Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 7 September 2015
Time:
1:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor B E Taylor (Chair); Councillor R Arundale, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor T Lawton, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor D McCabe, Councillor J Rathmell
Officers:
B Carr, T Hodgkinson and D Joy
Apologies for absence:
Councillor R Brady, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor J A Walker
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
15/30 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 10 AUGUST 2015.

The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 10 August 2015 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

15/31 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.

15/32 URGENT BUSINESS - LICENSING FUTURE TRAINING

The Chair advised that he had received a query from a Member of the Committee with regard to future Licensing Training.

 

It had been identified that Members of the Licensing Committee still required training in respect of the following Licensing aspects:

  • Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013
  • Registration of Village Greens
  • Sex Establishment Licences

All Members of the Council required training/advice regarding making representations to Licensing Sub Committees under the Licensing Act 2003. The Principal Licensing Officer advised that the Draft Licensing Act 2003 - Statement of Licensing Policy 2016 - 2021 was subject to consultation and was currently available on the Council website. It was requested that Members of the Licensing Committee be sent a paper copy of the above Licensing policy document.

 

ORDERED as follows:

 

1. That officers make arrangements for the Licensing Committee to receive training in the three topics identified above.

 

2. That officers make arrangements for all members of the Council to receive training/advice with regard to making representations to Licensing Sub Committees under the Licensing Act 2003.

 

3. That a paper copy of  the Draft Licensing Act 2003 - Statement of Licensing Policy 2016 - 2021 be circulated to all Members of the Licensing Committee.

EXEMPT
Report of Assistant Director - Improving Public Health
15/33 REVIEW OF COMBINED PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE/HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 29/15

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: 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 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 Principal Licensing Officer clarified that the offence listed at 3) in the report was committed on 28 September 2013 and the date of the conviction was 13 March 2014.

 

It was noted that the driver was first licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle Driver on 5 May 1994. He upgraded his licence to a Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licence on 8 November 2011.

 

The driver had first appeared before Members on 5 May 1994 in relation to other offences committed prior to 1992 and due to their age they were considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. On that occasion, the licence was granted.

 

The driver next appeared before the Committee on 26 June 2000 in relation to offences considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. On that occasion, the Committee allowed the driver to retain his licence but he was issued with a strong warning regarding his future behaviour.

The driver next appeared before the Committee on 25 June 2001 in relation to offences considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. On that occasion, the Committee allowed the driver to retain his licence but he was issued with a strong warning regarding his future behaviour.
 

The driver next appeared before the Committee on 26 July 2004 in relation to a conviction considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. On that occasion, the Committee allowed the driver to retain his licence but he was required to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme at his own expense prior to the renewal of his licence on 30 April 2005. The driver allowed his licence to expire and did not complete the Driver Improvement Scheme.

 

The applicant appeared before Committee on 17 November 2008 in relation to convictions considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. On that occasion, the Committee refused the application due to the driver's history of convictions and the two previous warnings issued to the driver by the Committee.

 

The applicant submitted a new application on 15 April 2009. On that occasion, his licence was granted but the driver was required to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme within 3 months of his licence being granted. There was an unavoidable delay in the driver undertaking the Driver Improvement Scheme (DIS), which he eventually completed to a satisfactory level on 11 September 2009. A copy of the assessment sheet completed by the DIS instructor was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The driver appeared before the Committee on 26 October 2009 in relation to an offence considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. On that occasion, he was allowed to retain his licence but was issued with a strong warning regarding his future behaviour.

 

The driver last appeared before the Committee on 5 December 2012, in relation to a complaint about his behaviour on 11 April 2012. On that occasion, Members chose to take no action in respect of the complaint.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised that the previous offences considered by Members consisted of motoring convictions and a single offence relating to dishonesty.

 

The driver was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the report at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and offered explanations in respect of the above offences.

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee. The driver presented his case 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 as follows:

 

1. That Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 29/15, be retained but that the driver be required to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme, at his own expense, within the next two months;

 

2. That the driver be issued with a strong warning regarding defective tyres and the requirement to check his tyres for any defects prior to each shift.

