Agenda item

Application for the Suspension/Revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver's Licence

Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.

Minutes:

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

 

The Hearing took place in the presence of the appellant who was accompanied by his daughter, the Licensing Officer and Mr P Mason, the Council’s Solicitor.

 

The Chairman made introductions and explained the procedures to the appellant. 

 

The Solicitor advised Members they had enough information before them, and would not take into account the spent convictions when determining the case.

 

Patrick O’Brien, Licensing Officer presented the report which was to consider the suspension/revocation of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence in accordance with Section 61(1) (b) of the local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 under any other reasonable cause, due to the failure of the holder to notify the Licensing Authority of his driving convictions and his driving record whilst holding a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence.

 

He advised the Committee that just prior to the hearing having commenced that morning, the appellant had informed him he had received a further SP30 speeding offence on 19 November 2011 for which a fixed penalty of £60 had been imposed along with 3 points.  The offence would be spent on 19 December 2016.  The latest conviction therefore brought the total to four offences with a total of 12 points.  The Licensing Team had not been told of the offence prior to the hearing.

 

The principal consideration was whether the safety of the public might be at risk, through the appellant repeatedly incurring motoring convictions.

 

The appellant had prepared a written statement which was tabled at the hearing and it explained details of the appellant’s personal circumstances at the time of the offences.

 

When asked by a Councillor whether he was aware that having read the booklet of conditions issued to him, he should have notified Breckland Council in writing of any conviction, caution or driving offence imposed on him during the period of the licence within seven days of the conviction, he replied yes, but it was only at the time he had received the paperwork for the hearing. 

 

Committee Members did not understand why the appellant was not aware of the condition to notify the Licensing Team of any convictions having previously appeared before the Committee on 25 January 2006, at which time conditions he needed to adhere to would have been discussed.

 

The appellant advised that with regard to the conviction on 6 July 2008 he had taken his mobile phone off of loud speaker as passengers in the vehicle had been using foul language.  With regard to the conviction dated 18 December 2010 he had been driving at about 43mph in a 30mph limit.  He was an experienced driver and viewed all the offences he had incurred as serious.  His vehicle was now fitted with blue tooth mobile phone capability.  He was employed by one of his daughters who was aware of his driving record.

 

Having heard all the evidence, the Committee withdrew to consider their options.  The Solicitor explained that the Members would apply the statutory test to the application to determine if they considered that the appellant was a fit and proper person able to drive and to perform the duties expected of a Breckland Council Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver.

 

After considering the matter the Committee returned.

 

The Solicitor advised the following findings of fact :

 

1.                  The appellant had held a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers licence since at least 1998.

2.                  He was aware that any conviction, caution or driving offence imposed on him during the period of the licence should be notified to Breckland Council in writing within seven days of the conviction.

3.                  He failed to notify the Licensing Authority on four occasions of relevant convictions.

 

In the circumstances it was :

 

RESOLVED that the appellant’s Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers licence would not be renewed, as he had failed to satisfy the relevant driving standards required of a holder of a driver’s licence issued by Breckland District Council as the Licensing Authority.

 

The Chairman advised the appellant the decision was subject to Appeal to the Magistrates Court.  The Appeal period was 21 days from the date on which the notice of the decision was given.