Agenda item

To consider whether a driver is a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers licence and Private Hire Operators Licence (DL)

Minutes:

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

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the Licence Holder, the Licence Holder’s representative, two Licensing Officers, the Licensing and Business Support Manager, and the Norfolk County Council Passenger Transport Manager Travel & Transport Services.  In addition, Councillor Bishop was also in attendance to observe the Hearing.

 

Following introductions the Chairman explained the Hearing procedures.

 

The Licensing Officer (TB) presented the report which required Members to consider if the Licence Holder was a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence and a Operators Licence.

 

An anonymous call had been received stating that an unlicensed vehicle had been seen which prompted an investigation.

 

The Licensing and Business Support Manager said that a piece of work had been carried out and introduced a Code of Conduct for drivers and a Safeguarding Policy; therefore, this was a serious matter.

 

The Passenger Transport Manager added that Norfolk County Council relied on the Licensing Authority to license the vehicles and as this was not the case the contract had been removed.

 

The Licence Holder explained to Members how the misunderstanding had happened. Members asked further questions of the Licence Holder to gain understanding of the situation.

 

All were asked to leave the room to allow the Committee Members to deliberate the Hearing.  They were later invited back to hear the Committees decision.

 

RESOLVED that no action be taken with regard to the Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence.  However, the Private Hire Operators Licence be suspended for a period of three months pursuant to the powers contained in s62 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the grounds being non-compliance with the provisions of Part II of the Act and any other reasonable cause.

 

The Solicitor for the Council explained the following reasons:

1.    Members were concerned that the Licence Holder had offered the services of an unlicensed driver on a sensitive contract.

2.    The Licence Holder did not adequately ensure that the driver held the appropriate insurance and provided an unlicensed vehicle.

3.    The Licence Holder took on a contract without fully understanding the terms and provide due consideration to fulfilling the contract if a problem arose.

4.    The Actions undertaken had put vulnerable persons at risk.

 

The Chairman advised the Licence Holder of the right to Appeal.

 

Supporting documents: