APPLICATION TO SUSPEND/REVOKE A HACKNEY CARRIAGE/PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS LICENCE (Agenda Item 11)
- Meeting of Appeals Committee, Wednesday, 25th February, 2009 10.00 am (Item 8.)
- View the reasons why item 8. is restricted
Report of the Strategic Director – Transformation.
The application was considered in the presence of the appellant and his employer. Mr Phil Mason (solicitor) was also in attendance, representing the Council.
Members were asked to consider an application for the Suspension/Revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence.
Following the presentation of the report by the Licensing Technician, the Committee heard the appeal in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure.
The hearing was in respect of Condition 10 on page 12 of the Licence Conditions booklet, namely:
“The driver shall notify Breckland Council in writing of any conviction, caution or driving offence imposed on him/her during the period of the licence within 7 days of the conviction.”
The appellant had not complied with this condition on two separate occasions, thereby breaching his licence conditions.
The appellant said that with regard to the first offence, he had posted a letter to the Council informing them of this and had assumed that it had been received. With regard to the more recent (speeding) offence, he confirmed that he had been doing 46 mph in a 30 mph zone, but that this was not while he was on duty. He admitted that he had failed to produce the required paperwork on this occasion.
The employer spoke in the appellant’s defence, commenting that he felt that revocation would be a harsh decision in this instance, not least given the current economic climate and the fact that the appellant was a young father. The employer spoke highly of the appellant as a good worker, and added that there had been no complaints from any customers since he had commenced work the previous year. He was considered to be an asset to the company.
The employer then explained that, with reference to the first incident, the driving conviction was possibly more a case of bad luck rather than inappropriate driving. The company had a delivery contract with Boots and consequently drivers needed to park outside 4-5 times per day in order to load/unload. On this occasion, the appellant had been unable to park properly in the loading bay immediately opposite the entrance. Given the load involved, and the need to be as physically close to the doorway as possible, he had therefore ended up parking with two wheels within the confines of a zebra crossing.
The employer confirmed that he had witnessed the necessary paperwork about this conviction being completed by the appellant, so it was unfortunate that it had apparently failed to reach the Council.
The Committee then retired to discuss the case and then, having heard all the evidence before them,
RESOLVED that the appellant be required to take a Driving Standards Agency test as a condition of continuing to hold a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence under Section 51, sub-section 2 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The test was to be taken within three months of this hearing, at the appellant’s expense, and the certificate was to be forwarded to Breckland District Council.
Given the nature of the goods being handled at Boots, the Committee registered concern about the current ad hoc delivery arrangements, not least from a safety perspective. They therefore recommended that these were reconsidered and tightened-up by the taxi company.