Agenda item


Report of the Assistant Director for Commissioning.



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 grant of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence. The report explained that the applicant’s driving licence showed an unspent endorsement.


The Chairman advised the Committee that they needed to consider whether to take into account spent as well as unspent convictions to determine the application, and all Members agreed they would, so the Licensing Officer gave a verbal explanation of the three spent convictions and cautions.


The applicant was given the opportunity to put his case forward.  He advised that since he had made the mistakes 4-5 years ago, he had not done so again. He had worked in 2-3 small companies and wanted to undertake taxi driving to increase his income.


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 the findings of fact :


·        The applicant made a first application for a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence in 2011

·        The applicant’s driving licence showed three endorsements

·        In the course of hearing the evidence, the Committee agreed to consider previous convictions and cautions

·        In total the applicant had been convicted of four relevant offences


In applying Breckland Council’s Convictions Policy, Appendix A on page 15 of the Agenda was referred to by Committee Members with regard to paragraphs (a) Minor Traffic Offences, (c) Drunkenness with motor vehicle and (e) Drugs, and with regard to all the circumstances of the case and having heard the evidence


Accordingly it was,


RESOLVED that the Committee were not satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person under Section 51 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 for the following reasons


1.         The applicant’s record does not demonstrate that he is a fit and proper person in light of evidence provided at the hearing


2.         Safety of the public is of paramount important of the Licensing Authority at Breckland Council


The Chairman advised the applicant that given there were four offences for the Committee to consider, they were concerned that the applicant had not left his past behind him, and therefore he needed to demonstrate two years of good behaviour before applying again to be considered for a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence.