Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

28.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2009.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2009 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

29.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Mr I. Sherwood.

30.

Street Trading Consent - King Street, Thetford (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 505 KB

To receive the report of the Director for Community Services.     

Minutes:

The Hearing, which was heard in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure, was held in the absence of the applicant.  Mr Phil Mason was in attendance as the Council’s solicitor. 

 

The Senior Licensing Officer (SLO) presented this report, which concerned the application for a Street Trading Consent in accordance with relevant legislation.

 

She explained that an application for the grant of a Street Trading Consent had been received from Mr R. Winter in August 2009.  The application was for a stall selling ink cartridges, blank media, photo paper and memory products, and was for a set period each Tuesday (Market Day in Thetford).

 

She confirmed that the Licensing team had consulted the Police, Thetford Town Council and the County Highways Department.  Details of the objections received from the latter two authorities had been attached to the Agenda.

 

The Solicitor clarified that this case fell under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, i.e. specific legislation relating to Street Trading.    He pointed out that the objections raised by the County Highways Department came under completely separate legislation, and since this request did not concern “amenities on the Highway”, their comments had no real bearing on this matter.

 

In giving some background to the request, the SLO explained that in July 2009 all market trading had been temporarily moved from the usual market place, “The Shambles”, to King Street, Thetford, so that The Shambles could be resurfaced.   (King Street being a pedestrianised area leading up towards the market.)

 

At the end of that month, traders had returned to their original sites.   However, it seemed that some market traders, including Mr Winter, had found that their sales had risen during the relocation: hence his request for consent to trade in King Street.

 

As Mr Winter was unable to attend the Hearing personally, he had submitted a letter outlining his case, which the SLO read out to the Committee.  Mr Winter drew attention to the following points in support of his request.

 

  • His sales had increased greatly whilst trading on King Street.

 

  • He had not been aware of any pedestrian/access issues or concerns having been raised during the period when 10-15 stalls had been temporarily relocated to King Street.

 

  • He had had his mobile shop for the past four years.  He had no desire or intention to commit to formal shop premises, since his current arrangement meant that he had less overheads.   Consequently, he was able to offer the best value for money to his customers, who needed as much help as possible during the current recession.

 

  • He was aware that at least one shopkeeper had petitioned for market stalls to be allowed to stay in King Street.  

 

  • He felt that there was a strong argument that the market in general should be brought to the customers, and not vice-versa, (i.e. with customers having to walk through King Street and up to The Shambles).

 

31.

Exclusion of the Press and Public (Agenda Item 8)

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 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.”

 

PART B –

ITEMS FROM WHICH THE PRESS AND PUBLIC HAVE BEEN 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 involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

32.

Renewal of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver's Licence (Agenda Item 7)

Report of the Director for Community Services, Rob Walker.

Minutes:

The Hearing took place in the presence of the applicant.   Mr Phil Mason was also in attendance as the Council’s solicitor.

 

The Committee heard the appeal in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure.

 

The SLO presented the report, which was to determine an application to renew a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver’s Licence.   The report outlined the details of the case, which concerned the failure to formally notify the Licensing team of three convictions within the seven days required.  The applicant was also accused of making a false declaration with respect to an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence.

 

As this case was rather complicated, the SLO clarified to Members that there were two types of taxi licence applications which were granted in respect of taxi drivers in Breckland:

 

1)     “Badge” or “Driver’s” licence – a licence for an individual to drive.

      (Validity: 3 years)

 

2)     “Vehicle” licence – a licence confirming that the proposed vehicle meets the required standards of safety and roadworthiness etc.

      (Validity: 1 year)

 

Whilst both had to be current and valid, inevitably they rarely came up for renewal at the same time.  

 

She also explained that in order to remain in business during the licensing process, applicants had to submit their documents in advance of the relevant expiry date.

 

The case before the Committee on this occasion concerned the application for the applicant’s Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver’s licence.

 

After confirming that he accepted the report as a correct record of events, the applicant gave details of the three driving convictions concerned.    He said that he had not knowingly given a false declaration or tried to be deceitful.   Rather it was a case that he had not paid sufficient attention to the document he was completing.   He had also done so under the impression that the Council already knew about his two earlier offences, since he had previously had to submit his driving licence as part of the licensing process.  Assuming that the Council were aware of the two previous convictions, he had consequently interpreted the vehicle licence application form as requiring details of any “further” convictions since his previous application.  Thus he had only acknowledged the third offence at that stage.

 

He expressed real regret at his failure to pay due care and attention to the rules and regulations regarding giving notice.   He also explained that he was a sole trader, with two vehicles, specialising in long distance journeys.  He had been in business for 3½ years, during which time he had never received any complaints from clients or any local authority.  He valued his work and aimed to run his business properly.  Some of his customers had passed on recommendations about the service they had received.   He also explained that this was his only means of earning a living and it was a single income household.   The impact of the recession meant that he was selling his house.   If he were to lose his licence, he would have to declare himself  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Application for the Grant of Remainder of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence (Agenda Item 10)

Report of the Director for Community Services, Rob Walker.

Minutes:

The Hearing took place in the presence of the applicant and his employer (who was also his partner).    Mr Phil Mason was in attendance as the Council’s solicitor.

 

The Committee heard the appeal in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure.

 

The SLO presented the report, which was to grant the remainder of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence.

 

She reminded Members of the background to this case, explaining that the applicant had been granted a probationary six month licence by the Appeals Committee on 8 April 2009. 

 

She confirmed that the licensing team had received no complaints regarding the applicant’s behaviour or driving during this period.   She also confirmed that he had recently signed a new statutory declaration form confirming that no offences had been committed during the last six months, nor were there any matters pending.

 

On being asked if he had any comments, the applicant took the opportunity to thank the Committee for having given him the chance to continue working over the past six months.   He added that he was still awaiting a final resolution of a matter which had been discussed at the previous Hearing, and offered to read aloud a letter he had received from his Solicitor.

 

However, the Chairman said that that was not pertinent to this particular case, so there was no need for him to do so.

 

RESOLVED that the Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver’s Licence be granted for a further two and a half years.

34.

Suspension/Revocation of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver's Licence (Agenda Item 11)

Report of the Director for Community Services, Rob Walker.

Minutes:

The SLO told the Committee that the Licensing Team had received an e-mail from the applicant’s solicitor saying that he had been instructed to act on behalf of the applicant.  

 

In order to ensure a fair Hearing, he formally requested that this case be adjourned until the next Appeals Hearing in December, by which time he would have had the opportunity to contact witnesses, get references and secure funding.  He would ensure that all relevant material would be placed before the Committee in advance of the meeting. 

 

After due discussion, it was

 

RESOLVED that the matter be adjourned until the next Appeals Committee meeting on 9th December 2009.