Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

7.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2011.

Minutes:

Determination of a Revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence (Minute No. 5/11)

 

It was noted that the wording in the Resolutions numbered 2i) – 2vi) should be changed to read the word, ‘he’ instead of the word ‘they’.

 

Minutes

 

Subject to the above, the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2011 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

8.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Mr I Sherwood.

9.

Declaration of Interest

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that they may have in the following items on the agenda.

 

The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is personal or prejudicial interest. 

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

10.

Hearing Procedures pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Minutes:

Noted.

11.

Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda Items 8 & 9)

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 item of business on the grounds that it is 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 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

12.

Application for a new Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence

Report of the Assistant  Director of Commissioning.

Additional documents:

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 applicant had not been sent a copy of the Agenda, but he confirmed to the Committee that he was happy to proceed with the Hearing, and did not want the case adjourned to the 20 July 2011 meeting.

 

The Licensing Officer presented the report, which was to determine an application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence in accordance with the Town Police Clauses Act and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.  The report explained that the applicant had an endorsement on his licence for exceeding the statutory speed limit on 13 August 2008, which remained unspent.

 

The applicant explained his background situation prior to the offence, giving further details where requested.  He had a current taxi licence with North Norfolk District Council which he had had since 2007, but was in the process of moving.  He invited the Committee to view commendation evidence he had received from previous places of work.  One of these was read out to the Committee by the Chairman.

 

Having heard everything the applicant had to say, the Solicitor explained that the Committee would withdraw  to consider the application.  They would do so by considering the evidence presented to them and they would then apply the statutory test (i.e that the Council, as Licensing Authority, needed to be satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage or private hire driver’s licence).

 

RESOLVED  that

 

  1. An initial  Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver’s Licence be granted for a period of 12 months

 

2.   Officers would have delegated powers to renew the Licence for a further two years in the appropriate circumstances.

 

The Solicitor confirmed that, having read the report and heard the oral evidence, the Committee was satisfied in all circumstances,  that the applicant was a fit and proper person in accordance with Section S1(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to hold a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence.

13.

Application To Suspend/Revoke a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence

Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Hearing took place in the presence of the appellant.  Mr P Mason was also in attendance as the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The Licensing Officer advised the Committee that the appellant had not been sent a copy of the Agenda.  The Chairman asked the appellant  if he would like to postpone the hearing until the next Appeals Committee scheduled to take place on 20 July 2011 or alternatively the item could be heard after the next Agenda item or after all the Agenda items had been heard.  The appellant wanted the matter resolved at the Hearing and had since been given a copy of the Agenda and was happy with the way it had been set out and wanted it to be dealt with by the Committee.  He said he would not have wanted anyone else with him.  It was made clear to him again that he had the chance to postpone the hearing, but if not, it would be heard after the first Agenda item unless he changed his mind in the interim.  The appellant left the room.

 

When the Licensing Officer and appellant returned to the Hearing, the Committee heard the appeal in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure.

 

The Licensing Officer presented the report, which was to determine the suspension/revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence. In accordance with Section 61(1)(b) of the local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 of any other reasonable cause, due his recent conviction under Health Act 2006.

 

The appellant failed to comply with the requirement that the Licensing Team be notified in writing within 7 days of the conviction he pleaded guilty to, and was prosecuted for on 5 May 2011.

 

The appellant advised the Committee that as Breckland Council prosecuted him he assumed that the Licensing Team would know the decision made by the Court, and did not realise he had to inform them himself.  The time that elapsed he thought was about 7-10 days in which he did not inform Breckland Council of his conviction.

 

Whilst the appellant had previously been provided with a copy of the transcript from the tape recorded interview held on 7 January 2011 he was not given one with the Agenda given to him at the Hearing, therefore the Licensing Officer gave him  a copy at the Hearing of that and all the Appendices.  The appellant confirmed he had been given all relevant documentation.

 

It was regrettable that the appellant had not received a copy of the Agenda and Appendices prior to the Hearing but he expressly stated that he was prepared to have the matter dealt with on 9 June 2011.

 

The Hearing was adjourned to allow the appellant time to read through the transcript of the tape recorded interview held on 7 January 2011 and Appendices.

 

After Agenda Item 11 & 12 had been heard, the appellant and Licensing Officer returned to the room.  The appellant advised the Committee that page 34 of Appendix C detailed what happened.

