Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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

Date:
Tuesday, 12th August, 2014
Time:
10:00 am
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 Eileen Johnson(Chair), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E(Vice Cllr Paul Kirton), Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
C. Barnes(PH), J. Nertney, K. Wannop(LD)
In Attendance:
Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 070104 and his representative Mr M Vaines, Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 103792
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson ,Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Alan Lewis.
Item Description Decision
Public
L
44/14
APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR
AGREED that Cllr Eileen Johnson Chair this meeting only.
L
45/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
L
46/14
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
47/14
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE & HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 070104
  • Application for a Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Drivers Licence - Ref 070104
RESOLVED that:

1. Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 070104 be granted a licence.

2. If there were any further instances of such behaviour Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 070104 would be brought back before the Licensing Committee.
L
48/14
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE & HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 103792
  • Application for a Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Drivers Licence - Ref 103792
RESOLVED that:

1. Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 103792 be granted a license.

2. Licensing staff to be kept informed of any changes to Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 103792's immigration status with immediate effect.
L
49/14
HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER - REF 00908
  • Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 00908
RESOLVED that:

1. Hackney Driver - 000908 be given one further opportunity to undertake the test and that he be informed that he should contact licensing officers to make the necessary arrangements on receipt of the Committee decision letter.

2. If the driver fails to contact Licensing Officers immediately and if he does not sit the test then the matter would be brought before the next meeting of the Licensing Committee in September. The Committee wished to remind the driver that on the next occasion they would then give consideration to suspending the drivers licence until the test had been done.
L
50/14
HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER - REF 001413
  • Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 001413
RESOLVED that:

1. Hackney Driver - 001413 be given one further opportunity to undertake the test and that he be informed that he should contact licensing officers to make the necessary arrangements on receipt of the Committee decision letter.

2. If the driver fails to contact Licensing Officers immediately and if he does not sit the test then the matter would be brought before the next meeting of the Licensing Committee in September. The Committee wished to remind the driver that on the next occasion they would then give consideration to suspending the drivers licence until the test had been done.
10.00am/11.40am

Preamble

ItemPreamble
L
44/14
Nomination were recieved for appointment of Chair for this meeting only.
L
45/14
Cllr Norma Stephenson declared a personal non prejudical interest as her son was an employee of Tees Valley Cars.
L
46/14
L
47/14
Members were provided with a report to determine whether the applicant was considered to be a fit and proper person to be granted a combined private hire and hackney carriage driver's licence in accordance with Sections 51 and 59 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 070104 and his representative Mr M Vaines were in attendance at the meeting and had been provided with a copy of the Committee report prior to the meeting and was given the opportunity to make representation.

The report detailed:

- Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 070104's background.

Attached to the report were copies of;

- The application form
- Minute reference L/46/11 from the Licensing Committee in November 2011.
- Decision letter from December 2011
- Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 070104's representation

The Committee considered all of the evidence including the report, appendices and oral evidence that was given. The role of the Committee was to determine if the applicant was considered to be a ‘fit & proper' person to hold the licence. This was necessary as it was the Licensing Committees decision to revoke the applicant's previous licence.

The Licensing Committee listened very carefully to what the applicant and this representative. They gave careful consideration to all of the information they had before them.

The Committee concluded that the applicant was now considered to be a ‘fit & proper' person to hold the licence he had applied for. The Committee came to the conclusion that he had learnt a very harsh lesson in not being able to do a job he really enjoyed. They understood the reasons why he had taken the action he did on the day, but could not condone the actions.
L
48/14
Members were provided with a report to determine whether the applicant was considered to be a fit and proper person to be granted a combined private hire and hackney carriage driver's licence in accordance with Sections 51 and 59 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 103792 was in attendance at the meeting and had been provided with a copy of the Committee report prior to the meeting and was given the opportunity to make representation.

The report detailed:

-Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - Ref 103792's background

Attached to the report were copies of;
- The application form
- Minutes reference L26/11 from the Licensing Committee on 23rd August 2011.
- Decision letter from August 2011.
- Interview transcript from June 2014.

