Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Other Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 12th March, 2019
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 Mrs Kathryn Nelson(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Elsi Hampton, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Julia Whitehill, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead MBE
Officers:
Jonathan Nertney (HR,L&C), Leanne Maloney-Kelly, Sarah Whaley (DCE)
In Attendance:
Private Hire Driver - 138837 and his representative Mr David Wilson and a Character Witness from the drivers Private Hire Operator.
Private Hire Driver - Applicant 082865
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Eileen Johnson
Item Description Decision
Public
OLC
55/18
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
OLC
56/18
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
OLC
57/18
DRAFT MINUTES FROM THE OTHER LICENSING COMMITTEE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 22ND JANUARY 2019
RESOLVED that the minutes be approved and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
OLC
58/18
SCHEME OF DELEGATION GENERAL FUNCTIONS LICENSING COMMITTEE
RESOLVED that

1. The Licensing Committee agree the proposed scheme of delegation.

2. The Licensing Committee agree that any minor amendments to the proposed scheme can be made by officers in consultation with the chair.

3. The Licensing Committee agree that licences currently determined by officers which are not detailed in the scheme will continue within the requirements of specific legislation or policy.

4. The Committee receive details of Officers Decisions taken, at each meeting.
OLC
59/18
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
60/18
PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - 138837
  • Report & Appendices
RESOLVED that Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's application to renew his Private Hire Drivers Licence with this Authority be refused for the reasons as detailed above.
OLC
61/18
PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER - 082865
  • Report & Appendices
RESOLVED that Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865's application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence with this Authority be refused for the reasons as detailed above.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
OLC
55/18
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
OLC
56/18
There were no declarations of interest.
OLC
57/18
Consideration was given to the minutes of the Other Licensing Committee meeting which was held on the 22nd January 2019 for approval and signature.
OLC
58/18
Members were asked to consider and agree a report that following the recent review of the Authorities constitution proposed the onward scheme of delegation for the general licensing functions carried out by the licensing service.

Following the recent review of the Authorities constitution the Licensing Service had produced an onward scheme of delegation which reflected how the service and the licensing authority currently operated and had been for a number of years, details of which were attached to the main report.

Members and Officers discussed the report, the main areas highlighted were as follows:

- Any convictions or medical conditions which were not covered in policy would come to the 'Other Licensing Committee' for consideration.

- Anything borderline or not wholly clear would also come before the 'Other Licensing committee'.

- A report would be brought to each 'Other Licensing Committee' detailing any delegated decisions taken by Officers.
OLC
60/18
Members were asked to consider a report and determine what action to take in relation to the continued fitness of Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 who had submitted an application for renewal and who had a history of convictions for speeding.

Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 was in attendance at the meeting alongside his representative Mr David Wilson and was given the opportunity to make representation.

A character witness from the drivers Private Hire Opertaor was also in attendance at the meeting.

Committee papers and reports had been provided to all relevant parties prior to the meeting.

The report detailed the following:

- A copy of Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's renewal application.

- A copy of Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's DVLA licence check.

- A copy of a transcript of an interview between Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 and a Licensing Officer.

- A copy of a warning letter to Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837.

- A copy of a letter to Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 referring him to the Taxi Driver Improvement Scheme.

- A copy of a statement from a passenger assistant who had made a complaint against Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837.

- A copy of an assessment letter and warning letter to Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837.

The Committee were asked to determine Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 renewal application for his private hire driver's licence and consider whether Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 remained a ‘fit and proper person' to continue to hold a licence.

Upon submission of Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's application to renew, it was identified that Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 had received a further three DVLA points for speeding bringing the total number of live points on his DVLA licence to twelve.

Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 had not declared the DVLA points within the required 7 days of the date of conviction in accordance with his licence conditions.

The Committee had regard to the report, appendices and oral evidence given by Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 and his representative Mr David Wilson and also including a character reference given by a representative of the drivers Private Hire Operator at the meeting.

