Venue: A Committee Room - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions
Contact: Jeremy Livitt
Election of Replacement Councillor to Chair the Meeting
In the absence of Councillor Amal Ali who had given her apologies, Councillor Richard Eddy was elected to chair for the duration of the meeting.
Councillor Richard Eddy welcomed all parties to the meeting and explained the emergency evacuation procedure if it was required.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Amal Ali and Councillor Tessa Fitzjohn.
Declarations of Interest
There were no Declarations of Interest.
To confirm as a correct record for signing by the Chair.
RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 16th August 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by Councillor Richard Eddy.
Up to 30 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 email@example.com 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 5pm on Wednesday 19th October 2022.
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 Noon on Monday 24th October 2022.
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.
There were no Public Forum items.
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.
RESOLVED – that CMR10 and CMR11 be suspended.
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.
RESOLVED - that that the press and public be excluded from the following items of business to allow consideration of items containing exempt information under Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of the Local Government Act 1972.
HAK - Application for Renewal of a Private Hire Driver Licence
HAK and his wife attended this hearing.
Carl Knights, Senior Licensing Officer, introduced this report and made the following points:
· HAK had applied for a renewal of his existing licence which had recently expired
· HAK had failed to declare on this licence that he had received a conviction for speeding
· Following the recent expiry of his existing licence, HAK would need to undertake the Gold Standard Course to be awarded the licence under the Council’s new policy
· The Council’s new policy also stated that, with two minor traffic offences, HAK should be off the road for 5 years (ie until February 2023)
· Since the failure to declare the licence raised serious questions concerning the honesty of the applicant, officers recommended refusal of this application
· There was currently difficulty in drivers obtaining medical assessments from GPs and therefore any licence that was awarded would be subject to a full medical declaration
Since HAK had limited English, his wife spoke on his behalf with the agreement of the Sub-Committee. She made the following points:
· HAK had been awarded 4 speeding points following being stopped and not having his ID available to show
· Following this incident, HAK was now a safe driver
· HAK’s wife had filled in the necessary forms for him to complete. However, although she had read the questions to her husband, she was not aware that he had received speeding points and so this was not included in the declaration
· He thought that the declaration of speeding offences took place at the time of the application and was not aware that it needed to be made immediately after any offence
· HAK’s wife was on a high dose of morphine and sometimes got confused in such situations
All parties withdrew to allow the Sub-Committee to make a decision with the Legal Adviser and Democratic Services Officer in attendance.
Upon their return, they were advised of the decision as follows:
RESOLVED (unanimously) – that the application for a Private Hire Driver Licence renewal is refused.
REASONS: the Sub-Committee did not believe that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a licence since he had failed to declare a speeding infringement and had not provided sufficient reasons for not doing so.
The Sub-Committee noted that HAK was free to re-apply for a renewal when he wished albeit that under current Bristol City Council policy the disqualification period for his licence did not end until February 2023.
JSS - Application for the Renewal of a Hackney Carriage Licence Seeking Departure from Bristol City Council Policy
JSS attended the hearing.
Carl Knights, Senior Licensing Officer, introduced this report and made the following points:
· JSSS had made an application for renewal of a Hackney Carriage Driver licence seeking departure from Bristol City Council policy
· The vehicle was licensed on 16th November 2012 (not 2022 as indicated in the report)
· The existing licence would expire on 14th November 2022. JSS had requested an extension
· Since the new policy requiring any new diesel vehicle to be a Euro 6 vehicle (in place since December 2018) but indicated that this licence could remain in place for 10 years, the Sub-Committee had the power to renew it for 2 days with the coming introduction of the higher Clean Air Zone restrictions
JSS addressed the Committee and made the following points:
· He explained that, whilst he had been looking for another vehicle, this had been difficult and no vehicles were currently in stock that met the requirements to comply with the policy. He had been advised that nothing would become available until 2023
· Whilst he had spent £700 on parts and labels, he would not be able to financially afford the required vehicle. In the meantime, he would require a new vehicle for a few months
· He explained that there was a huge shortage of vans and they were difficult to convert. Whilst some used vehicles were available, they were in short supply and were more expensive. It was noted that black cabs of the required type would cost approximately £65,000
In response to members’ questions, JSS confirmed that he would have to find enough money to buy the required vehicle or he would not be able to continue to work.
