Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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

Date:
Tuesday, 10th March, 2015
Time:
10.00am
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 Paul Kirton(Chairman), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
C Barnes, S Mills(PH), J Nertney, S Whaley(LD)
In Attendance:
Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385, Applicant - Ref 139194
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Miss Tina Large,
Item Description Decision
Public
L
96/14
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
L
97/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
L
98/14
MINUTES FROM THE LICENSING COMMITTEE WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 16TH DECEMBER 2014.
RESOLVED that the minutes be approved and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
L
99/14
MINUTES FROM THE LICENSING SUB COMMITTEE MEETINGS WHICH WERE HELD ON THE 9TH DECEMBER 2014 AND THE 28TH JANUARY 2015.
RESOLVED that the minutes be approved and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
L
100/14
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
101/14
PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - REF 001385
  • Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385
RESOLVED that Private hire driver - Ref 001385's Private Hire Drivers Licence be suspended for one month with immediate effect as detailed above.
L
102/14
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 139127
  • Application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 139127
RESOLVED that Applicant - Ref 139127's Private Hire Drivers Licence be refused.
L
103/14
PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - REF 139194
  • vate Hire Driver - Ref 139194
RESOLVED that Applicant - Ref 139194's Private Hire Drivers Licence be approved.
10.00am

Preamble

ItemPreamble
L
96/14
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
L
98/14
Consideration was given to the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting which was held on the 16th December 2014 for approval and signature.
L
99/14
Consideration was given to the minutes of the Licensing Sub Committee meetings which were held on the 9th December 2014 and 28th January 2015 for approval and signature.
L
101/14
Consideration was given to a report for Members to determine what action to take in relation to Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385 as he had been convicted of a motoring offence with the code TS20 on 12 December 2014. Code TS20 related to the failure to comply with double white lines.

Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385 was in attendance at the meeting and had been provided with a copy of the report prior to the meeting and given the opportunity to make representation.

The report detailed:

- Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385's background and details of the offence committed.

Attached to the report were copies of:

- Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385's Counterpart Driving Licence.

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 considered all of the evidence including the report, appendices and oral evidence given. The role of the Committee was to determine whether Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385 was a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Drivers Licence.

The Committee had regard to Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385's verbal submission with respect to the latest offence regarding the crossing of solid double white lines, which was dealt with by North Yorkshire Police. The Committee were concerned that the conviction was a particularly bad piece of driving which could have had very serious consequences if Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385 had been involved in a collision with another vehicle.

Members noted that at the time of writing the report the number of ‘live' points on Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385's licence was 12. At the time of the presentation to the Licensing Committee Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385 only had 9 ‘live' points. It was also noted another three points were due to come off his licence within the next 12 weeks. The Committee noted that the Magistrates had not disqualified Private Hire Driver - Ref 01385's DVLA licence and had considered there was exceptional hardship. The Licensing Committee were not bound in any way by the decision of the Magistrates Court and they gave strong consideration to revoking Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385's private hire drivers licence. However the Committee were mindful that 3 further points would be coming off Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385's licence in the near future and with that in mind felt that a period of suspension would be an appropriate decision at this time.

After considering all of the evidence and Private Hire Driver - Ref 001385's driver history the Committee were satisfied that there was sufficient ‘reasonable cause' under the provisions of Section 61(1)(b) of the above mentioned legislation to suspend Private Hire driver - Ref 001385's licence to drive private hire vehicles for a period of one calendar month. The Committee found that due to Private hire Driver - Ref 001385's accrual of points and his most recent points for crossing solid double white lines it was a matter of public safety and under the provision of Section 61(2B) the suspension should have immediate effect and Private Hire Driver -Ref 001385 was therefore no longer authorised to drive private hire vehicles with immediate effect.
L
102/14
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 Applicant - Ref 139127 who had convictions for dishonesty and who had also made a false declaration as part of his application.

Applicant - Ref 139127 was not in attendance at the meeting and he had not made contact with the Licensing Department to inform them that he would not be attending the hearing.

The report detailed:

- Applicant - Ref 139127's background and details of the offences committed.

