Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Panel - Monday, 11th April, 2016 7.00 pm

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

Items
No. Item

LSP.855

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.856

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Minutes of the last meeting held on 29 February 2016 are attached.

Minutes:

Delegated decision:

 

That the Minutes of the Licensing and Safety Panel meeting held on 29 February 2016, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

LSP.857

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.858

OPERATIONAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Report from the Assistant Director (Localities) attached.

Minutes:

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

 

The Licensing Unit Manager informed Members of the following matters in relation to the immediate Suspension/Revocation of Private Hire Drivers’ Licences:

 

Following two accidents by a Private Hire Driver since granting his Licence on 1 March 2016, it has been agreed with the Chair of Licensing, Councillor Jones, that this Private Hire Driver’s badge should be suspended, with immediate effect, until he undertakes and passes a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Taxi Standard Driving Test, known as a Hackney and Private Hire Saloon Vehicle Test.

 

Following a complaint on 3 March 2016 by a member of Public in relation to a Private Hire Driver’s inappropriate conduct, which was subsequently reported to Greater Manchester Police, it was agreed with the Chair of Licensing that this Private Hire Driver’s badge should be revoked with immediate effect.

 

Also included within the Operational Report and in order to keep the members of the Licensing and Safety Panel updated were statistics of the Licensing Service, which incorporated the types of work carried out by the Service.

 

LSP.859

CONDITIONS RELATING TO A DOG CRECHE pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report by the Assistant Director (Localities)was submitted to the Licensing and Safety Panel in relation to a request from a Licence holder to remove a condition from her Animal Boarding Establishment Licence.  The Licensing Unit Manager read the report explaining that the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963 is the relevant legislation which relates to the boarding of dogs and cats.  The Council has specific conditions which relate to Kennels, Catteries and boarding of animals at domestic premises.

 

On 12 October 2010, the Licensing and Safety Panel considered and approved Licence conditions relating to dog crèches in order to give more specific control in this growing market.  The report is in relation to condition 28 which states ‘full males, bitches in season and puppies under six months of age must not be boarded with other dogs’.  Bury Council adopted this particular condition in order to ensure the safety of all dogs attending a crèche.

 

Following a complaint by a member of the public concerning Mrs Carol Plumridge, the holder of the Animal Boarding Establishment Licence in relation to Goody 4 Paws, Whitefield, the Council’s Animal health inspector visited the establishment and was made aware that the Licence holder admitted that she had breached condition 28 by accepting a puppy into the crèche which was approximately 12 weeks old.  This resulted in a formal warning letter being sent to the Licence holder.

 

The Licence holder subsequently made a request to the Council’s Licensing and Safety Panel that condition 28 is removed from her licence to ensure she continues to operate her business in the way that she desires and will no longer be in breach of this particular condition.

 

Mrs Plumridge attended the meeting and explained to the members of the Licensing and Safety Panel that no dogs are kept overnight at the Premises, only between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm, therefore the word boarding is not accurate.  It was explained that puppies are introduced into the day care in a caring, positive way to ensure a pleasant, rewarding experience through play. 

 

Mrs Plumridge stated that Goody 4 Paws was the first dog day care in North Manchester, opening in 2007 and has not had an injured puppy during that time and only vaccinated dogs are allowed into both day care and training classes.  It is a family owned business, with no volunteers or work experience staff, as they feel this could compromise the safety of the dogs in their care if persons without behaviour qualifications were allowed to supervise play.

 

Mrs Sandra Coombes, Enforcement Officer in Animal Heath, then addressed the Panel and explained that following her enquiries and having considered the depth of experience and qualifications that Mrs Plumridge and her family have, she stated that she would have sufficient confidence in her ability to run the establishment without the condition attached and would be happy to advise the Licensing Panel to remove condition 28 from her Licence.

 

Delegated decision:

 

It was agreed  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.859

LSP.860

URGENT BUSINESS

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

Minutes:

There was no urgent business to report.

LSP.861

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.862

SUSPENSION/REVOCATION OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCES

Report attached.

Minutes:

The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Localities) on the proposed suspension/revocation of a Private Hire Driver’s Licence.

