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					     Licensing Committee                                                                   16 May 2005

                                           LICENSING COMMITTEE

     A meeting of the Licensing Committee was held on 16 May 2005.

     PRESENT: Councillor B Taylor (Chair) Councillors Clark, Cole, J A Jones, Lancaster, Mawston,
     Rogers, P Thompson.

     OFFICIALS: M Cooper, L Cummins, C Cunningham, A Grey, T Hodgkinson, J Hodgson.

     ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: M Nevison (Cleveland Police Legal Representative),                  Councillor
     McIntyre (Ward Councillor) and Mrs S Riley (Objector).

     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE were submitted on behalf of Councillors Biswas, Heath, J Jones,
     Mrs H Pearson, Porley and A E Ward.

     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

     Councillor Clark declared a personal/non prejudicial interest in Agenda item 11 and subsequently
     left the meeting immediately prior to consideration of this matter.

     MINUTES

     The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 April 2005 were taken as read and approved as a correct
     record.

REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE VEHICLE AGE RESTRICTION POLICY

     A report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services was presented to review the current
     Hackney Carriage Vehicle Age Limit Policy.

     The report provided information under the following headings:

               History of the Age Restriction Policy
               Current Policy
               Authority to Grant/Renew Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licences
               Examination of the Vehicle by Members of the Licensing Committee

     Members were reminded that if a vehicle complied with the Policy then Licensing Officers would
     grant or renew a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence if the vehicle satisfied the tests required by
     the Council.

     However, if any application for a licence departed from the policy then the matter was referred to
     the Licensing Committee for a decision.

     It was explained that the current practice of the Committee in respect of such applications was to
     examine the vehicle and then consider the report, the results of the vehicle inspection and
     representations from the Council’s mechanic and the applicant.

     Members had queried whether it was necessary for them to physically examine vehicles bearing
     in mind that representations were made by the Council’s mechanic and the applicant. Members
     were advised that as long as all relevant information was taken into consideration including
     representations from the applicant, then examination of the vehicle by the Committee should not
     be necessary.

     Members expressed support for the proposals and recommendations set out in the report as
     follows:

     ORDERED
     1.    That the Hackney Carriage Vehicle age restriction policy be re-affirmed as follows:



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        Licensing Committee                                                                       16 May 2005

            That no Hackney Carriage vehicle shall be older than three years when first licensed.

            That Hackney Carriage vehicle licences will terminate not more than six years from the date
             of first registration and ten years from the date of first registration if the vehicle is a London
             style cab.

            That the age restriction may be relaxed when first licensed at the discretion of the Council.
             However it should be noted that only exceptional and well maintained vehicles will be
             considered. It is not possible to define the term and each application will be considered on
             its merit.

        2.     That the power to grant and renew Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licences that
               comply with the Council’s policies and conditions be delegated to the Executive Director of
               Environment and the Head of Community Protection Services or any successor role appointed to
               perform the functions thereof.

        3.     That it be confirmed that Members would not be required to examine a vehicle which is the subject
               of an application for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence, unless it be considered necessary to do
               so in a particular case.

        4.     That the Licensing Officer be requested to write to the Hackney Carriage Trade confirming the age
               restriction policy. Also that if applications for a Licence were made outside of this policy that the
               vehicle would not be required to be examined by Members at the Licensing Committee meeting
               hearing the application, unless Members specifically choose to do so.


LICENSING ACT 2003 – COMMITTEE HEARING PROTOCOL

        A report of the Director of Legal and Democratic Services was presented to inform Members of the
        Protocol relating to the Licensing Sub Committee hearings under the Licensing Act 2003.

        This Protocol had been prepared in order to give advice and assistance to Members of the Sub
        Committees in respect of the conduct of hearings, decision-making and rules regarding probity.

        Information was set out under the following headings

                     The Hearing
                     Decision Making
                     Role of Members

        Two appendices to the Protocol set out the general             Committee procedure for contested licence
        applications and an adopted Committee procedure.

        During discussion reference was made to the wording on both procedures in connection with the
        questioning of any other party. It was considered that that the phrase “entitled to question” possibly
        gave the impression of consent to cross-examination. Accordingly it was agreed that this wording
        should be amended on both procedures to “entitled to ask questions” .

        The Committee was advised that Members of the Sub Committees and all Members of the Licensing
        Committee proposing to act as substitutes should attend training on the contents of the Protocols and
        that any issues arising should lead to a review of the Protocol. It was agreed that this training would be
        arranged as soon as possible after the Council’s Annual Meeting on 18 May 2005.

        ORDERED as follows:

        1.     That the Protocol be noted.

        2.     That the new Procedure for Licensing Sub Committees set out in Appendix 2 to the Protocol be
               approved and adopted subject to the word amendment referred to above.




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     Licensing Committee                                                                  16 May 2005

     3.     That a review of the Protocol be undertaken following Member training and that the final version be
           submitted to the Licensing Committee on 13 June 2005 for approval.

PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCES – LICENSING COMMITTEE DECISIONS – 2004/05 -
UPDATE

     A report of the Head of Community Protection Services was submitted to provide Members with a
     summary of Licensing Committee decisions in relation to applications for Public Entertainment Licences
     between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2005 and to update Members on the outcome of any subsequent
     Appeals to the Magistrates/Crown court.
                                                                               NOTED

TAXI LICENSING – LICENSING COMMITTEE DECISIONS – 2004/05 – UPDATE

     A report of the Head of Community Protection Services was submitted to provide Members with a
     summary of Licensing Committee decisions in relation to Taxi Licensing applications between 1 April
     2004 and 31 March 2005 and to update Members on the outcome of any subsequent Appeals to the
     Magistrates/Crown court.
                                                                            NOTED

     ** EXCLUSION – PRESS – PUBLIC

     ORDERED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following two agenda
     items on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in
     Paragraphs 4 and 7 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

APPLICATION – COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE –
REF: 13/05

     The Head of Community Protection Service submitted an exempt report in connection with an
     application for a Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver Licence, Ref: 13/05,
     where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

     The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The applicant
     was accompanied by his wife. He verified his name and address and confirmed that he had
     received a copy of the report.

     The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case
     which related to the applicant’s poor history of criminal and motoring convictions. The applicant
     agreed that the report represented an accurate reflection of the facts. He confirmed that he had
     completed his community service, paid all Court fines and had no outstanding convictions.

     The applicant was afforded the opportunity to present his case and answer Members’ questions.
     He explained that he realised his past behaviour was unacceptable and wished to assure
     Members that he had reformed. Except for one incident in January 2003 he had kept out of
     trouble during the last ten years. He had bought a house, had married and now had a family.
     If he was granted a Licence this would give him more stability.

     His wife also spoke in his support and confirmed that he was a good, hard working, family man
     who wished to provide for his family. He did not go looking for trouble.

     With the consent of the Chair the applicant circulated a letter of explanation from his solicitor
     relating to his last criminal conviction. The applicant confirmed that he had nothing to add.

     It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant, his wife and officers of
     the Council other than representatives of the Council’s Legal Services and Members’ Office
     withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.

     All interested parties subsequently returned and the Chair announced the Committee’s decision.




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      Licensing Committee                                                                  16 May 2005

      ORDERED that the application for a Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver
      Licence be refused because the ap0plicant had failed to convince the Committee that he was a
      fit and proper person to hold a Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers Licence for
      the following reasons:

      1.      That the Committee were influenced in their decision by the Home Office/Department of
              Transport (HO/DOT) Guidelines which recommend in relation to offences involving
              violence, that at least 3 years free from such convictions should have elapsed before an
              application was entertained. In this case only 2 years and 4 months had elapsed since
              the last conviction.

      2.      The HO/DOT Guidance in relation to convictions for driving with excess alcohol state that
              grave doubts should be raised over more than one conviction for this offence and the
              applicant had a history of two convictions for this offence.

      The applicant was advised of his Right of Appeal within 21 days from receipt of the decision.

REVIEW – COMBINED HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE – NO 206,
REF: 14/05

      The Head of Community Protection Service submitted an exempt report in connection with a
      review of Combined Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver Licence, No. 206, Ref:14/05,
      where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.

      The Committee was advised that events had occurred just prior to the meeting which prevented
      the driver from attending and accordingly Members agreed to adjourn the case to the meeting on
      13 June 2005 to give the driver the opportunity to attend and officers to prepare a further report
      on the most recent events.

                                                                                   NOTED
      DECLARATION OF INTEREST

      Councillor Clark had declared a personal/non-prejudicial interest at the start of
      the meeting in relation to the following case and left the meeting prior to the
      consideration of this matter.
PUBLIC ENTERTAIMENT LICENCE                       –   THE   RED   ROSE,      CUMBERLAND         ROAD,
MIDDLESBROUGH – RENEWAL

      A report of the Head of Community Protection Service was presented by the Principal Licensing
      Officer in connection with an application from Mr B Dobson to renew the Public Entertainment
      Licence in respect of The Red Rose, Cumberland Road, Middlesborough.

      The Licence renewal was for music, singing and dancing from 11 am to 11 pm Monday to
      Saturday and 12 noon to 10.30 on Sundays. The number of patrons requested for the Licence
      was 200. The premises had held a Public Entertainment Licence since August 1997 and the
      Licence had been held by the applicant since 3 January 2002.

      The applicant, Mr Dobson was in attendance at the meeting accompanied by Mr A Mountain a
      Director of Innsight Pubs and Bars Limited, the leaseholders of the premises.

      A full consultation process had been undertaken which had resulted in written objections being
      received from two local residents and the Community Council (appended to the report). These
      were based on the grounds of noise disturbance.

      One objector, Mrs S Riley, accompanied by Councillor McIntyre, the Park Ward Councillor were
      also in attendance.

