Agenda item

Suspension/Revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence

Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.

Minutes:

Councillor Sherwood was not present for the Agenda Item, as he left to attend another Committee meeting.

 

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

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the appellant, a Licensing Officer, and the Principal Licensing Officer.  Mr Phil Mason was also in attendance as the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The appellant had received all relevant documentation.

 

The Licensing Officer presented the report, which was to determine the suspension/revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence due to his incurring motoring convictions and failure to notify the Licensing Authority of such convictions as required by the conditions of his licence.  He advised the Committee that in the report, the initial interview was to investigate an element of deception, but as the appellant was not aware of a pending conviction at the time, therefore the initial thrust with regard to deception should be discounted.

 

The appellant was given the opportunity to put his case forward, he advised that the night before he applied for a taxi licence a speed camera had ‘flashed’ at him, but he was not aware the camera was live.  He had been driving an HGV at 45 mph.  He used his taxi licence ad hoc, and it was a slip of his mind in not advising the Licensing Authority, as he did not use his licence every day. He produced a letter that had been written by Platinum Cars in Swaffham which was circulated to Committee Members and the Licensing Officer.  He worked as a freelance taxi driver, but generally he was a lorry driver, which he had done for the last 12 years.  He had lived in Swaffham all his life.  He had not driven a taxi since Christmas 2010 and did not expect to drive another one until Christmas 2011.

 

Having heard everything the appellant 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 appellant was a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence).

 

After considering the matter, the Committee returned. 

 

The Solicitor advised the findings of fact :

 

·        The appellant is on occasion a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver.

·        He admitted on two occasions he failed to inform the Local Authority of two speeding convictions.

·        The letter of support from Platinum Cars dated 26 August 2011 was noted.

·        In all circumstances of the case, the Committee reaffirmed its requirement that all drivers should inform the Local Authority of any relevant conviction in accordance with Breckland Council’s Policy

 

Accordingly it was,

 

RESOLVED, that the appellant’s Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence be suspended for the period of one month for the reasons set out above.

 

The Chairman advised the appellant the decision was subject to appeal to the Magistrates Court.  The Appeal period was 21 days from the date on which the notice of the decision was given.

 

The appellant asked if he could waiver his right to appeal, but he was advised he could not.