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LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 3rd September, 2013.

 

Present: Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillor H.C. Hamilton (Vice-Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, K.J. Geary, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, K. Hatton, Ms. R.F. Probert, J.W. Thomas and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

 

336     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –  

 

These were received from Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, Mrs. A.J. Moore and R.P. Thomas.

 

 

337     MINUTES –  

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 9th July, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

338     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –  

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

339     NEW BYELAWS – REGULATION OF ACUPUNCTURE, TATTOOING, SEMI-PERMANENT SKIN COLOURING, COSMETIC PIERCING AND ELECTROLYSIS (DDS) –  

 

Committee were requested to initiate the procedure to adopt Part VIII of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended) and to make new byelaws in connection with the regulation of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis under the Act.

 

Local authorities were responsible for the regulation and control of businesses carrying out the procedures of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis.  The main powers to do this were provided under Sections 14 and 15 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended by the Local Government Act 2003).

 

The Council had existing byelaws which regulated tattooing, acupuncture, ear piercing and electrolysis.  These dated back to January 1985 and did not cover the broader spectrum of cosmetic piercing and semi-permanent skin colouring.

 

In recognition of the medical risks attached to all of these procedures, particularly as a result of inappropriate sterilisation of needles, the Welsh Government had produced a new draft set of model byelaws which consolidated the previous byelaws and the new requirements under the amendments to the 1982 Act and which reflected current infection control advise and industry practice. 

 

Public Protection Services now required the Council to adopt the new model byelaws as the Council's byelaws in the regulation of these matters.  The existing byelaws would need to be revoked. 

 

As part of the process, draft byelaws based on the model but specific to the Vale of Glamorgan had been prepared and submitted for initial consultation with Welsh Government.  Provisional approval had been received for the English version of the new byelaws on 1st August 2013.  Due to capacity issues at the Welsh Government Public Protection Services had been informed that the Welsh version would be considered once the Council had made the appropriate resolution to Part VIII of the 1982 Act and made the byelaws. 

 

Prior to making and implementing the new byelaws, the Council must first resolve to adopt Part VIII of the 1982 Act.  There was a statutory procedure for adopting the relevant sections and once the Council had resolved to adopt the said provisions, and pursuant to Section 13 of the 1982 Act:

  • the Council should publish a notice in two consecutive weeks in a local newspaper circulating in the area
  • the notice must state the date upon which the provisions are to come into force in the area
  • one month must pass between the day on which the resolution was passed and the first date of coming into force
  • the first publication must not be later than 28 days before the day specified in the resolution for the coming into force of the provisions in the local authority's area.

Once Part VIII of the 1982 Act had been adopted, the Council could make byelaws under Sections 14 and 15 of that Act pursuant to the procedure for making byelaws under Section 236 of the Local Government Act 1972.  The procedure would be as follows:

  • the new byelaws must be made by the Council under its Common Seal and signed
  • a notice of the Council's intention to apply to the Welsh Ministers for confirmation of the byelaws must be given in one or more newspapers circulating in the area
  • for at least one month after the date of publication of the notice a copy of the byelaws must be held on deposit at Council offices for inspection by the public
  • an application to the Welsh Ministers for confirmation should not be made until the month of deposit has expired.

The byelaws will not have effect until confirmed by the Welsh Ministers.  The Welsh Ministers will also determine a date upon which the byelaws are to come into force.

 

Under the Council's Constitution, the matter of adopting Part VIII of the 1982 Act and making and revoking byelaws are matters for Full Council.  It was therefore necessary to make the appropriate references to Council. 

 

RESOLVED –  

 

(1)       T H A T Council be recommended to make a resolution to adopt the provisions of Part VIII of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 in respect of the Vale of Glamorgan County Borough area and that the provisions come into force on 26th October, 2013.

 

(2)       T H A T the new consolidated model byelaws for the control of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis as set out at Appendix A to the report be endorsed.

 

(3)       T H A T Council be recommended to make byelaws relating to acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis in the form of the new consolidated model byelaws as set out at Appendix A to the report and that the byelaws be submitted to the Welsh Ministers for confirmation.

 

(4)       T H A T Council be recommended to revoke all current byelaws relating to acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing and electrolysis with effect from the date the new byelaws come into effect as determined by the Welsh Ministers.