      In addition a report had been compiled by an officer from the Council’s Noise Team detailing the
      history of noise complaints at the premises and suggesting that certain conditions should be



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     Licensing Committee                                                                 16 May 2005

     imposed if the Licence was to be renewed. This report had been circulated and an officer from
     the Noise Team was in attendance to answer Members’ queries.

     It was reported that the applicant and his Director had been interviewed by the Principal
     Licensing Officer on 3 May 2003 when all the objections and recommendations from the
     Council’s Noise Team had been fully discussed.

     The applicant’s responses relating to noise issues in the summer months and measures to
     alleviate the problem we set out in the report. Mr Mountain confirmed that the air conditioning
     system was being installed which it was anticipated would keep the temperature of the premises
     cool and thereby avoid the need for customers to open the fire doors at the back of the premises.
     The proposed building of the porch was also likely to be completed within the next 6 weeks. He
     explained that the total cost of the completed works was approximately £20,000 and he was
     confident that these measures would address the problems of noise.

     During the interview the applicant had confirmed that he catered for customers in the 30+ age
     group and his premises were well run. He had been providing entertainment in the form of DJs
     and Karaoke for many years largely without problems. The applicant and his representative
     confirmed they were willing to co-operate to resolve the noise problems and would have no
     problem complying with the licence conditions proposed in the report.

     The applicant confirmed the accuracy of the submitted report.

     In response to a query by the Chair the applicant confirmed that the air conditioning was now
     fully functional and would keep the lounge at an ambient temperature. However, building of the
     porch required Building Regulations approval, which had been applied for, but a completion date
     for the work could not be given at present.

     Mrs Riley and Councillor McIntyre, objectors in attendance, were invited to speak in support of
     their objection, which was based on noise nuisance and was fully documented in the report just
     presented. They both confirmed that the objection concerned undue noise on Thursday’s,
     Friday’s and Saturday’s during the summer months. It was also pointed out that noise nuisance
     occurred when the rear yard was used as a seating area and the rear fire doors were opened by
     customers seeking to cool down on warm summer evenings.

     Reference was also made to the written objection based on noise nuisance, which was
     submitted prior to the meeting by Mrs Hebbron, a resident living in the property backing on to
     the premises. Mrs Hebbron was unable to attend the meeting.

     In response to a Members’ question the applicant confirmed that there was no public access to
     the yard and clients were not encouraged to access the rear of the premises through the fire
     doors. This area was not for public use.

     The applicant was invited to present his application. He explained that he had been the
     Licensee for the last 5 years and Karaoke had been staged at the Red Rose for the last fourteen
     years with 200 people aged over 30 attending on a Saturday night. In the past there had been
     no noise problems, these were only recent. He confirmed that he did not wish to upset the
     residents and wanted to co-operate and do whatever was necessary to comply with any Council
     conditions.

     Mr Mountain, a Director of the applicant’s management company, also spoke in support of the
     application and confirmed that they had already installed air conditioning and were in the
     process of constructing a porch in an effort to control the noise emanating from the premises
     when entertainment was being staged.

     During discussion reference was made to the possible installation of a noise limiter and cut off
     which would cut off the music when the rear fire doors were opened. The officer from the Noise
     Team explained that devices were readily available to control noise levels from entertainment
     provided in public houses.




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      Licensing Committee                                                                   16 May 2005

      Mr Mountain confirmed that if reasonably priced they would be prepared to install equipment
      that would switch off the microphone when the fire doors were illegally opened. It was agreed
      that this would resolve the problem. Notices would also be placed at the back of the premises
      advising customers against the opening of the fire doors and it was confirmed that it would be
      possible to place alarms on these doors as an extra deterrent.

      It was confirmed that there were no further questions from Members and the applicant and his
      representative had nothing further to add. At this point the applicant , his representative, the
      objectors and all officers other than the Council’s Legal Services and Members’ Office
      representative left the meeting subsequently returning for the Committee’s decision to be
      announced.

      ORDERED as follows:

      1.      That the Public Entertainment Licence (PEL 52) in respect of the Red Rose Public House,
              Cumberland Road, Middlesbrough by granted for six months from 16 May 2005 until 16
              November 2005.

      2.      That prior to commencement of public entertainment at the premises the licence should
              be subject to the following four conditions:

              i) The installation and operation of a suitable noise-limiting system incorporating a noise
              cut-off device to be set at a level to be agreed with Middlesbrough Council. The noise
              limiting device should be used to control noise from all public entertainment events held
              thereafter at the premises.

              ii) All external doors (including fire exits) of the areas within the premises used for
              entertainment to be kept closed during times of entertainment, except for emergency
              egress.

              iii) All windows in areas within the premises used for public entertainment to be kept
              closed at all times during such events to prevent noise nuisance to neighbours.

              iv) That a noise cut-off device to be installed on the rear exit fire doors which would be
              set to cut-off the music completely if the door should be opened during times of
              entertainment.




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