Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Panel
Thursday, 11th January, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Rooms A & B, Town Hall, Bury, BL9 0SW

Contact: Nicole Tilly, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

LSP.288

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.289

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on 28 November 2017.  A copy of the minutes is attached.

Minutes:

     Delegated decision:

 

                   That the Minutes of the Licensing and Safety Panel meeting held on 28 November 2017, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

LSP.290

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:

Charles Oakes, of the Hackney Drivers’ Association Ltd, submitted a written question to the Licensing            and Safety Panel enquiring as to how someone who is unemployed would raise an amount of approximately £450 to apply for a taxi driver’s licence.

 

                   The Licensing Unit Manager explained that the total cost of a licence would not reach £450, however, there were separate components contained within the fee including the 3 year licence, knowledge test, DBS check, English and Maths assessment and the driving assessment.  Not all of the cost is taken up front only the DBS check and pre-assessment costs.  It is a non-profit fee to cover the charges incurred, some of which are outside the Council’s control. 

 

                   It was also explained that there was a proposal to increase the fee by 3%. This proposal would be advertised in the press, which is a statutory obligation.  The Licensing Unit Manager stated that a comparison of all the Greater Manchester Authority fees would be collated and put before the Licensing and Safety Panel for information.

 

It was agreed:

 

                   That the response be noted.

 

LSP.291

OPERATIONAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 60 KB

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

Minutes:

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

 

                   The report set out updates in respect of the following issues:

 

·         Pre-application assessments are continuing to be undertaken by the adult learning team.  From 10 November 2017 until 8 December 2017 there have been 8 assessments carried out, of which 6 passed, 2 failed and none failed to attend.

 

·         In relation to Licensing Hearings Panels, the Licensing Unit Manager reported the following:

 

o   The Licensing Service received an application to vary the Designated Premises Supervisor in respect of the Wellington Hotel, 338 Bolton Road, Bury and the hearing was convened for 6 December 2017, however, the representation was withdrawn prior to the hearing, following mediation with the Police, therefore this application was not heard by a Licensing Panel.

 

o   The Licensing Service received an application to review the premises licence in respect of the White Rooms, 254 Bury New Road, Whitefield, from Greater Manchester Police in their capacity as a Responsible Authority and two interested parties also made representations.  The meeting was convened for 19 December 2017 and the Panel received evidence and considered all oral and written documentation before considering the merits of the case and agreed to vary the conditions of the licence in keeping with the licensing objectives; to prevent crime and disorder, to prevent public nuisance and ensure public safety.  The Panel agreed it reasonable, balanced, appropriate and proportionate based on all the evidence, to vary the conditions and not revoke the licence.

 

o   The Licensing Service received an application to transfer the premises licence and vary the Designated Premises Supervisor in respect of Jason’s Mini Mart. 36 Albion Street, Bury and the hearing was convened for 20 December 2017.  Greater Manchester Police, in their capacity as a Responsible Authority gave notice that they were satisfied that the exceptional circumstances of the case are such that granting the application would undermine the crime prevention objective.  The Panel’s decision was to refuse both applications.

 

·         Following a decision of the Licensing and Safety Panel on 27 July 2017 to revoke a private hire driver’s licence with immediate effect for failing to maintain his vehicle over a 2 year period, the driver

appealed the Council’s decision to Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court.  The hearing took place on 29 November 2017 and the Magistrates’ decided to dismiss the appeal and the Council were granted costs of £1,570.

 

     It was agreed:

 

                   That the report be noted.

 

LSP.292

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 reported.

LSP.293

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.294

SUSPENSION/REVOCATION OF A HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER'S LICENCE

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

Minutes:

Licence holder 30/2017 attended the meeting and was accompanied by Mr Ahmed, Solicitor.

 

The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed and the Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Localities).

 

The report explained that the Licensing Service had received information from Greater Manchester Police on 19 December 2017 that the Licence Holder had received a conviction for the possession of a class ‘A’ drug on 21 November 2017 at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and was fined £100 with costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.  This had not disclosed to the Licensing Service within 7 days as required under the private hire drivers’ licence conditions.

