Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 21 July 2014
Time:
1:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Taylor (Chair); Councillor J Walker (Vice-Chair) Councillor R Arundale, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor R Brady, Councillor G Purvis (Agenda Items 7 - 9 only), Councillor M B Williams
Officers:
B Carr, C Cunningham and T Hodgkinson
Apologies for absence:
Councillor T Harvey, Councillor M Hudson, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor C M Rooney, Councillor P Sharrocks, Councillor M Thompson, Councillor J Sharrocks
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
14/26 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 30 JUNE 2014.

The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 30 June 2014 were submitted and approved subject to the following amendment:-

 

Page 1, Paragraph 4 - Case Ref 38/14

 

Paragraph 3, Line 4 to be changed to " The Council's legal representative clarified that the Committee was not quasi-judicial but administrative and the Rules of Natural Justice applied".

14/27 RENEWAL OF GENERAL SAFETY CERTIFICATE - RIVERSIDE STADIUM - 2014/2015 - FOOTBALL SEASON

The Highways and Transportation Manager submitted a report seeking Members’ approval to the re-issue of the General Safety Certificate in respect of the Riverside Stadium for the forthcoming football season 2014/2015.

 

Members were advised that the current approved permitted number of spectators for the Riverside Stadium was up to 34,733 and the Committee was requested to approve the re-issue of the General Safety Certificate for the forthcoming season with a spectator capacity of up to 34,733. It was also recommended that the Highways and Transportation Manager, or his representative, be authorised to re-issue the Certificate, as outlined.

 

It was highlighted that the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 established the principle that a sports ground accommodating more than 10,000 spectators required a Safety Certificate containing such terms and conditions as the Local Authority considered necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety at the sports ground. The Safety Advisory Group for the Riverside Stadium had met on 18 July 2014 and recommended the renewal of the certificate on the current terms.

 

ORDERED that approval be given to re-issue the General Safety Certificate in respect of the Riverside Stadium for the forthcoming football season 2014/2015 with a spectator capacity of up to 34,733.

14/28 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 the Assistant Director Economic Development
14/29 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 26/14

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: 26/14, 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 address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

Members were advised that the application had been due to be considered at the Licensing Committee held on 30 June 2014, however prior to the meeting the driver had contacted the Licensing Office to advise that he would be on holiday for two weeks and would be unable to attend the meeting. Members had therefore deferred the matter to the following meeting.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the details of the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the submitted report. Members were advised that three of the points that were originally on the driver's licence had expired and as a consequence, the driver only had six points on his 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 Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 26/14, be retained but that the driver be issued with a warning in relation to his future conduct for the following reasons:-

 

1. Of the 9 points the driver had accumulated on his licence, only 6 points had been in relation to his standard of driving, the other 3 had been for a defective tyre. Members noted that the driver currently only had six points on his licence and the Committee did not consider that the Driver Improvement Scheme would be of any benefit to the driver.

 

2. The driver had held a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence for over 22 years and this was the first time he had appeared before the Committee.

 

In making their decision, Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations from the driver.
 

14/30 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 37/14

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: 37/14, 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 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 4) in the submitted report. The case had initially been due to be considered by Members at the Licensing Committee scheduled for 30 June 2014, however on that occasion, the applicant's family had contacted the Licensing Office to advise that he would be out of the country for a period of time following a bereavement. Members had determined to defer the matter to a future Licensing Committee. 

 

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 applicant's employer addressed the Committee on behalf of the applicant.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant and his 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: Ref: 37/14, 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 been convicted of the offence of committing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice for which he received a sentence of imprisonment for 4 months, suspended for 24 months and unpaid work requirement of 250 hours. The date of the conviction was 20 January 2012, and only six months had elapsed since the completion of the sentence.
 

The Council's Policy Guidance on Convictions states that an applicant convicted of an isolated offence involving dishonesty will normally be refused a licence unless a period of at least 3 - 5 years, free from conviction, has elapsed since the date of conviction or the completion of any sentence imposed, whichever is the later.
 

2. The Committee were concerned regarding the fact that the applicant had received a caution for driving a Private Hire Vehicle without possessing a Private Hire Vehicle Licence on 11 October 2012. The applicant then proceeded to commit the same offence on 19 May 2013 for which he received a £35 fine on 14 Jan 2014. 
 

In making their decision to refuse the application, Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations from the driver and his employer. 

14/31 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE - REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM CURRENT LICENCE CONDITION REQUIRING WINDOW TINTS - REF NO: 39/14

The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence, Ref: 39/14, 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 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 a request for Members to consider granting an exemption in relation to the licensing conditions which require Private Hire Vehicles to display licence plates and a number of identification and information stickers on the exterior of the vehicle. The applicant had also requested an exemption from the Council condition in relation to tinted glass as the vehicle in question was fitted with rear privacy glass and did not satisfy the Council condition in relation to light transmissibility.

 

The applicant 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.

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 Private Hire Vehicle Licence Ref: Ref: 39/14, be granted as follows:

 

1. That an exemption in respect of the licensing conditions which require Private Hire Vehicles to display licence plates and a number of identification and information stickers on the exterior of the vehicle be granted.

 

2. The Committee also granted an exemption in respect of the Council condition in relation to light transmissibility of tinted glass on Private Hire Vehicles.

 

3. That the vehicle be required to undertake all necessary fitness tests required as part of the Council’s application process for Private Hire Vehicle licences.

 

4. That the Private Hire Vehicle be used solely for contractual executive hire and not for normal private hire fleet work.

 

In making their decision, the Committee decided to depart from its policy due to exceptional circumstances in that the vehicle was an upmarket vehicle and was to be used exclusively for executive purposes and not for normal private hire fleet work. The Committee therefore considered that the risk to the driver and his passengers would be much lower than if the driver was driving the general public, who for safety reasons, needed to be visible through all windows. Members had also taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations from the driver.

14/32 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF NO: 76/13

The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref: 76/13, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised that the driver had contacted the Licensing Section to advise that he was unable to attend the meeting however he had submitted a letter explaining the reasons why he had not completed the Driver Improvement Scheme and he had requested that the Principal Licensing Officer present the letter to the Committee.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer read the letter submitted by the driver to Members of the Committee.

 

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: Ref: 76/13, be suspended until such time as the driver completed the Driver Improvement Scheme at his own expense.


Members required the driver to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme for his own safety and the safety of other road users following previous road safety incidents. The driver had failed to attend the Driver Improvement Scheme when he was requested to by Members and had also failed to attend when advised to do so by officers.


In making their decision, Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the letter submitted by the driver. The Committee had regard to the extenuating circumstances put forward by the driver and Members determined that rather than revoke the licence, they would suspend the licence to provide the driver the opportunity to complete the test when his personal circumstances improved.

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