Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Panel
Thursday, 7th March, 2019 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Nicole Tilly 

Items
No. Item

LSP.1

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.2

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The minutes of the last meeting held on 10 January 2019 are attached.

Minutes:

Delegated decision:

 

                   That the Minutes of the Licensing and Safety Panel meeting held on 10 January, 2019, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

LSP.3

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:

 Mr Charles Oakes of the Hackney Drivers’ Association addressed the Licensing and Safety Panel and explained that there has been a drastic downfall in the number of Hackney Carriages now in Bury, standing currently at 64 from 124.  Mr Oakes requested that an independent survey of public perception in relation to Hackney Carriages was conducted, at an approximate cost of £1,500, as there was a fear there could be no Hackney trade in Bury at all.

 

                   The question was raised as to who would fund the cost of this survey and the Licensing Unit Manager stated that the cost of the survey would need to be funded through the licence fees, not the Licensing Service but that further discussions on this matter would take place with Mr Oakes.

 

LSP.4

OPERATIONAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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

Additional documents:

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:

 

Gambling Act 2005

The revised Statement of Principles under the Gambling Act 2005 came    into effect on 31 January 2019, following ratification by full Council on 28 November 2018.

 

Common Minimum Standards – Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Trade

Following further meetings with the other nine Greater Manchester Authorities, it is hoped the Common Minimum Standards will be consulted upon in Summer 2019.

 

Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Trade Liaison Meeting

On 11 February 2019 the Licensing Service met with representatives of both the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Trade and all licensed operators were invited to attend, in relation to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.  A copy of the minutes from this meeting were circulated to members of the Licensing and Safety Panel for information.

 

Evening Enforcement – 18 January 2019

The Licensing Service undertook evening enforcement on 18 January 2019 which resulted in the following:

 

·         4 restaurants were visited and of those Premises Licence summaries were not displayed at 2 Premises.  Following instruction, these matters have now been remedied.

 

·         An unlicensed takeaway was visited which was advertising that it was open until 2.00 am.  Instruction was given at the inspection to close at 11.00 pm until a Premises Licence was in force.

 

·         8 other licensed Premises were visited and all were found to be compliant.

 

Operation Considerate

The Licensing Service took part in an operation in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police on 12 February 2019 in relation to Hackney and Private Hire licensed vehicles and drivers. The findings of the operation were circulated to members of the Licensing and Safety Panel.  The Licensing Service are currently issuing warning letters to the vehicle proprietors and the drivers of the vehicles.

 

Greater Manchester Air Quality Plan Conversation

On 11 February 2019, at the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire liaison meeting, Officers from Environmental Health Service spoke to the representatives of the trades in respect of Air Quality and any feedback returned within a questionnaire.

 

Purple Flag Submission

Officers from the Licensing Service have been involved with the internal assessment required for the renewal application and the Council is currently waiting for confirmation of a date when the external assessment will take place.

 

Bradley Fold

In the early hours of 14 January 2019, there was a fire at Bradley Fold and due to this, the Council are unable to test any vehicles currently. Alternative interim arrangements were made within 48 hours of the fire

 

with Bolton Council, to enable the testing of vehicles to continue.  The trade have been advised of the change of venue for testing and the tests have been carried out by Bury Council staff.

 

NAFN – National Anti-Fraud Network

Officers of the Licensing Service are currently looking to register onto the NR3 database that is held by NAFN.  This data base will hold data on individuals that have  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.4

LSP.5

SAFEGUARDING REPORT pdf icon PDF 63 KB

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

Minutes:

                    The Licensing Unit Manager submitted a reportby the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) in respect of introducing safeguarding training for Applicants/licence holders of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers’ licences.  The report explained that on 20 March 2018, members approved the introduction of such safeguarding training and the requirement that all existing licence holders complete the training within a 12 month period.

                    

                     Subsequently, on 14 June 2018, Members agreed to suspend this training in order for the Licensing Service to bring the proposed training in line with the requirements of the Greater Manchester Minimum Standards for Taxi Drivers. 

 

 The Council Procurement team and the Licensing Service have conducted a tender exercise in relation to the provision of safeguarding training.  Thirty eight companies showed an interest and of those, six submissions were returned by the closing date in respect of this tender.  Following evaluation and scoring, there has been one successful bidder, namely ‘Personnel Checks’.

 

 Following the Panel’s decision on 14 June 2018 to suspend implementation of the training, Members are now requested to re-introduce with immediate effect the requirement for mandatory safeguarding training for new Applicants as a pre-requisite prior to application and that existing drivers will be required to undertake the training within 12 months of the implementation date.  It is proposed that the first training take place as soon as possible, before the 31 March 2019, with the costs of the training borne by the Applicant or the licence holder.

