Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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

Date:
Monday, 21st January, 2013
Time:
10.00am
Place:
Council Chambers, 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 (In the Chair); Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
P Edwards (DNS); J Nertney, T Harrison (LD)
In Attendance:
Drivers and Solicitor
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Ray McCall
Item Description Decision
Public
L
71/12
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
L
72/12
MINUTES FOR SIGNATURE - 2ND OCTOBER 2012 AND 9TH OCTOBER 2012
 
L
73/12
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 paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Confidential
L
74/12
COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - M.J.S.
  • Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - M.J.S.
RESOLVED that:

1. The driver be given a final written warning.

2. The driver, at his own expense, attend some sessions of anger management with a Counsellor.
L
75/12
COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - T.Z.
  • Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver - T.Z.
RESOLVED that

1. The driver be given a final written warning.

2. The driver, at their own expense, attend some sessions of anger management with a Counsellor.
10.00am - 1.00pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
L
71/12
There were no declarations of interest.
L
72/12
The minutes of the meetings held on 2nd October 2012 and 9th October 2012.
L
74/12
Members considered a report to determine what action should be taken in relation to a licensed Hackney Carriage Driver and Private Hire Driver who had allegedly been involved in a series of incidents with another taxi driver and had been arrested for 'assault occasioning actual bodily harm' in July 2012, although the Police 'No Further Actioned' the incident.

Members considered the drivers continued fitness to hold a licence to drive hackney carriage and private hire vehicles.

Members listened carefully to what the driver had to say with regard to the matters disclosed. This included the fact that the driver was apologetic of his behaviour and accepted that some of his actions were not considered fit and proper behaviour of a licensed driver.

Members noted that there had been a history of allegations and counter allegations between the driver and another licensed driver. Both the driver and the other driver made counter allegations that the driver had made insulting gestures to the other, that he had been aggressive and that he had assaulted the other driver. It was noted that the Police had also become involved and you had been arrested for ‘assault occasioning actual bodily harm'. It was noted that the Police had indicated they were taking no further action. The driver informed Members that following intervention between their respective families the driver had shaken hands with the other driver and assured Members that there would be no further instances of the alleged behaviour.

After considering all of the evidence Members were satisfied that the manner in which the driver had conducted himself during this dispute with the other driver, was clearly not fit and proper behaviour for a licensed driver. The fact that the drivers family had brokered some sort of amicable settlement was not a relevant consideration for Members and the driver should be in no doubt that any future incidents of a similar nature may result in the drivers licence been revoked.

Members noted that the driver's initial attitude in relation to his appearance before Members was that as the drivers had shaken hands then that should be the end of the matter. The driver was advised that he should be in no doubt that this was not the case and Members role was to determine whether on the basis of the evidence before them, he continued to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence. Members were of the view that there were sufficient grounds to question the drivers continued fitness but they decided on this occasion to take a step back from revoking the drivers licence and to issue the driver with a final written warning.

Members noted that since the driver had been licensed with the Council his disciplinary record had left a lot to be desired. However it was noted that this was the first occasion for which he had appeared before Members. If the driver had appeared before Members previously for disciplinary issues then the drivers licence would have been likely revoked.

Members noted that the driver had previously received warnings related to his "aggressive attitude" in July 2005 and for his "attitude and behaviour towards member of the public" in November 2011. Members were concerned that given the most recent complaint there was an issue with the driver's ability to control his emotions and that he may have an issue with anger control. Members therefore resolved that in addition to the driver's final written warning he should, at his own expense attend some sessions of anger management with a Counsellor.

The Licensing Officer was directed to make the necessary arrangements and to liaise with the driver in relation to the satisfactory completion of anger management counselling. Details of a suitable course are currently being arranged and will follow in due course.

If the driver failed to complete the anger management counselling to the reasonable satisfaction of the Council then the driver would be referred back to the Licensing Committee where his continued fitness to hold a licence would be determined.
L
75/12
Members considered a report to determine what action should be taken in relation to a licensed Hackney Carriage Driver and Private Hire Driver who had allegedly been involved in a series of incidents with another taxi driver. The driver had been photographed holding a metal bar, which was a wheel brace. The driver claimed that he had been the victim of the on-going harassment and that he was acting in self-defence when holding the wheel brace.

Members listened carefully to what the driver and his solicitor had to say with regard to the matters disclosed. This included the fact that the driver was apologetic for his behaviour and accepted that some of his actions were not considered fit and proper behaviour of a licensed driver.

Members noted that there had been a history of allegations and counter allegations between the driver and another licensed driver. Both the driver and the other driver made counter allegations that the driver had made insulting gestures to the other, that the driver had been aggressive and that he had assaulted the other driver. It was noted that the Police had also become involved but had indicated they were taking no further action against the other party. The driver informed Members that following intervention between their respective families both parties had shaken hands and the driver assured Members that there would be no further instances of the alleged behaviour.

After considering all of the evidence Members were satisfied that the manner in which the driver had conducted himself during this dispute with the other driver was clearly not fit and proper behaviour for a licensed driver. The fact that the drivers family had brokered some sort of amicable settlement was not a relevant consideration for Members and the driver should be in no doubt that any future incidents of a similar nature may result in his licence been revoked.

Members were of the view that there were sufficient grounds to question the drivers continued fitness but they decided on this occasion to take a step back from revoking your licence and to issue the driver with a final written warning.

Members were concerned that given the most recent complaint there was an issue with the driver's ability to control his emotions and that he may have an issue with anger control. Members therefore resolved that in addition to the driver's final written warning he should also; at his own expense attend some sessions of anger management with a Counsellor.

The Licensing Officer was directed to make the necessary arrangements and to liaise with the driver in relation to the satisfactory completion of anger management counselling. Details of a suitable course were being arranged and would follow in due course.

If the driver failed to complete the anger management counselling to the reasonable satisfaction of the Council then the driver would be referred back to the Licensing Committee where his continued fitness to hold a licence would be determined.

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