The Committee considered all of the evidence including the report, appendices and oral evidence that was given. The role of this Committee was to determine if the applicant was considered to be a ‘fit & proper' person to hold the licence. This was necessary as it was the Licensing Committees decision to revoke the applicants previous licence.

The Licensing Committee listened very carefully to what the applicant had to say. They gave careful consideration to all of the information they had before them.

Members concluded that the applicant was now considered to be a ‘fit & proper' person to hold the licence applied for. The Committee advised that it was important to keep Licensing Staff aware of any changes to the applicant's immigration status with immediate effect.
L
49/14
Members were provided with a report to consider the fitness of a hackney carriage driver who appeared before the Committee in November 2013 after they were found standing for hire other than on designated rank in Yarm High Street. At this time Members resolved to issue the driver with a written warning and they were also require to undertake the hackney carriage driver knowledge test at their own expense but they had failed to do so.

This report was due to be heard by Committee on 17th April 2014 but due to the length of time taken on the item before if was never heard. Correspondence then took place between the Principal Solicitor and the hackney carriage driver's solicitor in an attempt to prevent the matter coming back to Committee. However the driver's solicitor had now confirmed on behalf of the driver that they did not wish to take the test as instructed by the Committee.

Hackney Carriage Driver - 000908 was not in attendance at the meeting.

The report detailed:

- The Hackney Carriage Driver - 000908's background.

Attached to the report were copies of;

- Minute from the Committee on 27th November 2013 and decision letter.

- Correspondence from the driver's solicitor on 20th December and the Principal Solicitor's response.

- Further email correspondence between the Principal Solicitor and the driver's solicitor and the Licensing Officer from 9th January 2014 and 14th June 2014.

The Committee noted that the agenda item before the Committee concerned the decision following the driver's appearance before the Licensing Committee on 27 November 2013. At that meeting the Committee had resolved to issue the driver with a written warning and that the driver should sit the hackney carriage knowledge test on the next available date after receiving the decision letter from the Committee. After the hearing the driver instructed Mr Allanson, Solicitor, who entered into lengthy correspondence with the Council challenging the Committees decision to direct that the driver sit the hackney carriage knowledge test. The decision of the Committee was directed at the issue which saw the driver appear before the Committee, namely a breach of the Hackney Carriage Byelaws. Licensing Officers made arrangements for the drivers to sit the test in January 2014 but the driver failed to attend. A further test date was arranged for 14 February 2014 and the driver was advised of that date. The Driver did not attend the second test date arranged for 14 February 2014 and Mr Allanson was advised that the matter would be referred back to the Licensing Committee. The matter was scheduled to be considered by the Licensing Committee on 17 April 2014 and the driver was in attendance at that meeting. Unfortunately owing to time constraints with other matters on the agenda it was not possible to consider the report and the matter was deferred. At that meeting it was clarified for the driver and Mr Allanson that the driver was only required to sit the part of the knowledge test relating to legislation which includes the byelaws and driver conduct. The driver was advised that the test was multiple choice and a copy of the guidance booklet was provided. The guidance booklet was provided to all applicants for drivers licences and the Committee expected that all licensed drivers should have an understanding and knowledge of its contents. The driver was advised that he would only need to read the relevant parts of the guidance booklet relating to legislation which includes the byelaws and driver conduct. The applicant was advised that if he sat the test as directed by the Committee then this may negate the need for any further Committee hearing. Confirmation of the test was provided by Mr Nertney, Principal Solicitor, to Mr Allanson on 02 May 2014 and by Mr Mills, Licensing Officer on 27 May 2014. On 14 June 2014 Mr Allanson confirmed that the driver would not sit the test and Mr Allanson was then advised that a report would be prepared for the Committee and that was the matter now before the Committee.