 

Delegated decision:

 

 It was agreed unanimously by the members of the Licensing and Safety Panel to reinstate, with immediate effect, the Policy requirement for Applicants/licence holders of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers’ badges to undertake mandatory safeguarding training.

 

 

LSP.6

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.7

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.8

A RENEWAL APPLICATION TO LICENCE A HACKNEY CARRIAGE LICENCE (1)

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

Minutes:

                    The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services), regarding the review of the five fault criteria in respect of a Hackney Carriage vehicle licence. 

 

                    The report explained that prior to February 2006, Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years old were not licensed by Bury Council unless the vehicle was in ‘exceptional condition’.  On 2 February 2006, following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association, the Licensing and Safety Panel reviewed the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria and resolved to allow vehicles to be licensed beyond 10 years of age subject to the vehicle passing requisite inspections with no more than 5 faults being identified (‘the 5 fault rule’).

 

                    This Policy has been reviewed since the above date and on 8 May 2014 the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report relating to the review of current Policies relating to the Licensing and testing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. Members resolved that the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria be re-introduced for Hackney Carriages at 10 years old as an incentive to encourage proactive maintenance and provide for additional testing requirements where vehicles fall below acceptable standards.

 

                    In addition, existing licence holders be allowed a 3 year transitional period should they have made financial plans in respect of their vehicle to allow them to be licensed subject to the 5 fault rule.

 

                    On 27 July 2017, the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association represented by Mr Giles Bridge, requesting the Council consider a 15 year age Policy and

review whether the five fault rule or the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria should apply to all Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years of age. 

 

                    Members resolved unanimously that approval be given to continue with the current licensing and testing policy in relation to Hackney Carriage vehicles up to 10 years of age and then require the vehicle to be subject to the 5 fault rule.

 

                    The Licence Holder of a Peugeot Expert, attended the meeting and was represented by Mr Oakes, of the Hackney Drivers’ Association.  The report presented by the Licensing Unit Manager explained that on 19 May 2014, the vehicle in question, was transferred into the Licence Holder’s name who is a licensed Hackney Carriage driver.  The current vehicle licence is due to expire on 21 March 2019.

 

                    On 17 September 2018, the vehicle underwent a routine 6 month interim test at the Council’s test centre at Bradley Fold and failed the test with 11 faults, 7 of which were MOT faults.

                   

                    On 6 February 2019, the Licence Holder made an application to renew the vehicle licence in respect of this vehicle prior to its expiry on 21 March 2019.  The Licensing Service requested that the vehicle undertake the usual renewal test on 18 February 2019, when the vehicle was found to have 3 faults, 2 of which were MOT faults.

 

                    The Licensing Unit Manager explained it is for the Licence Holder to present a case as to  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.8

LSP.9

A RENEWAL APPLICATION TO LICENCE A HACKNEY CARRIAGE LICENCE (2)

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

Minutes:

 The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services), regarding the review of the five fault criteria in respect of a Hackney Carriage vehicle licence. 

 

                    The report explained that prior to February 2006, Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years old were not licensed by Bury Council unless the vehicle was in ‘exceptional condition’.  On 2 February 2006, following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association, the Licensing and Safety Panel reviewed the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria and resolved to allow vehicles to be licensed beyond 10 years of age subject to the vehicle passing requisite inspections with no more than 5 faults being identified (‘the 5 fault rule’).

 

                    This Policy has been reviewed since the above date and on 8 May 2014 the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report relating to the review of current Policies relating to the Licensing and testing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. Members resolved that the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria be re-introduced for Hackney Carriages at 10 years old as an incentive to encourage proactive maintenance and provide for additional testing requirements where vehicles fall below acceptable standards.

 

                    In addition, existing licence holders be allowed a 3 year transitional period should they have made financial plans in respect of their vehicle to allow them to be licensed subject to the 5 fault rule.

 

                    On 27 July 2017, the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association represented by

                    Mr Giles Bridge, requesting the Council consider a 15 year age Policy and review whether the five fault rule or the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria should apply to all Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years of age.  Members resolved unanimously that approval be given to continue with the current Licensing and testing Policy in relation to Hackney Carriage vehicles up to 10 years of age and then require the vehicle to be subject to the 5 fault rule.

 

                   

                    The Licence Holder of a Peugeot Expert E7, was unable to attend the meeting due to being out of the Country from Friday 22 February 2019 and had instructed a family member, his son, to appear on his behalf.  The

                    report presented by the Licensing Unit Manager explained that the vehicle in question, was transferred into the Licence Holder’s name on 21 June 2017 and is due to expire on 8 March 2019.

 

                    On 4 September 2018, the vehicle underwent a routine 6 month interim test at the Council’s test Centre at Bradley Fold and failed the test with 7 faults, 6 of which were MOT faults.

 

                    On 19 February 2019, the Licence Holder made an application to renew the vehicle licence prior to its expiry on 8 March 2019.  The Licensing Service requested the vehicle undertakes the usual renewal test on 26 February 2019, where the vehicle was found to have 6 faults, 2 of which were MOT faults.

