Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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

Date:
Tuesday, 11th February, 2014
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 Mrs Kathryn Nelson(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
S Mills, M Vaines, A Pilgrim, S Whaley(LD)
In Attendance:
Private Hire Driver Ref - 134928, Private Hire Driver Ref - 001292 also Operator Ref - 000449
Item Description Decision
Public
L
48/13
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
L
49/13
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
L
50/13
MINUTES FROM THE MEETINGS WHICH WERE HELD ON THE 29TH OCTOBER 2013 AND THE 27TH NOVEMBER 2013.
 
L
51/13
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
 
Confidential
L
52/13
HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER - REF 000936
  • Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 000936
RESOLVED that Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 000936 licence be revoked with immediate effect.
L
53/13
APPLICATION FOR A COMBINED PRIVATE HIRE/HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE - REF 134928
  • Application For A Combined Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver Licence - Ref 134928
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
L
54/13
PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - REF 0001292
PRIVATE HIRE OPERATOR - REF 000449

  • Private Hire Driver Ref 000192 Private Hire Operator Ref 000449
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
L
55/13
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 134351
  • Application For A Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 134351
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
10:00am - 11.50am

Preamble

ItemPreamble
L
48/13
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
L
49/13
There were no declarations of interest.
L
50/13
The minutes of the meetings which were held on the 29th October 2013 and 27th November 2013 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.
L
51/13
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.
L
52/13
Consideration was given to a report for Members to consider what action to take in relation to a Hackney Carriage Driver who had failed to co-operate with Licensing Officers during an investigation into his conduct. The Hackney Carriage Driver had failed to answer questions put to him by Licensing Officers regarding allegations however he had surrended his licence. Given the serious nature of the allegations and the fact that officers had been unable to complete an investigation into the matter, public safety was considered an issue.

Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 000936 was not in attendance however the Committee decided to proceed with the matter in his absence as they considered sufficient notice of the meeting had been given to Hackney Carriage Driver 000936.

The report detailed:-

- Hackney Carriage Driver 000936's background
- The details of the incident.

Attached to the report were copies of:-

- A copy of the Police notification.

- A copy of a letter from Stockton Borough Council to the complainant.

- Bedroom Audio recording from December 2011.

- A copy of a forensic transcript translated from Mirpuri into English.

- A copy of a letter from Stockton Borough Council to Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 requesting information in relation to the incident/allegations against Hackney Carriage Driver 000936.

- A copy of a Letter in response to Stockton Borough Council from Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 which included a copy of a 'No Further Action' notification from Cleveland Police.

- A copy of a letter from Stockton Borough Council in response to Hackney Carriage Driver 000936, requesting further information in relation to the incident/allegations against Hackney Carriage Driver 000936.

- A copy of a further letter from Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 questioning the legalities of what was being requested from him.

- A copy of a written response to Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 from Stockton Bourough Council.

- A copy of a further letter from Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 stating that in his opinion the allegations merited no grounds to have been investigated.

- A copy of a letter from Stockton Borough Council which detailed that Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 voluntarily surrended his licence on the 28th June 2013. The letter also confirmed that Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 would need his licence formally revoked by the Licensing Committee and that he would be invited to attend a Licensing Committee.

Members were reminded of their powers under the provisions of Section 61(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and of the power to suspend or revoke a licence with immediate effect if the interests of public safety so require.

Members had full regard to the report and appendices presented, copies of which had been provided to Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 prior to the meeting.

Members were asked to consider whether the allegations, in respect of Hackney Carriage Driver 000936's behaviour and his continued fitness, to hold a Hackney Carriage driver Licence.

After giving due consideration to the facts of the matter Members agreed that Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 had failed to co-operate with the Licensing Department in relation to an investigation regarding his conduct after he was arrested on suspicion of arranging/facilitating a child sex offence.

Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 had failed to answer questions put to him regarding the alleged offence and instead surrendered his Hackney Carriage Driver Licence.

