Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norfolk Rooms, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

9.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2015.

Minutes:

Subject to an amendment to include the date of the meeting (26 November 2014) in Minute No 1/15 and to correct the spelling of complement in the fourth paragraph of Minute No 7/15, the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

10.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor North.  Councillor Bowes was present as her substitute.

11.

Urgent Business (Agenda Item 3)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.

Minutes:

None.

12.

Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 

 

In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

Councillor Armes declared that she had met the appellant at Item 8 of the Agenda.  She would leave the room whilst that item was discussed.

13.

Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.

Minutes:

None.

14.

Hearing Procedures (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Minutes:

Noted.

15.

Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda Item 7)

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

“That under Section 100(a)(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 are likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1, 2 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.

 

PART B

ITEMS FROM WHICH THE PRESS AND PUBLIC ARE EXCLUDED

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) 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 disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

16.

Application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire drivers licence (DS) (Agenda Item 8)

Report of the Assistant Director Community.

Minutes:

Councillor Armes left the room as she had met the appellant.

 

The Committee heard the application in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedures.

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the Applicant and their prospective employer, two Licensing Officers and Ms T Eddison, the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The Chairman made introductions and explained the procedures.

 

The Licensing Officer (TB) presented the report which required Members to determine if the Applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire drivers licence in view of their unspent conviction.  If Members were minded to grant the licence for an initial delegated authority was sought for Officers to issue the remaining term of the licence subject to continuing satisfactory behaviour.

 

The Applicant explained the background and circumstances of the conviction and gave details of their previous occupations which had included employment as a key-holder for a bank and a Post Office.  A copy of their CV was tabled for Members’ information.

 

The Solicitor sought additional information about the conviction and the applicant’s Disclosure & Barring Service certificate was provided by the Licensing Officer for inspection.

 

The applicant’s prospective employer said that the applicant had been personally recommended to him and he had been pleased with the applicant’s personality and honesty through the interview process.

 

The Applicant and their prospective employer and the Licensing Officers were asked to leave the room whilst the Committee made their deliberation. They were later invited back to hear the Committee’s decision.

 

The Chairman advised the Applicant that Members were agreed that they were a fit and proper person to hold a Licence.  Advice was given regarding the future keeping of records and adhering to the conditions of the Licence.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)      in view of the unspent conviction, to grant the Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers licence for an initial period of twelve months; and

2)      to delegate authority to the Licensing Officer to issue the remaining term of the licence subject to the Applicant’s continuing satisfactory behaviour.

 

 

 

17.

Consideration of suspension or revocation of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence (Agenda Item 9)

Report of the Assistant Director Community.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Armes returned to the room.

 

The Committee heard the application in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedures.

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the Applicant and their partner, a Licensing Officer and Ms T Eddison, the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The Chairman made introductions and explained the procedures.

 

The Licensing Officer (JH) presented the report which had been delayed from an earlier Committee due to the Applicant’s inability to attend on medical grounds.

 

Members were asked to consider suspending or revoking the Applicant’s Hackney carriage / Private Hire drivers licence due to their failure to notify the Council of driving offences.

 

The Applicant’s partner spoke on their behalf and advised that the failures to notify the Council had been caused by administration errors and misunderstandings.  The Applicant had learnt from those mistakes and would seek support to complete the forms in future. 

 

Members sought clarification and received advice about the number of points on the licence and how long they remained relevant for consideration.

 

The Applicant’s partner said that the Council’s requirements about notification needed clarifying.  It was not clear what was classed as the date of conviction.  The Licensing Officer agreed but advised that the majority of drivers did notify the Council immediately.

 

Members asked for the circumstances of each conviction and the Applicant supplied the details and advised that due to medical problems they had not been driving for some months and now only did school runs. 

 

The Applicant explained some mitigating circumstances and the Applicant’s partner suggested that the conditions booklet was not user friendly and should be written in plain English.

 

The Licensing Officer pointed out that the Applicant had been advised of the need to notify the Council after the first offence.

 

The Applicant, the Applicant’s partner and the Licensing Officer were asked to leave the room whilst the Committee made their deliberation.  They were later invited back to hear the Committee’s decision.

 

Members had discussed the matter at some length and taken all the information into consideration. 

 

RESOLVED to suspend the Applicant’s Hackney Carriage / Private Hire drivers licence for 14 days.

 

The Chairman explained the reasons for the decision:

 

  1. the Applicant had failed to notify the Council of convictions, on three successive occasions, within a reasonable period of time;
  2. the Committee were concerned at the number of offences;
  3. the Committee were concerned that each offence had occurred when the Applicant had been working in his capacity as a Taxi Driver with passengers;

 

The Committee had not been able to ignore those facts and had therefore determined to suspend the licence for 14 days from the end of the appeal period.  The suspension would therefore commence on 12 March 2015.

 

The Chairman asked the Applicant to inform other taxi drivers of the importance of reading the rule book and of notifying the Council of any offences, including speeding offences.

 

 

18.

Next Meeting (Agenda Item 10)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 1 April 2015 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room, Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 1 April 2015 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham, were noted.