Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Licensing Committee (ceased to operate 10/04/2017) Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 4th November, 2014
Time:
10:00
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AJ
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
C Barnes, P Edwards, L Wilford(PH), J Nertney, S Whaley(LD)
In Attendance:
Applicant Ref - 137678, Mr M Vaines (representing Applicant Ref - 137678), Private Hire Driver Ref - 001305, Applicant Ref - 096283
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ken Dixon,
Item Description Decision
Public
L
69/14
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
L
70/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
L
71/14
MINUTES FROM THE MEETINGS WHICH WERE HELD ON THE 29TH AND 31ST JULY 2014.
RESOLVED that the minutes be approved and signed as a correct record.
L
72/14
REVIEW OF SEXUAL ENTERTAINMENT VENUES POLICY
RESOLVED that Members agreed the report and the recommendations as detailed above.
L
73/14
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
RESOLVED that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Confidential
L
74/14
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 137678
  • Application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 137678
RESOLVED that the item be deferred for the reasons as set out above.
L
75/14
PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - REF 001305
  • Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305
RESOLVED that Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305's licence be revoked.
L
76/14
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 096283
  • Application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 096283
RESOLVED that Applicant - Ref 096283's Private Hire Drivers Licence be refused.
10:00

Preamble

ItemPreamble
L
69/14
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
L
70/14
There were no declarations of interest.
L
71/14
Consideration was given to the minutes of the Licensing Committee meetings which were held on the 29th and 31st July 2014 for approval and signature.
L
72/14
Members were presented with a report on the Review of the Sex Establishment Licensing Policy which had been prepared for consultation with relevant stakeholders prior to submission to Cabinet.

Officer recommendations were as follows:

1) That Members views be received

2) That the Director of Public Health carries out consultation on the draft policy document.

3) That the revised Sex Establishment Licensing Policy together with the results of the consultation exercise be referred to Cabinet for approval.

The main issues discussed were as follows:

Officers informed the Committee that following extensive consultation with interested parties including Cleveland Police, representatives of businesses and residents, results had been positive. It was also proposed that the Sexual Entertainment Venues Policy be reviewed every 5 years and not every 3 years as it was currently.
L
74/14
Consideration was given to a report for Members to determine what action to take in relation to an application for a private hire drivers licence from someone with relevant convictions and whether he would be considered to be a fit and proper person to be granted a private hire driver's licence in accordance with Section 51 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

Applicant - Ref 137678 was in attendance at the meeting alongside his representative Mr M Vaines. They had been provided with a copy of the report prior to the meeting and given the opportunity to make representation.

The report detailed:

- Details of Applicant -Ref 137678's background.

- Applicant -Ref 137678's application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence.

- A copy of a recorded interview between Applicant Ref - 137678 and an Officer of Stockton Borough Council which took place on the 22nd August 2014.

Members were respectfully reminded that under the provisions of section 51(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1976, District Councils were instructed not to grant a licence to drive private hire vehicles, unless they were satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.

Members carefully considered all of the evidence including the report, appendices and oral evidence given by Applicant - Ref 137678 and his representative Mr Vaines.

Members were of the view that they would need further evidence to substantiate what Applicant - Ref 137678 had verbally told them through his representative, and what had been explained during the interview which had taken place with the Licensing Officer.

The Committee requested that documentary evidence was required to substantiate the following points;

• Evidence of the vehicle insurance being in place for the vehicle for which Applicant - Ref 137678 received the IN10 Offence code.

• The period of time the insurance was valid for, prior to being cancelled.

• How Applicant - Ref 137678 had paid for his insurance.

• Copies of Bank Statements detailing direct debit payments and when they had stopped.

• Confirmation of exact dates of residence Applicant - Ref 137678 had disclosed at teh meeting, including dates in and out of each premise.

• Details of the vehicle Applicant - Ref 137678 had on the insurance that was cancelled and resulted in the IN10 being issued, and confirmation of when and how the vehicle was disposed of.

• Confirmation of the details of Applicant - Ref 137678's current vehicle and evidence of the current valid insurance.

