Minutes of a meeting held on 5th March, 2013.
Present: Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. P. Drake, K.J. Geary, H.C. Hamilton, K. Hatton, Mrs. A.J. Moore, Ms. R.F. Probert and J.W. Thomas.
914 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N. Moore, Mrs. A.J. Preston and R.P. Thomas.
915 MINUTES -
RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 5th February, 2013 be approved as a correct record.
916 ANNOUNCEMENTS –
· drew Members’ attention to the Members’ Pack as tabled at the meeting dated 28th February, 2013 which had been amended at Section 15, and
· referred to the Licensing Act training which had been arranged from 9.30am to 4pm on Monday, 15th April and would be held in the Council Chamber; the training would be undertaken by James Button, a respected expert in licensing matters, and all Members were urged to notify the Licensing Section of their availability to attend on that date.
917 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
Councillor A.G. Powell declared an interest in:
· Agenda Item No. 5 – Request to Consider Permitting the Display of Signage on a Private Hire Vehicle in that the Applicant was a sponsor of a club of which he was a member, and
· Agenda Item No. 10 – Application to Renew Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences – A. in that the Applicant’s representative was a personal friend.
Councillor Powell vacated the room during consideration of the above matters.
Councillor J.W. Thomas was elected Chairman and assumed the Chair for the duration of those items.
918 ADOPTION OF TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE LICENSING STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES, FITNESS CRITERIA FOR DRIVERS AND OPERATORS (DDS) –
The proposed Statement of Principles would replace the existing Policy on the Treatment of Convictions, Cautions and Charges which was appended at Section 2 to the report. The proposed Statement of Principles would give Members full discretion to decide if an individual applicant who had convictions was a fit and proper person to hold the relevant licences. The Statement would also enable officers to decide which matters should be referred to the Licensing Committee and would be available to potential applicants. During the course of discussion on the contents of the proposed Statement, various suggestions were made in respect of the content either in the interests of consistency or to assist clarity. Following discussion on the same, it was
RESOLVED – T H A T the Statement as amended below be adopted for use by Members and Officers of Licensing Section in their future consideration of applications for the grant or renewal of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences, Operator’s Licences and disciplinary action against the holders of current licences:
· paragraph 6.4 – delete final bullet point
· paragraph 6.5 – delete final bullet point
· paragraph 6.6 – delete final bullet point
· paragraph 7.2(a) – reword to read “unless there are exceptional circumstances, an application will normally be refused where an applicant has a conviction for an offence or similar offence(s) which replace those set out below…” and delete final bullet point
· renumber 7.3(b) to read 7.2(b)
· renumber 7.4(c) to read 7.2(c)
· paragraphs 7.2(b) and (c) – reword to read as paragraph 7.2(a) above and delete final bullet point in each
· renumber the remaining paragraphs under Chapter 7
· paragraphs 9.2 and 9.3 – add the words “or at least three years from completion of sentence (whichever is longer)”
· paragraph 12.1 – delete the words “and no further application should be considered until a period of 1 to 3 years free from convictions has elapsed”
· any other minor typographical errors.
Reason for decision
To have an approved Statement of Principles in place.
919 REQUEST TO CONSIDER PERMITTING THE DISPLAY OF SIGNAGE ON A PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE (DDS) –
Mr. Mort of C.J. Contract Travel Services Ltd. had requested permission to display “self drive” advertising signage on private hire vehicles licensed by this Council. In January, 2013 Officers had been notified that a Private Hire vehicle operated by C.J. Contract Travel Services Ltd. was displaying advertising for “self drive”. Upon being informed by Officers that the signage on the vehicle was unauthorised and therefore in breach of the Council’s Conditions for Private Hire vehicles, Mr Mort had submitted his request to display self drive signage on a Renault Master Minibus as shown in the photographs appended to the report. In addition to being a breach of the licensing conditions, Officers from both the Licensing and Trading Standards Sections considered the advertisement to be potentially misleading to members of the public.