The Committee noted that Mr Allanson, Solicitor, had written to the Council under cover of letter dated 07 August 2014 advising that he would not be in attendance and requesting that his letter be brought to the attention of the Committee. On 08 August Mr Nertney e-mailed Mr Allanson requesting that he advise his client in the strongest possible terms that they should attend the Committee meeting. Mr Nertney noted that when this matter had been before the Committee on 17 April 2014 the driver had been in attendance and therefore should be in attendance again at the meeting scheduled for 12 August. Mr Allanson had then indicated that he had no direct e-mail contact with him and would be unable to get a letter to the applicant prior to the hearing. The Committee were of the view that Mr Allanson would have had contact telephone numbers for the applicant and could have easily relayed the importance of his attendance at the Committee meeting. Mr Allanson did not offer to contact his client by telephone but indicated that Mr Khazir, another licensed Stockton taxi driver, had also been copied into the e-mail and he would hopefully let the driver know the content of the e-mail. Mr Khazir then e-mailed Mr Nertney and confirmed that he would pass on the most recent e-mails to the driver. Mr Nertney thanked Mr Khazir for his assistance and noted that Hackney carriage Driver - Ref 00908 would take note of the advice contained in his e-mail and the importance of their attendance.

Members considered the report, appendices and the recent correspondence that had been received from Mr Allanson and reached the following conclusions:-

• There were no grounds to persuade them to review or depart from the decision reached by them on 27 November 2013 and in particular that the driver should sit the relevant parts of the multiple choice knowledge test as previously directed by the Committee;

• The Committee were satisfied that their decision was reasonable and proportionate and even more so given that in April 2014 clarification had been provided to the driver that they were only required to sit the part of the knowledge test relating to legislation which included the Byelaws and driver conduct;

• The driver had shown an uncooperative attitude toward the Committee decision as evidenced by the fact that the driver had failed on two occasions to sit the arranged date for the test. Furthermore almost 9 months had now elapsed since the Committee decision and the driver had failed to comply with a reasonable and straightforward decision of the Committee;

• The Committee were of the view that one conclusion that could be drawn was that the driver was deliberately holding the Committee and their decision in contempt which was further evidenced by the fact that the driver had failed to attend at the Committee meeting on 12 August despite been invited and advised that the driver should attend;

• Failing to comply with the decision of the Committee and failing to attend at the Committee meeting arranged to consider that matter were of extreme concern to the Committee and called into question a drivers fitness to hold a licence. It is not fit and proper behaviour for a licensed driver to fail to comply with a reasonable and straightforward decision of the Committee. If the driver was aggrieved by the decision they had legal representation in Mr Allanson who had previously argued that you had a right of appeal to the Crown Court. The driver had failed to follow that course of action and had effectively refused to comply with the decision of the Committee
L
50/14
Members were provided with a report to consider the fitness of a hackney carriage driver who appeared before the Committee in November 2013 after they were found standing for hire other than on designated rank in Yarm High Street. At this time Members resolved to issue the driver with a written warning and they were also require to undertake the hackney carriage driver knowledge test at their own expense but they had failed to do so.

This report was due to be heard by Committee on 17th April 2014 but due to the length of time taken on the item before if was never heard. Correspondence then took place between the Principal Solicitor and the hackney carriage driver's solicitor in an attempt to prevent the matter coming back to Committee. However the driver's solicitor had now confirmed on behalf of the driver that they did not wish to take the test as instructed by the Committee.

Hackney Carriage Driver - 001413 was not in attendance at the meeting.

The report detailed:

-The Hackney Carriage Driver - 001413's background.

Attached to the report were copies of;

- Minute from the Committee on 27th November 2013 and decision letter.

- Correspondence from the driver's solicitor on 20th December and the Principal Solicitor's response.

- Further email correspondence between the Principal Solicitor and the driver's solicitor and the Licensing Officer from 9th January 2014 and 14th June 2014.