 

(5)       T H A T Council be recommended to authorise the Head of Legal Services, in consultation with the Director of Development Services to carry out all the necessary procedures in connection with the adoption of Part VIII of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and the making, confirmation and implementation of the new byelaws.

 

(6)       T H A T Council be recommended to authorise the Head of Legal Services to seal and date the byelaws on behalf of the Council.

 

(7)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To ensure the Council is able to evidence that it has adopted Part VIII of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

 

(2)       To ensure the medical risks associated with acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis are effectively controlled and local byelaws reflect current infection control advice are industry best practice.

 

(3)       To enable Council to make the new byelaws.

 

(4)       To revoke the existing byelaws which do not reflect current infection control advice and industry best practice.

 

(5)       To ensure that Part VIII of the 1982 Act and the proposed new byelaws are adopted and implemented in accordance with legislative requirements and the Council's Constitution.

 

(6)       To ensure the proposed new byelaws are adopted in accordance with legislative requirements and the Council's Constitution.

 

(7)       To ensure Cabinet are aware of the proposed new byelaws.

 

 

340     APPLICATION TO WAIVE THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL'S AGE POLICY GUIDELINES FOR THE GRANT OF A PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE, VAUXHALL VECTRA MK08 NHJ (DDS) –  

 

Mr. David Mais had submitted a request to waive the Council's Age Policy Guidelines in respect of the above vehicle.

 

Mr. Mais was present in support of his request.

 

In referring to the report, the Head of Public Protection indicated that vehicle registration number MK08 NHJ had been licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle No. PH142 from 24th July, 2012 to 23rd July, 2013. 

 

Mr. Mais last renewed the Private Hire Vehicle Licence on 11th January, 2013, this licence expiring on 23rd July, 2013.

 

On Monday, 29th July, 2013 Mr. Mais made an application for Private Hire Vehicle PH143.

 

On 2nd August, 2013, Mr. Mais delivered a letter to the Licensing Section requesting exemption from the Age Policy Guidelines.  A copy of the request was attached as an Appendix to the report.

 

Mr. Mais was then given an opportunity to provide the Committee with a brief explanation of the circumstances of the request.  Mr. Mais stated that over that period he had four vehicles due for plating and Mr. Mais stated he fell behind with his paperwork and that this had been an oversight. 

 

Having fully considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the application to waive the Age Policy Guidelines be granted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having considered the report and the comments of Mr. Mais.

 

 

341     DELEGATION OF POWERS TO WAIVE AGE POLICY GUIDELINES (DDS) –

 

Authority was sought for the granting of delegated powers for Licensing Officers, in relation to the power to waive the Vale of Glamorgan’s Age Policy Guidelines for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle licences in certain circumstances. 

 

At the meeting held on 9th July 2013, the Licensing Committee had asked that a report be submitted to the next meeting regarding amendments to officers’ existing delegated authority to deal with applications for waiving the Council’s Age Policy Guidelines in instances where officers were recommending that an application be granted. 

 

It was proposed that authority to waive the Age Policy Guidelines in relation to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles be delegated to Licensing Officers where the following applied:

  • the vehicle has previously been licensed as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle and the proprietor has failed to renew the licence in time
  • an application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle had been made within five working days of the expiry of the last licence.

In all other cases, or if Licensing Officers had any concerns about the circumstances in which the licence was allowed to expire, the matter would be referred for consideration to the Licensing Committee.

 

Having considered the contents of the report, it was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Director of Development Services be provided with delegated authority to designate suitably qualified and experienced Licensing Officers to waive the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Age Policy Guidelines for the renewal of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle licences in the circumstances outlined within the report.

 

Reason for decision

 

The cost involved in bringing such matters before the Licensing Committee.

 

 

342     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.

 

 

343     DISCIPLINARY MATTER – A. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

Consideration was given to the above matter in relation to A. 

 

A. was in attendance to be interviewed to determine whether or not enforcement action was appropriate in relation to his reporting of any future accidents to the Vale of Glamorgan’s Licensing Section in the time required.

 

Members considered the matter in private.

 

Having considered the report and having listened to A.’s case, it was the view of the Committee that A. needed to have systems in place, as a vehicle proprietor, to report accidents when he was not available to report such incidents. 

 

RESOLVED – T H A T A. be issued with a formal final written warning in relation to his obligations as a vehicle proprietor. 

