Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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

Date:
Tuesday, 11th December, 2012
Time:
10.00am
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton-on-Tees
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson (Acting Chairman), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
C Barnes, P Edwards, M Vaines (DNS); T Harrison, J Nertney (LD)
In Attendance:
Taxi Drivers and operators
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr David Wilburn
Item Description Decision
Public
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58/12
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
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59/12
MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON 24TH JULY 2012 AND 28TH AUGUST 2012 FOR CONFIRMATION AND SIGNATURE BY THE CHAIR
 
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60/12
HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE LICENSING - DELEGATION OF POWERS
RESOLVED that delegated powers be given to the Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood services in consultation with Licensing Committee Chair and Vice Chair, authority to grant applications for licences under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 as follows, where such applications do not comply with the Policy and it is considered that sufficient reasons have been submitted as to why the Council should depart from the Policy:

(i) Applications for hackney carriage licences under Section 37 The Town Police Clauses Act 1847 ;

(ii) Applications for private hire vehicle licences under Section 48 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;;

(iii) Applications for private hire operator licences under Section 55 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 ;

(iv) Applications for a licence to drive hackney carriages under Section 46 The Town Police Clauses Act 1847;

(v) Applications for a licence to drive private hire vehicles under Section 51 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
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61/12
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
 
Confidential
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62/12
ADVERTISING ON PRIVATE HIRE AND HACKNEY CARRIAGE VEHICLES - S.B.C.
  • Advertising on Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Vehicles - S.B.C.
RESOLVED that the application be refused as Members were not persuaded that there were sufficient grounds to depart from Council policy.

The Taxi Company are advised to remove advertisement (telephone number) from the front doors of the Stockton licensed vehicles. Failure to remove the advert from the front doors of their Stockton licensed vehicles will result in the vehicles licences being suspended or revoked for failing to comply with Council policy.
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63/12
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - A.R.R.
  • Application For A Private Hire Drivers Licence - A.R.R.
RESOLVED that the application be refused as the Committee were not persuaded to depart from the policy guidelines.
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64/12
COMBINED PRIVATE HIRE & HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER - T.Z.
  • Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - T.Z.
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
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65/12
COMBINED PRIVATE HIRE & HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER - M.J.S.
  • Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - M.J.S.
RESOLVED that the item be deferred.
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66/12
HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER - P.C.
  • Hackney Carriage Driver - P.C.
RESOLVED that under Section 61(2B) of the said Act the drivers licence is revoked with immediate effect. The Committee resolved that owing to their concerns over your attitude and behaviour and their findings in relation to these complaints that in the interests of public safety the revocation should take immediate effect.
10.00 - 1.00pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
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58/12
There were no declaration of interest.
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59/12
The minutes of the meetings held on 24th July 2012 and 28th August 2012 were signed by the Chair as a correct letter.
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60/12
Consideration was given to the report to propose the delegation of certain decision making powers under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to officers in consultation with the Chairman or Vice Chairman of Licensing Committee. It was proposed that in determining applications for hackney carriage and/or private hire vehicle, driver and operator licences which did not comply with the provisions of the adopted Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy ("the Policy") but where it was considered that there were sufficient reasons for departing from the Policy.

At the Licensing Committee meeting held on 26 May 2009 it was proposed that as the Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing policy had been agreed it was considered appropriate that officers in consultation with the Chairman could determine any future applications that did not comply with the policy specification on their individual merits.

However at that time delegated authority was only given to refuse the following types of applications, when they did not comply with the Policy, to Officers in consultation with the Chairman (minute 19/09 refers):


(i) Applications for hackney carriage licences under Section 37 The Town Police Clauses Act 1847 ;

(iii) Applications for private hire vehicle licences under Section 48 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;

(iii) Applications for private hire operator licences under Section 55 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;

(iv) Applications for a licence to drive hackney carriages under Section 46 The Town Police Clauses Act 1847;

(v) Applications for a licence to drive private hire vehicles under Section 51 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

This had meant that where submissions to depart from the policy were received these had to be referred to this Committee for a decision.

Members were therefore asked to consider delegating to officers in consultation with the Chairman giving authority to grant applications for licences under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 as follows, where such applications did not comply with the Policy and it was considered that sufficient reasons had been submitted as to why the Council should depart from the Policy:-

(i) Applications for hackney carriage licences under Section 37 The Town Police Clauses Act 1847;

(ii) Applications for private hire vehicle licences under Section 48 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;

(iii) Applications for private hire operator licences under Section 55 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976;

(iv) Applications for a licence to drive hackney carriages under Section 46 The Town Police Clauses Act 1847;

(v) Applications for a licence to drive private hire vehicles under Section 51 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

If Members were minded to agree to this delegation it was proposed that this should be subject to the requirement that officers submitted quarterly or bi yearly reports back to Licensing Committee detailing applications which were approved which did not comply with Policy and the reason for the departure (in a similar way as was done with Minor Variations under the Licensing Act).
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61/12
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.
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62/12
Consideration was given a report to determine a submission to depart from the Council's Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy following an application from a taxi firm in relation to the display of advertisements on their vehicles.

