given a warning with regard to his future driving standards.

 

In granting the application, Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report; the representations from the applicant and his representative and the fact that the applicant had been free from convictions for a period of 21 months since the reinstatement of his licence which complies with the Council's Guidance on Convictions. The driver was reminded of the requirement to drive safely at all times.

14/13 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 31/14


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref: 31/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

The Principal Licensing Officer advised that the driver had contacted the Licensing Section after the paperwork for the Committee had been circulated, stating that he was ill and unable to attend the meeting.

 

ORDERED that the Review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref: 31/14 be deferred to the next available Committee meeting, to afford the driver the opportunity to attend, but the driver be advised that should he fail to attend the next meeting, the case would be heard in his absence.

14/14 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 32/14


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 32/14 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 offence detailed at 1) 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 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 the application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 32/14 be granted.

 

In granting the application, Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations from the applicant. Members also noted that the offence had occurred in March 2013. The Council's Guidance on Convictions state that for this particular offence, a licence will be refused unless a period of at least 1 - 3 years free from conviction, caution or complaint has elapsed since the date of conviction or completion of any sentence imposed whichever is the later.

 

On this occasion, the Committee considered that the lower end of the guidance should be applied as the offence appeared to be a "one off" incident. The driver was reminded of the requirement to drive safely at all times.

14/15 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 33/14


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 33/14, 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 2) in the submitted report. A letter provided by the applicant's employers at the time of the offences detailed at 2) in the report, was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  

 

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. The Principal Licensing Officer clarified for Members of the Committee, that the applicant had failed to notify the DVLA of a change in his address and that was the reason why the applicant had been taken to court in his absence.

 

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: 33/14 be granted.

In granting the application, Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations from the applicant. The Council's Guidance on Convictions state that if an applicant has been disqualified, for example, through the totting up procedure, an application will not be considered until the DVLA licence has been restored and a conviction free period of at least 6 months has elapsed since the date of conviction or completion of any sentence imposed, whichever is the later.

 

On this occasion, the Committee decided to grant the licence as the applicant had been free from convictions for a period of over nineteen months.

14/16 APPLICATION FOR COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 34/14


The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 34/14, 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 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 addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members of the Committee.

 

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 application.

 

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

 

ORDERED that the application for a Combined Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 34/14 be refused as the Committee did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold a Combined Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence for the following reasons:-

 

Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations from the applicant. The Committee noted that on 21 November 2012, the applicant had been convicted of an offence of using threatening words or behaviour to cause fear or provocation of violence for which he received a sentence of a community order with supervision requirement. The applicant had advised Members that the offence was against a Police Officer, and although the applicant had pleaded not guilty at court, he was found guilty of the offence.

 

According to the information before the Committee, the Community Order issued by the Court had ended on 2 January 2014. The Council's Guidance on Convictions state that where an applicant has committed a violent offence similar in nature to the offence committed by the applicant, an application will normally be refused or a licence revoked unless a period of at least 1 - 3 years, free from conviction has elapsed since the date of the conviction or completion of any sentence imposed, whichever is the later.

 

The applicant had also committed a further offence on 24 February 2014, following the completion of the Community Order sentence, which involved him being drunk and disorderly. The applicant had to be removed from the scene of the offence by a Police Officer.  

 

The Committee did not consider that a sufficient incident free period had elapsed and therefore decided to refuse the licence.

 

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

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