Attached to the report were copies of:

- A copy of Applicant - Refs 139127's application including his DVLA driving licence.

- A summary transcript of an interview with Applicant - Ref 139127 dated the 1st December 2014.

The Committee noted that at their meeting on 27 January 2015, Applicant - Ref 139127 was not in attendance, and no contact had been made with the Licensing Department to inform them that he would not be attending the hearing. In the interest of fairness Members agreed to adjourn Applicant - Ref 139127's item to the next hearing on the 10 March 2015, thereby giving him an opportunity to attend and make his application in person. Applicant - Ref 139127 was informed of the date and invited to attend the meeting but again failed to attend. As Applicant - Ref 139127 had been invited to the meeting the Committee decided to proceed with the hearing in his absence.

The Committee had regard to the report and appendices, copies of which had been provided to Applicant - Ref 139127, prior to the meeting.

As Applicant - Ref 139127 was not in attendance, the Committee considered his application on the basis of the documentary evidence that was before them which included Applicant - ref 139127's Disclosure and Barring Service check and also a summary of the interview with the Licensing Department and Applicant - Ref 139127. The Committee noted that Applicant - Ref 139127 had a conviction in August 1975 for theft of a motorcycle, two convictions for theft by employee, with the first being received in December 1980 and the second in October 1985 and also a police caution on 7 January 2013 for theft by employee.

The Committee noted that Applicant - Ref 139127 had demonstrated a substantial period of time free from conviction following his convictions for theft in 1975, 1980 and 1985. However Applicant - Ref 139127 had received a caution for theft in 2013. In the opinion of the Committee all of the convictions were therefore relevant as to whether Applicant - Ref 139127 was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire drivers licence. The Committee noted that under their policy on the relevance of convictions it stated, ‘Applicants with a conviction, caution, reprimand or final warning for an offence involving dishonesty would normally be refused a licence. An application would be considered where the applicant could show at least 3 years free of such conviction, caution, reprimand or final warning from either the date of conviction, caution, reprimand or final warning or 3 years from completion of any custodial sentence imposed, whichever was the later.' The Committee were mindful that the theft offences were not isolated incidents as there were three separate offences of theft recorded against Applicant - Ref 139127.

The Committee were not persuaded to depart from their guidelines on the relevance of convictions and decided that Applicant - Ref 139127 was not considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a private hire drivers licence with this Authority. Applicant - Ref 139127's application was refused under the above mentioned legislation.
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103/14
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 Applicant - Ref 139194 who had a conviction for driving whilst uninsured.

Applicant - Ref 139194 was in attendance at the meeting and 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 139194's background and of the offence committed.

Attached to the report were copies of:

- A copy of Applicant - Ref 139194's application including a copy of the counterpart of his driving licence.

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 considered all of the evidence including the report, appendices and oral evidence given. The role of the Committee was to determine whether Applicant - Ref 139194 was a fit and proper person to be granted a Private Hire Drivers Licence.

The Committee were presented with a report regarding the number of penalty points and the type of offence Applicant - Ref 139194 had on his DVLA driving licence.

Members had regard to Applicant - Ref 139194's verbal submissions with respect to the circumstances of the IN10 coded ‘no insurance' offence. The Committee were concerned that the conviction was a particularly serious offence as outlined in the Policy.

It was noted, that at the time of the offence being committed, Applicant - Ref 139194 was driving back from work and had not realised the insurance certificate had actually expired. Applicant - Ref advised the Committee that he had not received any reminder from his insurance company regarding the expiry date. Applicant - Ref 139194 provided evidence that the insurance was re-instated the very next day.

Applicant - Ref 139194 told the Committee that this was the only offence he had committed and his only involvement with the Police.

After considering all of the information and hearing Applicant - Ref 139194's verbal submissions the Licensing Committee took the view, that, as Applicant - Ref 139194 would be compliant with Council policy in a very short period of time, and taking into account the particular circumstances of his conviction, Members were persuaded to depart from the policy and grant Applicant - Ref 139194 his Private Hire Drivers Licence.

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