Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 13 October 2014
Time:
1:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
B E Taylor (Chair); Councillor J A Walker (Vice-Chair); Councillor S Biswas, 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 R Arundale, Councillor P Sharrocks, Councillor R Brady, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor M Hudson, Councillor C M Rooney, Councillor J Sharrocks
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
14/48 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 1 SEPTEMBER AND 22 SEPTEMBER 2014.

The minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Committee held on 1 September 2014 and 22 September 2014 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.

 

The Chair made reference to the Inquorate meeting of the Committee scheduled for 22 September 2014 and reminded Members of the importance of advising officers if they were unable to attend a meeting.

 

NOTED

14/49 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
Assistant Director - Improving Health
14/50 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 49/14

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 49/14, 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 accompanied by his future employer, 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 22 September 2014, however on that occasion, the meeting was cancelled therefore the application had been deferred to the next meeting.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the details of the offences detailed at 1) to 2) 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. The applicant's future employer addressed the Committee in support of the application.

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant, his future employer 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 49/14, be granted.

 

The Council's Policy Guidance on convictions states that in relation to offences involving a violent offence, similar to the offence committed by the applicant, an application will normally be refused unless a period of at least 1-3 years free from conviction has elapsed since the date of conviction or completion of any sentence imposed, prior to the issue of a licence.

 

The applicant received a conditional discharge of 18 months. The date of the conviction was 17 February 2012 and the end of the conditional discharge was 17 August 2013, which was within the Council’s Policy Guidance on Convictions, Cautions and Complaints. In relation to the applicant’s offence for dishonesty, the date of conviction was 2008 which meant that more than five years had elapsed since the date of conviction which was well within the Council’s Policy Guidance on Convictions.

 

In making their decision, Members had taken into consideration the information contained in the report, the representations from the driver and the fact that he had already attended a six week BTEC course in relation to taxi driving and the representations from the driver’s future employer.

14/51 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 48/14

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 48/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
 

Members were advised that the application had been due to be considered at the Licensing Committee held on 22 September 2014, however on that occasion, the meeting was cancelled therefore the application had been deferred to the next meeting.

 

The driver was first licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle Driver on 12 January 2012 and at that time the driver had informed the Licensing Section of the name of his employer. The matter was presented to the Licensing Committee as the Licensing Office had been unable to establish the driver's current whereabouts and he had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check as required by condition of his licence.

 

Prior to 2013, the Criminal Records Bureau carried out criminal records checks and a copy of the certificate was sent to both the applicant and the Licensing Section. The practice was changed when the Disclosure and Barring Service assumed responsibility for the criminal record check process. The new procedure was that the applicant received a copy of the certificate and it was their responsibility to send a copy to the Licensing Authority.

 

According to the DBS Website, the DBS certificate was dispatched to the driver on 24 January 2014. The driver however had failed to send a copy of the certificate to the Licensing Office despite the fact that reminder letters were sent to him on 27 March 2014, 25 April 2014 and 27 May 2014. As a result of his failure to send the certificate, the driver was invited for interview at the Licensing Office on 25 June 2014 and 4 August 2014, however he failed to attend for any of the above appointments.       

 

The Licensing Section made enquiries with the driver's previous employer and it was ascertained that the driver no longer worked at the company and it was thought that he had returned to India. Enquiries had also been made with the current occupier of the driver's previous address, but it was ascertained that the driver no longer resided at that address. 

 

A complaint had also been received from a member of the public regarding the standard of the applicant's driving however the Licensing Office had been unable to interview the driver in connection with the complaint. 

 

ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 48/14, be suspended with immediate effect for the following reasons:

 

The Committee decided to hear the application in the driver's absence in light of the numerous previous attempts Licensing Officers have made to contact him without success.

 

The Committee decided to suspend the Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence with immediate effect because they could not be satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person or whether he posed a risk or danger to the travelling public because the applicant had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service record check results which was dispatched on the 24 January 2014. After making numerous requests the driver failed to respond to Licensing Officers and after making further enquiries the driver's whereabouts are unknown.

 

The suspension will continue in force until the applicant provides an up to date Disclosure and Barring Services criminal record check to Licensing Officers and the Licensing Authority is satisfied that there are no entries that bring into question the fitness of the driver to hold a Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence.

14/52 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 50/14

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 50/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
 

Members were advised that the application had been due to be considered at the Licensing Committee held on 22 September 2014, however on that occasion, the meeting was cancelled therefore the application had been deferred to the next meeting.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case. The driver was first licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle Driver on 17 January 2011. The driver subsequently upgraded to Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle driver licence on 19 January 2011. The matter was presented to the Licensing Committee as the driver had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check as required by condition of his licence.

 

Prior to 2013, the Criminal Records Bureau carried out criminal records checks and a copy of the certificate was sent to both the applicant and the Licensing Section. The practice was changed when the Disclosure and Barring Service assumed responsibility for the criminal record check process. The new procedure was that the applicant received a copy of the certificate and it was their responsibility to send a copy to the Licensing Authority.

