** DECLARATION OF INTEREST
Councillor Goodchild declared an interest in relation to Agenda Item 7 at the point in the meeting when it became apparent, during questions to the driver, that she had witnessed the incident in question. Councillor Goodchild, therefore, withdrew from the meeting and took no further part in consideration or determination of the matter. **
The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 18/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The 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 4) in the submitted report.
The driver was first licensed with Middlesbrough Council in July 2012 and first appeared before Members in June 2014 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the submitted report. On that occasion he was permitted to retain his licence but required to undertake the Driver Improvement Scheme. The driver completed the course on 18 July 2014 and the assessment sheets from that course were attached at Appendix 1.
The driver now appeared before Members in relation to the offence detailed at 4) and further information received from Cleveland Police on 23 March 2016. The driver was interviewed by a Licensing officer on 8 March 2016. At that time he confirmed his previous explanations in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 3), confirmed that all fines and costs had been paid in full and offered an explanation in relation to the offence detailed at 4).
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 and the Councils legal representative.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Councils Legal Services and Democratic Services, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the review.
Subsequently all interested parties returned and the Chair announced the Committees decision.
ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 18/16, be retained but that the driver be issued with a warning in relation to his driving standards and his failure to report his conviction for driving without due care and attention to the Licensing Section within seven days of the incident, as required by condition on his licence.
Having considered the submitted report and the representations made by the driver, the Committee acknowledged that although the driver had previously committed motoring offences, he had successfully completed a Driver Improvement Scheme in June 2014. More than one year had lapsed since he completed the scheme, without incident, until his conviction for driving without due care and attention in November 2015, for which he received a sentence at the lower end of the scale.
** Councillor Goodchild returned to the meeting at this point.