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LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 6th December, 2011.

 

Present:  Councillor J.W. Thomas (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. A.J. Preston (Vice-Chairman); Councillors: Ms. M.E. Alexander, Mrs. S.M. Bagstaff, J. Clifford, G.A. Cox, J.F. Fraser, E. Hacker, A.D. Hampton, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, K. Hatton, N. Moore, C.L. Osborne and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

 

662     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE -

 

This was received from Councillor E.T. Williams.

 

 

663     MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 1st November, 2011 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

664     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

665     AUTHORISATION OF G.W. TAXIMETER SERVICES LTD. AS A HACKNEY CARRIAGE METER TESTER (DLPPHS) -

 

Members were advised that the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s conditions for Hackney Carriages stated that “The proprietor shall produce annually to the Licensing Authority a certificate issued by a meter installer approved by the Licensing Authority stating that the meter is accurate and contains only the current Vale of Glamorgan hackney carriage tariff”.

 

Earlier in the year, on the recommendation of the taxi licensing audit a review of the authorised meter testers was carried out and four companies were approved.  G.W. Taximeters Services Ltd. was one of the approved authorised testers.  On 24th October, 2011 a meter certificate issued by G.W. Taximeter Services Ltd. to Mr. J. Billing was presented to the Licensing Section as part of Mr. Billing's application to renew his Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence.  On 23rd November, 2011 acting on information received, Licensing Officers requested that a number of proprietors brought their Hackney Carriages to the Civic Offices for inspection of their meters in order to check they were set at the new Vale of Glamorgan Council tariffs.  On the inspection of Mr. Billing's vehicle the meter was found to be displaying the old tariff despite Mr. Billing having been issued with a new calibration certificate since the tariff increase. 

 

The Licensing Team Leader immediately at that time contacted G.W. Taximeter Services Ltd. by telephone to issue a reminder of what was required from authorised meter testers and the information that should be contained on the certificate.  A copy of the Committee report for the Licensing Committee meeting had also been sent to G.W. Taximeter Services Ltd.  inviting them to attend the Committee to make representations to Members.

 

Mr. Miller, representing G.W. Taximeter Services Ltd., advised that an error had been made when they issued the certificate and that he had not read the letter of 8th July, 2011 in its entirety and, as such, had issued the certificate by mistake.  He explained that the meter in Mr. Billing’s vehicle could not be recalibrated and that Mr. Billing would have needed to buy a new meter.  He also advised Members that Mr. Billing was going to retire in 2012 and as the meter was set to the old tariff it would have only overcharged during the Christmas and New Year period.  Mr. Billing didn’t intend to work over the Christmas and New Year period, and as such he hand not thought it fair to make him buy a new meter at a cost of £250.  In response to the concern detailed in the report that he had abruptly terminated the telephone conversation that had taken place with the Licensing Team Leader, he stated that he had considered the conversation to be of an aggressive nature and that he had ended it with the view that the necessary paperwork would be forwarded in due course.

 

Members were concerned that Mr. Miller had knowingly provided the calibration certificate which would have been in breach of the Hackney Carriage Vehicle condition.

 

Having considered the representations and the report, it was

 

RESOLVED - T H A T G.W. Taximeter Services Ltd should be removed from the Vale of Glamorgan Council's list of approved meter fitters and testers..

 

Reason for decision

 

Mr. Miller of G.W. Taximeters Services Ltd. admitted at Committee that he had knowingly issued a Hackney Carriage Meter Certificate which was incorrect.  The Vale of Glamorgan relies on the meter testing companies to ensure that the meters are correctly calibrated..

 

 

666     EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

667     DISCIPLINARY MATTER - C (DLPPHS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) -

 

C. had made an application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence on 9th December, 2010 and on 9th November, 2011 had passed the Vale of Glamorgan Council Driver Knowledge Test.  Following the appropriate CRB check, a history of offending had been received which was presented to the Committee by the Licensing Team Leader.  C. was then afforded the opportunity to make representations to Members. 

 

 

After considering the officer's report including the local test of fitness and propriety as stated in Paragraph 13 of the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Policy on the Relevance of Convictions, Sections 51(1) and 59(1) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the mitigation offered by C, the Licensing Committee

 

RESOLVED - T H A T C was not a fit and proper person to hold a Vale of Glamorgan Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers badge.

 

Reason for decision

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council's policy on the relevance of convictions states in Paragraph 4.14 'The Licensing Authority is unlikely to grant an application from a person convicted of any offence involving the supply of illegal substances to others, unless a period of at least 10 years free of criminal conviction has elapsed.'  C. did not offer anything in mitigation to persuade the Committee that it should deviate from the Policy.

 

 

668     FOR INFORMATION REPORT - S. (DLPPHS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION - PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) -

 

The report advised Members of the action that had been taken by officers of the Licensing Section.

 

On 10th November, 2011 the Licensing Section had been advised that S. had been arrested by the police in relation to a criminal allegation.  On 10th November, 2011 on the grounds of public safety the Licensing Section had suspended the licensee with immediate effect pending the outcome of a police investigation. 

 

Members, in considering the report

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having regard to the actions taken by the Licensing Section.