Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Breckland Conference Centre, The Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

11/23

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

None.

12/23

Declaration of Interest

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.

 

Minutes:

None.

13/23

Procedures pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

The procedures were explained by the Chair.

14/23

Exclusion of Press and Public

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

 

Minutes:

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.

15/23

Consideration of suspension or revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers licence

Report of Craig Fowler, Environmental Health and Licensing Manager.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Hearing took place in the presence of the Licence Holder, the Senior Licensing officer and the Legal Services Manager.

 

The Licensing Hearing Panel heard the application in accordance with the Council’s agreed procedure. The substitute panel Member, Cllr Blackbourn remained in the room to observe, for training purposes but took no part in the questioning or deliberations.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report which was to determine if the Licence Holder remained “fit and proper” and “safe and suitable” to continue to hold a Breckland Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver Licence after the Licence Holder had accrued 7 penalty points on their licence and had failed to declare the points and inform the authority of a change of address within the allotted timescale.

 

The Licence Holder was given the opportunity to put their case forward. They apologised and explained their personal difficulties had affected their judgement at the time and explained the actions they had since taken to resolve their situation.

 

Following a number of questions from Members of the Panel and the Legal Services Manager to clarify the circumstances, and having heard all of the evidence, the Licence holder and the Senior Licensing Officer withdrew from the meeting to allow Members to consider their options. The substitute member also left the meeting at this point.

 

The options were to:

 

·         Suspend the licence for an appropriate period or,

·         Revoke the licence or,

·         Take no further action.

 

After considering the matter, the Panel recalled the Licence Holder and the Licensing Officer to the Hearing.

 

DECISION:The Legal Services Manager, Sarah Wolstenholme-Smy advised the Licence Holder that the Panel Members considered the suspension/revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers’ licence in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (in particular Section 61), the Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 and the current Breckland Council Taxi Policy.

 

Members considered the information in the report and the evidence given by the Licence Holder to determine if the Licence Holder remained a fit and proper person to hold a Breckland Council Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence in line with legislation and policy and was a safe and suitable person for the role. The Policy confirms that in determining this, it is appropriate to take into account all matters concerning the licensee, the entire character of the individual will be considered and can include the individual’s attitude and temperament.

 

The Breckland Taxi Policy dated January 2022 incorporates various conditions which must be complied with, the relevant ones in this case are -

  • 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 drivers’ licence.

Furthermore, it describes a taxi driver as being professional drivers charged with the responsibility  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15/23