Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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

Date:
Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015
Time:
10.00 a m
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 Mrs Kathryn Nelson(Vice Chairman),Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Philip Dennis, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Stephen Parry, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
C Barnes, S Mills(PH), J Nertney, S Whaley(LD)
In Attendance:
Applicant - Ref 140921, Applicant - Ref 001106 and his Representative.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Julia Whitehill,
Item Description Decision
Public
L
37/15
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
L
38/15
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
L
39/15
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
40/15
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 140921
  • Application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 140921
RESOLVED that Applicant - Ref 140921 be granted his Private Hire Drivers licence with a warning as to his future conduct as set out above.
L
41/15
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 141115
  • Application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 141115
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
L
42/15
APPLICATIONS FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER'S LICENCE - REF 001106.
  • Report 001106
  • |
    Appendix 1 001106
  • |
    Appendix 2 001106
RESOLVED that the item be deferred for the reasons set out above.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
L
37/15
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
L
38/15
There were no declarations of interest.
L
40/15
Consideration was given to a report for Members to determine what action to take in relation to an application for a private hire driver's licence from an applicant who had ten convictions for offences which were relevant when considering whether Applicant - Ref 140921 was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire drivers licence.


Applicant - Ref 140921 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:

- Applicant - Ref 140921's background and details of his convictions.

Attached to the report were copies of:

- Applicant - Ref 140921's application and DVLA drivers licence which was free from any convictions.

The Committee considered the report, appendices and oral evidence given by Applicant - Ref 140921. The Committee listened carefully to what Applicant - Ref 140921 had to say with regard to his previous convictions and behaviour. It was noted that Applicant - Ref 140921 had 22 offences, which resulted in 10 convictions but that these were mainly historic.

Members were reminded that under the provisions of Section 51(1) (a) of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 which instructed District Councils 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 deliberated over their decision as to whether they were satisfied at this time that Applicant - Ref 140921 was a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The Committee had concerns relating to a recent fixed penalty notice for a breach of the peace. Members were also unsure if Applicant - Ref 140921 would be able to manage and deal with members of the public who may have had a little too much alcohol to drink. The Committee considered the Councils guidelines as contained in the Transport Policy and the individual circumstances of Applicant - Ref 140921's application. The Committee noted that Applicant - Ref 140921 had been free from any convictions for 16 years and were minded to grant his licence subject to a written warning as to Applicant - Ref 140921's future conduct. The Committee also noted that Applicant - Ref 140921 had detailed in his application that he had received a fixed penalty notice for a public order offence in 2008 where it was stated that Applicant - Ref 140921 had kicked a litter bin. Members noted that this was an isolated incident which did not appear on Applicant - Ref 140921's DBS certificate as it had been dealt with by way of a fixed penalty. The Committee gave credit to Applicant - Ref 140921 for being honest in disclosing the information on his application.

Whilst it was noted that Applicant - Ref 140921's last conviction was over 16 years ago and fell outside of the Council's guidelines on the relevance of convictions, it was a concern that he had such convictions.

Members agreed to grant Applicant - Ref 140921 with his Private Hire Drivers Licence however explained to him that the issuing and holding of a licence was a privilege and not a right and persons who held such a licence were expected to conduct themselves in a manner that did not bring their profession or the Council into disrepute. Should Applicant - Ref 140921 be the subject of any customer complaints or be convicted of any further offences he may be referred back to the Council's Licensing Committee for them to determine his continued fitness to remain a licensed Private Hire Driver with the Authority.
L
41/15
Members were informed that Applicant - Ref 141115 was not in attendance at the meeting however as this was an application for a new licence and members were required to decide whether Applicant - Ref 14115 was a fit and proper person then Applicant - Ref 141115 should be in attendance at the meeting when the item was considered and therefore agreed to defer the item.
L
42/15
Consideration was given to a report for Members to determine a new application for a private hire driver's licence, from an applicant who had previously been a licensed driver with this Authority. The applicant had a history of driving convictions and was disqualified from driving for 4 months in November 2013.

Applicant - Ref 001106 was in attendance at the meeting with his representative 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:

- Applicant - Ref 001106's background and details of his driving convictions.

Attached to the report were copies of:

- Applicant - Ref 001106's application and details of the status of his DVLA drivers licence.

- A letter dated 4th November 2014 from Stockton Borough Council, Trading Standards and Licensing department to Applicant - Ref 001106 informing him of the refusal of a previous application.

Members were respectfully reminded that under the provisions 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 001106 and his representative.

Members were of the view that they would need further evidence to enable them to come to a decision in relation to the reason why Applicant - Ref 001106 had been disqualified from driving. Applicant - Ref 001106 had received a driving disqualification under offence CD10 which was not currently listed in policy guidelines. It was unclear from the information available to Members as to whether the disqualification was due to 'totting up', or driving without due care and attention.

It was explained to Applicant - Ref 001106 and his representative that further confirmation of the driving disqualification would be required and that the application would be deferred to the next Licensing Committee meeting for re-consideration.

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