Agenda item

Application To Suspend/Revoke a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence

Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.


The Hearing took place in the presence of the appellant.  Mr P Mason was also in attendance as the Council’s Solicitor.


The Licensing Officer advised the Committee that the appellant had not been sent a copy of the Agenda.  The Chairman asked the appellant  if he would like to postpone the hearing until the next Appeals Committee scheduled to take place on 20 July 2011 or alternatively the item could be heard after the next Agenda item or after all the Agenda items had been heard.  The appellant wanted the matter resolved at the Hearing and had since been given a copy of the Agenda and was happy with the way it had been set out and wanted it to be dealt with by the Committee.  He said he would not have wanted anyone else with him.  It was made clear to him again that he had the chance to postpone the hearing, but if not, it would be heard after the first Agenda item unless he changed his mind in the interim.  The appellant left the room.


When the Licensing Officer and appellant returned to the Hearing, the Committee heard the appeal in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure.


The Licensing Officer presented the report, which was to determine the suspension/revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence. In accordance with Section 61(1)(b) of the local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 of any other reasonable cause, due his recent conviction under Health Act 2006.


The appellant failed to comply with the requirement that the Licensing Team be notified in writing within 7 days of the conviction he pleaded guilty to, and was prosecuted for on 5 May 2011.


The appellant advised the Committee that as Breckland Council prosecuted him he assumed that the Licensing Team would know the decision made by the Court, and did not realise he had to inform them himself.  The time that elapsed he thought was about 7-10 days in which he did not inform Breckland Council of his conviction.


Whilst the appellant had previously been provided with a copy of the transcript from the tape recorded interview held on 7 January 2011 he was not given one with the Agenda given to him at the Hearing, therefore the Licensing Officer gave him  a copy at the Hearing of that and all the Appendices.  The appellant confirmed he had been given all relevant documentation.


It was regrettable that the appellant had not received a copy of the Agenda and Appendices prior to the Hearing but he expressly stated that he was prepared to have the matter dealt with on 9 June 2011.


The Hearing was adjourned to allow the appellant time to read through the transcript of the tape recorded interview held on 7 January 2011 and Appendices.


After Agenda Item 11 & 12 had been heard, the appellant and Licensing Officer returned to the room.  The appellant advised the Committee that page 34 of Appendix C detailed what happened.


The appellant stated that he was in the process of stopping smoking.  He understood the legislation and agreed with it.  He had driven taxis for 42 years, 22 of those in Dereham.


Having heard everything the appellant had to say and evidence put before them, the Solicitor explained that the Committee would withdraw to consider the appeal and would do so by considering the evidence presented to them.


After retiring to consider the matter the Solicitor advised in summary that :


  • the appellant had been a driver of private hire vehicles for many years
  • he had pleaded guilty under the Health Act 2006 and ordered to pay the necessary costs
  • evidence had been provided of curtailing his smoking habit


Accordingly, it was


RESOLVED that the hackney carriage/private hire vehicle licence issued to the appellant be suspended for the period of 3 weeks.


The Chairman explained to the appellant that he had the right to appeal  within 21 days of the decision, and reiterated the importance that drivers must submit details of any convictions to the Licensing Authority within 21 days.



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