• Confirmation of the fine and costs received in relation to the Tachograph Offence from either VOSA or the Magistrates Court.

It was explained to Applicant - Ref 137678 that the requested information should be provided as soon as possible so the matter could be referred back to the Licensing Committee as soon as practicable.
L
75/14
Consideration was given to a report for Members to determine if, following a complaint regarding Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305's conduct, he was still considered to be a ‘fit and proper person' to hold his private hire driver's licence in accordance with Section 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
1976.

Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305 was in attendance at the meeting. He had been provided with a copy of the report prior to the meeting and given the opportunity to make representation.

The report detailed:

- Details of Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305's background.

- A copy of a witness statement.

- A copy of a suspension letter addressed to Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305.

- A letter from Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305 with a copy of a fixed penalty notice.

- A copy of a tape recorded interview between Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305 and Officers of Stockton Borough Council.

- A copy of a warning letter.

Members were reminded that under the provisions of Section 61(1)(b) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, District Councils had the power to suspend and or revoke the licence of a driver for any reasonable cause.

Members carefully considered all of the evidence including the report, appendices and oral evidence given based upon the details of Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305's caution for supplying alcohol to a group of three 14-15 year old girls and the subsequent Police caution for that offence under the Licensing Act 2003.

The Licensing Committee also gave consideration to two character references Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305 provided at the meeting.

After giving due consideration to all of the evidence available, and due to the very serious nature of the offence and the young age of the girls involved, the Committee had no alternative other than to revoke Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305's licence with immediate effect.

The Committee were of the view that the integrity of a licensed driver was one of the most important factors in protecting members of the public when travelling in licensed vehicles. The safety of the public was one of the main considerations of the Committee and Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305's actions on that evening were deemed to put the safety of the public at risk.

As the Committee made a finding that the revocation of Private hire Driver - Ref 001305's licence was based on the grounds of public safety they resolved that under Section 61(2)(B) that the revocation would take immediate effect. This meant that if Private Hire Driver - Ref 001305 exercised his right of appeal he would not be permitted to drive any licensed vehicle until the determination of that appeal.
L
76/14
Consideration was given to a report for Members to determine what action to take in relation to an application for a private hire drivers licence from a previously licensed individual who did not renew his licence and then worked as a private hire driver using fraudulently produced badges.

Applicant - Ref 096283 was in attendance at the meeting. He had been provided with a copy of the report prior to the meeting and given the opportunity to make representation.

The report detailed:

- Details of Applicant -Ref 096283's background.

- A copy of Applicant -Ref 096283's application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence including his DVLA licence.

- A copy of a letter from Applicant -Ref 096283, detailing why he felt his licence should be granted.

Members were respectfully reminded that under the provisions of section 51(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1976, District Councils were instructed not to grant a licence to drive private hire vehicles, unless they were satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.

The Committee considered the report, appendices and oral evidence given by Applicant -Ref 096283 during the meeting. The role of the Committee was to determine if Applicant -Ref 096283 was considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a private hire drivers licence with Stockton Borough Council.

Members noted that Applicant -Ref 096283 had convictions in 2008 for: ‘Operating a Private Hire Vehicle without Operator's Licence', ‘Using False Instrument For Other Than Prescription For Scheduled Drug', Possess/Control Article For Use In Fraud' and ‘Knowingly Make False Statement As To Service'. The Committee noted that these convictions had followed prosecution by Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council and the Committee were of the view that that was an aggravating feature in considering whether Applicant -Ref 096283 was a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The Committee noted that Applicant -Ref 096283 had recently made an application to Middlesbrough Council and that he had been granted a licence to drive Private Hire Vehicles.

The Committee had regard to Stockton Councils guidelines and noted that Applicant -Ref 096283's convictions were for dishonesty related matters and as such this went to the heart of considering an applicants fitness. Due to the seriousness of those convictions the Committee were not satisfied that Applicant -Ref 096283 was a fit and proper person to be licensed with Stockton Borough Council. Members, therefore, resolved to refuse Applicant -Ref 096283's application for a Private Hire Licence, under section 51(1)(a) of the said Act.

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