Agenda and draft minutes

Public Safety and Protection Sub-Committee B - Tuesday, 23rd March, 2021 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

64.

Welcome and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and drew attention to the safety information.

 

65.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Fi Hance.

66.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None received.

67.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 200 KB

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

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting 19 January 2021 were agreed as a correct record.

68.

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 17 March.

 

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 22 March.

 

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.

69.

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:

Resolved - 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.

70.

Exclusion of the 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:

Resolved - that under Section 11A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and 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.

71.

SM REPORT TO DETERMINE WHETHER ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN AGAINST THE HOLDER OF A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE

Minutes:

PC Quinton (PCQ) was present for this item.

 

The Licensing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:

·       This committee is to consider whether action should be taken against SM. His current Private Hire Driver’s license is due to expire in May 2021. He also holds a Private Hire Vehicle licence due to expire in March 22. SM was previously a Hackney Carriage Driver, but this licence expired in March 2020.

·       PCQ had stopped SM’s vehicle as part of a test purchase with a plain-clothes PCSO acting as a passenger. PCQ asked SM for his badges as they were not being displayed, 3 were produced, but only 1 was valid.

·       The PCSO confirmed that SM had agreed to transport him for £9. SM confirmed during the stop that he was plying for hire. Now SM says that it was a mistake and that he thought the PCSO was “Zack”, another booking received via Uber.

·       Upon inspection of the vehicle, PCQ found defects with the vehicle lights.

·       SM maintains that he was confused, that he thought the PCSO was Zack and after he realised the error, he did not want to stop the journey for the PCSO.

·       Uber confirmed that the booking for Zack was made after the PCSO was picked up.

·       The Court date is set for 6 July 2021. PCQ offered a fixed penalty disposal but this was not responded to. The committee should consider whether SM is fit and proper to hold a licence after this incident.

 

The applicant gave the following evidence:

·       SM has been driving professionally for 16 years. He has experienced no problems with council previously and has no points on his licence. He has no criminal offences on record either. 

·       SM said he intends to plead guilty on the issue of plying for hire. It was very difficult to get work during lockdown. He agreed to pick up the PCSO for £9. SM said that he had some serious family problems to deal with, including relatives dying from Covid. SM said he did not know why he picked up the PCSO, his mind was occupied and he did not even get the money up front.

·       SM said he did not believe it was fair to do undercover policework on drivers in these circumstances. 

·       Regarding the car defects, he received a vehicle inspection notice from PCQ related to the lights. He did not notice there was an issue with the lights before he drove that day. After he received the notice, he repaired the car immediately.

·       He forgot to wear his ID badges as this was his first job on that day.

·       During his summing up, SM said that this was during a particularly hard time where his family is facing financial hardship. He did not get a job after 2 hours of starting his shift. He reiterated his previously clean record. 

 

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

·       One offence was driving without insurance. It was confirmed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

EE APPLICATION FOR THE RENEWAL OF A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE, AND THE RENEWAL OF A HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE

Minutes:

The driver and his wife were in attendance.

 

The Licensing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:

·       This is an application to renew a Private Hire Driver (PHD), and Hackney Carriage Driver (HCD) Licence. EE was given 3 penalty points in November 2020, which he did not declare when they were received. They were declared on the renewal application form.

·       EE has 6 current points on his licence, and 6 expired points (these remain on record for a year after expiry).

·       EE previously appeared at PSP in Mar 2019 with 9 points on his licence. The committee considered his literacy difficulties last time and reminded him that his conditions required him to declare any points in future and that any future offence of this nature would result in a referral to PSP.

·       The policy is that isolated convictions may not require action, but if there are several offences, they should be considered by the committee. Failure to declare points would usually result in a 6-month suspension. Officers recommended refusal of this application.

 

The applicant gave the following evidence:

·       Not declaring the points was an honest mistake,  it was declared  on the application form, but the applicant did not inform the licensing department when they were received. This was not intentional.

·       EE has difficulty with his English, his wife has better English so will do all the paperwork from now on.

 

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

·       The last committee was understanding about language issues and took a lenient approach. However, they were very clear that EE should declare any future offences and should not speed again. 

·       For the most recent offence, EE was travelling at 29mph in a 20mph limit.

·       EE has been driving for 17 years he has not received any customer complaints.

 

Decision

 

That EE’s application to renew his PHD and HCD licences be refused on the ground contained in section 61(1)(b) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 namely “any other reasonable cause”

 

Reasons for Decision

 

EE had applied to renew both his PHD and HCD licences on 29 January 2021 (which expired on 26 February 2021) when he declared “…I have new penalty added to my driving licence which is 3 points.”  A search was carried out on EE’s DVLA licence which revealed a speeding offence dated 12 November 2020 of which the Licensing Team was not previously aware.  It is a requirement of the PHD licence conditions that motoring convictions or endorsements should be notified to the Council in writing by the following working day.  EE had failed to promptly declare this offence to the Council.  The DVLA licence also revealed three more speeding endorsements between February 2017 and March 2018.

 

This was not the first time that EE had failed to declare motoring convictions to the Council as he had appeared before members of this committee on 26 March 2019 due to having nine penalty points on his licence, failing to declare penalty points on his  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

JM APPLICATION FOR THE GRANT OF A HACKNEY CARRIAGE DRIVER LICENCE

Minutes:

The driver and his representative SZ were in attendance. DR presented as a character witness at the appropriate point in the meeting.

 

The Licensing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:

·       The last time JM appeared at committee, the said the committee determined that he would need to demonstrate that he was fit and proper person since the incident occurred. There are 14 character references and 2 qualifications submitted by JM however they were completed prior to the incident.

·       The revocation of his license was due to his failure to secure a wheelchair passenger, resulting in serious injury.

·       The licensing officer advised, for JM’s information that the current criminal convictions policy was under review and the council is likely to adopt an amended one in the next few months. Part of this policy is that individuals with sexual offences cannot be licensed. If the committee is minded to grant a licence today, it may have to be reconsidered in a few months as JM has two cautions for sexual offences. However, a decision today should not be based on that future policy.

 

The applicant’s representative gave the following evidence:

·       JM has been a taxi driver for 32 years and a Hackney Carriage Driver since 1999. He has made a few mistakes during this time and has paid the price. From 2015 to 2019 he behaved himself and committed no offences. 

·       In 2019 JM lost his licence and has not offended since then. Incident in 2019 JM failed to secure a disabled wheelchair property, which resulted in the loss of his licence. This was a mistake with no malice.

·       Last time the committee did not make a determination. Advice was given that he should wait 12 months since the revocation before reapplying. It has now been 18 months since the incident. He deserves a second chance. The applicant submitted 14 character references. SZ believes that JM fits the criteria of a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

·       The references are from a variety of individuals and organisations. He has been helping people during lockdown. 

 

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

·       The committee reiterated that JM would need to show remorse for his actions and demonstrate how his character has changed since the incident. JM said he was sorry that it had happened, and he would never do anything like that again. He has not been able to work for 18 months which has put strain on his family. 

·       Since the last PSP meeting of July 2020, JM has been helping transport disabled people during Covid, and doing deliveries via the Mosque to help isolated people.

·       DR appeared as a character witness for JM. He has known JM from working with him on rail replacement services and was always strapped in properly. JM was part of a team at GWR / First to support the disabled. DR thought that this was a mistake and an isolated incident.

·       The committee asked whether JM had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.