The Committee noted that the agenda item before the Committee concerned the decision following the driver's appearance before the Licensing Committee on 27 November 2013. At that meeting the Committee had resolved to issue the driver with a written warning and that the driver should sit the hackney carriage knowledge test on the next available date after receiving the decision letter from the Committee. After the hearing the driver instructed Mr Allanson, Solicitor, who entered into lengthy correspondence with the Council challenging the Committees decision to direct that the driver sit the hackney carriage knowledge test. The decision of the Committee was directed at the issue which saw the driver appear before the Committee, namely a breach of the Hackney Carriage Byelaws. Licensing Officers made arrangements for the drivers to sit the test in January 2014 but the driver failed to attend. A further test date was arranged for 14 February 2014 and the driver was advised of that date. The Driver did not attend the second test date arranged for 14 February 2014 and Mr Allanson was advised that the matter would be referred back to the Licensing Committee. The matter was scheduled to be considered by the Licensing Committee on 17 April 2014 and the driver was in attendance at that meeting. Unfortunately owing to time constraints with other matters on the agenda it was not possible to consider the report and the matter was deferred. At that meeting it was clarified for the driver and Mr Allanson that the driver was only required to sit the part of the knowledge test relating to legislation which includes the byelaws and driver conduct. The driver was advised that the test was multiple choice and a copy of the guidance booklet was provided. The guidance booklet was provided to all applicants for drivers licences and the Committee expected that all licensed drivers should have an understanding and knowledge of its contents. The driver was advised that he would only need to read the relevant parts of the guidance booklet relating to legislation which includes the byelaws and driver conduct. The applicant was advised that if he sat the test as directed by the Committee then this may negate the need for any further Committee hearing. Confirmation of the test was provided by Mr Nertney, Principal Solicitor, to Mr Allanson on 02 May 2014 and by Mr Mills, Licensing Officer on 27 May 2014. On 14 June 2014 Mr Allanson confirmed that the driver would not sit the test and Mr Allanson was then advised that a report would be prepared for the Committee and that was the matter now before the Committee.

The Committee noted that Mr Allanson, Solicitor, had written to the Council under cover of letter dated 07 August 2014 advising that he would not be in attendance and requesting that his letter be brought to the attention of the Committee. On 08 August Mr Nertney e-mailed Mr Allanson requesting that he advise his client in the strongest possible terms that they should attend the Committee meeting. Mr Nertney noted that when this matter had been before the Committee on 17 April 2014 the driver had been in attendance and therefore should be in attendance again at the meeting scheduled for 12 August. Mr Allanson had then indicated that he had no direct e-mail contact with him and would be unable to get a letter to the applicant prior to the hearing. The Committee were of the view that Mr Allanson would have had contact telephone numbers for the applicant and could have easily relayed the importance of his attendance at the Committee meeting. Mr Allanson did not offer to contact his client by telephone but indicated that Mr Khazir, another licensed Stockton taxi driver, had also been copied into the e-mail and he would hopefully let the driver know the content of the e-mail. Mr Khazir then e-mailed Mr Nertney and confirmed that he would pass on the most recent e-mails to the driver. Mr Nertney thanked Mr Khazir for his assistance and noted that Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 001413 would take note of the advice contained in his e-mail and the importance of their attendance.

Members considered the report, appendices and the recent correspondence that had been received from Mr Allanson and reached the following conclusions:-

• There were no grounds to persuade them to review or depart from the decision reached by them on 27 November 2013 and in particular that the driver should sit the relevant parts of the multiple choice knowledge test as previously directed by the Committee;

• The Committee were satisfied that their decision was reasonable and proportionate and even more so given that in April 2014 clarification had been provided to the driver that they were only required to sit the part of the knowledge test relating to legislation which included the Byelaws and driver conduct;

• The driver had shown an uncooperative attitude toward the Committee decision as evidenced by the fact that the driver had failed on two occasions to sit the arranged date for the test. Furthermore almost 9 months had now elapsed since the Committee decision and the driver had failed to comply with a reasonable and straightforward decision of the Committee;

• The Committee were of the view that one conclusion that could be drawn was that the driver was deliberately holding the Committee and their decision in contempt which was further evidenced by the fact that the driver had failed to attend at the Committee meeting on 12 August despite been invited and advised that the driver should attend;

• Failing to comply with the decision of the Committee and failing to attend at the Committee meeting arranged to consider that matter were of extreme concern to the Committee and called into question a drivers fitness to hold a licence. It is not fit and proper behaviour for a licensed driver to fail to comply with a reasonable and straightforward decision of the Committee. If the driver was aggrieved by the decision they had legal representation in Mr Allanson who had previously argued that you had a right of appeal to the Crown Court. The driver had failed to follow that course of action and had effectively refused to comply with the decision of the Committee.

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction