Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 25 January 2016
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 T Lawton, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor D McCabe, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor J Rathmell
Officers:
B Carr, C Cunningham and T Hodgkinson
Apologies for absence:
Councillor T Mawston
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
15/75 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 11 JANUARY 2016.

The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 11 January 2016 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

15/76 PRESENTATION - THE ROTHERHAM CSE REPORT AND TAXI LICENSING

The Principal Licensing Officer provided Members with an overview of the work that had been carried out in Middlesbrough in response to the report carried out by Louise Casey in relation to CSE in Rotherham in particular the part of the report pertaining to Taxi Licensing.

 

NOTED

15/77 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
Report of Assistant Director - Improving Public Health
15/78 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF. NO: 03/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 03/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer advised that the driver was not in attendance and he confirmed that the driver had not contacted the Licensing Section to advise that he would not be able to attend.

 

ORDERED that consideration of the Review in respect of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 03/16, be deferred to the next Licensing Committee in order to afford the driver a further opportunity to attend.

 

The Committee requested that the driver be notified that the matter would be heard in his absence should he fail to attend the next meeting without good reason.

15/79 APPLICATION FOR COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF. NO: 04/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 04/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

The Principal Licensing Officer informed Members that the driver had telephoned the Licensing Office prior to the meeting to request that his case be adjourned to the next meeting as his legal representative was unable to attend. Members, therefore, determined to defer consideration of the matter to the next meeting to afford the driver and his legal representative the opportunity to attend.

ORDERED that consideration of the Review of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 04/16, be deferred to the next meeting of the Licensing Committee to afford the driver and his legal representative the opportunity to attend.

 

The Committee requested that the driver be notified that the matter would be heard in his absence should he fail to attend the next meeting without good reason.

15/80 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF. NO: 05/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 05/16, 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 driver was first licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle Driver in 2013 and his current licence was due to expire on 29 February 2016. The driver had informed the Licensing Section on 14 December 2015 that he had on that day been found guilty at Teesside Magistrates Court of the offence detailed at 1) in the report. Confirmation of the offence was subsequently obtained via the Police Notifiable Occupations Scheme.

 

The driver had been interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer in relation to the above offence on 22 December 2015, at which time he had confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council were unaware and offered an explanation in relation to the offence detailed at 1) in the report.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offence detailed at 1) in the submitted report. The Council's legal representative advised Members with regard to the definition of Unconditional Discharge.

 

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 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 05/16, be retained but that the driver be issued with a warning regarding his future conduct.

 

In making their decision the Committee had taken into account the level of the sentence given by the Magistrates Court in respect of the conviction dated 14 December 2015. The driver was given an Unconditional Discharge and the Committee considered that this was at the lower end of the sentences available for this conviction.

15/81 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE - REF. NO: 06/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 06/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
 

The applicant was first licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle Driver on 29 May 2009. He had first appeared before Members on 6 September 2010 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) in the report. On that occasion, Members had chosen to revoke his Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence as they believed that the applicant had shown a propensity to be dishonest over a long period of time. The applicant had subsequently appealed against that decision and on 6 December 2010, Teesside Magistrates Court had upheld the Council's decision.

 

The applicant next appeared before Members with a new application on 20 February 2012. Members had considered the offences detailed at 1) and on that occasion, Members had refused the application.

 

The applicant now appeared before Members with a new application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence. The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 22 December 2015 at which time the applicant confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council were unaware and confirmed his earlier explanation in relation to the offences detailed at 1) in the report.

 

The applicant 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 the Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 06/16, be granted.

 

The Committee had regard to the Council’s Policy Guidance on Convictions which stated that an applicant convicted of an isolated offence involving dishonesty will normally be refused or have their licence revoked unless a period of 3 - 5 years free from conviction had elapsed since the date of conviction or the completion of any sentence imposed, whichever is the later.

 

The driver’s conviction was dated 8 January 2010 and his prison sentence was suspended for 24 months. The Committee noted that more than three years had elapsed since the completion of the driver’s conviction.

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