The Legal Adviser confirmed with the Sub-Committee the various options that lay open to them:
· That the application is allowed for one extra day in line with existing policy
· That the application is refused
· To treat the application as an exception to policy and grant it for between 3 to 6 months
JSS and the licensing officer withdrew to allow the Sub-Committee to make the decision, The Legal Adviser and Democratic Services Officer were in attendance.
Upon their return, Councillor Richard Eddy advised JSS of the Sub-Committee’s decision as follows:
RESOLVED (unanimously) – that the application for a renewal of a Hackney Carriage Licence departing from Bristol City Council policy be granted for a period of three months
Reasons: JSS had satisfied the Committee that in the circumstances of his individual case an exception could be made to Council policy on this occasion without undermining it. The Committee heard that JSS had been looking for a replacement vehicle but had been unable to find one due to the lack of availability. As a result he had spent a considerable amount of money on his current vehicle to ensure it remained suitable to be used as an HCV. A period of three months would therefore give him a little more time to continue with his trade whilst continuing his search ... view the full minutes text for item 40.
SK - Report To Determine Whether Action Should be Taken Against The Holder of a Hackney Carriage Driver Licence And Application for Renewal of a Hackney Carriage Licence Seeking Departure from Bristol City Council Policy
SK was in attendance, together with Alison Wright (Neighbourhood Enforcement Team) and Carl Knights (Senior Licensing Officer).
Alison Wright showed the Sub-Committee a recording from a CCTV camera without audio of an incident involving SK and another driver which also involved a substantial number of bystanders.
At the end of the recording, Alison Wright made the following comments as part of the presentation of her report:
· The alleged assault by and on SK during this incident would not be pursued since both parties declined to support prosecution
· Criminal damage to coffee shop furniture arising from this incident was likely to be dealt with by resolution between the parties
· Alleged racial comments made by SK during this incident were unlikely to result in prosecution since there were no independent witnesses
· The incident shown in the CCTV camera was due to be heard by the Crown Prosecution Service with a charge of affray against SK
· There had been a significant number of previous complaints made against SK listed in the report
The Sub-Committee noted that they were considering whether or not to take action against SK in the event of the incident described and previous incidents, as well as considering an application for renewal of a Hackney Carriage Licence which had expired on 24th October 2022 and would require a Euro 6 Diesel Engine under new Bristol City Council policy.
SK made the following comments:
· This was a very embarrassing episode and he was ashamed of his behaviour
· He was frustrated at the ongoing behaviour on ranks of private cars parking which he had complained about multiple times and for which he had received abuse and threats. Whilst Parking Services stated that they would get a traffic warden to deal with these situations, they rarely did
· On this occasion, he phoned Parking Services and provided them with the registration number of the vehicle. Following this, the incident had unfolded as you saw. He verbally abused and threatened me. Following an exchange of words, I had reacted as seen on the CCTV tape
In response to members’ questions, SK made the following points:
· He acknowledged that he could be argumentative and that large members of the public were nearby during this incident and could have been affected. He frequently complained about private drivers but was frustrated that his complaints were rarely addressed
· He was not aware that he needed to disclose the previous incident if the matter did not go to court
· He explained in detail his recollection of the September 20i9 incident involving the drunk female passenger. He stated that the comment from one of the other drivers was incorrect since this driver had picked up a passenger from behind him and also was not correct in his description of SK’s behaviour. This driver had also misinterpreted SK behaviour when SK had approached him two days later to ask if he was ok
· SK stated that he was badly injured in the incident shown and that his ear was nearly bitten ... view the full minutes text for item 41.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled to be held at 10am on Tuesday 20th December 2022.