Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Chorley
Contact: Philippa Braithwaite Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Any Interests
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.
If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.
There were no declarations of interests received.
The Chair outlined the hearing procedure that would be used to conduct the meeting.
Exclusion of the Public and Press
To consider the exclusion of the press and public for the following items of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.
By Virtue of Paragraph 1: Information relating to any individual.
Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Information is not exempt if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992(a).
RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
Review of Private Hire Operator's Licence
Report of the Director of Customer and Digital.
The Director of Customer and Digital submitted a report for the General Licensing Sub-Committee to determine whether the licence holder remains fit and proper to hold a Private Hire Operator’s licence.
The three individuals named on the licence, Licence Holder 1, Licence Holder 2, and Licence Holder 3, and their legal representative were present at the Sub-Committee meeting.
Members were informed that a private hire operator’s (PHO) licence has been held in respect of the premises for many years. Records maintained by the Council show a licence held as far back as 2001. This licence has been held by a number of persons during this period.
On 16 July 2014 an application was made by Licence Holder 1 for a PHO licence at the premises. This licence was granted and renewed on 16 July 2015. This licence was subsequently surrendered by Licence Holder 1 on 27 June 2018. A new PHO licence was granted on 27 June 2018 and is jointly held by Licence Holder 1, Licence Holder 2 and Licence Holder 3. It was this current licence which was the subject of the review.
The Council’s Enforcement Team Leader for Licensing informed the Sub-Committee that, on 28 September 2018, a formal warning was given to the licence holders in respect of their failure to produce adequate booking records following a request by an authorised officer.
Members noted that failure to provide records such as this is an offence contrary to S.56 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (LGMPA).
This request was made in relation to a complaint from a member of the public which implicated Licence Holder 1 as the driver. As a result of this and other complaints, Licence Holder 1’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver licences were revoked with immediate effect on 23 August 2018.
Following another complaint by a member of the public, regarding a journey on 12 October 2018, booking records were again requested from the licence holders. These records were provided on 29 October 2018, after the deadline given in the request. The records failed to provide information as to the vehicle and driver used to fulfil the booking, despite having received a warning for the same issue the month previously.
Members noted that the complainant from the incident in October 2018 provided a registration of a vehicle. This vehicle was licensed in 2015 by Licence Holder 1 but has not been licensed since then.
Members noted that using a vehicle as a Private Hire Vehicle without a licence is an offence contrary to S. 46(1)(a) of the LGMPA.
Members also noted that it is a further offence, contrary to S.46(1)(e)(i) to operate a vehicle as a private hire vehicle without the vehicle having a licence.
A notice was served on Licence Holder 1, as the registered keeper of the vehicle, to provide the name of the driver at the time of the complaint. In his response, Licence Holder 1 declared that he was the driver of the vehicle despite his ... view the full minutes text for item 19.19
Review of Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence
Report of the Director of Customer and Digital.
The Director of Customer and Digital submitted a report for the General Licensing Sub-Committee to determine whether the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage Driver’s licence and Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence.
The Licence Holder was present at the Sub-Committee meeting along with his son and legal representative.
The Council’s Enforcement Team Leader for Licensing informed the Sub-Committee that, on 4 December 2018, a member of the public made a complaint against the Licence Holder of an alleged allegation of fly-tipping whilst in a Chorley Licensed Hackney Carriage to Wigan Council. Wigan Council informed Chorley Council of the alleged incident involving the Licence Holder hence why this was investigated by the Enforcement Team Leader. Members noted this alleged incident occurred outside of the borough.
During February 2019, the Licence Holder attended the Council Offices of his own accord and spoke with officers about this complaint. During this conversation, the Licence Holder repeatedly told officers that he had been given permission by the land owner to tip waste on the land.
On 29 March 2019, officers spoke with the land owner who confirmed that he had not given permission to the Licence Holder to tip waste on that land and that he was aware he would be committing an offence himself if he did so.
An appointment was arranged to interview the Licence Holder under caution at the Council Offices on 8 May 2019. The Licence Holder attended with his legal advisor and daughter. On commencement of the interview, the Licence Holder informed officers that he wished to give no reply to questions and that he wished not to remain in the interview for questioning.
The Council’s Enforcement Team Leader for Licensing informed the Sub-Committee that, on 21 August 2018, the licence holder was issued with a Formal Warning as a result of a separate complaint.
In response to a Member’s question, the Enforcement Team Leader confirmed that the Licence Holder had not been before the General Licensing Sub-Committee for any previous offences.
The Licence Holder’s Legal Representative advised that, with regard to the review of the Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence, there was no suggestion that the car was unfit for use. He highlighted that a vehicle could be licensed to one individual and driven by another, and to revoke this licence would be unnecessarily punitive.
With regards to the review of the Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence, the Licence Holder’s Legal Representative pointed out that Wigan Council had not sought to prosecute for this incident and advised that none of the photographs supplied by the complainant showed any waste deposited on land (as it remained inside the car).
With regards to whether the Licence Holder remained a fit and proper person, the Licence Holder’s Legal Representative advised that the incident had no bearing on his standard of driving. The landowner had stated that he had not given permission for the Licence Holder to leave the waste on his land as he not in a position to ... view the full minutes text for item 19.20