Licensing Committee Minutes

Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday 25 July 2016
Time:
1:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor B E Taylor (Chair); Councillor R Arundale, Councillor R Brady, Councillor D J Branson, Councillor S Dean, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor T Higgins, Councillor T Lawton, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor D McCabe, Councillor J Rathmell
Officers:
S Binks, B Carr, C Cunningham and J Wells
Apologies for absence:
Councillor S Biswas, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor J A Walker
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
16/15 MINUTES - LICENSING COMMITTEE - 4 JULY 2016

The minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 4 July 2016 were submitted and approved as a correct record.  

16/16 SAFETY AT SPORTS GROUNDS ACT 1975 - RIVERSIDE STADIUM - RENEWAL OF GENERAL SAFETY CERTIFICATE - 2016/2017 FOOTBALL SEASON

The Head of Transport and Infrastructure submitted a report seeking Members approval to the re-issue of the General Safety Certificate for the forthcoming football season 2016/17.

 

It was highlighted that the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 established the principle that a sports ground accommodating more than 10,000 spectators required a Safety Certificate containing such terms and conditions as the Local Authority considered necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety at the sports ground.

 

Members were advised that the previously approved permitted number of spectators for the Riverside Stadium was up to 34,733. Alterations to the Riverside Stadium were required in order for it to comply with the standards required for Premier League club stadiums. Work to the ground was on-going which involved two TV studios, a TV gantry and a media centre being built and an inspection was due to be undertaken the following week.

 

The Committee was requested to approve the re-issue of the General Safety Certificate for the forthcoming season with a spectator capacity of up to 33,746. It was also recommended that the Head of Transport and Infrastructure, or his representative, be authorised to re-issue the Certificate, as outlined.

 

ORDERED that approval be given to re-issue the General Safety Certificate in respect of the Riverside Stadium for the forthcoming football season 2016/2017 with a spectator capacity of up to 33,746 and that the Head of Transport and Infrastructure, or his representative, be authorised to re-issue the Certificate, as outlined.

16/17 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
16/18 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE OPERATOR LICENCE: REF NO: 31/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Operator Licence, Ref: 31/16, 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 verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Head of Public Protection 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 respond to Members’ questions.

 

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 Democratic Services, 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 No: 31/16, be granted as follows:
 

1. That the Operator’s Licence be subject to the additional following conditions

 

1.1. That only one vehicle will be operated at all times.

 

1.2. That the vehicle operated must solely be used for contractual executive hire purposes and not for general private hire bookings.

 

1.3. That the operator provides records of the contracts to hire or bookings of the vehicle every six months to the Council’s Licensing Office or on request from a Licensing Officer.

 

2. That all other conditions in relation to private hire vehicle operators will apply

 

3. The Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Head of Public Protection and Improving Public Health to grant a vehicle licence to the Applicant with the following exemptions if he considers it is suitable and appropriate to do so:-

 

3.1. An exemption in respect of the Council’s condition in relation to window tints in relation to private hire vehicles.

3.2. An exemption in respect of the Council’s conditions in relation to signs and notices in relation to private hire vehicles, however, the licence must be subject to a requirement to carry an identification disc as the Officer considers appropriate and to be displayed as directed by the Officer.

 

4. The Committee agreed that any grant of a vehicle licence will be subject to a condition that the vehicle must solely be used for contractual executive hire purposes and not for general private hire bookings.

In making their decision, the Committee decided to depart from its policy due to exceptional circumstances in that the vehicle was an upmarket vehicle and was to be used exclusively for executive purposes and not for normal private hire fleet work.

 

The Committee therefore considered that the risk to the driver and his passengers would be much lower than if the driver was driving the general public, who for safety reasons, needed to be visible through all windows.

 

Members had also taken into consideration the information contained in the report and the representations.

16/19 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 25/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 25/16, 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 accompanied by his legal representative, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Head of Public Protection presented the report which set out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the report. The applicant confirmed that the report was correct.

 

The applicant and his legal representative were invited to address the Committee in support of the case and respond to questions from Members of the Committee.


It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant, his legal representative and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council’s Legal Services and Democratic Services, 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 No: 25/16, be granted.

 

In making their decision, the Committee decided to depart from its policy due to exceptional circumstances.

 

The Applicant had acknowledged that he had issues with alcohol and taken the necessary action to deal with the problem by seeking appropriate help from various agencies. The Applicant had also provided the Committee with a copy of blood and liver tests taken by his GP to demonstrate that he was not alcohol dependant. The Committee also recognised the fact that the Applicant had been alcohol free since May 2013.

16/20 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/ PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 28/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a review of Combined Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 28/16, 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 Head of Public Protection presented the report which set out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 2) in the report. The driver confirmed that the report was correct.

 

The driver was invited to address the Committee in support of his case and respond 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 Democratic Services, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.


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

 

ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref No: 28/16 be suspended for a period of four weeks for the following reasons:-

1. In relation to the conviction dated 24 May 2016, the driver was found guilty of plying for hire and having no insurance.

 

2. The driver had received three written warnings since being licensed, one for his behaviour towards a customer in 2003, one for inappropriate behaviour in 2005, and one for inappropriate parking in 2013.

3. The Committee considered that as the driver already possessed a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle licence, the driver was aware that his actions in attempting to ply for hire were contrary to his Private Hire Vehicle Driver licence and were depriving Hackney Carriage drivers of the opportunity to access those fares. The Committee also considered that he put the travelling public at risk because the vehicle was not insured during the journey and a serious view was taken of this.

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

16/21 REVIEW OF COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE/ PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 29/16

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: 29/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

The Head of Public Protection 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 Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 29/16, 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.

16/22 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 30/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 30/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

The Head of Public Protection advised the Committee that the driver had contacted the Licensing Office prior to the meeting to advise that he was unable to attend.

 

ORDERED that consideration of the Application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 30/16, be deferred to the next meeting in order to give the applicant a further opportunity to attend the Committee.

16/23 APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 22/16

The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 22/16, 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 accompanied by his legal representative, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.

 

The Head of Public Protection presented the report which set out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offence detailed at 1) in the report. The applicant confirmed that the report was correct.

 

The applicant and his legal representative were invited to address the Committee in support of the case and respond to questions from Members of the Committee.
 

It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant, his legal representative and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council’s Legal Services and Democratic Services, 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 No: 22/16, be granted.

 

In making their decision, the Committee decided to depart from its policy due to exceptional circumstances.

 

The Applicant had originally been given a driver badge as a result of an administrative error and he had given up his previous job as a result of being awarded this badge. He had worked as a taxi driver for six weeks without complaint.

 

The sentence that the Applicant had received for the offence detailed in the report was at the lower scale of sentences available for that particular offence and it was an isolated offence.

16/24 ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS - REVIEW OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER LICENCE: REF NO: 15/16



The Head of Public Protection referred to the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref No: 15/16, which was considered by the Licensing Committee on 4 April 2016.

 

The Committee had ordered that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 15/16, be retained but that the applicant be required to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme, at his own expense, within the next three months which meant that the Driver Improvement Scheme should have been completed by 4 July 2016.


The driver had failed to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme as required, and the Head of Public Protection requested delegated authority to suspend the Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence until the driver had completed the Driver Improvement Scheme to a satisfactory level.


ORDERED that the Head of Public Protection be given delegated authority to suspend Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 15/16, until such time that the driver completed the Driver Improvement Scheme, at his own expense.

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