The Committee noted that Cleveland Police had closed their investigation with no further action but Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 had failed to co-operate with the Councils enquiries into the allegation.

The Committee were not minded to accept the surrender of Hackney Carriage Driver 000936's licence and considered whether Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 continued to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

Members resolved that there was reasonable cause to revoke Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 licence under Section 61(1)(b) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1976. The Committee were extremely concerned that Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 had failed to co-operate with the Licensing Department in relation to their investigation, declined to answer questions and had then attempted to surrender his licence. The Committee were of the view that this was sufficient reasonable cause to revoke Hackney Carriage Driver 000936's licence. The Committee also resolved that as Hackney Carriage Driver 000936 had failed to answer questions on the allegation of arranging or facilitating a child sex offence that public safety was deemed to be relevant and the revocation of your licence had immediate effect pursuant to Section 61 2(B) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
L
53/13
Members were asked to consider and determine what action to take in relation to an application for a combined hackney carriage and private hire drivers licence from an applicant who had been Cautioned for ‘Possessing a Controlled Drug - Class B - Amphetamine' in 2011

Applicant 134928 was in attendance at the meeting and had been provided with a copy of the Committee report prior to the meeting.

Members noted that Applicant 134928 had amended his application to a private hire vehicle only, not as per the original application for a combined hackney carriage and private hire licence.

The Committee noted that in accordance with the Council Guidelines on Relevance of Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands, Warnings and Complaints and Character the application would normally be refused unless Applicant 134928 could provide sufficient reasons to persuade the Committee to depart from their guidelines.

Members raised concerns regarding the content of Applicant 134928's Disclosure and Barring Services Certificate (DBS. Applicant 134928 advised Members that he maintained he did not believe he had agreed to a Caution and that he understood that he had been given a warning by Cleveland Police. Applicant 134928 had been trying to speak with someone in Cleveland Police to look into the options of having this removed from his DBS Certificate however; it stated on the paperwork that he needed to contact them directly. It was therefore Applicant 134928's responsibility to make these enquiries with the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Members agreed to defer the applciation to give Applicant 134928 the opportunity to speak with the Disclosure and Barring Service and ascertain if this had been added in error. Applicant 134928 needed to ensure he kept the Licensing Department updated of any progress on his enquiries to allow them to continuously review his application.
L
54/13
Members were asked to consider what action to take, if any, in respect of Private Hire Driver 0001292's licence which was currently suspended and his Private Hire Operator 000449's Licence.

Private Hire Driver 0001292 was in attendance at the meeting however was unaccompanied. Private Hire Driver 0001292 had made a formal request for an adjournment as he wished to be legally represented. Private Hire Driver 0001292 explained to Members of the Committee that his Solicitor, was unable to attend to represent him at the meeting which was held on the 11th February 2013.

Members agreed to Private Hire Driver 0001292's request and confirmed that the suspension of Private Hire Driver 0001292's Licence would remain in place at this time.

Private Hire Driver 0001292 was advised to liaise with his solicitor and provide dates to avoid during the next 6 weeks. If no response had been received from Private Hire Driver 0001292 by the 25th February 2014 a meeting would be arranged at the earliest convenience of the Licensing Committee and would proceed in the absence of Private Hire Driver 0001292 being legally represented.
L
55/13
The Applicant for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 134351 was not in attendance at the meeting. Although Members noted that this application had been deferred from a previous Licensing Committee meeting held on the 19 December 2013 due to applicant 134351's non-attendance, Members felt they were unable to determine the application in applicant 134351's absence as they felt it was important that applicant 134351 attended in person to explain to the Committee the circumstances surrounding some of the information disclosed on his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate.

Members resolved to adjourn the meeting in order to give applicant 134351 one final opportunity to attend before the Committee, to explain the circumstances surrounding the information disclosed in his DBS certificate.

Members agreed that if applicant 134351 failed to attend a future meeting then his application would be considered on its merits in applicant 134351's absence.

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