Agenda item

Application for the Renewal and Restoration of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence

Report of the Assistant Director for Commissioning.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Monument recognised the applicant as she lives in Dereham.  She did not however have a personal or prejudicial interest in the Agenda item.

 

The Committee heard the application in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure.

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the applicant, two Licensing Officers and the temporary Manager of the Licensing Team.  Mr Phil Mason was also in attendance as the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The applicant was asked if he was happy for Councillors Richmond and English to be present to observe proceedings for their educational benefit only, they would not take part at all in the meeting or the decision making process.  The applicant confirmed that he was happy for both Councillors to remain.

 

The applicant confirmed that he had received all relevant documentation and letter.

 

The Licensing Officer presented the report, which was to determine an application for the renewal of, and lifting of a suspended Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence.  The applicant had held a Breckland Council Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence since 2002.  The report explained in the interest of public safety,  the applicant’s licence was suspended in May 2010 when they were notified by Norfolk Constabulary that 3 charges were pending against him.  During the period of suspension the applicant’s licence became due for renewal.  CRB checks had been carried out as part of the renewal process which showed no convictions or cautions.  On 3 June 2011 Norwich Crown Court confirmed that the jury had found him not guilty on all 3 counts.

 

The applicant was given the opportunity to put his case forward, he advised that he had held a Breckland Council Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence for 16 years, but the Licensing Officer advised she was unable to verify that from computer records.  He stated that he had been surprised and shocked at the charges as he had not been in the country during some of the time.  In16 years he had received no other offences apart from one speeding fine about 3-4 years ago.

 

Given that the applicant had been found not guilty by the Crown Court, the Chairman asked the Committee that with regard to point 3.4.2 on page 10 of the Agenda, the word ‘further’ within the fourth sentence should be removed and if Members were minded to lift the suspension and renew the Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers Licence for a limited period to enable the applicant to show he is a responsible person, it would be requested that the authority to renew be delegated to officers, providing the applicant commits no offences and his standard of driving is that expected of a licensed Breckland driver.

 

Having heard everything the applicant had to say and evidence put before them, the Solicitor explained that the Committee would withdraw to consider the application and would do so by considering the evidence presented to them and they would then apply the statutory test (i.e that the Council, as Licensing Authority, needed to be satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence). 

 

After considering the matter, the Committee returned and the Solicitor advised in summary that :

 

·        The applicant had held a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence for at least 16 years

·        In May 2010 the applicant was charged with 3 offences

·        The applicant’s licence was suspended in May 2010 and remained suspended

·        The applicant applied for the renewal of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence in May 2011

·        Relevant checks had been carried out and no convictions or cautions had been recorded

·        The Licensing Team received information in June 2011 that the applicant had been cleared of all charges

 

Accordingly it was,

 

RESOLVED that the suspension be lifted and the Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence be renewed in accordance with the application.