Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Monday 4th July, 2022 1.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Joanne Dixon / Scott Bonner 

Items
No. Item

22/10

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest made by Members at this point in the meeting.

22/11

Minutes - Licensing Committee - 13 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the previous Licensing Committee held on 13 June 2022 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

22/12

Licensing Committee Code of Practice pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report seeking approval for the Licensing Committee Codes of Practice which had been updated to reflect the most up to date good governance and best practice requirements for Members.  The Codes of Practice set out the practices and procedures Councillors and Officers of the Council were required to follow when involved in licensing matters - such as the consideration of applications, the preparation of policy and the enforcement of licensing law – to ensure the Licensing Committee discharged its functions in accordance with its statutory requirements and the principles of good governance, in line with the Council’s governance improvement programme.

 

It was highlighted that failure to follow the Codes of Practice without good reason could be taken into account in investigations into possible maladministration against the Council, or have implications for the position of individual Elected Members and Officers.  Breaches of the Code may also amount to breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

Approval was also sought to place the Codes of Practice within the Members’ Handbook as a source of guidance for Elected Members.

 

The submitted report provided background information in relation to the Codes of Practice and explained that the Licensing Committee had a dual role.  Firstly, it was responsible for general licensing functions delegated to it under the Constitution by virtue of Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972.  Secondly, it was the Statutory Committee created under Sections 6 and 7 of the Licensing Act 2003 to deal with all licensing functions under that Act and Section 154 of the Gambling Act 2005 to deal with functions relating to premises licenses and permits used for gambling.

 

The licensing functions under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005 were delegated to Licensing Sub Committees comprising of three Members of the main Licensing Committee. Consideration of applications for licenses and reviews of licenses under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 were also delegated to Licensing Sub Committees.

 

There was a separate Code of Practice for the conduct of Licensing Sub Committee Hearings, the decision-making process and the rules of probity specifically for Licensing Sub Committee functions which should be referred to when Members attended those hearings.

 

The Codes of Practice – Licensing Committee Code of Practice and Licensing Sub Committees Code of Practice - were attached at Appendices 1 and 2 respectively.

 

ORDERED that both the Licensing Committee Code of Practice and the Licensing Sub Committees Code of Practice be approved and included within the Members’ Handbook as a source of guidance for Elected Members.

22/13

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider passing a Resolution Pursuant to Section 100A (4) Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 excluding the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the grounds that if present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

ORDERED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that, if present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

22/14

Application for Review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 07/22

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 07/22, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

 

The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed.  The driver, who was in attendance at the meeting accompanied by his wife and son, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report and understood its contents. 

 

The Licensing Manager highlighted that the driver’s legal representative had provided a letter in response to the review and this was provided to Members prior to the meeting.  It was also confirmed that the driver’s name was correct as detailed in the Committee report and not as detailed within his legal representative’s letter – although the letter did refer to the driver.

 

The Licensing Manager presented a summary of the report.  The driver was first licensed with Middlesbrough Council in August 2017 and now appeared before Members for review of his licence following a number of road traffic collisions and complaints regarding his driving standards.

 

The driver was interviewed by a Licensing Enforcement Officer on 18 May 2022 when he provided explanations in relation to the incidents; the offence detailed at 1) and the complaints detailed in the report.

 

It was highlighted that the incidents detailed in the report all related to road traffic collisions that had occurred in May 2018, January 2019, December 2021 and February 2022.  In addition, in August 2020, the driver had been convicted of a speeding offence which was discovered when Officers carried out a routine check of his DVLA licence.  He had failed to report the conviction to the Licensing Office as required by condition on his licence and was issued with a warning - a copy of which was attached at Appendix 2.

 

With regard to the complaints against the driver from members of the public, the first was received on 3 May 2021 when the complainant stated she had undertaken a journey in the driver’s private hire vehicle and had been asked for her mobile phone at the start of the journey as a deposit for payment.  The complainant alleged that the driver had read her personal notifications whilst he was driving.  The driver explained that he had taken the phone as a deposit as the complainant had stated she had no money to pay for the journey.  The driver was subsequently issued with a warning, a copy of which was attached at Appendix 1.

 

In April 2022 a further complaint was received from a member of the public following a journey undertaken by the complainant in the driver’s vehicle, regarding the driver’s driving standards.

 

Appendix 3 to the submitted report provided an image of the position of the vehicles involved in the incident on 2 December 2021 when the driver reported that he had been involved in a collision.  Appendix 4 to the submitted report also showed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/14