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LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 12th May, 2015.

 

Present: Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillor H.C. Hamilton (Vice-Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, Mrs. P. Drake, K. Hatton, Mrs. A.J. Moore, Mrs. A.J. Preston, J.W. Thomas and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

 

1171   INTRODUCTION –

 

Prior to the commencement of the business, the Chairman asked the Head of Public Protection to introduce the recently appointed Principal Trading Standards and Licensing Officer, Christina Roberts.

 

 

1172   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

Apologies were received from Councillors G.A. Cox, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, N. Moore, Ms. R.F. Probert and R.P. Thomas.

 

 

1173   MINUTES – 

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th April, 2015, be approved as a correct record.

 

 

1174   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

Councillor A.G. Powell declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 4, Application to Waive the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Age Policy Guidelines for the Grant of a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence in Respect of a Volkswagen Passat, Registration Number CU56 LVK, as he had a prejudicial interest in that he knew the Applicant’s representative, present at the meeting. 

 

 

1175   ANNOUNCEMENT –

 

The Chairman reminded the Members of the Committee that the Members’ packs had an amendment to be made to Meter Testers from the last Committee meeting held on 14th April, 2015.

 

 

1176   APPLICATION TO WAIVE THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL’S AGE POLICY GUIDELINES FOR THE GRANT OF A HACKNEY CARRIAGE VEHICLE LICENCE IN RESPECT OF A VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT, REGISTRATION NUMBER CU56 LVK (DVSH) –

 

The Committee received a report to consider a request by Mr. Shahid Ahmed of Vale Taxi Hire to waive the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Age Policy Guidelines, in respect of the above vehicle.

 

The Head of Public Protection, in presenting the report, informed the Committee that Class 1 vehicles must be under 5 years old to have a licence granted.  The date of first registration for the vehicle registration CU56 LVK was 26th October 2006, therefore the vehicle was now eight years and seven months old.

 

Vehicle registration number CU56 LVK was licensed as Hackney Carriage Vehicle number HC138 from 19th July 2013 to 5th March 2015.

 

On 12th March 2015, a letter was sent to 'Vale Taxi Hire', reminding them that the Hackney Carriage Licence for HC138 had expired on 5th March 2015, and requested the return of the licence plate.   A copy of this letter was attached at Appendix A to the report. To date, the licence plate had not been returned.

 

On 26th March 2015, a letter was received from Mr. Ahmed, on behalf of 'Vale Taxi Hire'.  Mr. Ahmed confirmed that the vehicle registration CU56 LVK had not been on the road since 11th February 2015, as there had been significant issues with the engine.  These issues were being repaired, and therefore Mr. Ahmed requested information in relation to licensing the vehicle.  A copy of this letter was attached at Appendix B to the report. On the same day a letter was sent to Mr. Ahmed by the Licensing department, stating that he must be able to demonstrate that vehicle registration CU56 LVK was in sound mechanical order, prior to processing his application and preparing a report for Committee.  A copy of this letter was attached at Appendix C to the report.

 

On 8th April 2015, Mr. Ahmed brought his vehicle to the Vale of Glamorgan Council Licensing Department at the Civic Offices, where he demonstrated that he could start the engine. On the same day, Mr. Ahmed made application for vehicle registration CU56 LVK to be licensed as a Hackney Carriage Vehicle.  A copy of this application was attached at Appendix D to the report.

 

On 8th April 2015, Mr. Ahmed also submitted a letter requesting that the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Licensing Committee consider his request for the Age Policy Guidelines to be waived in respect of vehicle registration CU56 LVK.  A copy of this letter was attached at Appendix E to the report.

 

The Committee was informed that if it was minded to waive the Council’s Age Policy Guidelines in respect of the vehicle, it would be presented for testing at the Alps Depot, and a licence would be issued from the date the vehicle received a satisfactory pass certificate.

 

The Chairman informed the Committee that Mr Ihbasheh, present at the meeting, to represent Mr Ahmed, was known to him; therefore he declared an interest and vacated the room for this item of business. The Vice-Chairman, Councillor H.C.Hamilton took the Chair for this item of business.

 

Present at the meeting, to represent Mr Ahmed, was Mr Ihbasheh, Director of 1st Line Taxi Company. In response to a question from the Vice Chairman, Mr Ihbasheh confirmed that he had heard and understood the report.

 

In response to a query from a Member of the Committee, it was confirmed that the vehicle had a valid Meter Test certificate.

 

Mr Ihbasheh was provided with an opportunity to address the Committee to provide representations in support of the application and informed the Committee that repairs had been required to the vehicle and the quotes received were very expensive. Due to this, Mr Ahmed had considered returning the licence plate, yet he had subsequently received a reasonable quote for the repair of the vehicle, the vehicle had now been repaired and was ready for plating.

 

Following consideration of the report, letters from Mr Ahmed, and representations made by Mr. Ihbasheh made at the meeting, the Committee

RESOLVED – T H A T the request to waive the Age Policy Guidelines in respect of the vehicle be granted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To take account of the report, Mr. Ahmed’s letters and Mr. Ihbasheh’s representations at the meeting.

 

The Chairman returned to the meeting to take the Chair for the remainder of the business of the meeting.