 

Reason for decision

 

To take appropriate enforcement action against A. in relation to his reporting of any future accidents to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Licensing Section in the time required.

 

Furthermore, Committee strongly recommended to A. that, in future, details of the individual with responsibility for the vehicles in his absence were provided to the Licensing Committee, although it was acknowledged that the obligation remained with A. 

 

 

344     DISCIPLINARY MATTER – M. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

M. was present in support of his case.

 

Committee were requested to consider whether or not M. was a fit and proper person to hold Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences and a Private Hire Operator’s Licence. 

 

Consideration was given to the above matter in relation to M., and M. was interviewed to determine whether or not he was a fit and proper person to hold Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences and a Private Hire Operator’s Licence. 

 

Having considered the report and M.’s representations, the Committee were concerned about the poor record keeping in what was a relatively new business. 

 

Members considered the matter in private, and upon their return it was

 

RESOLVED – T H A T M. be issued with a written warning as to his future conduct in respect of both licences.

 

Reason for decision

 

Officers were not satisfied that:

  • M. was taking his responsibilities as a licensed driver, vehicle proprietor and Private Hire Operator as seriously as he should to ensure the safety of the public
  • M. was committed to complying with the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s conditions attached to his Private Hire Operator’s Licence.

The Committee further

 

RESOLVED – T H A T Officers amend the current forms to make them more user-friendly.

 

 

345     APPLICATION TO GRANT HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER’S LICENCES – W. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

W. was present in support of his application.

 

W., in response to questions, confirmed that he had read the report before the Committee and that he understood the procedure that would be adopted in the hearing.

 

On 8th July 2013, W. had made an application for the grant of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences. 

 

On the application form, at question 8a, W. had been asked to declare all previous convictions, cautions, fixed penalty notices, warnings or any other penalty notices.  W. recorded 'SP30 – 1995' as his answer to this question. 

 

On 13th August 2013, W. had produced his DBS Disclosure certificate which contained a number of matters not disclosed by W. on his application form. 

 

W.’s application had not been granted, as officers had not been satisfied that he was considered to be a fit and proper person to hold Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences.

 

W. spoke on his own behalf, and stated that some of the offences were up to 35 years ago.  Since 1993, he had pursued an academic career which had been very successful. 

 

There being no further questions, Members considered the matter in private.  Upon being recalled into the meeting, W. was notified that the Committee had considered the report presented by the Officers and having considered W.’s representations, had

 

RESOLVED – T H A T W.’s application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences be granted with a warning as to his future conduct and disclosures that he may be required to make from time to time to the Licensing Department.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure decisions of the Licensing Authority are consistent with its Policy on the Treatment of Convictions, Cautions and Charges. 

 

 

346     FOR INFORMATION REPORT – B. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

Committee were informed of action taken by Officers of the Licensing Section in relation to the events leading to the arrest of B. 

 

The Licensing Section had received a telephone compliant from the father of a 15 year old school girl.  The complaint concerned the girl having allegedly been tattooed by B. at her home address in Barry. 

 

Subsequent investigations revealed that B. was advertising the fact that she was carrying out tattooing on a social networking site, without either herself or her premises being registered with the Local Authority.

 

In light of this information, B. was requested to attend interview conducted in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 during which B. revealed that she had tattooed her friends with her own equipment but had only charged them for the consumables of the trade such as needles and ink.  B. categorically denied tattooing anyone under the age of 18 years old and confirmed that she was aware that it was a criminal offence to do so.

 

Following the interview, Officers carried out further investigations when a statement was received from a 17 year old male who claimed that he had been tattooed by B. at her home address on four separate occasions during a six month period. 

 

Working in partnership with South Wales Police, Licensing Officers along with Police Officers, attended B.’s place of work where she was subsequently arrested in accordance with the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 and conveyed to Cardiff Bay Police Station. 

 

Following the arrest, a Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 section 18 search was carried out at B.’s home address during which two large boxes of tattooing equipment and approximately 250 business cards and photographs of different tattoos were seized. 

 

When the evidence was presented to B., she admitted that she had in fact tattooed the 17 year old male and accepted that all the equipment was hers and that she had tattooed people at her home address.

 

A South Wales Police Custody Sergeant then issued B. with a formal Caution under the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969. 

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure Members are aware of the action taken by Officers under delegated authority.