Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

31.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 April 2015.

Minutes:

Subject to the following two amendments:

 

·         the second paragraph on page 2 to read ‘…was causing damage to the adjacent flint wall.’

·         the Licensing Officer providing an update to Members as stated on Page 3

 

the minutes of the meeting held on 1 April 2015 were confirmed as a correct record.

32.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Stasiak.

33.

Urgent Business

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.

34.

Declaration of Interests

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in 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 that they have, in relation to an agenda item that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.

 

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

35.

Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting

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

Minutes:

Councillors Bishop, Martin and Gilbert were in attendance to observe the Committee as part of the Licensing training.

36.

Hearing Procedures pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

Noted.

37.

Objection to making of Tree Preservation Order (TPO) 2015 No.1 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Report of the Executive Director Place.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Tree and Countryside Officer was not available at the beginning of the meeting, so the report was outlined by the Solicitor to the Council, Mr David Lowens.

 

Members were informed that a live Planning Permission application had been submitted in relation to the site.  A provisional Tree Preservation Order (TPO) had been issued but would lapse on 2 August 2015.  One objection had been received.

 

The objector shared additional photographs with Members and said his family had farmed the land for a number of years.  There were three main reasons for the objection which were road safety; numerous existing trees in existence; and, significant number of trees had been planted.

 

There were two trees in question, and the reason that road safety was an issue was that Tree 1 was situated at the entrance / exit to the piece of farmland, and therefore restricted visibility when pulling out with farm machinery onto the road, causing danger.

 

In addition Members were shown photographs of significant woodland which held numerous mature oak trees, and a further woodland area which had been planted by the family which contained semi-mature oak trees.

 

The Chairman asked the objector to confirm which tree caused the road hazard. It was confirmed as T1 on the plan.

 

Councillor Duffield suggested that in view of the safety issues a new entrance could be created in between the two trees.  The Objector said the farm access had always been where it was currently situated, beside T1.

 

The Tree and Countryside Officer entered the room, and added that he saw no concerns with regards to visibility when he had visited the site.  The tree was in the region of 100 – 200 years old, and could still be in place for another 100 years however there were other factors to consider.

 

The Chairman asked for details of Tree 2, and it was confirmed it was a mature oak tree, typical of the trees along the roadside.

 

Councillor Duffield sought clarification of the approximate width from the tree trunk to the edge of the road on Tree 1.  The Tree and Countryside Officer said he recalled it being large enough to walk beside so suggested approximately 1metre.

 

The Tree and Countryside Officer went on to say he had assessed three trees, of which the third tree had been subsequently felled.

 

The Objector confirmed that he had removed one dead tree due to vision.

 

Members discussed the options and felt that the amenity of the tree outweighed the visibility issues at the entrance to the track.  Members also took into consideration  the TPO Assessment which supported that a TPO was merited.

 

            RESOLVED that the Tree Preservation Order 2015 No 1 be confirmed.

38.

Exclusion of Press and Public

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 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.

39.

Consideration of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver suspension or revocation

Report of the Assistant Director Community.

39/14a

To consider whether a driver is a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers licence (GR)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the License Holder, the Licence Holder’s representative, two Licensing Officers, the Licensing and Business Support Manager, and the Norfolk County Council Passenger Transport Manager Travel & Transport Services.  In addition, Councillor Bishop was also in attendance to observe the Hearing.

 

Following introductions the Chairman explained the Hearing procedures.

 

The Licensing Officer (TB) presented the report which required Members to consider if the Licence Holder was a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence. 

 

An anonymous call had been received stating that an unlicensed vehicle had been seen which prompted an investigation.

 

The Licensing and Business Support Manager said that a piece of work had been carried out and introduced a Code of Conduct for drivers and a Safeguarding Policy; therefore, this was a serious matter.

 

The Passenger Transport Manager added that Norfolk County Council relied on the Licensing Authority to licence the vehicles and as this was not the case the contract had been removed.

 

The Licence Holders’ representative put forward the reasons why the Licence Holder had used the unlicensed vehicle, had acted as an unlicensed driver and had failed to comply with an instruction from the Council regarding advertising on the vehicle.

 

The Chairman asked the Licence Holder to confirm the circumstances provided.

 

All were asked to leave the room to allow the Committee Members to deliberate the Hearing. They were later invited back to hear the Committees decision.

 

RESOLVED to revoke the Licence Holder’s Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence.

