Agenda and draft minutes

Public Safety and Protection Sub-Committee A - Tuesday, 15th December, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Remote Access - Via On Line or Telephone Conference Call. View directions

Contact: Oliver Harrison 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

Items
No. Item

20.

Welcome and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and drew attention to the Meeting procedure.

21.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies received.

22.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None received.

23.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To confirm as a correct record for signing by the Chair.

Minutes:

RESOLVED the minutes of the last PSP-A meeting on 13 October 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

24.

Public Forum

Up to 10 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on Wednesday 9 December.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Monday 14 December.

 

Please note, your time allocated to speak may have to be strictly limited if there are a lot of submissions. This may be as short as one minute.

Minutes:

None received.

25.

Suspension of Committee Procedure Rules CMR10 and CMR11 Relating to the Moving of Motions and Rules of Debate

Recommended – that having regard to the quasi-judicial nature of the business on the Agenda, those Committee Procedure Rules relating to the moving of

motions and the rules of debate (CMR10 and 11) be suspended for the duration

of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

That having regard to the quasi-judicial nature of the business on the Agenda, those Committee Procedure Rules relating to the moving of motions and the rules of debate (CMR10 and 11) be suspended for the duration of the meeting.

26.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Recommended – that under Section 11A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972

the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the ground that involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1of Schedule 12A to the Act, as amended.

 

Minutes:

That under Section 11A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the ground that involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, as amended.

27.

AT - whether action should be taken against the holder of a private hire driver licence

Minutes:

The driver (AT) was in attendance, as was his legal representative (FW). An interpreter arranged through the Council’s translation and interpreting service was also in attendance (OA) as requested by AT. PC Quinton (PCQ) from Avon and Somerset Constabulary was in attendance.

 

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Team (NET) Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:

·       That AT holds a PHD licence expiring October 2021 and a PHV licence expiring February 2021. AT is the only person insured for this vehicle.

·       On 21 October 2020, PC Quinton contacted the NET in regards to a number of offences. This included: a vehicle inspection notice for a number of mechanical faults, failing to comply with his licence conditions, causing an obstruction on Park Street, his vehicle having defective tyres that were considered to be dangerous, smoking in his vehicle, driving in a pedestrian zone through a sign prohibiting entry, keeping his engine running whilst not in the vehicle (engine idling) and failing to display private hire vehicle plates and have his second private hire badge as required.

·       AT has a number of historical offences and allegations against him including: a battery conviction, a conviction of plying for hire and no insurance, watching a film while driving, using abusive language towards a passenger and obstruction of a driveway.

 

The applicant gave the following evidence:

·       FW stated that AT denies the offences listed in 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5 and 3.6. In regards to 3.4 (smoking in a licenced vehicle), FW said that AT was not carrying passengers at the time so the offence was not relevant. AT himself said that everything in the NET report is false.

·       FW said that AT denies watching a film while driving and the historical complaint of swearing at customers and that AT never uses abusive language. In regards to the battery conviction, FW said that this was AT defending himself against someone who had become aggressive due to AT refusing to lend him money.  AT elaborated on this incident and said it was in 2009 and is the only criminal conviction on his record. 

·       FW said that he had met AT as a customer a month ago, that AT was 45 minutes late and appeared disorientated as he was on prescription drugs due to stress and difficulty sleeping. AT sends his mother £500 per month and pays £1500 a month in family support to his divorced wife and children. He also works occasionally as a builder. A suspension will mean he cannot drive, which would present financial hardship. AT intends to take legal action against the police. 

 

After questioning from the committee, the following information was confirmed:

·       AT has been prescribed Amitriptyline for stress and sleep problems. Officers said that some prescription medicines may affect the user’s ability to drive and should be declared to the licensing office as per the licensing conditions.

·       AT said that he believes he is being unfairly targeted by the police. PC Quinton said that all incidents in the report have happened  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

SA - an application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage Driver (HCD) seeking departure from Council policy

Minutes:

The driver (SA) was in attendance. PC Quinton from Avon and Somerset Constabulary was in attendance.

 

The Senior Licencing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:

·       The application is for both a Hackney Carriage Driver (HCD) licence and Hackney Carriage Vehicle (HCV) licence.

·       SA has held an HCD and HCV previously, but they were refused and revoked respectively by this committee on 26 May 2020.