The taxi firm was a licensed private hire operator with this Authority, authorised to operate a maximum of 77 vehicles.

An application was received from Mr B dated 13th November to place the company telephone number along the bottom of the front and rear doors of vehicles owned by the company and also owner drivers who worked through the company. A copy of the application was provided to Members. Photographs of the actual advert on vehicles licensed with neighbouring Local Authorities were also provided.

The application was refused by Officers on the basis that it did not comply with the current Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Policy.

Following receipt of the letter of refusal from the Licensing Department, an e-mail was received from the Company Secretary in relation to the submission of the application to the Licensing Committee with a request to depart from the Policy.

Members were advised that the Council's Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy stated at paragraph 91:-No advertising on vehicles shall be allowed or affixed without prior approval of the Council and specifically shall not:

- Be affixed to any window of the vehicle and

- Be affixed to any door or panel on which the Council issued roundel or sign is located.

Members considered the applications for advertising, namely the telephone number of the company to be placed along the front and back doors of licensed vehicles. Members considered the report on this matter and invited the applicant to present their application and inform the Committee of their grounds for requesting a departure from the Policy.

Representatives appeared on behalf of the taxi firm and advised Members that their application was to seek a departure from the Council's policy on the grounds of public safety as customers of the taxi company would recognise the telephone number which they had used to make the booking.

Without the advert/telephone number being placed on the vehicle then passengers could potentially get into the vehicles of other taxi companies. It was stated that Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council had no problem with the number being placed along the doors of their licensed vehicles. The representatives also stated that they were of the view that the use of the number may not be in breach of the policy as it could be argued that it was not an advertisement.

During the consideration of the matter there was some debate as to whether the applicant would have the right of appeal against any decision made by the Committee Members. The Committees legal advisor advised members that if the applicant was aggrieved by any decision of the Committee then he would have the right to pursue a judicial review.

Furthermore if the applicant was aggrieved by the Council policy then he had the right to pursue a judicial review of that policy but this would have to be brought within three months of the introduction of such policy. Depending on the Members decision if any vehicles which breached the Council policy had their licences suspended or revoked then the proprietor of those vehicles would have the right to appeal against such suspension or revocation.

Members were not persuaded by the representative's arguments that the use of the number was not an advertisement. In the Members view the use of the telephone number was to promote the Company and as such constituted an advertisement. It was noted that the representatives had made reference to and had used the words "a number to promote the company". Photographs of vehicles licensed in Middlesbrough showed that the use of the Company logo and telephone number were on the rear doors of the vehicles and as such customers were aware of the company and telephone number. This application was in effect to have a larger advertisement on the vehicle by the use of a larger front telephone number along the whole length of the front and rear doors.

Members were satisfied that the use of the Company telephone number on licensed vehicles did constitute an advertisement under the policy. Members noted that the Taxi company had already placed the number along the doors of Stockton licensed vehicles and as such were in breach of the policy on two grounds, firstly that they had not sought prior approval before affixing their advertising (i.e. their company telephone number) and secondly that the advert breached the policy by being placed on the front doors of Stockton licensed vehicles which was where the Council roundel was located.

Members were disappointed that the Company had proceeded to place the adverts without prior approval and in clear breach of the Council policy but indicated that they would consider the application on its merits and consider whether there were sufficient grounds to persuade Members to depart from the policy.

After consideration of all the evidence and submissions, Members found that they were not persuaded by the representative's argument that the use of the advert was based on the grounds of public safety. In the view of Members the basis of this application was to secure a commercial advantage over other companies by the use of a large font company telephone number along the whole length of their vehicles i.e. across the front and back doors.

Members were not persuaded that there were sufficient grounds to depart from Council Policy and the application was refused. Members informed the Company representatives that the advertisement (telephone number) should be removed from the front doors of the Stockton licensed vehicles. The Company representatives were informed that failure to remove the adverts from the front doors of their Stockton licensed vehicles would result in the vehicles licences being suspended or revoked for failing to comply with Council policy.

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63/12
Consideration was given to a report to determine the suitability of an applicant for a Private Hire Drivers Licence by someone who had previously been disqualified from driving due to the totting up procedure.

