Venue: The Woodpecker Room, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE
Contact: Democratic Services
Apologies (Agenda item 1)
To receive apologies for absence.
Prior to the start of the Hearing, and as all Members were present, the substitute Member, Councillor Philip Morton, left before the meeting commenced.
No apologies had been received.
Declaration of Interest (Agenda item 2)
The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011. Those Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.
The procedures were explained.
Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda item 4)
To consider passing the following resolution:
“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A to the Act.”
Part B – Item from which the press and the public are excluded
RESOLVED that under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A to the Act.
Breckland Hackney Carriage/Private Hire (Agenda item 5)
Report of Craig Fowler – Environmental Health and Licensing Manager.
The Hearing took place in the presence of the Licence Holder, the Senior Licensing Officer, the Legal Services Manager and a character witness on behalf of the Licence Holder.
The Licensing Hearing Panel heard the applicant in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure.
The Senior Licensing Officer
presented the report which was to determine if the Licence
Holder remained suitable to continue to hold a
The date was clarified of when the driver applied for his Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers licence which was October 2021.
The Licence Holder was given the opportunity to put his case forward. He apologised for the three speeding offences and explained that he did not have any passengers in his vehicle at the time. He had been driving for 40 years with no convictions.
The Licence Holder’s character witness was then allowed to speak.
Following a number of questions to clarify the circumstances and having heard all the evidence the Licence Holder, the Licensing Officer, and the character witness withdrew from the meeting to allow Members to consider their options.
The options were to:
·Suspend the licence for an appropriate
After considering the matter the Panel recalled the Licence Holder, Licensing Officer and the character witness to the Hearing.
Sarah Wolstenholme-Smy, the Legal Services Manager advised the License Holder that the Panel Members considered whether the Licence Holder remained a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage /Private Hire drivers’ licence in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 and the current Breckland Taxi Policy.
Members considered the information in the report and the evidence given by the Licence Holder to determine if he should remain to hold a Breckland Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver Licence, this included a reference from the Licence Holder’s employer and from the character witness.
The Panel must consider and be satisfied that he is a fit and proper person to drive and perform the duties of a taxi driver and is also safe and suitable to perform that role.
The safety of the public is the paramount consideration when making that decision.
The Breckland Taxi Policy dated January 2022 incorporates various conditions which must be complied with, the relevant one in this case is Appendix C - of that Policy, namely Consideration of convictions, cautions, charges and fixed penalty notices in relation to licencing of drivers and operators. The Policy and the relevant Appendix C make it very clear that taxi drivers have direct responsibility for the safety of their passengers and of other road users and any previous convictions will weigh heavily against retaining a taxi driver’s licence.
Furthermore, it described a taxi driver as being professional drivers charged with the responsibility of carrying the public. It accepted that a minor offence might not result in action ... view the full minutes text for item 5/23