 

Licence Holder 15/2016 attended the meeting and was represented by Mr Charles Oakes, Hackney Drivers’ Association Ltd. The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed and the Licensing Unit Manager read the report, which was accepted by the Licence Holder and Mr Oakes, explaining that on 18 March 2016, the Licensing Service had received a complaint via a Private Hire Operator. This complaint had originated from a member of staff at Greater Manchester West Mental Health Hospital, Prestwich, and related to the Licence Holder’s inappropriate conduct whilst transporting a service user and the member of staff in his Private Hire Vehicle on 16 March 2016.

 

A written statement had been presented to the Licensing and Safety Panel members prior to the meeting from the member of staff, explaining that on 16 March 2016 he had booked a Private Hire Vehicle to take him and a service user from Tesco, Prestwich to the Edenfield Unit at the hospital in Prestwich.  During the journey, the Licence Holder made conversation about the weather and then stated that the sun brings all the girls out in their ‘naughty clothes’.  The Licence Holder also stated that he got a lot of his sexual conquests in summer and records them on his phone in case they cry rape.

 

When they arrived at the Edenfield Unit, the complainant paid and obtained a receipt with the Licence Holder’s number on it.  The Licence Holder offered to leave this blank so that a claim for more than the actual journey could be made, which the complainant declined.

 

When the member of staff subsequently reported the matter to the Private Hire Operator, the Licence Holder’s data head was immediately removed from his vehicle so he could no longer work for them.

 

Mr Oakes explained to the Panel that the Licence Holder had made these comments in jest and hadn’t meant what he said. He stated that the complainant had taken them out of proportion, in a man to man conversation and that the Licence holder has been very worried about this hearing as he needs to provide for his family. Mr Oakes went on to suggest that the scenario would be different if the conversation had been with a female passenger, the Licence Holder had received no complaints in the past and that his actions merited no more than a suspension.

 

The Licence Holder then addressed the Panel and stated he did not know why he had made these comments as it is not something he had said before and he would never make inappropriate comments again.

 

Mr Oakes requested that the Licensing Panel consider a suspension rather than a revocation as although he appreciated the comments were unacceptable they were made only in jest.

 

Delegated decision:

 

After carefully considering the written report, the oral statements from the Licence holder and his representative and taking into account  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.862

LSP.863

APPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCES

Report attached

Minutes:

The Licensing Unit Manager 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 10/2016 attended the meeting and was accompanied by a local business man as a character referee.  The Licensing Unit Manager read the report which was disputed by the Applicant. 

 

The report explained that during the application process for a Private Hire Driver’s Licence, the Applicant had declared that he had no relevant convictions, cautions or fines, which was also confirmed on his DBS Disclosure Certificate.  In response to a specific question on the form, as to whether the Applicant had ever had an Application for a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence refused by this or any other Council or had a Licence suspended or revoked, the Applicant had ticked ‘No’ and had stated when questioned by officers, that he had misread the question.

 

The Applicant was due to be issued with a Private Hire Driver’s Licence on 7 March 2016, however on 3 March 2016, due to information received from a member of the public, Bolton Council’s Licensing Service were contacted about the Applicant. They stated that this Applicant had in fact held a Private Hire Driver’s Licence issued by the Council between 1 October 2006 and 27 July 2015, when the Applicant had appeared before Bolton Council’s Licensing Committee and his licence was revoked with immediate effect on the grounds of Public safety. The Council’s representative then provided details of 3 incidents regarding which complaints had been made to the Council regarding the Applicant’s conduct towards female passengers, based upon which the action had been taken.

 

The incidents set out in the report where;

1.   4 June 2015 – a member of the public had complained that the Applicant had texted a female after taking her on two journeys from Chorley to Bolton and then back again.  The journey from Chorley to a bar in Bolton had been booked via a Private Hire operator; however the return journey from Bolton to Chorley had been booked directly with the Applicant, via his mobile phone, in response to the Applicant telling the female that this was his last job and that he was only doing personal calls after that.  He told her to add him to Facebook so that she could contact him directly if she ever needed a taxi in the future.  He then provided her with his mobile phone number which she used to arrange the return journey home.

2.   In September 2013 the Applicant had attempted to grab hold of a female passengers hand and then her leg and the incident had been reported to Greater Manchester Police (GMP), following which, the complainant had subsequently accepted an apology from the Applicant, who  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.863