Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Panel
Thursday, 10th January, 2019 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Nicole Tilly 

Items
No. Item

LSP.285

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.286

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 54 KB

The minutes of the last meeting held on 6 December 2018 are attached.

Minutes:

 That the Minutes of the Licensing and Safety Panel meeting held on 6 December 2018, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

LSP.287

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 questions raised under this item.

LSP.288

OPERATIONAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 61 KB

A report by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) is attached.

Minutes:

                  The Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) submitted a report advising Members on operational issues within the Licensing Service.

 

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

 

     APPEALS TO MAGISTRATES’ COURT

 

·         Following a decision of the Licensing and Safety Panel to refuse to grant a Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence, an appeal has been lodged and will be heard at the Magistrates’ Court on 1 March 2019.

 

·         Following a decision to refuse to renew a Hackney Carriage vehicle due to it failing the five fault rule as it is a vehicle over 10 years of age from the date of registration, an appeal has been lodged and will be heard at the Magistrates’ Court on 11 March 2019.

 

·         An appeal against the Council’s decision to revoke a Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence due to him failing to maintain his vehicle was heard at the Magistrates’ Court on 17 December 2018 and dismissed by the Magistrates.  An application for costs was made to the sum of £2,305, which was reduced to £1,735 due to the driver having lost his livelihood.

 

MULTI AGENCY VISITS WITH GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE

 

The Licensing Service took part in visits to licensed premises with Greater Manchester Police on 7 December 2018 and out of 12 premises visited the following issues were found:

 

·         Three premises had no Designated Premises Supervisor and instruction was given to cease the retail sale of alcohol.

·         A section 19 notice under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 was served on a licensed premises in Bury due to the Premises Licence Holder being made insolvent and the premises was closed.

·         A gambling machine was situated in a licenced premises and no permit had been applied for.  Instruction was given and the machine was turned off.

 

MULTI AGENCY VISITS WITH TRADING STANDARDS

 

Officers from the Trading Standards and Licensing Services visited 26 off licences to undertake compliance checks in relation to alcohol, tobacco and food.  Minor issues were found and advice was given to licence holders.

 

 

 

 

VISITS TO SECOND HAND DEALERS

 

Officers from the Trading Standards and Licensing Services visited 14 second hand dealers to ensure compliance with the Greater Manchester Act 1981 and Officers are currently dealing with their findings.

 

     It was agreed:

 

                   That the report be noted.

 

LSP.289

CHANGES TO OFFICER DELEGATION IN RESPECT OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE LICENSING pdf icon PDF 137 KB

A report by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) is attached.

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn at the meeting.

 

LSP.290

CHANGES TO CONSTITUTIONAL MAKE UP AND FREQUENCY OF LICENSING AND SAFETY PANEL MEETINGS/DAYTIME MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 111 KB

A report by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) is attached.

Minutes:

                    The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services), which explained that the consideration of driver and new Applicants’ misdemeanours form a large percentage of business brought before the Licensing and Safety Panel.  A number of Panel meetings this municipal year have exceeded 10.00 pm and resulted in the suspension of standing orders and Officers have been asked to consider options for refining procedures and reducing the amount of business placed before the Panel in one meeting.

 

                     At present, the Council Constitution requires the Licensing and Safety Panel determine driver, vehicle and operator licence applications where Applicants do not comply with the relevant criteria or where there are grounds for refusal of an application.

 

                     Currently the Council Constitution at Article 8 allows for the appointment of regulatory and non-executive Committees set out in part 3 of the Constitution and the membership of the Licensing and Safety Panel as:

 

§  13 members of the Authority to form a politically balanced Committee where possible;

§  3 members of full Panel to be selected to form politically balanced Licensing Hearings Panels where possible to deal with individual applications for licences under the Licensing Act 2003.

 

                     Currently all matters relating to public and private hire are heard at 6 weekly meetings, in the evening, starting at 7.00 pm, before a full politically balanced Committee where possible. 

 

                     It is proposed that 3 member politically balanced Panels, where possible, be permitted to sit and hear matters relating to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licences included in the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and to sit during the normal working day, i.e. Monday – Friday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm.

 

 Full member Licensing and Safety Panel meetings will continue to be scheduled on 6 weekly intervals and continue to meet in the evenings and will consider matters of Policy as well as relevant Public and Private Hire matters needed to be considered where the driver/operator/vehicle owner would prefer to be heard at an evening meeting to allow for working arrangements or carer responsibilities to be taken into consideration. 

 

 Any matter to be determined immediately on the grounds of it being in the interest of Public safety would continue to be determined through existing delegations.

 

 Various questions were asked from the members of the Licensing and Safety Panel in respect of availability of members, political balance, how many additional meetings and which issues would be considered at these meeting.

It was agreed:

 

To accept the proposals, in whole and seek Council approval with regard to altering the frequency of and Constitution of Licencing and Safety Panel meetings dealing with Hackney Carriage and Private Hire matters.

 

 

LSP.291

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 raised under this item.

