Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

10.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2016.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

11.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

None.

 

12.

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.

 

13.

Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)

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:

Agenda Item 8: - For transparency Councillor Hollis declared that she knew the Licence Holder’s family.  She would leave the room for that item and take no part in the discussion or decision.

 

Agenda Item 9: - Councillor Brame had been asked to represent the Licence Holder who was unable to attend.  He would make a statement and then leave the room and take no part in the discussion or decision of that item.

14.

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:

Councillors Bishop and Newton were in attendance to observe the meeting.

 

15.

Hearing Procedures (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

The procedures were noted.

 

16.

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)(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 were likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

17.

Application for a Hackney Cariage/Private Hire Drivers Licence (Agenda Item 8)

Report of the Executive Manager for Public Protection.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hollis left the room.

 

The Applicant was invited into the room.  The Chairman introduced the Committee members and Officers and explained the procedures.  She asked the Applicant if they objected to the two Councillors being present to observe the meeting and they confirmed that they did not.

 

The Licensing Officer presented the report which concerned the application for a Licence following the revocation of a previous Licence.

 

Members had no questions for the Officer following the presentation.

 

The Applicant was invited to speak.  A letter written by the Applicant was tabled and members were given time to read its contents.  The Applicant said they were not good at speaking and hoped the letter would be acceptable.  The Applicant hoped the Committee would see fit to approve the Licence as they had been out of work since the previous licence was revoked in October 2015.

 

The following points were noted by Members:

 

·        Question 3 of the application form had been left blank. 

·        The identity of the employing taxi firm

·        The number of the Applicant’s dependants

·        The type of work, general and contract, undertaken by the taxi firm

 

The Solicitor asked what the Applicant would do differently to avoid the same incident which led to their Licence being revoked.


The Applicant advised that they would look, check and double check that their passengers were in the car before pulling away.  As the passenger in the incident had been the first person to open the taxi door they had assumed that that person was safely in the taxi.


The Chairman clarified that the taxi had been parked on the right hand side of a one-way street.  The passenger had opened the rear door behind the driver’s seat, but had been unable to get in immediately as a child’s booster seat was in the way.

 

The Applicant, Officers and Observers were asked to leave the room whilst the Committee made their deliberations.  They were later invited back to hear the decision.

 

RESOLVED to refuse to grant the Licence.

 

The Chairman explained that after considerable thought and discussion the Committee had concluded that the Applicant was not a fit and proper person to drive a taxi.  The Committee were concerned for the safety of the public with particular regard to passengers that were elderly and to school children.

 

The Applicant was advised of their right of appeal.

 

Councillor Hollis re-joined the meeting.

 

18.

Consideration of suspension or revocation of a Hackney Carriage / Private HIre drivers licence (Agenda Item 9)

Report of the Executive Manager for Public Protection.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licence Holder was not present for the meeting but they had confirmed that they were happy for the meeting to go ahead in their absence. 

 

The Applicant had visited Councillor Brame the previous day and asked him to represent their views at the meeting as they were unable to attend.  They had given him a letter which was tabled for Members and Officers and time was given for the letter to be read.

 

The Licensing Officer then presented the report and tabled additional information about the offence in the form of a print-out of an on-line driving licence current summary which showed that the two speeding convictions had been eleven months apart.

 

The Licence Holder had notified the Licensing Officer that they had recently suffered an injury from which they were still recovering.  The injury did not prevent them from driving but as they were currently unable to help passengers with their shopping, as required by Breckland Council Licence conditions, they had not been working as a taxi driver.

 

The Chairman noted that there was a lot of detail in the letter from the Licence Holder but some of it was irrelevant to the case and she asked Members to ignore that.

 

The Licensing Officer explained that the Licence Holder had been before the previous Committee meeting on 9 March 2016 for failure to notify the Council of a conviction.  At that meeting, when the Licence Holder and the Licensing Officer had been asked to leave the room whilst the Committee made their deliberations, the Licence Holder had advised her of the latest speeding conviction.  The Licence Holder had not had the details of the dates of the conviction with them and so it had not been clear at that time whether there were any grounds for the Committee to consider that offence.  When written confirmation was received from the Licence Holder the following day it became clear that the two convictions were within a twelve month period and the Licence Holder had failed to notify the Council of the second conviction within the required seven day deadline.

 

Other than being a speeding offence no details of the second offence were known except from the Licence Holder who had said in their letter that they were not operating as a taxi driver at the time of the offence.

 

Councillor Brame explained that the Licence Holder was trying to comply with the conditions of their Licence which said they must be able to help passengers with their luggage.  They had therefore ceased to operate as a taxi driver, although they were still fit to drive.  As the decision at the previous meeting had been to take no action the Licence Holder had questioned why the second meeting was necessary.  Councillor Brame had explained that the decision to take no action had been on the failure to notify the Council of the previous conviction within the required timescale.  The current meeting was considering the fact that two driving convictions had occurred  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Next Meeting (Agenda Item 10)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 18 May 2016.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting on 18 May 2016 were noted.