Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 10 August 2015
Time:
1:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor B E Taylor (Chair), Councillor J A Walker (Vice Chair); Councillor R Arundale, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor R Brady, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor D McCabe and Councillor G Purvis.
Observers:
J Etherington, Legal Services, Middlesbrough Council.
Officers:
J Dixon, J Hodgson and D Joy.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor J Rathmell.
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
15/22 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 20 JULY 2015.

The Minutes of the previous Licensing Committee held on 20 July 2015 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

15/23 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 and 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
Report of Assistant Director Improving Public Health
15/24 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 026/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 26/15, 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 Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offence detailed at 1) in the submitted report. It was highlighted that 36 other offences listed on the applicant’s DBS check had not been detailed as they were considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. The majority of the offences related to dishonesty, the last such offence occurring in January 2000. The Committee was informed that the applicant was an amputee and that, if successful, any licence issued to him would contain a condition restricting him to driving automatic vehicles. It was also noted that the applicant had previously been licensed as a taxi driver with Middlesbrough Council until 2006, however, records relating to his previous licences had now been destroyed.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer highlighted an issue, not contained within the report, relating to the applicant’s medical information. Members of the taxi trade had brought to the attention of the Licensing Section that a particular doctor undertaking medical assessments on applicants as part of the taxi licensing application process, was not complying with the medical requirements of the Council, namely not viewing the applicant’s full medical history. The applicant had visited his own GP to obtain his own medical history and this was passed to the Doctor that had supplied the applicant’s medical information as part of the application process.

 

The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 28 July 2015 at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and offered an explanation for the offence at 1). He also confirmed that the costs relating to the offence had been paid in full.

 

It was also highlighted that the Senior Licensing Officer had spoken to the applicant about a number of occasions, during the application process, when three members of the Licensing Team had expressed concern regarding the applicant’s behaviour towards them. It was alleged that, on three separate occasions, when the applicant was given information that was contrary to that he may have hoped to receive, he had become argumentative and aggressive towards staff.

 

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

 

The applicant presented the case in support of his application and responded to questions from Members.

 

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 26/15, be granted, subject to the Licensing Section obtaining confirmation that the applicant’s full medical history had been considered by the Doctor undertaking the applicant’s medical assessment as part of the application process.
 

15/25 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 027/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 27/15, 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.

 

The Senior 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 submitted by a member of the public in relation to the driver.

 

It was noted that the driver was first licensed with the council in July 2010 and first appeared before Members at that time when they considered the offence detailed at 1). On that occasion Members approved his application.

 

The driver now appeared before Members following a complaint submitted by a member of the public where it was alleged that the driver had driven through a red light at a crossroads. Members were also invited to consider the motoring offences detailed at 2) and 3). The driver was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 16 July 2015, at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware, confirmed his previous explanations in relation to the offence at 1) and the complaint dated 16 March 2015 and offered explanations in relation to the offences detailed at 2) and 3).

 

A witness statement, provided by the complainant in relation to the incident on 16 March 2015, was attached at Appendix 1 to the submitted report. A further witness statement was submitted by a Hackney Carriage driver who had witnessed the incident and this was attached at Appendix 2. A copy of the driver’s version of events, provided during interview on 23 March 2015, was attached at Appendix 3.

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

The complainant joined the meeting and the Chair introduced those present and explained the procedure to be followed. The complainant confirmed his name and the content of his submitted statement, attached at Appendix 1 to the submitted report. The complainant recalled his version of events in relation to the incident on 16 March 2015.

 

The complainant alleged that the driver had driven through a red traffic signal at a busy crossroads junction.

 

Members asked questions of the complainant and these were responded to accordingly. The driver confirmed that he had no questions of the complainant. The complainant subsequently withdrew from the meeting.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer confirmed that the second witness (statement attached at Appendix 2) was not in attendance.

 

The driver provided his version of events in relation to the incident and responded to questions from Members.

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 Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 27/15, be retained but that the driver be required to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme, at his own expense, within the next two months, for the following reasons:-

  1. The Committee was concerned in relation to the driver’s standard of driving and believed the witness’s version of events, in relation to the incident on 16 March 2015, to be credible. The Committee had also considered a second witness statement provided by a Hackney Carriage driver and believed this to be credible and believed that the driver had driven through a red traffic signal.
  2. The driver had a poor history of driving and had been convicted of excess speeding on two previous occasions.
     
15/26 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 024/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 24/15, 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 Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) in the submitted report.

 

The applicant was previously licensed with Middlesbrough Council between February 1998 and April 2011. The applicant appeared before Members in April 2011 in relation to the offences at 1) and a motoring offence now deemed too old to be relevant to the current application. On that occasion, Members chose to revoke the applicant’s licence.

 

The applicant now appeared before Members with a fresh application and was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 16 July 2015 at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware, confirmed that he had paid all costs and undertaken all community service in relation to the offence at 1) and confirmed his previous explanation in relation to the offence at 1).

 

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

The applicant presented the case in support of his application and responded to questions from Members.

 

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 24/15, be granted.
 

15/27 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 028/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 28/15, 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 Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 5) in the submitted report.

 

It was noted that the applicant first appeared before Members in June 2014 in relation to an application for a Private Hire Vehicle driver licence, however, Members chose to refuse the application. The applicant now appeared with a fresh application and was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 22 July 2015 at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and confirmed his previous explanations in relation to the offences at 1) to 5).

 

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

 

The applicant presented the case in support of his application and responded to questions from Members.

 

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 28/15, be granted.

 

The Committee reminded the applicant of the importance of ensuring that any vehicle he drove was appropriately insured and also to provide the correct information to Police and Licensing Officers when requested.
 

15/28 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 029/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 29/15, 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 Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offence detailed at 1).

 

The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 27 July 2015 at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and offered an explanation in relation to the offence at 1).

 

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

 

The applicant presented the case in support of his application and responded to questions from Members. The applicant’s prospective employer also spoke in support of the applicant.

 

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 29/15, be granted.

15/29 ANY OTHER URGENT ITEMS WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR MAY BE CONSIDERED.

There were no urgent items to be considered.

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