The driver had applied for a private hire driver's licence with Stockton Borough Council.

The driver was a licensed private hire driver with Middlesbrough Council from October 2007. He was disqualified from driving, due to the totting up procedure because he received 12 DVLA penalty points in 3 years.

The driver was interviewed on 23 October, by Stockton Council Licensing Officers in relation to his disqualification and he advised all of his points had been issued when he was working in his private hire vehicle but that he never had passengers at the time.

The driver received two sets of 3 points for excessive speed and two sets of 3 points for mobile phone usage. The driver felt the second mobile phone use was unfair as he had been trying to locate a customer and he couldn't park, it was busy on Linthorpe Road and the weather had been bad and he needed to phone them.

The driver was disqualified from driving on 14 October 2010 and completed the Driver Improvement Course on 15 October 2010 with Stockton Borough Council. Evidence of completion of the course was provided to Members.

The driver had his DVLA licence reinstated in April 2011; he had no points showing on his licence. Since then he had been driving his private car without receiving any points.

The driver applied to Middlesbrough Council for a new private hire drivers badge in March 2012 and went before their Licensing Committee, in May 2012, to determine his fitness. Members refused to grant him his licence at that time. The driver appealed to the Courts who upheld the Council decision.

The driver applied to Stockton Borough Council, in August 2012, for a private hire badge. He felt he had learnt his lesson and had changed as a person and felt he should be given the chance to prove himself.

The driver had been given a reference from Boro Cars who would happily reemploy him. They stated that whilst working for them he never received any customer complaints.

The driver was advised during interview about Stockton Council's Transport Policy and the relevance of convictions which stated "If an applicant has a live endorsement in respect of a major traffic offence then the application will be referred to the Licensing Committee and will normally be refused until at least four years after the most recent conviction, caution, reprimand, final warning or if the person was disqualified, after the restoration of their driving licence". This would be April 2015 for this applicant.

The applicant advised that he found the Driver Improvement Course very interesting and useful. He stated that it had opened his eyes to the dangers of driving and had a major impact on how he now viewed the activity of driving. He advised that he understood that if Members chose to grant him his licence, any further motoring offences would result in him being returned to the Licensing Committee where his licence would in all probability be revoked and no further licence issued to him for a considerable period of time.

Members were provided with a summary account of the drivers DVLA history.

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 were provided with a copy of the policy guidelines relating to the Relevance of Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands, Warnings and Complaints and Character.

The driver attend today's meeting.

The Committee noted that the driver was remorseful for his actions and that he had, had his licence back for around 20 months, with no penalty points. However, a disqualification from driving, in accordance with Stockton Borough Council's Licensing policy guidelines on the relevance of convictions, was seen as a major traffic offence and as such stated: "If an applicant has a live endorsement in respect of a major traffic offence then the application will be referred to the Licensing Committee and will normally be refused until at least four years after the most recent conviction, caution, reprimand, final warning or if the person was disqualified, after the restoration of their driving licence". The driver had been advised that this would be April 2015.

After hearing the drivers submissions Members were not persuaded by the information presented to depart from the Policy Guidelines, when determining the driver's fitness. The Committee found that owing to the driver's history of relevant convictions he was not a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council at this time. The Committee noted that the driver had reapplied to Middlesbrough Council and after they refused his application he exercised his right of appeal to Teesside Magistrates Court. After the drivers appeal was dismissed by the Magistrates he then chose to almost immediately apply to Stockton Council.

The driver was advised by Members that he could reapply at any time and any future application could be brought before the Licensing Committee.

The driver was advised that if he was aggrieved by the decision then under the provisions of Sections 52(1) and 59(2) of the above Act he had the right of appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days from receipt of the decision letter.

If the driver decided to exercise his right of appeal he was advised to take the decision letter to his Solicitor or to the Teesside Magistrates Court at Middlesbrough and seek further advice.

The driver was also advised that if he lodged an appeal against this decision and was unsuccessful, the Council would make application for full costs against him, given the particular circumstances of this case. The driver was advised of the costs.
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64/12
The item was deferred at the request of the driver to allow his solicitor to be present.
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65/12
The item was deferred as the previous item was connected to this items driver and they had requested that the item be deferred. Therefore the Committee felt it was in the best interest of the driver and the Committee to defer both items and hear them on at a future meeting.
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66/12
Consideration was given to a report to determine what action should be taken in relation to a licensed Hackney Carriage Driver who had received a number of complaints over the past years and received warnings from Officers in relation to his general attitude with customers.

The driver was invited to attend the Licensing Committee on 13 November 2012 but did not attend. The Committee resolved to defer the item to the next meeting and ensure the driver was advised his attendance was required.

