Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 15 December 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 R Arundale, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor R Brady, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor P Sharrocks, Councillor M B Williams
Officers:
B Carr, C Cunningham and T Hodgkinson
Apologies for absence:
Councillor M Hudson, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor G Purvis
Declarations of interest:
Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor S Biswas Non-Pecuniary Agenda Item 7 - Appl. - PHVDL: Ref 61/14 - Driver known to Councillor
Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
14/68 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 24 NOVEMBER 2014

The minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 24 November 2014 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.

14/69 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
14/70 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 60/14

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: 60/14, 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 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) in the submitted report and a complaint received on 23 June 2014 from members of the public regarding an incident that had occurred on 14 June 2014. 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 Council's Legal Officer and the Principal Licensing Officer.

 

The Chair requested that the Committee go into private session in order for Members to seek advice from the Council's Legal Officer with regard to part of the representations made by the driver. At this point of the meeting, the driver and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council's Legal Services and Members' Office, withdrew from the meeting.

 

Subsequently all interested parties returned and the driver responded to further 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 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 60/14, be suspended for a period of two weeks, for the following reasons:-

 

1. In relation to the conviction dated 28 February 2012, the driver was found guilty of plying for hire and having no insurance. The Committee could not go behind a guilty verdict and therefore could not accept the driver’s version of events in relation to entrapment.


2. The driver had failed to report the offence detailed at 1) in the submitted report within seven days of conviction, as required by condition of his licence.
 

3. The Committee considered that the actions of the driver in attempting to drive the two lady passengers to a Police Station, then leaving the passengers to walk home, some distance from their home over a dispute in relation to the taxi fare was inappropriate and not the behaviour expected from a Combined Hackney Carriage/Licensed Private Hire Vehicle Driver.
 

4. The Committee upheld the complaint in part as there appeared to be some discrepancy regarding the price of the fare and the amount paid for the journey.
 

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

14/71 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 55/14

The Committee decided to hear the application in the driver's absence in light of the fact that the driver had failed to attend the previous meeting of the Licensing Committee and had not informed the Licensing Section of his absence. The invitation to the driver to attend the Licensing Committee on this occasion had advised that should the driver fail to attend the Committee, the matter would be considered in his absence.

 

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 55/14, 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 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 and a complaint received on 25 June 2014 from a member of the public regarding an incident that had occurred on 8 June 2014.


It was confirmed that there were no further questions 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 the Principal Licensing Officer returned and the Chair announced the Committee's decision.
 

ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 55/14, be suspended with immediate effect for the following reasons:

 

1. The driver had 2 convictions for excess speed and one conviction for no insurance. There was also a complaint from members of the public about the driver’s speeding and driving in an unsafe manner.

 

2. The driver had failed to report either of the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the submitted report within seven days of conviction, as required by condition of his licence and nor did he declare any of the above offences on his most recent application to renew his licence dated 7 August 2014.

 

3. The driver had failed on two occasions to attend the Licensing Committee and had offered no explanation for his absence prior to either of the meetings.

 

4. The Committee decided to suspend Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 55/14 with immediate effect because they considered that the driver posed a risk or danger to the travelling public because his offences and the complaint involving safety issues demonstrated that he was not a safe driver.

 

The suspension would continue in force until the applicant attended a meeting of the Licensing Committee.

 

The driver would be advised of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the date of the decision.
 

14/72 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF: 61/14

**Councillor Biswas declared an interest in the following item and left the room whilst the case was determined.

 

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: 61/14, 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 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 7) 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 and the Council's Legal 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 application.

 

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

ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 61/14, be granted, subject to the applicant completing the Driver Improvement Scheme to a satisfactory level.

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