 

In making their decision the Committee had considered the Council's Policy Guidance on Convictions and that at the time the Committee report was written, the driver had nine points on his licence; three of the points had only been taken off his driving licence two weeks prior to the Committee meeting. The driver also had a history of offences involving speeding and unsafe driving.

 

The Committee also requested that the Licensing Section write to the vehicle proprietor to alert him to the fact that the driver was fitting his own tyres without having them checked for safety by a qualified mechanic.

15/34 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 25/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 25/15, 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 Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 2) in the submitted report.

 

It was noted that the driver was first licensed as a Hackney Carriage Driver on 10 May 2000; however the driver had advised that he was licensed as a Hackney carriage driver under the previous licensing regime and had driven taxis for approximately 25 years. The driver currently held a licence to drive Private Hire Vehicles and his licence was due to expire on 30 April 2016. 

 

The driver had first appeared before Members on 20 May 2002 in relation to four motoring convictions which due to their age were considered too old to be of relevance to the current application. On that occasion, the driver was allowed to retain his licence but was issued with a warning regarding his future conduct.

 

The driver next appeared before the Committee on 18 July 2011 in relation to the offence detailed at 1) in the report. On that occasion, the Committee allowed the driver to retain his licence.

 

The driver now appeared before the Committee in relation to the offences detailed at 2) in the report. 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 and confirmed his previous explanation in respect of the offence detailed at 1) in the report and offered an explanation in respect of the offence detailed at 2) in the report.

 

The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee. The driver presented his case 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 Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 25/15, be retained but that the driver be issued with a strong warning regarding his future conduct.

In making their decision the Committee had considered that prior to the conviction detailed at 2) in the report, the driver had a clean driving record since 2002.

15/35 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 30/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 30/15, 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 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 applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 20 August 2015 at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware, confirmed that he was still paying off his fines in relation to the offences included within the report and offered an explanation in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 7) 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 presented the case in support of his application 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 30/15, be refused as the Committee did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence for the following reasons:-

 

1. The applicant had a history of convictions involving drunken and disorderly behaviour from April 2010 - September 2014.

 

2. The applicant had been convicted of threatening behaviour and racially/religiously aggravated fear/provocation of violence in 2014 and had received a Community Order dated 2 June 2015. He was also ordered to receive alcohol treatment.  

 

3. The applicant had admitted that many of his offences had been committed as a result of drinking alcohol. His most recent conviction was in September 2014.  

 

In making their decision, Members had considered the following parts of the Council's Policy Guidance on Convictions, Cautions and Complaints:

 

In relation to offences involving violence, a person who has a tendency to be violent, aggressive or who responds with violence when provoked will not be suitable to hold a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence.

 

In relation to racially motivated fear of provocation of violence, a period of at least 3-5 years free from conviction should elapse since the date of conviction or completion of any sentence imposed, whichever is the later.

 

If an applicant shows a propensity for violence then the application may be refused or the licence revoked, irrespective of the period that has lapsed since the last violent incident.

 

That a person who has a history of convictions regarding drunkenness may indicate a dependency on alcohol. In such cases an application will normally be refused unless a period of at least 5 years has lapsed, free from drunken incidents, since the date of the conviction or completion of any sentence imposed or treatment, whichever was the later.

 

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

15/36 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE OPERATOR LICENCE: REF NO: 31/15

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Operator  Licence, Ref: 31/15, 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 accompanied by his friend/representative verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report which set out the circumstances of the case in relation to the applicant, to the current owners of the business and in regard to the status of the current operator’s licence. 

 

The applicant confirmed that the contents of the report were an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to speak in support of his application and answer Members’ questions. The applicant outlined his experience of taxi licensing and gave assurances as to his ability to operate the business. The applicant's friend/representative spoke in support of the application.

 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant, the applicant's friend/representative 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 Operator Licence, Ref: 31/15, be granted.

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