Mr. Mort was in attendance and spoke on his own behalf. Mr. Mort indicated, inter alia, that the signage had been in situ when the vehicle was purchased, that the vehicle had been presented at the Alps Depot for testing with the signage in place and that it was never his intention to advertise that particular vehicle as being available for self drive but merely that C.J. Contract Hire offered that facility. Mr. Thomas from the Vale of Glamorgan Taxi Association also spoke on the matter, indicating his concerns that such dominant advertising of “self drive” on a private hire vehicle would not be in the interests of the taxi fraternity and that perhaps consideration could be given instead to signage which reflected the fact the C.J. Contract Travel Services offered a self drive facility.
Following further discussion, Mr. Mort was informed that he was required to comply with the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle conditions and that, should he wish to pursue the issue of self drive advertisement, he should make application to and receive approval in writing from the Licensing Authority prior to displaying the same on any licensed vehicles.
RESOLVED – T H A T the request be refused.
Reason for decision
To prevent misleading advertisements being displayed on licensed vehicles.
920 SMALL SOCIETY LOTTERIES CANCELLATION (DDS) –
An amended appendix to the report was tabled which showed those Small Society Lottery Registration Fees which remained outstanding and which Members were asked to consider cancelling because of that non payment of the annual fee.
RESOLVED – T H A T, due to the fees remaining outstanding, the Small Society Lottery registrations shown in the amended Appendix to the report be cancelled due to non payment of annual fees.
Reason for decision
To ensure the registration is removed where annual fees are not paid.
921 PUBLIC PROTECTION – PROPOSED FEES AND CHARGES (DDS) –
The appendices to the report showed increases in the fees and charges relating to animal licences, riding establishments, dangerous wild animals, and other licences which it was generally proposed be increased in line with the Consumer Price Index which was currently at 2.7% to reflect more accurately the cost of delivering services. Members’ attention was specifically drawn to the proposed decrease in the fee to Licence a Wedding and Civil Partnership Venue which had come about as a consequence of the Registrar General’s Guidance for the approval of such venues no longer being required to be advertised in a local newspaper.
RESOLVED – T H A T the schedule of fees and charges attached at Appendix A to the report be approved with effect from 1st April, 2013.
Reason for decision
To ensure fees are increased in line with inflation, statutory requirements and reflect more accurately the actual cost of providing certain services.
922 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.
923 FOR INFORMATION REPORT – W. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –
Members were informed of the action taken by Officers of the Licensing Section in relation to the revocation of W.’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver’s Licences. W. had been licensed as a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver within the Vale of Glamorgan since April 2007 and had previously been issued with warnings as to his future conduct. In January 2013 the Licensing Authority had been informed that W. had been charged with an offence, details of which were communicated to Members of the Committee. Officers had subsequently revoked W.’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver Licences with immediate effect on the grounds of public safety and notified W. that the matter would be reported to this Committee and of his right to appeal to a Magistrate’s Court.
RESOLVED – T H A T the report be noted.
Reason for decision
To inform Members of the action taken by Officers under delegated authority.
924 APPLICATION TO RENEW HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER’S LICENCES – A. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –
A., being unable to attend the Committee until at least 11:45 a.m., had requested that a representative attend the meeting on his behalf but, also, that consideration of the matter in hand be deferred to allow him (A.) to attend in person.
The Chairman then invited A.’s representative to the table and stated that Members of the Committee had concerns in making a decision in relation to this matter in A.’s absence. A.’s representative indicated that he was in possession of a letter from A. which was subsequently passed to the Chairman. The Chairman then read out the letter to Members in which A. stated that he would be late in arriving at the meeting and requesting that the meeting be postponed to as late a time as possible.
Being conscious that Members needed to consider A.’s request, it was
RESOLVED – T H A T consideration of the matter be deferred to the next meeting of this Committee on 9th April, 2013.
Reason for decision
To allow A. to attend the meeting and make representations on his own behalf.