Agenda item

To consider suspension or revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver's licence (Agenda item 5)

Report of the Executive Manager People & Public Protection.


The Chairman introduced the Panel Members and the Officers in attendance and explained the procedures.  The substitute member, Councillor Sharpe remained in the room to observe.


The Licensing Officer presented the report. 


The licence holder had been granted a Breckland Council Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers licence on 6 September 2017.  A Panel Hearing on that date had been necessary as the licence holder had already accrued 6 points on the DVLA licence.


A further 3 penalty points had since been accrued on the licence; however, the licence holder had contacted the Licensing Team of the recent penalty notice at the time notification had been received.


The licence holder was given the opportunity to put his case forward and explained the circumstances of how this particular speeding offence had come about. 


A number of questions were asked by Members.


The licence holder, the Licensing Officer and the substitute Hearing Panel Member left the room whilst the Panel made its determination.  They were then invited back to hear the decision.

The Licensing Hearing Panel took into account all of the information presented and in particular the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 and the guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licences in the Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Trades as issued by the Institute of Licensing in April 2018 which although had not yet been formally adopted by Breckland Council it was still appropriate to be taken into account.


The Licensing Hearing Panel also took into account the fact that the licence holder had accrued 3 additional points within a year of acquiring the licence at a previous Hearing and, taking into account the circumstances of the offence, as explained by the licence holder, the Panel considered whether the licence holder was a safe and suitable person to be responsible for vulnerable passengers.  The Institute of Licensing recommended that a licence should not be granted where 9 points had been accrued at the time of an application.  The Licensing Hearing Panel considered that the licence holder was a fit and proper person to continue holding such a licence and gave credit for the fact that the licence holder had informed Breckland Council immediately of the offence.


RESOLVED not to revoke the licence on this occasion but a 2 week suspension be imposed to begin on the expiry date of which the licence holder had the right to appeal (3 September to 17 September 2018)


The Appeal period was explained and the licence holder was informed that driving could be resumed from 18 September 2018 (driving could be undertaken during the 21 day Appeal period up until 2 September 2018).


The Chairman advised that the Panel had been lenient on this occasion as according to the guidance, as set out in the Institute of Licensing, where an applicant had more than 7 or more points on their DVLA licence for minor traffic or similar offences a licence would not be granted until at least 5 years had elapsed since the completion of any sentence imposed.  The Panel’s prior concern was passenger safety and the Chairman suggested to the licence holder to read the guidance provided within the Norfolk County Council Speed Management Strategy (page 9).  The Chairman also reminded the licence holder to take extra care when driving between now and March 2019 as any further penalty points could lead to disqualification.

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