The driver was a Licensed Hackney Carriage Driver with this Authority and had been since July 1989 and his current licence expired on the 31st May 2013.

In July 2012 three members of the pubic made complaints about the driver and provided formal statements in relation to their complaints.

A complaint was received on 6 July 2012 the complainant and his mother, who was in a wheelchair, had been shopping and approached the Billingham rank to get a taxi home. The complainant took the shopping bags and put them in the boot. The driver, got out of his car, and put the wheelchair in the boot. The complainant's mother got in the rear of the vehicle behind the front passenger seat. The complainant then got in the front passenger seat, while the driver was sorting the wheelchair and says he noticed the meter was already on. The driver then got in the car and complainant said to him, "The meter is on and it shouldn't be". The driver replied, "It doesn't matter my meter is set for distance not time".

The complainant also claimed that the driver told him he could charge an extra 20p for putting the wheelchair in the boot". The complainant told him he couldn't. The complainant's statement was provided to Members.

A statement from the complainant's mother, who was sitting in the rear of the vehicle during the journey, was also provided to Members. The complainant's mother was not well enough to attend Licensing Committee as a witness.

On 5 July 2012 complaints were received from another complainant and her daughter, in relation to incidents they both had with the driver.

The complainant stated in her statement that in March 2012, herself and her daughter got in a car and told the driver her address. He took the normal route all other drivers took. They arrived and the fare was around 2.90/3.00, as she couldn't fully recall. The driver said, "It's not worth my petrol coming here". The complainant thought he was joking so laughed. The complainant also stated he told them they could have got the bus. She paid him 3.00 for the fare and the driver got out of the car to open the boot and they took their shopping and left. The complainant said she found the driver arrogant. When she realised he wasn't joking by his comment she felt uncomfortable and couldn't wait to get out of the car. A copy of the complainant's statement was provided to Members.

Another complainant had also complained about the driver after being a passenger in his car on a number of different occasions, the most recent being in June 2012 so she felt she needed to report him. Towards the end of June 2012 the complainant had been in Billingham town centre and had done a full shop then went to the rank. The driver was first car. She put the shopping in the boot and then she and her young daughter got in the back of the car, she told the driver where she was going. He then said "I am sick of doing this one, why can't you cut through the park and you will be there". She didn't say anything as she knew what he was like. When they got to the home address he stopped and the fare was 2.90. She passed over 3.00 and didn't want to wait for the 10p change. He then said, "I'm only making about 10p off this journey it's a waste of my time". The driver got out of the car and opened the boot; the complainant took her shopping and went inside. She felt she had to complain due to three previous journeys where he had been awkward and made her feel uncomfortable.

In November 2011, the complainant having not long been out of hospital after an operation. She went to the Billingham main rank with her daughter and got in the first car; she only had a couple of bags of shopping so put them in the back of the car with her, not in the boot. The complainant told the driver her home address and he made a comment about the fare not being worth it as it was only 3. She had struggled to get in the car and he didn't offer to assist. There had been no conversation during the journey however, the driver had muttered to himself. When they got to the address the complainant asked if the driver would knock on her front door to ask if her partner could come and help her get out of the car. He said something like, "I shouldn't have to its only 3.00". She then asked again as she couldn't get out of the taxi. The complainant said the driver just stood there outside the car. Her partner came out to help her, after she asked her nearly three year old daughter to go and get daddy.

Around May 2012, the complainant again got in the driver's taxi from the Billingham Main Rank. She had a lot of shopping and was with her partner and daughter. Thee driver was the only taxi on the rank at that time. They got in the car, she told him the address and the driver started to mutter again to himself. They got to the home address and the fare was 2.90. She showed him she had only a 10 note and he told her, "I don't have change". She said "I have 2.80 in change" he told her to give him the 10 and he would bring her change back later. She refused and told him the 10 isn't going anywhere and that he can call back when he has change. She then tried to find 10p in the house, which she did out of copper from her daughter's money box.

The driver was interviewed by Officers on 10 August 2012 about these complaints and he stated that the complaints had been lies and that he had not been rude or unhelpful to anyone. Members were provided with a copy of the driver's statement.

The driver's comments in relation to the first complaint were that he was in the car moments before the passenger and that he had just tapped the meter on. The complainant was a few seconds behind him getting in and that his mother was already in the car. He stated that when the complainant tried to allege the meter was on he told him he had just put it on. He then turned it off and back on to pacify the customer. The driver said he had picked them up many times before and that he had not had any problems before. He said the customer was trying to start an argument and he was happy to go along with it and that the customer kept mentioning Craig Barnes saying ‘he is the boss'.