 

LSP.292

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.293

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

A report by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) is attached.

Minutes:

1. Licence holder 19/2018 attended the meeting and was represented by Mr Khan, Solicitor and accompanied by his Father. The Chair welcomed the licence holder and introduced the Licensing and Safety Panel and the Council Solicitor outlined the procedure to be followed.

 

        The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services), which was accepted by the licence holder and his Solicitor.

 

        The report explained that the licence holder is a licensed Private Hire driver and his licence is due to expire on 17 October 2019.The licence holder also has a licensed Private Hire vehicle which has been licensed continuously since 9 May 2017 and expires on 9 May 2019.  During the period from 10 May 2017 to 15 October 2018, time the licence holder has been spoken to and received written warnings regarding incorrect signage being displayed on the vehicle on 9 separate occasions and has persistently breached the Private Hire conditions.  Therefore, the licence holder is now before the Licensing and Safety Panel.

       

        The Licensing Unit Manager explained that the licence holder was scheduled to attend the last meeting on 6 December 2018 but due to being involved in a road traffic accident on 30 November 2018, was unable to attend and the hearing was adjourned.

 

        Mr Khan, Solicitor, had provided the Licensing and Safety Panel with a full witness statement prior to the meeting, explaining the personal circumstances of the licence holder.

 

        The licence holder and his Solicitor, Mr Khan addressed the Panel and explained that it was accepted that the licence holder had breached the licensing conditions and is now very remorseful.  They explained that the licence holder had purchased a new vehicle, a Mercedes E Class AMG, which he was very proud of as he had never owned a car like this before.

 

        Although he had displayed relevant signage on the vehicle, it was not approved operator signage and he had cut down stickers on magnets, to make them more aesthetically pleasing and blend in with the vehicle, as well as avoid damage to the paintwork.  Following the road traffic accident on 30 November, 2018, the car was now ‘written off’ and he was driving a Passat car belonging to his operator, with full correct signage.

 

        The licence holder accepted that his behaviour was completely inappropriate and that it was paramount that correct signage was displayed for the public to ensure they entered the correct vehicle.  It was explained to the Panel that the licence holder’s brother had passed away in unexpected circumstances in September 2015, leaving this client as the main financial provider in the household, with his wife, Mother and Father, his three children and widowed sister in law and her four children. 

 

        Mr Khan explained that the licence holder was a model driver in every other way and it was very important to keep his licence in order to provide for his family.  The licence holder reiterated how remorseful he was and fully appreciated the importance  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.293

LSP.295

APPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS' LICENCES

Minutes:

The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services), regarding applications for Private Hire drivers’ licences.

 

1. Applicant 23/2018 attended the meeting and was accompanied by his brother.  The Chair welcomed the Applicant and introduced the Licensing and Safety Panel and the Council Solicitor outlined the procedure to be followed.

 

The Licensing Unit Manager read the report, which was accepted by the Applicant and his brother, which explained that the Applicant had been convicted on 19 September 2013, of driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol, at Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Magistrates’ Court and was disqualified from driving for 12 months, reduced if course completed, fined £110 with costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.

 

The report explained that following information from Crime Stoppers, and intelligence passed to Greater Manchester Police, the Applicant had been arrested by Lancashire Police on Market Street, Bacup, on 4 July 2013, after failing a roadside breath test, which eventually led to a prosecution.

 

The Applicant and his brother addressed the Panel and explained that at that time, the Applicant was having a very difficult time with his wife, from whom he is now divorced.  He had a drink at home and his wife had forced him to drive and he had been caught.  The Applicant no longer drinks and this was a one off occasion as he is a devout Muslim.

 

The Applicant explained that he needs a licence as he is currently struggling with the job he has, as a delivery driver.  It is 5 years since the conviction and he asked the Panel for a chance to prove himself.

 

                   Delegated Decision:

                  

                    The Panel carefully considered the report and the oral representations by the Applicant and his brother and after taking into account the Council’s Conviction Policy and Guidelines and in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the panel agreed unanimously, that the application for a Private Hire driver’s licence by Applicant 23/2018 be granted.

                   

                  The Panel noted that although the offence for drink driving was serious, the Applicant was remorseful for his actions and the Panel accepted that this was a one off error due to the difficulties in his home life and would not be repeated.  The offence occurred over five years previously and the Panel agreed that this Applicant was a fit and proper person.           

 

2. Applicant 24/2018 attended the meeting and was accompanied by Mr Oakes, The Hackney Drivers’ Association Ltd.  The Chair welcomed the Applicant and introduced the Licensing and Safety Panel and the Council Solicitor outlined the procedure to be followed.

 

                        The Licensing Unit Manager read the report which was accepted by the Applicant and Mr Oakes. The report explained that on Thursday 19 November 2013, an altercation had taken place between the licence holder and a Civil Enforcement Officer undertaking parking attendant duties, during which the licence holder was reported to have used foul and abusive language towards the Officer, struck the  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.295