 

Members had found that the Licence Holder had been paid for the work undertaken, and that revocation was appropriate due to a failure to comply with provisions of the Act of 1976 and under the heading of any other reasonable cause for the following reasons:

 

1.    The Licence Holder had put members of the public at risk.

2.    There had been disregard of the clear instruction from the Licensing Officer in relation to the advertising on the vehicle.

3.    The Licence Holder had deliberately used an unlicensed vehicle and was fully aware that they did not have the appropriate Private Hire Vehicle insurance.

4.    The Licence Holder had been driving without the appropriate licence.

5.    The Licence Holder had failed to read the legislation provided by the Licensing Authority.

 

The Chairman advised the Licence Holder of the right to Appeal.

 

 

39/14b

To consider whether a driver is a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers licence and Private Hire Operators Licence (DL)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the Licence Holder, the Licence Holder’s representative, two Licensing Officers, the Licensing and Business Support Manager, and the Norfolk County Council Passenger Transport Manager Travel & Transport Services.  In addition, Councillor Bishop was also in attendance to observe the Hearing.

 

Following introductions the Chairman explained the Hearing procedures.

 

The Licensing Officer (TB) presented the report which required Members to consider if the Licence Holder was a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence and a Operators Licence.

 

An anonymous call had been received stating that an unlicensed vehicle had been seen which prompted an investigation.

 

The Licensing and Business Support Manager said that a piece of work had been carried out and introduced a Code of Conduct for drivers and a Safeguarding Policy; therefore, this was a serious matter.

 

The Passenger Transport Manager added that Norfolk County Council relied on the Licensing Authority to license the vehicles and as this was not the case the contract had been removed.

 

The Licence Holder explained to Members how the misunderstanding had happened. Members asked further questions of the Licence Holder to gain understanding of the situation.

 

All were asked to leave the room to allow the Committee Members to deliberate the Hearing.  They were later invited back to hear the Committees decision.

 

RESOLVED that no action be taken with regard to the Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence.  However, the Private Hire Operators Licence be suspended for a period of three months pursuant to the powers contained in s62 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the grounds being non-compliance with the provisions of Part II of the Act and any other reasonable cause.

 

The Solicitor for the Council explained the following reasons:

1.    Members were concerned that the Licence Holder had offered the services of an unlicensed driver on a sensitive contract.

2.    The Licence Holder did not adequately ensure that the driver held the appropriate insurance and provided an unlicensed vehicle.

3.    The Licence Holder took on a contract without fully understanding the terms and provide due consideration to fulfilling the contract if a problem arose.

4.    The Actions undertaken had put vulnerable persons at risk.

 

The Chairman advised the Licence Holder of the right to Appeal.

 

40.

Application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire drivers licence (AH)

Report of the Assistant Director Community.

Minutes:

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

 

The hearing took place in the presence of the Applicant, a Licensing Officer and Mr D Lowens, the Council’s Solicitor.  In addition Councillors Bishop, Martin and Gilbert were in attendance to observe the Hearing.

 

The Licensing Officer (TB) presented the report which required Members to determine whether the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire driver’s licence in view of their medical condition.

 

Members heard that the Applicant had submitted a medical report in which the GP had signed the Applicant as fit to drive in accordance with the required standard.

 

The Applicant explained the background of his medical condition.

 

The Applicant 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.

 

RESOLVED to grant a Hackney Carriage/Private Vehicle Licence for a period of 3 years subject to the following conditions.

 

1.    The licence holder must have had no hypoglycaemic attacks requiring assistance whilst driving within the previous 12 months.

2.    The licence holder must regularly monitor their condition by checking their blood glucose levels at least twice daily and at times relevant to driving.  We advise the use of a memory chip meter for such monitoring.

3.    The licence holder must arrange to be examined every 12 months by a hospital consultant or other medically qualified expert in diabetes.  At the examination the consultant will require sight of their blood glucose records for the last 3 months.  A copy of the report from the hospital consultant or other medically qualified expert in diabetes be provided to the Licensing Authority within 14 days of receipt.

4.    The licence holder must have no other condition which would render them a danger when driving licensed vehicles.

5.    The licence holder will be required to sign an undertaking to comply with the directions of doctor(s) treating the diabetes and to report immediately to the Licensing Authority any significant change in their condition.

 

The Licensing Officer informed the Committee that the Driving Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) had changed their Group 2 requirements to allow for new medical methods.  Members were asked to confirm if the conditions could be used as standard wording to allow Officers to add this to licences if required. 

 

RECOMMEND TO GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE that the standard conditions as mentioned above for diabetic medical reports be adopted.

 

41.

Next Meeting

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 29 July 2015 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room, Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting 29 July 2015 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham were noted.