Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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

Date:
Tuesday, 17th April, 2012
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 Mrs Kathryn Nelson (In the Chair); Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ray McCall and Cllr Maurice Perry.
Officers:
C Barnes, P Edwards, L Maloney (DNS); J Douglas, P K Bell.
In Attendance:
Mr C J.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Dave Wilburn and Cllr Bill Woodhead.
Item Description Decision
Public
L
1/12
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no interests declared.
L
2/12
MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting held on 13th December 2012 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
Confidential
L
3/12
PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - C.J.
  • Private Hire Driver - C.J.
RESOLVED that:-

1. Mr C J remain suspended until medical advice can be obtained on Mr C J's prescribed medication.

2. If the medical advice is that the prescribed medication would not have an effect on Mr C J's ability to drive then the suspension be lifted.
L
4/12
COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE & PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - M.J.K
  • Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - M.J.K
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
L
5/12
COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE & PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - J.N.
  • Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - J.N.
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
L
6/12
COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIGE & PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - M.S.
  • Combined Hackney Carrige & Private Hire Driver - M.S.
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
10.00 am - 11.00 am

Preamble

ItemPreamble
L
3/12
Consideration was given to a report on the continued fitness of a driver following a change in medical fitness to drive.

Mr C J had been a licensed driver with the Authority since November 2006.

On 12 September 2011, information was received anonymously regarding the medical fitness of the above driver. A number of telephone calls were made to establish if the information was correct.

It was established that Mr C J had been taken to hospital following an incident. He had been treated for this and released from hospital and returned to his home address.

Mr C J was contacted and attended the Licensing Office. He confirmed that the information we had received was correct. He was spoken to at length and gave an honest and frank account of his feelings and the triggers to his actions. He confirmed it was not the first time this had happened. This was the third time he had been in this situation.

He freely gave information and was aware that the incidents always followed his drinking to an unacceptable level. He had discussed these issues with medical professionals in the past who had given him advice and guidance on how to control his actions.

In the interests of public safety it was thought the best course of action for all concerned was that his Private Hire Drivers licence be suspended with immediate effect until his continued fitness to drive was determined by a Medical Professional. Mr C J was in agreement with this, and by his own admission he felt he was not ready to return to work. A copy of the suspension letter dated 15 September 2011 was attached to the report.

Given the sensitive and personnel nature of the enquiries to be made Mr C J was requested to sign a document that would give Officers the authority to obtain any relevant information from his Medical Team in relation to his medical fitness. He willingly signed the authorisation. A copy was attached to the report along with the letter sent to his Doctor.

On 5th October 2011, a letter was received from Mr C J's G.P. in response to the enquiry that had been made. Dr D advised that she was aware of his current ongoing issues and was happy that he was signed off on the sick and would not be working. Her opinion was that Mr C J was not a risk to members of the public as all the incidents had occurred within the confines of his own home. Dr D did indicate she was not a specialist in Mental Health and would be referring Mr C J to Consultant Psychiatrist regarding his future fitness to drive private hire vehicles. A copy of that letter was attached to the report.

Further to the above Mr C J was written to again on the 11 October and advised of the content of the letter from his G.P. Dr D. This letter had asked Mr C J to make it clear to his Consultant Psychiatrist the nature of his work and the suspension of his licence. A copy of that letter was attached to the report.

Mr C J was seen by the Psychiatrist, Dr A on behalf of Dr S Consultant Psychiatrist 26 October 2011. A copy of the letter subsequently sent back to his G.P. Dr D and was attached to the report.

The only concern being a comment made by Dr A relating to the consumption of Alcohol. Dr A stated at point 7 on the follow up care plan, "….as regards to his ability to drive, his fluctuant mood is not impeding his ability to drive or work as a taxi driver except for his social alcohol intake".

Members were reminded that under the provisions of Section 51(1) (a) of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 which instructs District Councils not to grant a licence to drive private hire vehicles unless they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.

Member were reminded that under the provisions of Section 61(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 the Council may suspend or revoke or refuse to renew the licence of a hackney carriage and/or private hire driver on the following grounds: -

(a) that he has since the grant of the Licence: -

(i) Been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty, indecency or Violence; or

(ii) Been convicted of an offence under or fails to comply the provisions of the
Act of 1847 or of this part of this Act; or

(b) Any other reasonable cause.

Mr C J was in attendance at the meeting and was given the opportunity to outline his medical fitness and the incidents that had taken place.

Members discussed the prescribed medication that Mr C J was taking and if the medication would have any effect on Mr C J's ability to drive. Members felt that Mr C J should remain suspended until medical advice can be obtained on Mr C J's prescribed medication. Members also felt that if the medical advice was that the prescribed medication would not have an effect on Mr C J's ability to drive then Mr C J's suspension should be lifted.
L
4/12
Members were informed that Mr M J K had requested that this item be deferred to enable him to seek legal advice. Members agreed with the request and the item was deferred.
L
5/12
Members were informed that Mr J N had requested that this item be deferred to enable him to seek legal advice. Members agreed with the request and the item was deferred.
L
6/12
Members were informed that Mr M S had requested that this item be deferred to enable him to seek legal advice. Members agreed with the request and the item was deferred.

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