 

The appellant stated that he was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Objection to the Making of Tree Preservation Order 2011 No 5 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Assistant Director, Commissioning.

Minutes:

The Hearing, which was heard in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure, took place in the presence of the appellant and his neighbour, Mrs Baker.  Mr Phil Mason was also in attendance as the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The Tree and Countryside Officer (TCO) presented the report, which was to consider confirmation of Tree Preservation Order 2011 No. 5 in relation to objections to that confirmation from the owner of the tree and the neighbour at 36 Fakenham Road. Confirmation of a TPO was being considered following the new owner’s intention to have the tree removed.

 

The TCO found that the tree was a fine oak of substantial proportions, in good condition with no specific areas of concern and was prominent in the village scene over a considerable area, including the recreational area of St Mary’s Primary School to the east, and the adjacent section of the Fakenham Road through route to the west.  He felt the life span of the tree could be indefinite with appropriate management.

 

The tree was less than 4 meters from the back of the house.  No evidence of structural damage to the respective dwellings had been presented and risks from structural failure of parts of the tree may be mitigated by appropriate pruning.

 

The Solicitor explained the powers under which the Committee were able to confirm a TPO and gave them guidance.

 

The TCO’s opinion on the letter received from the Chartered Surveyor to the appellant was that he was not a tree expert, and did not provide evidence to demonstrate structural damage to the building.

 

A Committee Member questioned the TCO on how close had he inspected the tree, to which he answered 360 degrees around it, but he had not climbed up it.  The Committee Member had inspected the tree himself and on climbing a ladder placed against it, he observed a holly bush growing in the middle of it which was visible from the ground about 3’-4’ high, along with quite a bit of rot in the area.  He believed in the future it could make the tree weak at that point and therefore dangerous to residents in the property, the adjacent one and those in the grounds of the school.

 

The Chairman asked the TCO if he would like to re-visit the tree following the Committee Member’s findings which he did not, he was also asked if he remained satisfied that the tree was not compromised, which he confirmed.  A TPO would not preclude any work done on the tree in agreement with the local authority.

 

In answer to the Committee Member’s opinion that the tree appeared to have had the top broken out, the TCO explained that many trees had a chalice type structure.  He did not believe it had been crowned or pollarded.

 

Mr Stimpson, the appellant, believed the TPO placed on it was a rash decision and a ‘knee jerk’ reaction in finding out that they intended to carry out work on the tree.  He disagreed that it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Objection to the Making of Tree Preservation Order 2011 No 6 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Assistant Director, Commissioning.

Minutes:

The Hearing, which was heard in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure, took place in the presence of the appellants, Mr & Mrs Kelly.  Mr Phil Mason was also in attendance as the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The Tree and Countryside Officer (TCO) presented the report, which was to consider confirmation of Tree Preservation Order 2011 No. 6 in relation to objections to that confirmation from the owner of the tree.

 

It is a well developed walnut tree in good condition, standing at the north east end of a large urban garden immediately adjacent to the boundary of the Attleborough Conservation Area. 

 

The TCO was asked how the tree was scored with regard to the guidance provided by The Solicitor.  In answer he stated, whilst not prominent to the public it was characteristic in the urban landscape of large houses and large gardens, which also had walnut trees in them.  He thought it was about 80 years old and could live for another 40 years.

 

Mr Kelly, appellant, stated there did not appear to be other walnut trees in the area.  A neighbour had knocked down a lot of trees to build a house.  She circulated photographs to the Committee and stated that in the lounge hardly any sky could be seen.  The tree was mature when they moved into the property 33 years ago, and it had grown since then.  The tree was about 60’ away from the house.  There had been no objections from neighbours if the tree were to be removed.  It had been lopped twice. The TCO said he saw no evidence of it having been lopped.

 

Mr & Mrs Kelly advised that they were no longer physically and mentally able to maintain the garden and they had hoped to downsize to a smaller property.

 

The Solicitor explained the powers under which the Committee were able to confirm a TPO and gave them guidance on this.

 

After retiring to consider the matter the Solicitor advised in summary that :

 

  • the tree was not visible to the public
  • it was located within a private garden
  • it had limited amenity value to the surrounding area
  • the life span was limited due to the type of the tree

 

Accordingly, it was

 

RESOLVED, not to confirm the Tree Preservation Order 2011 No. 6

16.

Next Meeting

To note that the next scheduled meeting of the Appeals Committee will be on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 in the St. Georges Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting would be on Wednesday, 20 July 2011.