Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Panel - Thursday, 3rd December, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Rooms A & B - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Nicole Tilly 

Items
No. Item

LSP.522

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Licensing and Safety Panel are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any of the matters on the agenda, and if so, to formally declare that interest.  

Minutes:

               There were no declarations of interest raised in relation to any items on the agenda.

 

LSP.523

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2015.  A copy of the minutes is attached.

Minutes:

                   Delegated decision:

 

                   That the Minutes of the Licensing and Safety Panel meeting held on 15 October 2015, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

LSP.524

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Questions are invited from members of the public present at the meeting on any matters for which this Panel is responsible.

 

Approximately 30 minutes will be set aside for Public Question Time if required.

Minutes:

                   There were no public questions raised under this item.

 

LSP.525

OPERATIONAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 64 KB

A report by the Assistant Director (Localities) is attached.

Minutes:

                   The Assistant Director (Localities) submitted a report advising members on operational issues within the Licensing Service.

 

                   The Head of Trading Standards and Licensing informed the Members of the Licensing and Safety Panel that on 13 November 2015 Licensing Officers, the Chair of Licensing, Councillor Jones and the Council Solicitor attended a Taxi Liaison meeting with representatives of the trade to discuss particular issues within Licensing.

                  

                   Councillor Jones also informed the members that following the Taxi Liaison meeting on 13 November, other issues discussed were child sexual exploitation and the training that Drivers should receive in relation to this and also Terrorism and how Drivers with convictions in

                   other Countries would be identified and checked accordingly to ensure that legal requirements are met and that all Drivers are entitled to work in the UK.

 

                   The Head of Licensing and Trading Standards also explained that following the Panel meeting in April 2015, when members of the Panel had agreed to suspend Private Hire Driver 45/2014 for 3 months, following complaints about his behaviour, this driver had appealed to Bury Magistrates’ Court and the appeal had been heard on 25 November 2015 and the decision of the Court was to overrule the Licensing and Safety Panel and change the suspension from 3 months to 1 month

       

LSP.526

OBJECTION TO PROPOSED VARIATION TO THE PRIVATE HIRE OPERATORS' FEES pdf icon PDF 76 KB

A report by the Assistant Director (Localities) is attached.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director (Localities) submitted a report with regard to Private Hire Operators’ Licence Fees.

 

      The Head of Trading Standards and Licensing explained that following the last Licensing and Safety Panel meeting on 15 October 2015 when this item was considered, along with representations from Mr Palin, the licensed operator of Apple Cars and Mr McGlynn, the licensed operator of Radcliffe Walshaw attended the meeting, the Panel requested that there be consideration as to what other forms of payment arrangement were available, rather than the full amount of fees be paid up front. 

 

It was explained that in keeping with Guidance regarding the Deregulation Act 2015 and following discussions with colleagues, based upon the additional administration that would be created both for the Council’s Finance and Licensing Services, payment in instalments would not be a viable option.

 

      However, the Head of Trading Standards and Licensing advised that as a result of the issues raised by members of the Panel and the taxi trade generally about the Council’s fees regime, it is proposed that in addition to reviewing of the cost of a five year Operators Licence, the Licensing Service have identified that the fees relating to all aspects of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Licensing need to be reviewed.  Part of this review would be to consider further cost saving benefits for the provision of a five year Licence as well as a review of the banding charges for different numbers of vehicles operated by Private Hire firms.

 

      It was therefore proposed that the status quo remain in respect of the Private Hire operators; therefore they will be granted/renewed on a 12 month basis under the current fee structure until the review has been completed. It was requested that the report, at this time, be noted.

 

      It was agreed:

 

      That the report be noted

 

LSP.527

GAMBLING ACT 2005 - TRIENNIAL POLICY REVIEW pdf icon PDF 63 KB

A report by the Assistant Director (Localities) is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

                   The Assistant Director (Localities) submitted a report setting out details of the requirements under the Gambling Act 2005 for the Council to review its Statement of Principles for gambling in the Borough. Section 349 of the Act requires the Local Authority to prepare and publish a Statement of Principles at least every three years. It was reported that the existing Statement was agreed by Council on 12 December 2012. A full copy of the amended Statement of Principles for the period 2016 - 2021 was appended to the report.

 

                   Recommendation to Council:

 

That the amended Statement of Principles, as set out in the report, be accepted without amendment and submitted to Full Council on 9 December 2015 for approval.

 

LSP.528

URGENT BUSINESS

Any other business, which by reason of special circumstances, the Chair agrees may be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

Councillor Jones, Chair of the Licensing and Safety Panel, informed members of the Committee that it was proposed that future meetings of the Licensing and Safety Panel would be paperless from January 2016.  Councillor Jones asked that any views and issues be forwarded to him directly and he would in turn liaise with Democratic Services.

 

LSP.529

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

To consider passing the appropriate resolution under section 100 (A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business since it involves the likely disclosure of the exempt information stated.

