Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Other Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 25th April, 2017
Time:
10:00 am
Place:
Council Chamber, 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 Derrick Brown, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Philip Dennis, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Lynn Hall( Sub Cllr Maurice Perry), Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead MBE
Officers:
Jonathan Nertney (DHR&LC), Leanne Maloney, Simon Mills, Sarah Whaley(DCE)
In Attendance:
Combined Hackney and Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Stephen Parry, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Julia Whitehill,
Item Description Decision
Public
OLC
1/07
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
OLC
2/07
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
OLC
3/07
MINUTES FOR THE LICENSING COMMITTEE DATED 28TH MARCH 2017
RESOLVED that the minutes were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
OLC
4/07
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
OLC
5/07
DELEGATED DECISION UPDATE REPORT
  • Delegated Decision Update Report
RESOLVED that

1) the report be noted.

2) a further updated delegated decision report be presented at a future Committee meeting of the Other Licensing Committee.
OLC
6/07
HACKNEY CARRIAGE / PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE APPLICATION - 063056
  • Report (60K/bytes)
  • |
    Appendix 1 (6M/bytes)
 
OLC
7/07
COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE & PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - REF 069085
  • Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085
RESOLVED that Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 be issued with a written warning as to his future conduct as detailed above.
10:00 - 12:00

Preamble

ItemPreamble
OLC
1/07
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
OLC
2/07
There were no declarations of interest.
OLC
3/07
Consideration was given to the minutes from the Licensing Committee Meeting which was held on the 28th March 2017.
OLC
5/07
The Committee were asked to consider and note a report which provided Members with an update with regards to the decisions Officers had made utilising powers delegated to them by the Committee.

Due to changes in legislation and in order to reduce unnecessary items being submitted to the Licensing Committee, certain powers had been delegated by this Committee to Licensing Officers, in Consultation with the Chair of The Licensing Committee and the Committee's Legal Advisor.

Since 1 April 2016 the Licensing Officers had made 27 delegated decisions as follows:

13 Immediate revocation of drivers licences, on the grounds of public safety,

1 Driver had an application to depart from policy approved

5 Vehicle applications to depart from policy were refused

8 Vehicle applications to depart from policy were approved

3 General depart from policy requests were referred to this Committee for consideration.

A full list of the delegated decisions and action taken was attached at Appendix 1.

It was also recommended that a further delegated decision update report be presented to the Committee every 6 months.

The main topics discussed were as follows:

Members requested that a new column be added to the report detailing the conclusion of each decision.

Members discussed how local authorities shared information with each other as it had come to light that a renewal application at Stockton had been refused due to the driver previously being revoked by Hartlepool due to sexual misconduct with a vulnerable young adult.
OLC
6/07
The item in relation to Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Driver - Ref 063056 was withdrawn to be considered at a future meeting of the Other Licensing Committee.
OLC
7/07
Members were asked to consider a report and determine what action to take in relation to an application for a Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 who allegedly had an inappropriate political conversation with a passenger. Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 denied the allegation and details of the conversation during interview. The driver also denied a previous allegation that he had a similar inappropriate conversation regarding religion with passengers in 2011.

Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 was in attendance at the meeting. Papers had been provided with a copy of the committee report prior to the meeting and Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 was given the opportunity to make representation.

The complainant was in attendance at the meeting and given the opportunity to make representation.

The report detailed the following:

- Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085's background and details of the allegations made against him.

- A copy of a recorded interview between Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 and a Licensing Officer.

- A copy of a statement from a Licensing Officer.

- A copy of a witness statement.

- A copy of a recorded interview between Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 and a Licensing Officer.

- A copy of a letter to Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 from a Licensing Officer.

- A copy of a Driver file summary for Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085.

- A copy of a letter to Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 from a Licensing Officer.

- A copy of a set of minutes from a Licensing Committee meeting dated 6th September 2011.

- Further copies of letters to Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 from Licensing Officers.

The role of the Committee was to determine whether Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 was a fit and proper person to hold a Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Drivers Licence in accordance with The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

The Committee considered all of the evidence including the report and appendices and oral evidence given by both Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 and the complainant.

The Committee noted that when interviewed by Licensing Officers Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 had denied engaging in such a conversation and alleged that it was in fact the complainant who had been offensive towards him. The Committee noted that the complainant had confirmed to them that he liked to engage in political debate and that he was not the type of person to sit quietly in a taxi. The Committee were satisfied that a conversation had taken place between Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 and the complainant in Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 licensed vehicle on Monday 6 February 2017. The Committee agreed that the tone of the conversation could be considered inappropriate but that may have been as a result of both parties misconstruing matters and leading each to believe that the other was being inappropriate in their tone and manner.

The Committee did note Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 had received a warning letter dated 10 March 2011 when a similar complaint was made against him, regarding an inappropriate conversation about religion. The warning letter issued to Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 in the past did not have the desired effect in preventing Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 from engaging in what may be considered inappropriate conversations and because of this the Committee gave consideration to revoking Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085's licence as the standards shown were not considered to be fit and proper. The Committee did however note that since 2011 there had been no other complaints received about Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 from passengers making similar allegations.

The Committee resolved to issue Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 with a written warning as to his future conduct. Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 was firmly reminded that it was not appropriate or considered fit and proper to engage in religious or political debate with passengers and Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 was advised to strongly heed the warning. It was explained to Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 that the Committee did not expect to receive any further complaints of this nature about him and if any were received the matter was likely to be brought back before the Committee.

If any further disciplinary matters arose and Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 should appear before the Committee again they would give strong consideration to taking further disciplinary action. This can include suspension or revocation of Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 combined driver's licence.

The Committee reminded Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 that the issuing and holding of a licence was a privilege and not a right and Combined Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver - Ref 069085 was expected to behave in a civil and orderly manner at all times.

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