Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Enforcement Committee
Tuesday, 8th December 2015 6.30 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP. View directions

Contact: Sonia Tucker  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

17.

Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.

Minutes:

No declarations were made on this occasion.

18.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2015.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2015 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

19.

Public Question Time

To receive any questions from members of the public provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers

Minutes:

A member of the public started to ask a question. He was stopped by the Chair who, on the advice of the Solicitor, refused to accept the question as it did not relate to a matter included on the agenda.

 

The Chair advised the member of the public to submit his question in writing and he would receive a written response.

 

20.

Petitions and Deputations

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

Minutes:

1)       Mr Zeya Ahmed

 

Mr Zeya Ahmed of Gloucester Hackney Carriage Association believed that the ruling regarding public questions had not been applied in the past.

 

On behalf of the trade, he advised that the consultation on the Driving Standards Agency enhanced assessment had been flawed and asked the Committee to consider a fresh consultation with unbiased questions.

 

He noted that some drivers had not received the consultation paperwork or recent newsletters.

 

He believed that the best way to maintain standards would be to revert to the earlier criteria for granting licences. He cited that a previous requirement was to have held a driving licence for twelve months without endorsement and it was now possible to be granted a licence if the applicant had held a valid licence for a total of twelve months even if it had been revoked for a period and applicants could be considered for a licence if they had current endorsements.

 

if enforcement work was effective e the Committee could then require an existing driver to take the DVSA assessment as a disciplinary measure. he noted that a driver who had held a clean licence for forty years would be expected to take the assessment.

 

He referred to the Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the right to a fair trial and to a family life respectively.

 

He believed that no other Councils expected drivers to retake assessments other than as a disciplinary measure and asked how many Councils expected existing drivers to take the assessment.

 

He asked Councillors to consider how they would feel if they were required to take the UK Citizenship test.

 

In conclusion, he stated that the DVSA made no allowance for other driving qualifications and he called for a fresh unbiased consultation.

 

2)       Mr Chas Rodgers

 

Mr Chas Rodgers stated that in 40 years he had never experienced restriction on public questions.

 

He advised Members that the Gloucester Hackney Carriage Association had adopted a policy on customer complaints and Council disciplinary hearings which he summarised as follows:

 

Customer Complaints Procedure

 

·       All customer complaints to be presented in writing to the driver involved.

 

Council Disciplinary Hearings

 

·       All evidence to be presented to Members to be provided in advance to the driver involved.

·        

·       No surprise evidence to be presented without full agreement of all parties to the hearing.

 

·       In the event of failure to properly provide such evidence  the driver involved will require the hearing to be adjourned until the matter is put right.

 

·       Any Council officer having useful evidence to aid the case of the driver involved will present such evidence without fail.

 

·       Any Council Officer giving evidence to the hearing will be made available for full cross-examination without irresponsible or malicious interruption.

 

·       Any evidence that the driver involved intends to put forward in contention of evidence given by Officers shall be made known to the Council well in advance of the hearing.

 

·       The mutuality that forms the basis of taxi licensing must be properly regarded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Revised Licensing Policy Statement - Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

 

To consider the report of the Head of Public Protection which presents the outcome of the consultation on the Draft Revised Licensing Policy Statement and to recommend a final draft version of the Statement for adoption by Council at the meeting to be held on 28 January 2016.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Licensing and Markets Officer presented the report which detailed the results of the consultation undertaken in respect of the 2016 – 2012 draft Licensing Policy Statement.

 

The document had been subject to a ten week consultation period which ended on 24 November 2015. A list of consultees was appended to the report.

 

He drew Members’ attention to the three responses which had been received and which were reported in Section 3 of the report.

 

Members requested the following amendment to paragraph 4.26 of the document:-

 

“At a meeting of the Licensing and Enforcement Committee on 18 June 2013 Members resolved that there would be no introduction of a Late Night Levy at this that time.”

 

RESOLVED

 

1)         that, subject to the minor amendment of paragraph 4.26,  the Licensing Policy Statement 2016 -2021 be approved;

 

2)         to RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that the Licensing Policy Statement 2016 – 2021 be approved and adopted.

 

22.

Members' Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To receive the report of the Corporate Director which outlines to Members details of key Licensing Activities carried out in the last quarter (July to September 2015), including applications and service requests received, details of any enforcement work, progress updates of our work plan and any changes in Licensing Law. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Food Safety and Licensing Service Manager presented the report which detailed the key licensing activities carried out in the quarter July – September 2015 including applications and service requests received, details odf enforcement work, progress updates of the work plan and changes in licensing law.

23.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 6.30 p.m.