 

The driver had failed to send a copy of the certificate to the Licensing Office despite the fact that reminder letters were sent to him on 27 March 2014, 25 April 2014 and 27 May 2014.  On 18 June 2014, the driver had contacted the Licensing Office to advise that he had applied for his DBS certificate but had not received it. According to the DBS Website, however the DBS certificate was dispatched to the driver on 16 January 2014. The driver had stated that the DBS would not send him a copy of the certificate as their policy only allowed them to send out replacement certificates within three months of issue and he had stated that he was unwilling to apply for a new certificate.   

 

As a result of his failure to send the certificate, the driver was interviewed at the Licensing Office on 1 July 2014 when he agreed to apply for a new DBS certificate. The driver had applied for a new certificate on 17 September 2014 however the Licensing Office had been advised that the driver had completed the DBS form incorrectly and the form had been returned to him.

 

ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 50/14, be suspended with immediate effect for the following reasons:

 

The Committee decided to hear the application in the driver's absence in light of the numerous previous attempts Licensing Officers have made to contact him.

 

The Committee decided to suspend the Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence with immediate effect because they could not be satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person or whether he posed a risk or danger to the travelling public because the applicant had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service record check results which was dispatched on the 16 January 2014.

 

The driver had contacted the DBS service and was advised that as he had not contacted them within three months of the certificate being sent out to request a replacement certificate, he was required to submit a new application. The driver finally submitted a new application on 17 September 2014. After making numerous requests the driver failed to respond to Licensing Officers requests for a copy of the new certificate and the Disclosure and Barring Service had informed Licensing Officers that the driver’s application for a criminal records check had been returned because he did not provide the correct information.

 

The suspension will continue in force until the applicant provides an up to date Disclosure and Barring Services criminal record check to Licensing Officers and the Licensing Authority is satisfied that there are no entries that bring into question the fitness of the driver to hold a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence.

14/53 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 51/14

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 51/14, 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 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 circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) and 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. The driver addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members of the Committee. The driver's future employer addressed the Committee in support of the application.

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver, his future employer 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 the application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 51/14, be refused for the following reasons:

 

The Committee considered the report and the representations made by the applicant and his future employer.

 

The Committee decided to refuse to grant the application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver's licence as it was not satisfied the applicant was a fit and proper person.

 

The applicant had carried on Licensable activities under the Private Security Act without having a Licence in 2012 and was convicted of making a false statement to the Security Industry Authority. He again was convicted of two counts of making false statements to the Regulator less than a year later in August 2013. Whilst he was licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle driver in 2012 he failed to formally declare the convictions in February 2012.

 

The Committee considered that the applicant had a propensity to be dishonest to bodies that regulate activities and considered that the acts fell within the Dishonesty section of the guidance.

14/54 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 52/14

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 52/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.


The matter was presented to the Licensing Committee as the Licensing Office had been unable to establish the driver's current whereabouts and he had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check as required by condition of his licence.

 

Prior to 2013, the Criminal Records Bureau carried out criminal records checks and a copy of the certificate was sent to both the applicant and the Licensing Section. The practice was changed when the Disclosure and Barring Service assumed responsibility for the criminal record check process. The new procedure was that the applicant received a copy of the certificate and it was their responsibility to send a copy to the Licensing Authority.

 

According to the DBS Website, the DBS certificate was dispatched to the driver on 12 February 2014. The driver however had failed to send a copy of the certificate to the Licensing Office despite the fact that reminder letters were sent to him on 27 March 2014, 25 April 2014 and 27 May 2014. As a result of his failure to send the certificate, the driver was invited for interview at the Licensing Office on 25 June 2014 and 17 September 2014, however he failed to attend for any of the above appointments.

 

Enquiries had been carried out with the driver’s previous employer and other Private Hire Operators to establish the driver’s whereabouts however the Licensing Office had been unable to ascertain the driver's current address.

 

The driver had also previously been interviewed in connection with the offence detailed at 1) in the report.

 

ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 52/14, be suspended with immediate effect for the following reasons:

 

The Committee decided to hear the application in the driver's absence in light of the numerous previous attempts Licensing Officers have made to contact him without success.

 

The Committee decided to suspend the Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence with immediate effect because they could not be satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person or whether he posed a risk or danger to the travelling public because the applicant had failed to produce a copy of his Disclosure and Barring Service record check results which was dispatched on the 12 February 2014. After making numerous requests the driver failed to respond to Licensing Officers and after making further enquiries the driver's whereabouts are unknown.

 

The suspension will continue in force until the applicant provides an up to date Disclosure and Barring Services criminal record check to Licensing Officers and the Licensing Authority is satisfied that there are no entries that bring into question the fitness of the driver to hold a Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence.

14/55 APPLICATION FOR COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 53/14

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 53/14, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised the Committee that the driver had contacted the Licensing Office prior to the meeting to advise that he was unable to attend.

 

ORDERED that consideration of the Application for a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 53/14, be deferred to the next meeting in order to give the applicant a further opportunity to attend the Committee.

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