The Committee noted the following:

•Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 had 12 live penalty points for speeding on his DVLA licence;

•Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 confirmed that he had also previously undertaken a speed awareness course as an alternative to receiving penalty points;

•Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 had also been required to undertake a driver improvement scheme by the Council;

•Despite Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's attendance on the speed awareness course and a driver improvement course his DVLA licence currently had 12 live penalty points;

•Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 failed to notify the Council of his most recent conviction after appearing before the Magistrates Court on or around 10th December 2018. Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 was required under his driver licence conditions to notify the Licensing Authority within 7 days of conviction, which he had failed to do.

•Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 claimed to have given a letter to his brother to deliver to the Council to notify the Authority of the penalty points however this was not received. Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 did not call his brother to give evidence to corroborate his version of events.

•Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 confirmed that he had an e-mail address and was asked why he did not e-mail the Council to notify them of his conviction. Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 could not provide any reasonable explanation to the Committee as to why he did not do this.

Members noted Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 had persuaded the Magistrates Court not to disqualify Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's DVLA licence on the grounds of exceptional hardship. The Committee noted that exceptional hardship was not a relevant consideration for the licensing authority when determining whether Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 remained a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence.

The Committee considered all of the evidence represented to them and the submissions made by Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 at the meeting and their Guidelines which applied. Under Section 61(1)(b) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 the Committee resolved that there was sufficient reasonable cause to refuse to renew Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's driver licence.

Given Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837's driver history and DVLA licence points Private Hire Driver - Ref 138837 was no longer deemed to be a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence.
OLC
61/18
Members were asked to consider a report and determine the fitness of Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 who had previously held a private hire drivers licence with this Authority which was revoked on medical grounds.

Members were asked to determine whether Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 was a fit and proper person to hold a licence with this Authority in line with existing policy and DVLA medical fitness guidelines.

Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 was in attendance at the meeting and was given the opportunity to make representation.

Committee papers and reports had been provided to all parties prior to the meeting.

The report detailed the following:

- A copy of Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865's application and DVLA licence check.

- A copy of Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865's medical report.

- A copy of the relevant extract from the medical aspects of fitness to drive.

- A copy of Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865's medication and the known side effects.

- A copy of a previous decision letter and committee minute relating to Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865.

- A copy of a revocation letter and a delegated decision in relation to Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865.

The Committee had regard to the report, appendices and oral evidence given by Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 at the meeting.

The Committee also noted that the medical report Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 obtained which had been submitted in support of his application stated that he had a history of Psychosis or hypomania/mania within the past three years. It was noted that Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 had his private hire drivers licence suspended on one occasion and revoked on another due not meeting the DVLA group 2 guidelines as required by this Authority.

The Committee did note that Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 had remained well and stable for over two years however:

• The Committee were mindful that this was a borderline decision given that there was a letter from Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865's GP confirming he was currently meeting DVLA group 2 medical standards;

•The Committee were mindful that there were wider considerations which had to be taken into account when determining whether Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 was a fit and proper person at this time. Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 had a history of mental illness and had relapsed in the past.

• The Committee was concerned that the previous relapses had occurred when Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 had been a licensed driver; and by his own admission Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 had previously stopped taking his medication of his own accord.

•The Committee were concerned that side effects of the medication Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 was currently prescribed included drowsiness and it was noted that if Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 suffered such side effects then he should not drive or use machinery. Other side effects included tiredness, dizziness and changes in behaviour that might be considered offensive to others. Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 informed the Committee that he did not suffer such side effects.

The Committee considered all of the evidence represented to them and the submissions made by Private Hire Driver - Applicant Ref 082865 at the meeting and the Guidelines which applied.

Under Section51(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 the Committee resolved to refuse Private Hire Driver -Applicant Ref 082865's application for a licence as he was not deemed to be a fit and proper person at this time.

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