The driver stated in interview that he had lots of customers who came to him because they liked him and his sense of humour. He said the complainant was being awkward that day, he stated that he was a taxi driver and that he knew the way things worked.

When questioned about the other two complainants he said it was all lies and he did not remember any such thing. He said he would not make a deal about someone being 10p short of a fare.

The driver had been spoken to on a number of occasions previously about his attitude and behaviour as a result of complaints from members of the public.

In November & December 2010 four separate complaints were received from members of the public, 3 in relation to his attitude and behaviour and one in allegation of using hand held mobile phone whilst driving. The driver was interviewed and issued a written warning.

In August 2011, a complaint from another taxi driver about the drivers driving & attitude and behaviour stated he was swearing (using hand gestures) out of window. The driver was spoken to and issued an advice letter as to his conduct.

In December 2011, a complaint from another other driver stating the driver had refused a fare; this complaint was closed without action due to insufficient evidence.

In January 2012, a complaint from another driver stating issues with the driver about his attitude & behaviour. The complaint was closed without action due to insufficient evidence.

In line with the current Transport Policy, in order to enhance the professional image of the private hire and hackney carriage trade and to enhance driver skills, all drivers and private hire operators (or a representative of the licensed company) who had not already successfully completed the BTEC Award, VRQ - EDI Level 2 Certificate in Road Passenger Transport (Taxi and Private Hire Route) or the VRQ - Edexcel Level 2 BTEC Award in Transporting Passengers by Taxi and Private Hire were required to successfully complete the BTEC Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver (L2) course at their own expense within three years from the grant or renewal of their next licence.

Members may see fit to request the driver attended this course as a matter of priority in order to update his knowledge and understanding. The qualification had been developed following extensive employer consultation and research to address skills gaps and to provide taxi and private hire drivers with the opportunity to demonstrate evidence of technical competency and the underpinning knowledge relating to their work activities. The qualification allowed learners to demonstrate competence against the National Occupational Standards, which were based on the needs of the road passenger transport industry. As such it contributed to the development of skilled employees in the sector.

Funding was available depending on the individual's circumstances in relation to their current qualification level.

Members were reminded that under the provisions of Section 61 (1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 the Council could suspend or revoke or refuse to renew the licence of a hackney carriage and/or private hire driver on any of 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.

and Section 61(2)

(A) Subject to subsection (2B) of this section, a suspension or revocation of the licence of a driver under this section takes effect at the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which notice is given to the driver under subsection (2)(a) of this section,

(B) If it appears in the interests of public safety require the suspension or revocation of the licence to have immediate effect, and the notice given to the driver under subsection (2) (a) of this section includes a statement that that is so and an explanation why, the suspension or revocation takes effect when the notice is given to the driver.

A copy of the policy guidelines relating to the Relevance of Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands, Warnings and Complaints and Character was provided to Members.

The driver did not attend the meeting.

Members considered a number of complaints that the Council had received regarding the drivers behaviour and considered his continued fitness to hold a licence to drive hackney carriage vehicles.

The meeting had previously been deferred due to the driver's non-attendance from 13 November 2012. It was noted that the driver had not contacted the Council to advise of a reason for his further non-attendance. The Committee therefore decided to consider the matter in his absence.

The Committee had regard to the report, which included a number of appendices including the complainants witness statements.

The Committee had regard to the complaint received regarding the drivers conduct and behaviour in relation to different incidents with passengers picked up from Billingham Main Rank. After considering the evidence the Committee found that on the balance of probabilities the driver had not behaved in a civil and orderly manner towards the complainants. Members advised that they had concerns in relation to public safety due to the drivers perceived attitude and behaviour. The Committee noted that previous complaints had been received regarding the driver's attitude and behaviour and that he had previously been given a written warning and advice letters.

The Members also stated that the driver had shown a total disregard toward the Licensing Committee by not attending on either occasion or advising that he was unable to attend the meetings when they were scheduled. The Members also had a copy of a report from Simon Mills detailing the conversation the driver and he had on 28 November 2012. The Members of the Committee were of the view that the comments the driver made to Mr Mills were both disrespectful and amounted to holding the Committee in contempt. In the opinion of the Licensing Committee this also affected the driver's fitness to hold a licence to drive Hackney Carriage vehicles.

The Committee noted the complaints against the driver where it had been found that he acted in an inappropriate manner. The Licensing Committee deemed this to be relevant to the driver's fitness as a licensed driver and as such under the provisions of Section 61(1)(b) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1976 was considered to be sufficient reasonable cause to revoke his licence.

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