 

 

Minutes:

Delegated decision:

 

That in accordance with Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business since it involved the likely disclosure of information relating to individuals who hold Licences granted by the Authority or Applicants for Licences provided by the Authority.

 

LSP.530

SUSPENSION/REVOCATION OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS' LICENCES

A report by the Assistant Director (Localities) is attached.

Minutes:

                        The Deputy Licensing Officer presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Localities) on the proposed suspensions of Private Hire Driver’s Licences.

 

1.Licence holder 22/2015 attended the meeting and was accompanied by a friend.  The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed and the Deputy Licensing Officer read the report which explained that on 12 October 2015 the vehicle belonging to the Licence holder, which was a Toyota Avensis, underwent a routine 6 month interim inspection at Bradley Fold Test Centre and had failed the test with 18 faults.  The report was accepted by the Licence holder and his friend.

 

The Licence holder was given the opportunity to address the Panel and explained that he had acquired this vehicle on 27 August 2015 and in relation to the poor maintenance and preparation of the vehicle for testing he had rarely driven it for private hire use as he had been off work caring for his wife who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.  The Licence holder presented a letter from the hospital confirming this information and a letter from his wife explaining the situation, both of

which were accepted by the Panel.  The Licence holder also explained that he no longer has the Toyota as he has now got a new vehicle which is a ’56 plate and although it is an older vehicle also, it is in very good condition.

 

The Licence holder apologised but explained this had been a very difficult time for him and his wife but that her health was now improving and he now had a new vehicle and felt he was ‘back on track’.

 

Delegated decision:

 

After carefully considering the written report, oral statements from the Licence Holder and documentation provided by him, pursuant to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Panel resolved, to admonish the licensee as to future conduct and to take no further action.

 

2.  Licence holder 23/2015 attended the meeting and was accompanied by his brother and a character referee. The Licence Holder’s brother stated that he was a CWU Representative and was attending the meeting to represent his brother.  Both Councillors Holt and Walker declared they were also members of CWU.

 

The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed and the Deputy Licensing Officer read out the report.  The Licence Holder declared he was in fact 34 years old, not 35 as stated in the report.

 

The Licence Holder’s brother then addressed the Panel and stated that although there had been 4 separate allegations of inappropriate comments of a sexual nature to a lone female passenger made against the Licence holder by the complainant, the last of which had been on Wednesday 21 October 2015. He stated that no formal complaint had been made to the Licence Holder’s employer until 27 October 2015, 6 days after the last alleged incident.

 

It was explained to the Licensing and Safety Panel that the Licence Holder was of sound character and that following his granting of  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.530

LSP.531

APPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS' LICENCES

Minutes:

The Deputy Licensing Officer presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Localities) regarding applications for Public/Private Hire Vehicles Drivers’ Licences.

 

The Applicants were invited to attend the meeting for separate hearings and the Chair outlined the procedure to be followed.  The Applicants were invited to address the Panel separately on their applications and any matters referred to in the Officer’s report. 

 

1.    Applicant 19/2015 attended the meeting and was unaccompanied.  This hearing had been adjourned, at the Applicant’s request, from 15 October 2015.  The Deputy Licensing Officer read out the contents of the report which was accepted by the Applicant.

 

The Applicant addressed the Panel and stated that in relation to his 2 convictions for failure to provide information as to the identity of a driver, he had not received any letter following either offence on 22

November 2013 or 28 April 2014. As a result he was convicted at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, fined and his Licence was endorsed with 6 penalty points on each occasion.

 

In relation to the offence of racially/religiously aggravated harassment on 26 June, 2013, for which the Applicant was convicted at Bolton Magistrates’ Court and fined £200 with costs of £400, compensation of £100 and victim surcharge of £20, the Applicant stated that this was an incident when he had been driving in Bolton and he had been overtaken by another vehicle driven by a young man and accompanied by his girlfriend.  The Applicant stated there had been an exchange of words and that the other driver had shouted and sworn at him and he had done the same back.

 

The Applicant explained that he was a calm person and had been driving for 5 years, he was not a criminal and wanted to make a living and that he currently worked part time in KFC but this did not provide enough financially.

 

     Delegated decision:

 

The Panel considered the written report and the oral representations made by the Applicant and in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and taking into account the relevant policy and the Council’s Conviction Guidelines, the Panel determined that Applicant 19/2015 be granted the application for a Private Hire Driver’s Licence for 12 months.

 

The Panel found that;

·         the offences were of a serious nature

·         they had been committed less than 3 years prior to the application

·         the Licence would only be granted for 12 months.  If there were no further convictions or complaints during this time then the Licence would be extended.

 

2.    Applicant 24/2015 attended the meeting and was accompanied by his Cousin.  The Applicant stated, before the hearing took place, that he was worried, due to the language barrier, that he would not be able to express himself correctly and asked if he could adjourn the hearing until he was able to have further representation.

         

Delegated decision:

 

The Licensing and Safety Panel agreed unanimously to adjourn the hearing until the following meeting, on 14 January 2016.

 

3.    Applicant 25/2015 attended the meeting and was  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.531