 

                    The Licensing Unit Manager explained it is for the licence holder to present a case  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.9

LSP.10

A RENEWAL APPLICATION TO LICENCE A HACKNEY CARRIAGE LICENCE (3)

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

Minutes:

                    The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services), regarding the review of the five fault criteria in respect of a Hackney Carriage vehicle licence. 

 

                    The report explained that prior to February 2006, Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years old were not licensed by Bury Council unless the vehicle was in ‘exceptional condition’.  On 2 February 2006, following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association, the Licensing and Safety Panel reviewed the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria and resolved to allow vehicles to be licensed beyond 10 years of age subject to the vehicle passing requisite inspections with no more than 5 faults being identified (‘the 5 fault rule’)..

                   

                    This Policy has been reviewed since the above date and on 8 May 2014 the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report relating to the review of current Policies relating to the Licensing and testing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. Members resolved that the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria be re-introduced for Hackney Carriages at 10 years old as an incentive to encourage proactive maintenance and provide for additional testing requirements where vehicles fall below acceptable standards.

 

                    In addition, existing licence holders be allowed a 3 year transitional period should they have made financial plans in respect of their vehicle to allow them to be licensed subject to the 5 fault rule.

 

                    On 27 July 2017, the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association represented by Mr Giles Bridge, requesting the Council consider a 15 year age Policy and review whether the five fault rule or the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria should apply to all Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years of age.  Members resolved unanimously that approval be given to continue with the current Licensing and testing Policy in relation to Hackney Carriage vehicles up to 10 years of age and then require the vehicle to be subject to the 5 fault rule.

 

                    The Licence Holder of a Fiat Scudo attended the hearing and was accompanied by a friend.  The report presented by the Licensing Unit Manager explained that the vehicle in question, had been licensed by Bury Council since 30 August 2012 and on 26 February 2016, was transferred into the Licence Holder’s name. The vehicle licence expired on 24 February 2019.

 

                   

                    On 15 August 2018, the vehicle was scheduled for a routine 6 month interim test at the Council’s test Centre at Bradley Fold but the vehicle was not presented for test so the vehicle licence was suspended.

                   

                    On 22 August 2018, the vehicle underwent a routine 6 month interim test at the Council’s test Centre at Bradley Fold and failed the test with 9 faults, 5 of which were MOT faults.

 

                    On 24 August 2018, the vehicle was presented for retest.  The vehicle still had 2 MOT faults.

 

                    On 30 August 2018, the vehicle was presented for a second retest, the vehicle still had 1 MOT fault as the rear brakes were out of balance.  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.10

LSP.11

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 22/2018 attended the meeting and was represented by his Solicitor Mr Latif. 

 

                    The Chair introduced the Panel and outlined the procedure to be followed. The Licensing Unit Manager then 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 9 August 2019.  On 8 November 2018, a complaint was received from a member of the public regarding this Licence Holder’s driving and conduct.  The complainant alleged he was travelling in his vehicle along Pilkington Way in Radcliffe, a dual carriageway and was in the outside lane and the Licence Holder’s Private Hire vehicle was on the inside.  The Licence Holder’s Private Hire vehicle started to encroach into the complainant’s lane and therefore he sounded his horn to warn the Licence Holder.  The Licence Holder pulled alongside the complainant and wound down his window, shouted obscenities and drove off. 

 

        Statements were produced from the complainant, a representative of the operator and a voice recording was played at the meeting of the passenger in the Licence Holder’s vehicle at the time of the incident, which confirmed the Licence Holder had shouted abuse at the complainant.

 

        Mr Latif addressed the Panel and stated that they had requested a signed witness statement to be used as written evidence under section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act from the complainant but this was declined by the Licensing Unit Manager.  He and his client had not had the opportunity to investigate as they were not aware of the complainant or their details as these had not been provided. Mr Latif further stated that in his opinion the personal details of the complainant should have been provided under the Data protection Act.  He stated that the Licence Holder was in fact the victim in this scenario as he had been racially abused by the complainant, for which he wanted to now report this incident to the Police for investigation.

 

        The Council Solicitor advised the Licensing and Safety Panel that the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 did not apply in these proceedings as they are regulatory and would in any event only apply in criminal proceedings before the Magistrates Court when served with the requisite notice as per the provision of the legislation. The statements would therefore stand as basic statements.

 

        In relation to the Data protection Act and GDPR, this was a request for third party personal data and a lawful basis would be required to share

        that information. In view of the fact that the complainant feared reprisals and had refused to consent to the disclosure of his personal data, the only lawful basis would be the public task or public interest basis, which may not be satisfied in view of the concerns he had raised and the effect on such proceedings from a public perspective, particularly as  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSP.11