The Licensing and Compliance Officer submitted a report for the Licensing Regulatory Panel to consider whether a person who had made an application for a private hire driver’s licence was a fit and proper person to hold such licence.
The applicant attended the meeting.
The Licensing and Compliance Officer delivered the report to the panel.
The applicant had made an application for a three-year private hire driver’s licence. As part of the application the applicant provided a Disclosure and Barring Service certificate which included a conviction which contained an element of dishonesty dated September 2015 with a community order until October 2016. A medical form had been provided which showed the applicant was fit to drive a private hire vehicle as of 22 May 2021. The applicant’s driving licence had three current penalty points for speeding.
The officer’s recommendation was to refuse the licence on the grounds that the applicant was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
The applicant then provided their representations, advising the panel the reason why it had taken so long to complete the community order was due to the restrictions around being a long distance lorry driver. The community order had since been completed.
Members then asked questions to the applicant in relation to their driving record and speeding offences and conviction.
The applicant and the Licensing and Compliance Officer left the meeting while the panel considered the application.
Members considered the application, the applicant representations and the officer’s report. The Panel also considered the relevant legislation and the Council’s policies on private hire licence applications.
Councillor P Gaston moved the motion to delegate the power to the Licensing and Compliance Officer to grant the private hire driver’s licence for three years once all documentation was received to the required standard.
This was seconded by Councillor N Cockburn.
A vote was taken, the motion was unanimously agreed.
The motion was carried.
The applicant and the Licensing and Compliance Officer returned to the meeting.
The Licensing Regulatory Panel considered the application, the officer’s report, the representations from the applicant and advice from officers. The Panel also considered the relevant legislation and the Council’s policy on the relevance of criminal convictions.
The licensing panel decided to:
Grant delegated authority to the Licensing and Compliance Officer to grant the licence on the basis that it was satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire driver’s licence under section 51(1) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The granting of the delegated authority was subject to the appropriate medical form being produced, officers being furnished with evidence of the applicant’s right to work in the UK and also to be conditional on completion of the Council’s knowledge test.
The panel took the opportunity to remind the applicant that a dishonesty offence would usually preclude them from being granted a licence for a period of 7 years and warned if any such offence was committed again while licensed as a taxi driver they would be at risk of losing their licence.
The Panel made the decision on the basis that the dishonesty offence committed in September 2015 was of such that the applicant made no financial gain, and their conduct was not of the nature that they considered the applicant to pose a risk to the public; the applicant also fully acknowledged their wrongdoing when the offence was committed. The Panel was also reasonably satisfied that the driving offences were relatively minor and the majority of the points were no longer valid although they did not condone the actions and hoped that the applicant would act and drive with significant care going forward.
If the applicant was aggrieved by the decision of the Panel, they could appeal to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of the decision.