Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Other Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 11th July, 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 Mrs Kathryn Nelson(Vice-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 Julia Whitehill, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn,
Officers:
Jonathan Nertney(DHR&LC), Polly Edwards, Simon Mills, Sarah Whaley(DCE)
In Attendance:
Applicant Ref - 141588
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Bill Woodhead MBE
Item Description Decision
Public
OLC
19/17
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
OLC
20/17
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
OLC
21/17
EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND 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
22/17
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE - REF 141588
  • Application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 141588
RESOLVED that Applicant Ref - 141588 application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence application be refused under the provisions of section 51(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, as detailed above.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
OLC
19/17
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
OLC
20/17
There were no interests declared.
OLC
22/17
Members were asked to consider a report and determine what action to take in relation to an application for a Private Hire Drivers Licence - Ref 141588 from an applicant who had relevant convictions and had a previous application refused.

Applicant - Ref 141588 attended the meeting and was given the opportunity to make representation. Papers had been provided with a copy of the committee report prior to the meeting.

The report detailed the following:

- A copy of the Applicants application and DVLA licence.

- A copy of a letter from V& F associates

- A copy of a delegated licensing decision.

- A copy of a letter to Applicant - Ref 141588 refusing a previous application in 2016.

The role of the Committee was for Members to determine whether Applicant - Ref 141588 was a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Drivers Licence in accordance with The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

The Committee gave consideration to the report, appendices and oral evidence given.

To help the Committee, make fair and consistent decisions when considering new applications, the Council had adopted Guidelines on the Relevance of Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands, Warnings, Complaints and Character.

The Committee carefully considered Applicant - Ref 141588's submissions regarding the relevant conviction together with the policy guidelines.

The Committee noted that Applicant - Ref 141588 had a number of previous convictions which were all relevant considerations to be taken into account when considering his fitness. These included two convictions for drink driving. The Committee noted that both offences had been committed on the same day in 2007. Applicant - Ref 141588, explained that he had been caught driving with excess alcohol and had been arrested and taken to the Police Station where he had provided a positive specimen. Applicant - Ref 141588 was released from Police custody later that day, then took a taxi to pick up his own car believing that he was no longer over the drink drive limit. Applicant - Ref 141588 was then stopped again by the Police and as he was still over the legal drink drive limit he received a second conviction. The Committee considered this to be an aggravating factor as Applicant - Ref 141588 had made the decision to drive his vehicle again despite being released from Police custody.

The Committee considered Applicant - Ref 141588's explanation and the background in relation to convictions for harassment which were related to the breakdown of a previous relationship. Applicant - Ref 141588 also blamed his use of cannabis around that time as being related to the relationship breakup. The Committee were of the view that this explanation could not be relied upon as two years after the harassment conviction Applicant - Ref 141588 was convicted of criminal damage after being involved in a fight in Middlesbrough. Applicant - Ref 141588 had also admitted to using cannabis in 2015 when he had previously applied for a licence, which was many years after his conviction for possession of cannabis in 2009.

The Committee listened to Applicant - Ref 141588's submission that he was now a changed man and that several of the convictions were historic. The Committee concluded however that the accumulation of several convictions all of which were relevant to the fitness of Applicant - Ref 141588, led them to conclude that Applicant - Ref 141588 was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The protection of the public was the Committees main consideration.

Despite the time elapsed since the convictions the Committee were not persuaded that Applicant - Ref 141588's submissions were exceptional such as to justify a departure from the policy guidelines particularly in light of the nature and seriousness of the offences for which he had been convicted and in addition Applicant - Ref 141588's previous admission of drug use.

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