Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Other Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 3rd October, 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 Elsi Hampton, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Julia Whitehill, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead MBE
Officers:
Jonathan Nertney (DHR&LC), Polly Edwards, Leanne Maloney - Kelly, Simon Mills, Margaret Waggott, Sarah Whaley (DCE)
In Attendance:
Applicant - Ref 144674 and his wife, Applicant - Ref 144453, Applicant - Ref 058745.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Ken Dixon,
Item Description Decision
Public
OLC
36/17
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
OLC
37/17
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
OLC
38/17
DRAFT MINUTES FROM THE OTHER LICENSING COMMITTEE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 11TH JULY 2017
RESOLVED that the draft minutes of the Other Licensing Committee meeting which was held on the 11th July 2017 be approved and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
OLC
39/17
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
40/17
APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE REF - 144674
  • Report (74K/bytes)
  • |
    Apendix 1
  • |
    Appendix 2
  • |
    Appendix 2 continued
RESOLVED that Applicant - Ref 144674's application for a Private Hire Driver Licence be refused for the reasons as detailed above.
OLC
41/17
APPLICATION FOR A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE - REF 144453
  • Application for a Private Hire Driver Licence - Ref 144453
RESOLVED that Applicant - Ref 144453's application for a Private Hire Driver Licence be refused for the reasons as detailed above.
OLC
42/17
COMBINED PRIVATE HIRE & HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER - REF 058745
  • Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745
RESOLVED that Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 be with a written warning as to his future conduct for the reasons as detailed above.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
OLC
36/17
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
OLC
37/17
There were no declarations of interest.
OLC
38/17
Consideration was given to the draft minutes from the Other Licensing Committee meeting which was held on the 11th July 2017 for approval and signature.
OLC
40/17
Members were asked to consider a report and determine what action to take in relation to an application for a private hire driver's licence from an applicant who had a history of illegal drug use and also mental health problems.

The role of the Committee was to determine whether or not the applicant was a fit and proper person' to hold a private hire drivers licence with this Authority based on Applicant - Ref 144674's current application and medical history.

Applicant - Ref 144674 and his wife who was supporting Applicant - Ref 144674, attended the meeting and were 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:

Applicant - Ref 144674's background detailing his drug use, and medical history.

A copy of Application - Ref 144674's application and DVLA driving licence.

- A copy of Application - Ref 144674's medical examination report and certificate of fitness to drive.

Pursuant to section 51(1)(a) of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Committee must be satisfied that Applicant - Ref 144674 was a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The issuing and holding of a licence was a privilege and not a right and the overriding consideration was the safety of the public.

In order to help 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 and the DVLA Group 2 Medical Guidelines.

The Committee carefully considered Applicant - Ref 144674's submissions regarding his history of drugs misuse.

The Committee noted that when Applicant - Ref 144674 was asked how long he had taken cocaine for he informed Members it had been for one year. The evidence however which Applicant - Ref 144674 had produced to the Council during the application process included a letter from Dr S Wise, Consultant Psychiatrist, dated 16 June 2015 which stated on page 4 that Applicant - Ref 144674 had taken cocaine from approximately 2008 till 2015. The Committee were of the view that Applicant - Ref 144674 had been misleading in the answer he had given to them.

Members stated they were sympathetic to Applicant - Ref 144674's mental health concerns and were aware that he had been considered stable for 12 months.

The Committee however remained extremely concerned that Applicant - Ref 144674 had a history of blackouts which had resulted in two crashes while driving. Applicant - ref 144674 had also had a previously long standing issue with cocaine use. The Committee did note that Applicant - Ref 144674 had provided a negative swab test when he had undertaken a drugs test during the application process.

The Committee gave consideration to all of the evidence and were very mindful that the protection of the public was their overriding consideration.

The Committee resolved that Applicant - Ref 144674's application be refused under the provisions of section 51(1)(a) of the above-mentioned Act, on the grounds that Applicant - Ref 144674 was not considered to be fit and proper person to hold such a licence, at this time. The Committee were of the view that Applicant - Ref 144674 needed to show a much longer period than 12 months in recovery from his previous problems and symptoms.
OLC
41/17
Members were asked to consider a report and determine what action to take in relation to an application for a private hire driver's licence from an applicant with a relevant caution.

The role of the Committee was to determine whether or not Applicant - Ref 144453 was a fit and proper / safe and suitable person to hold a private hire drivers licence with this Authority based on his application and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate.

Applicant - Ref 144453 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:

Applicant - Ref 144453's background and details of the caution against him.

A copy of Applicant - Ref 144453's application, including his DVLA driving licence.

Pursuant to section 51(1)(a) of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Committee must be satisfied that Applicant - Ref 144453 was a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The issuing and holding of a licence was a privilege and not a right and the overriding consideration was the safety of the public.

In order to help 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 144453's submissions regarding the relevant convictions together with the policy guidelines.

The Committee considered Application - Ref 144453's caution from Cleveland Police for Theft from a Parking Meter on 5 March 2017. The Committee noted Applicant - Ref 144453 did not meet current transport policy as applicants with dishonesty offences, such as theft should show a period of at least 3 years free of such convictions.

The Committee did have sympathy with Applicant - Ref 144453's situation but felt the period shown free of the incident of only 6 months was not substantial enough to persuade the Committee to depart from current policy.

It was therefore resolved that Applicant - Ref 144453's application be refused under the provisions of section 51(1)(a) of the above-mentioned Act, on the grounds that he was not considered to be fit and proper person to hold such a licence.
OLC
42/17
Members were asked to consider a report and determine what action to take in relation to the continued fitness of a Combined Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 who had received three complaints from members of the public, for urinating in public, and who had a medical condition confirmed by his GP.

Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 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:

Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745's background and details of the complaints made against him.

A copy of various correspondence.

A copy of previous complaints against Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745.

The Committee considered all of the evidence including the report, appendices and oral evidence given by Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745.

The Committee gave consideration to Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745's medical condition which was confirmed by his GP, and his submission that a different medication Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 was now taking was helping substantially with his medical condition.

Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 confirmed the medication was reducing the number of times he needed to urinate in a working shift from 5-6 to 1-2 times currently. In addition Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 confirmed the medication had also increased the capacity for him to hold urine until he could reach a toilet.

The Committee noted that Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 did have a disciplinary record as he had received a number of written warnings from Officers previously. Members noted however that this was the first time Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 had appeared before the Licensing Committee.

Members felt that although Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 had a medical condition the Committee took a dim view of his behaviour in relation to urinating in public which resulted in complaints being received from members of the public. Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 had urinated in daylight hours and was observed exiting his licensed vehicle to do so.

The Committee resolved to issue Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 with a written warning as to his future conduct and advised him to strongly heed the warning.

It was Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745's responsibility to ensure he did not urinate in public, and that Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 must take the necessary steps so no further complaints of this nature were received.

If Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 did continue to experience similar symptoms in the future the Committee would expect Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 to take further positive measures to ensure he did not need to urinate in public.

If further complaints were received and Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 should appear before the Committee again Members may consider taking further disciplinary action which could include suspension or revocation of Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745's licence.

The Committee reminded Combined Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver - Ref 058745 that the issuing and holding of a licence was a privilege and not a right and the overriding consideration was the safety of the public.

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