Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 14 March 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 Brady, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor T Higgins (As Substitute for Councillor Harvey), Councillor T Lawton, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor D McCabe, Councillor J Rathmell
Officers:
B Carr, C Cunningham and J Hodgson
Apologies for absence:
Councillor R Arundale, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor S Biswas, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor G Purvis
Declarations of interest:
Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor J Walker Non-Pecuniary Agenda Item 5 - Review of Hackney Carriage Driver Licence Ref: 13/16 - Driver known to Councillor
Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
15/96 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.

 

**Councillor J Walker declared a Non Pecuniary Interest in Agenda Item 4, and left the room at this point of the meeting and took no part in that Agenda Item.

15/97 ANY OTHER BUSINESS - LICENSING TRAINING

The Chair advised that it would be useful for a Members Briefing to be arranged for all Members of the Council with regard to the Licensing Process for Licensing Act 2003 applications and to provide Members with guidance on how best to make representations in respect of Licensing applications.

 

It was also suggested that refresher training be provided in respect of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 with regard to the current legislation and the hearings procedure. 

 

NOTED

EXEMPT
Report of Assistant Director - Improving Public Health
15/98 REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE : REF NO: 13/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Hackney Carriage Driver Licence: Ref No: 13/16, 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 Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to a complaint received from a member of the taxi trade regarding the behaviour of the driver. The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.

 

The Chair invited the witness to join the meeting to outline his version of events of the incident that occurred on 23 September 2015. The witness 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 witness left the room at this point of the meeting.

 

The driver was invited to address the Committee in support of his case. The driver 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 Hackney Carriage Driver Licence: Ref No: 13/16 be retained and no further action be taken in respect of the review of the Applicant’s licence.

 

The Committee considered the representations from the witness and the driver and the information contained within the report.


The Committee considered that the Applicant had held a hackney carriage driver’s licence for 22 years without complaint.

 

They considered that two people gave a version of events and two people gave another version of events. The Committee noted that the Applicant attended regularly at the rank where lots of other drivers were present with no previous complaint or incident. The Committee considered that on balance, it was likely that the complainant may have made an honest mistake as to what the driver said.

 

**Councillor J Walker returned to the meeting at this point.

15/99 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE : REF NO: 14/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref No: 14/16, 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 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 two offences detailed at 1) in the report and the complaint received regarding the driver's behaviour in respect of an incident that occurred on 16 June 2016. The driver confirmed that the report was correct.

 

The driver was invited to address the Committee in support of his case. The driver 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 review.

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

ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref No: 14/16 be revoked as the Committee did not consider the driver to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence for the following reasons:-
 

The Committee considered the personal circumstances of the Applicant, however, he had been convicted of 2 violent offences which carried quite serious sentences and decided he was not a fit and proper person to drive private hire vehicles in line with the Licensing Authority’s guidance on convictions and noted that they could not go behind convictions of a criminal court.

 

The Committee therefore decided to revoke his licence in line with the Policy Guidance to Applicants, Licensed Drivers and Members of the Licensing Committee.

 

In making their decision, the Committee had taken into consideration, the representations from the driver, the evidence received from the Complainant and the information contained within the report.


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

15/100 REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE : REF NO: 15/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 15/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer advised that the driver was not in attendance and 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: 15/16, be deferred to the next Licensing Committee in order to afford the driver a further opportunity to attend.

 

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