Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-Committee - Tuesday, 12th March, 2019 10.30 am

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Venue: Committee Room A, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS. View directions

Contact: Cheryl Clark  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

LSC16/18

Chairman's Introduction

Announcement on procedural matters.

Minutes:

The Chairman opened the meeting, introduced the members of the Licensing Sub-Committee, and outlined procedural matters of the meeting.

LSC17/18

Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence as reported.

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

LSC18/18

Declarations of Interest:

To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda.  For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made by members at the meeting.

EXEMPT

EXEMPT ITEM

 

RESOLVED – That, pursuant to section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Act, by virtue of the paragraphs shown below:

 

Paragraph (1) – Information relating to any individual.

Paragraph (2) – Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.

Paragraph (7) – Information relating to any action taken, or to be taken, in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime.

 

LSC19/18

Review of a current licensed Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver

Minutes:

Mrs Degiorgio, Senior Licensing Officer, presented a report for the review of a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver’s License following receipt of a complaint.  She displayed a video recording of the incident provided by the complainant from his mobile phone and she summarised the subsequent communications relating to the complaint between the License Holder and the Licensing officers.

 

The Licensing Sub-Committee hearing had been convened because the Licence Holder had refused to carry a disabled passenger with an assistance dog and had further refused to give their badge number.  The Sub-Committee members confirmed having read the report and appendices supplied prior to the hearing and listened carefully to the individuals who spoke at the hearing including the solicitor to the Licence Holder and a fellow driver who had the opportunity to make statements and answer questions from the members of the Sub-Committee.  

 

The Sub-Committee noted that the Licence Holder accepted having refused to carry a disabled passenger with an assistance dog, which was a criminal offence and was unaware at the time that an exemption certificate could be granted where medical conditions permitted it.  The Licence Holder also accepted having failed to provide their badge number when it was requested.

 

In mitigation, the Sub-Committee heard that the driver was a shy individual with not the best grasp of English who had driven away from the complainant in order to avoid conflict.  The Licence Holder also put forward the fact that they had subsequently been given an exemption from carrying dogs for medical reasons.

 

In deliberation, the Sub-Committee was split as to, whether given the multiple failings, that only a suspension or revocation would be appropriate and noted that in the normal course of events that would have been the case.  However, due to the complete acceptance of the facts by the Licence Holder, their apology and the substantial mitigation, the Sub-Committee was able to take the wholly exceptional step of dealing with the matter by way of endorsing the licence with points.  The Council’s Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver’s Licence Policy provided that the correct number of points that would be applied in the event of a failure to carry an assistance dog was 12 and although there were other failures, the Policy also stipulated that only a maximum of 12 points could be given at one time so no further points were applied.

 

In accordance with the provisions of Section 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, notice was therefore given that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council had considered whether by virtue of not being a ‘fit and proper person’ whether the Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Driver’s Licence should be either revoked or suspended.  However, in accordance with the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy it was decided that the appropriate action was to give the Licence Holder a formal warning as to their future conduct and to endorse their Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver’s licence with 12 points for a period of  ...  view the full minutes text for item LSC19/18