 

 

1177   FOR INFORMATION REPORT – THE LEGISLATIVE REFORM (ENTERTAINMENT LICENSING) ORDER 2014 (DVSH) –

 

The Committee received a report in relation to the commencement of the Legislative Reform (Entertainment Licensing) Order 2014, and to outline the amendments the Order had made to the Licensing Act 2003.

 

The Legislative Reform (Entertainment Licensing) Order 2014 was approved in December 2014 as part of the ongoing programme of deregulation, and came into force on 6th April 2015.  The Order amended Schedule 1 and Section 177A of the Licensing Act 2003 to deregulate certain types of entertainment.

 

The Legislative Reform (Entertainment Licensing) Order 2014 exempts the following entertainment from licensing, providing it takes place between 8am and 11pm, and is for an audience of up to 500:

  • Live music in relevant alcohol licensed premises and workplaces
  • Recorded music in relevant alcohol licensed premises (not workplaces)
  • Live and recorded music held by third parties in schools, hospitals, local authority and community premises
  • Travelling circuses (no audience limit)
  • Incidental films (where the film is incidental to another activity which is not itself a description of regulated entertainment, e.g. drinking or eating)
  • The provision of entertainment by or on behalf of local authorities, health care providers or schools on their own defined premises (no audience limit)
  • Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling (audience of 1,000).

Furthermore, the Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015 has brought into force section 76 of the Deregulation Act 2015 which deregulates the exhibition of films in community premises.

 

The Licensing Act Policy would be amended to reflect the changes.

 

Following consideration of the report, the Committee

 

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

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that the Committee was apprised of the changes to the Licensing Act 2003 and the associated changes in the administration of the licensing function.

 

 

1178   FOR INFORMATION REPORT – SMALL SOCIETY LOTTERY REGISTRATIONS (DVSH) –

 

The Committee received a report to inform it of the Small Society Lottery registrations and Small Society Lottery cancellations in force in the year April 2014 to March 2015.

 

Small Society Lotteries were lotteries promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society.  A society was non-commercial if it was established and conducted for charitable purposes; for the purposes of enabling participation in, or of supporting, sport, athletics or a cultural activity, or for any other non-commercial purpose other than that of gain.

 

The promoting society of a Small Society Lottery must apply to the Licensing Authority in whose area their principal office was located.  Licensing Authorities must maintain a register of Small Society Lotteries, which must be made available to the public on request.

 

Licensing Committee held on 9th April 2013 resolved that authority to cancel Small Society Lottery registrations due to the non-payment of annual fees be delegated to licensing officers.  Licensing Committee held on 13th May 2014 resolved that a report detailing any current registrations be submitted to the Licensing Committee on an annual basis.

 

A society may apply to the relevant Local Authority for registration.  The Gambling Act 2005 required Licensing Authorities to enter details of the society in a register. Once registered the society and the Gambling Commission must be notified by the Local Authority.  A list of current registrations was listed in Appendix A to the report.

 

Under the Gambling Act 2005 Licensing Authorities had been empowered to cancel a society's registration if the annual fee was not paid within the period of two months, which ends immediately before each anniversary of the registration.  A list of cancelled registrations was listed at Appendix B to the report.

 

The Licensing Officer informed the Committee that the list of Small Society Lottery registrations and cancellations would shortly be available on the Council’s website.

 

Following consideration of the report, the Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that the Committee no longer required annual reports on the Small Society Lottery registrations and cancellations.

 

Reason for decision

 

To have regard to the content of the report and the Small Society Lottery registrations and cancellations would shortly be available on the Council’s website.

 

 

1179   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.

 

 

1180   DISCIPLINARY MATTER – L. (DVSH) – (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPH S 12, 13 AND 14) -

 

The Committee was requested to determine whether or not L. was a fit and proper person to continue to hold Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s licences. 

 

The Chairman advised L., present at the meeting, of the procedure that would be used at the hearing.

 

Consideration was given to the above matter in relation to L. and L. was provided with the opportunity to make representations to the Committee.

 

After presentation of the report and L.’s representations, the Committee deliberated the matter in private. 

 

Following consideration of the report and L.’s representations, the Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T L.’s Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licences be revoked with immediate effect.

 

Reason for decision

 

The Committee did not consider that L. remained a fit and proper person to hold Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licences.  The Committee considered that L. had a history of disregard for ensuring that the tyres on his vehicle were within the legal limit. 

 

The Committee considered that issues with regard to safety did not appear to be on L.’s agenda. L. had disregarded the tread depth as nothing more than a hair’s breadth of the legal limit. 

 

The Committee considered that L. represented to his legal advisors that there had not been an issue that constituted a significant or major defect in relation to his vehicle in the past which was completely contrary to the evidence on file. Furthermore, L. volunteered that he may have misled his solicitor.

 

Having considered a period of suspension to allow L. time to reflect on his past actions, the Committee was not satisfied that L. would not pose a danger to public safety in the future. 

 

The Committee had to balance the protection of the public from harm in allowing L. to drive and removing L.’s livelihood.

 

In applying the test for fitness and propriety, as set out in the report, the Committee could not answer the question in the positive. 

 

The Chairman advised that L. had the right of appeal against the decision of the Committee to the Magistrate’s Court, in writing, within 21 days receipt of the decision notice.

 

 

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