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LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 9th June, 2015.

 

Present: Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillor  H.C. Hamilton (Vice-Chairman); Councillors: G.A. Cox, E. Hacker, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mrs. A.J. Preston, Ms. R.F. Probert, J.W. Thomas and R.P. Thomas.

 

 

189     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

Apologies were received from Councillors P.J. Clarke, Mrs. P. Drake, K. Hatton, Mrs. A.J. Moore, N. Moore and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

 

190     INTRODUCTION –

 

The Chairman introduced Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services, to the Committee. 

 

 

191     MINUTES – 

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th May, 2015, be approved as a correct record.

 

 

192     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

193     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 item of business on the grounds that it involves 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.

 

           

194     DISCIPLINARY MATTER – M (DVSH) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

The Committee was required to determine whether or not M was a fit and proper person to continue to hold Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences.  The Chairman advised M, present at the meeting, of the procedure that would be used at the meeting. 

  

Following presentation of the report by the Principal Trading Standards and Licensing Officer, the Chairman provided M with an opportunity to ask questions or points of clarification in relation to the contents of the report. 

 

At this point, M advised that he received notice of the meeting on 3rd June 2015 and had not had a chance to secure legal advice on the matter.  The Chairman asked M to confirm, in light of this, whether he was happy to continue with the meeting or wanted to request that the meeting be adjourned in order that he could seek legal advice.  M advised that he would like to ask the permission of the Committee to adjourn in order to take legal advice in this matter.

 

Following consideration of this request, the Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the meeting be adjourned.

 

Reason for decision

 

In order that M could take legal advice on the matter.

 

 

RECONVENED LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of the reconvened meeting held on 7th July, 2015.

 

Present:  Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, E. Hacker, Mrs. A.J. Moore, Mr. R.F. Probert, J.W. Thomas, R.P. Thomas and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.

 

195     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors P.J. Clarke, Mrs. P. Drake, H.C. Hamilton, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey and N. Moore.

 

 

196     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

197     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 item of business on the grounds that it involves 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.

 

            

198     DISCIPLINARY MATTER – M (DVSH) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

Following a request from the Chairman the Legal Officer advised all present of the procedure for the meeting and confirmed that M. and their legal representative had received copies of the papers for the meeting. The Chairman then asked M. to introduce the representative who would be providing representations on their behalf and M’s legal representative then stated their name for the benefit of the Committee. 

 

The Principal Trading Standards and Licensing Officer in presenting the report advised that the purpose of the report was to determine whether or not M remained a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Vale of Glamorgan Council Hackney Carriage and Private Carriage Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence.  The matter related to an incident that had occurred for which a complaint had been received in respect of M.’s behaviour to a customer earlier in the year.

Committee was also informed that M had previously been charged and convicted of an offence under Section 4 of the Public Order Act on another occasion. Given that M had been previously charged and in view of the current incident, officers were concerned in relation to M’s continued fitness and propriety. The options open to the Committee were reported follows:

  • "That M remains a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence and the Committee recommend no further action or
  • That M remains a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence and a final warning letter be issued in relation to future conduct or
  • That M does not remain a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence and the Committee considers a suspension of the licence and a final written warning in relation to future conduct.'

Following the presentation of the officer’s report M.’s legal representative was then afforded the opportunity to make representations to the Committee.

 

Having heard the representations Members of the Committee questioned the legal representative and M in relation to the incident that had taken place and sought clarity on a number of matters. 

 

In summing up M advised that there had been no intention to refuse to undertake a duty and had advised the client that they would assist them.

 

Following a discussion regarding training for drivers a Member asked whether the Council had a duty to provide such training with a response from the Licensing Officer that it was not the Council’s responsibility to provide training.  The responsibility was on the owners whether staff were self - employed or employed within a business.

 

In their closing statement M.’s legal representative advised that the previous offence referred to in the documentation had already been dealt with by the courts and that the incident in question did not have any criminal behaviour associated to it.  The representative also stated M was a responsible taxi driver and made an assessment of the situation on the night in question that they would assist the person rather than undertake the request themselves for medical reasons.

 

In referring to the options open to the Licensing Committee, M’s legal representative  urged the Committee to take into consideration the proportionate nature of the issue at hand, M.’s exemplary record over the years he had been serving as a taxi driver and that in the legal representative’s view the scenario described at the meeting did not lend itself to a revocation of the licence. 

 

Following the presentation of the report and the representations made at the meeting the Committee then deliberated the matter in private.

 

On return, the Chairman advised those present of the Committee’s decision as below.

 

RESOLVED - T H A T a final written warning be issued to M is respect of the breach of the conditions on M.’s Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence.

 

Reason for decision

 

Having considered the contents of the report, the additional documentation referred to as Appendix J (received since the adjourned meeting on 9th June, 2015) and the representations made at the meeting, the Committee was satisfied that M.’s conduct on the night in question was in breach of the conditions of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence.

 

 

(N.B. Councillor Mrs. A.J. Preston arrived during the proceedings and was advised that she could remain if she so wished but could not take part in the matter as she had not been party to all the proceedings on the matter. Councillor Preston subsequently left the room.)