 

Mr Ahmed stated that it was not the Licence Holder driving the vehicle but his uncle, which was accepted by the Licensing and Safety Panel.  He explained that driving a taxi is all the Licence Holder knows and that he has worked as a taxi radio operator since he was 16 years old. He is the only financial provider in the household and his mother relies on him and that to lose his licence would be detrimental to the family.

 

Following questions from the members of the Panel, the Licence Holder explained that he had not been driving the vehicle but had been a passenger and it was not his car.  He acknowledged that there was a bag of a class ‘A’ drugs in the pocket of the door of the car and that when the

                    Police stopped the car he automatically put this in his pocket as he didn’t want his uncle to get into trouble.

   

When questioned as to why he had not disclosed this conviction to the Licensing Service, Mr Ahmed stated that the Licence Holder had not been aware he had to.  He stated that he was young and naive at the time of the conviction and was very remorseful for his actions and stressed how important it was for him to keep his licence in order to provide for his Mother and family.

                   

                   Delegated decision:

 

              The Panel carefully considered the report and the oral representations provided by the Licence Holder 30/2017 and his Solicitor and taking into account the Council’s Conviction Policy and Guidelines and in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, resolved, unanimously, to revoke the driver’s licence.

 

                   The Panel noted the following:

 

1.   That the conviction for possession of a class ‘A’ drug was a serious offence.

2.   That the conviction date of 21 November 2017 was very recent and the conviction guidelines state that a conviction of less than 3 years old will generally be refused and there were no exceptional circumstances to depart from these guidelines.

3.   The Licence Holder provided no reasonable explanation for not disclosing the conviction, as the requirements for disclosure are clear.

4.   That the Licence Holder was not a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Driver’s Licence issued by Bury Council.

 

              The Licence Holder was informed of their right  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.294

LSP.295

APPLICATION FOR PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS' LICENCES

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

Minutes:

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 invited to address the Panel separately on their applications and any matters referred to in the Officer’s report.  The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed. 

                   

1.                             Applicant 27/2017 attended the meeting and was represented byMr Ahmed, Solicitor.  The Licensing Unit Manager read the report which was accepted by the Applicant and representative, which explained that the Applicant had been convicted at Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 14 March 2013 for an offence of driving a motor vehicle with excess

 

alcohol and sentenced to 12 months disqualification and fined £110 with costs of £350 and a victim surcharge of £20.

 

The Applicant addressed the Panel and explained the circumstances which had led to the conviction, which were that on 11 February 2013 the Applicant had visited a friend for a drink, which was a regular occurrence and he always booked a taxi home.  On this occasion, he was at a female friend’s house and they had an argument and she took his car keys and started to drive his car. She travelled up the road where she had stalled the car at a Give Way. The Applicant stated he opened the car door to stop the female from driving further, when she sounded the horn and started shouting and a neighbour called the Police.  The Applicant had by this time reversed the car to a safer place and was stood outside the car but with the keys in his pocket.  The female initially accused the Applicant of assault but these charges were later dropped.

 

Following questions from the members of the Licensing and Safety Panel, the Applicant stated that he only chased the female as he was worried for her safety, as she had also been drinking. He further stated he had only reversed the car a short distance to ensure the safety of others as well as his car, due to where the vehicle had been left.  The Applicant also explained that since this incident he has suffered ill health and lost 4 stone.  He has 5 children to support, 2 of which are at University and he felt that not only him but his whole family were suffering.  The Applicant acknowledged that what he did was wrong, was very remorseful for his actions but stated that he had waited until the 5 years since the conviction time was almost complete, before applying for his licence.

 

Delegated decision:

 

                    The Panel carefully considered the report and the oral representations by the Applicant and Mr Ahmed and after taking into account the Council’s Conviction Policy and Guidelines and in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 resolved, unanimously, that the application for a Private Hire Driver’s Licence by Applicant 27/2017 be granted.

 

                    The Panel noted that although a serious offence, the Applicant had shown remorse  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.295