Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda and minutes

Contact: Bev Thomas, Democracy Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

None.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were none.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2017

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

A Member asked whether Mr Velev had discussed with Licensing officers where would be a more suitable location. In response the Licensing Officer confirmed that he had provided him with his contact details but Mr Velev had not been in contact.

4.

Application for permission to place tables and chairs on the highway pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The Find, 20 Regent Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1HE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Officer, Phil Cooper, introduced the report regarding an application from Mr David Orme to place 2 tables and 4 chairs on the highway outside The Find, 20 Regent Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1HE. The tables and chairs would be placed on the highway at the following times :

 

Monday

08:00 - 20:00

Tuesday

08:00 - 20:00

Wednesday

08:00 - 20:00

Thursday

08:00 - 20:00

Friday

08:00 - 22:00

Saturday

09:00 - 22:00

Sunday

10:00 - 22:00

 

A picture of the proposed furniture was attached at Appendix A, a site location plan at Appendix B and hand drawn plan to illustrate measurements was attached at Appendix C. The Licensing Officer reported that whilst there had been no objections during the consultation the application was being referred to committee as it did not comply with the council’s policy on objects on the highway. This was due to the fact that the applicants had indicated that they did not intend to have barriers separating the furniture from the rest of the highway, which was a policy requirement. He explained that the council’s standard recommendation was that any objects on the highway should leave a minimum distance of 1.8m to allow for pedestrian access. In this case the distance between the tables and chairs and the kerbside was 1.8m without the addition of barriers.

 

The Licensing Officer added that neighbouring premises also operated without using barriers as their applications were determined prior to the current policy being in place. Current applications were examined on a case by case basis.

The Officer advised members that having regard to the facts, Members should decide whether to grant the consent if they were satisfied that there were sufficient grounds to depart from policy or to refuse permission as the application did not comply with the current Street Scene Policy.

 

In response to questions from Members the Licensing Officer confirmed that Kibousushi the neighbouring establishment had inherited permission for tables and chairs from the previous business. Renewal applications would not normally be brought to committee unless complaints had been received. It was only new applications which were not consistent with policy which were brought to committee.

 

The applicant, Mr David Orme, was invited to address the committee. He explained that without barriers there would be compliance with the minimum 1.8m distance required. He had chosen tables which were as small as possible and sturdy so they could withstand the wind. He believed that barriers were not necessary and would potentially be a trip hazard and blow over in the wind. They would also be unattractive and not in keeping with the listed building in the conservation area. The outdoor seating area was small and understated but would promote the café culture in the town. Signage was also conservative. To address any concerns about encroachment on the highway he proposed to observe what worked well both practically and in the regency setting. He had met with the Licensing Officer to see if there was an acceptable way  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Review of a Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Mr Arsalan Khan Maroofkhil - HCD127

Minutes:

The Licensing Officer, Phil Cooper, introduced the report regarding a review of Mr Arsalan Khan Maroofkhil‘s hackney carriage driver’s licence HCD 127. Mr Maroofkhil had held his taxi driver’s licence in Cheltenham since 2015 and it was due for renewal on 15 January 2018.

 

A complaint had been made against Mr Maroofkhil to the council’s licensing team. The complainant was interviewed and provided dashcam footage of the incident. The complaint concerned a stationary taxi that was parked on double yellow lines causing an obstruction in the road. As he passed the complainant spoke to the driver of the taxi about his parking and suggested he find somewhere better to park. The complainant alleged that the driver of the taxi was verbally abusive in reply. The Licensing Officer confirmed that no other complaints had been made against Mr Maroofkhil.  He explained that taxi drivers were covered by a code of good conduct and should avoid the use of bad language even when provoked.

 

The Licensing Officer played the dashcam footage of the incident supplied by the complainant.

 

Mr Maroofkhil was then invited to address the committee. He explained that he had been flagged down by a man in order to help an old lady with her shopping. He had parked on the pavement but had ensured that vehicles would be able to pass. He could not exactly remember what he had said to the driver of the van but had told him that he was waiting for the old lady to come out with her shopping and would then move.

 

In response to Members’ questions Mr Maroofkhil said he did not have a passenger when the car was parked. He was flagged down so stopped. The passenger did not hear what was said as she was in the shop at the time. Mr Maroofkhil was asked several times by Members as to whether, having seen and heard the dashcam footage, he remembered what he had said to the driver. He replied that he had been in a rush to move his car and could not remember what he had said.

 

Members were advised that they should consider on the balance of probabilitties as to whether Mr Maroofkhil had verbally abused the complainant. Upon request the Licensing Officer replayed the dashcam footage.

 

Members were then reminded by the Chair that they were there to determine whether they were satisfied that Mr Maroofkhil was a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence with the overriding consideration being the safety of the public.

A Member asked the Licensing Officer whether it would be appropriate to require Mr Maroofkhil to take a driving fitness test. The Licensing Officer stated that this would be an option had Mr Maroofkhil been driving at the time but the complaint concerned behaviour and language rather than his driving ability.

 

During the debate Members regretted that Mr Maroofkhil would not admit and apologise for swearing. They recognised that he must have said it as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Review of a Private Hire Driver's Licence pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Mr Mansour Mosayeb Khozani - PHD068

 

Minutes:

The Licensing Officer, Phil Cooper, introduced the report regarding a review of the private hire driver’s licence of Mr Mansour Mosayeb Khozani-PHD068 which was due for renewal on 16 February 2020. Mr Khozani had a recent conviction having plied for hire without a licence on 15 March 2017 during the Cheltenham Festival. The incident was reported and Mr Khozani entered guilty pleas by post on the charges of plying for hire (without the licence for doing so) and driving without insurance. He was fined £200 for plying for hire, £700 for driving without insurance and received 6 penalty points as well as being ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge. Mr Khozanii was a relatively new driver and as part of his licence application process he undertook a written test to assess his knowledge of among other subjects, the rules and laws relating to being a private hire driver. As part of that test, which Mr Khozani took less than a month before committing the offence, he confirmed that he understood that private hire vehicles must be pre-booked through an operator. There had been no other complaints against Mr Khozani.

                                    

Mr Khozani was accompanied at the meeting by Mr Yavari, his friend and former employer, a Gloucestershire businessman, who was there to provide a character reference for Mr Khozani. Mr Khozani was invited to address the committee. He said he had made a mistake and very much regretted his action. He had been found guilty in court and would pay the fine. He promised this action would not be repeated. He emphasised that he was respectful to his customers and the community.

 

In response to questions from Members Mr Khozani :

 

  • Said he did not realise that he had invalidated his insurance by accepting the hire. He was new in the job and admitted he had not thoroughly read the terms and conditions. He regretted his actions.
  • He was new to taxi driving. Prior to this occupation he had worked in kitchens and takeaways since arriving in the country in 2001
  • He acknowledged that he had been stupid and greedy in picking the officers up. He apologised for the mistake he had made.

 

Mr Khozanis’s referee Mr Yavari said he had known Mr Khozani for 10 years as he had worked for him. He trusted him and said Mr Khozani was a man of good character. He fully supported the fact that he was a fit and proper person.

 

In response to a question the Licensing Officer confirmed that the licensing team had become aware of the issue on the night the offence took place and had subsequently prosecuted Mr Khozani.

 

The following points were raised during the debate :

 

  • Members felt Mr Khozani had been heavily punished already by the Court. Their role was to determine whether he was deemed to be a fit and proper person.  He had exposed passengers to risk in terms of driving without valid insurance when he plied for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Review of a Private Hire Driver's Licence pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Mr Daniel Peter Gore - PHD058

Minutes:

ITEM WITHDRAWN.