·       SA appealed the PSP decision at Magistrates’ Court, but his appeal was dismissed. The Magistrates’ indicated he may want to apply for a licence after a 6 month period, but this would be at the discretion of the licensing authority who were not bound by this decision as any application would be subject to tests and checks.

·       SA’s vehicle does not meet current emissions policy, the previous vehicle licence was granted under  “grandfather rights” which are no longer in force now that the vehicle has been unlicensed for a period of time due to the HCV licence being revoked in May 2020. The Council’s policy on private hire vehicles states that a vehicle upon first application has to be an ultra-low emission vehicle with Co2 output below 75g per km. SA’s vehicle is 109g per km (first application includes where the licence has been revoked)

·       SA has previously held a HCD licence since BCC records began in 2003 until it was revoked by PSP in January 2012, due to SA plying for hire. SA was relicensed 2013 and held this until it expired in March 2020. The PSP Committee refused to grant a licence in May 2020 as they found he was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

·       SA has made a false declaration on his current application as he has previous convictions but did not declare them. The previous PSP Committee’s  decision to revoke his licence was due to offending behaviour and making a false declaration on a previous application. The previous PSP Committee’s decision emphasises that SA must not make false statements in future and he has also been reminded of this is in subsequent correspondence

·       Over the past 12 months SA has committed a number of offences. This includes: Driving without a HCD licence, making false statement on application, smoking in a HCV, failure to wear ID badge, failure to display ID plates and mechanical faults with the vehicle.  SA has not been licensed since the refusal in May 2020, so the offences actually took place over a much shorter period of time.

·       The officer believes this shows a pattern of offending behaviour and non-compliance with the relevant authorities.

 

The applicant gave the following evidence:

·       SA said that his vehicle was within emission standards as it had Co2 emissions of below 1g per km. It was confirmed during the hearing that the vehicle had a Co2 emission rate of 109g/km and the 0.267g/km figure referred to Co (Carbon Monoxide, rather than Carbon Dioxide).

·       SA said that the majority of the offences listed in the report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

MI - an application for the renewal of a Private Hire Driver (PHD) licence seeking departure from Council policy

Minutes:

The driver (MI) was in attendance.

 

The Senior Licencing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:

·       This is an application for renewal of a Private Hire Driver’s Licence. The health report at renewal shows that MI has angina and had an attack in 24 February 2020.

The policy on angina patients is that  a licence will be refused or revoked if symptoms continue however, an application may be re-licensed/licenced if there are no incidents within 6 weeks and the requirements for exercise or other functional tests can be met.  Applicants must complete  the ‘Bruce Protocol’ or other functional test. The Bruce Protocol involves a 9 minute run on the treadmill. MI was only able to complete 6 minutes, which does not meet the requirements.

·       A cardiologist has stated that MI may benefit from an alternative test such as a stress echocardiography. The satisfactory results of a stress echocardiography would be a suitable alternative to the Bruce Protocol in order to confirm MI meets the Group 2 criteria with regards to exercise testing

·       A heart scan has shown several abnormalities that will need further investigation. 

·       While officers recommend refusal on health grounds it is also possible for the committee to defer this decision until more medical evidence has been submitted.

·       MI is currently unlicensed.  

 

The applicant gave the following evidence:

·       MI said that although the first test he undertook in March said he was not fit to drive, a second doctor’s report from July (and sent to the council office) said he would meet fitness standards.

·       MI said the treadmill test was delivered in 3 sets of 3 minutes, with the speed increasing each time. MI was unable to complete the third stage and said that it would be challenging even for a fit individual.

 

After questioning from the committee, the following information was confirmed:

·       The treadmill test was delivered in August, so supersedes the doctor’s report of July in terms of fitness to drive. There have been previous cases where doctors have signed off health declarations that do not meet the group 2 requirements.

·       Possible alternative fitness tests were discussed, but both officers and committee members stressed that they were not medical professionals and the appropriateness of a given test should be determined by a doctor/medical professional.

 

The Committee withdrew to deliberate on their decision.

 

RESOLVED (unanimous decision)

 

That this decision be deferred for a period of three months to allow MI to submit further medical evidence that would qualify him as fit to hold a PHD licence. MI should contact his GP regarding his heart abnormalities and an appropriate fitness test. Licensing Officers are able to assist if required by liaising with his GP.