REVIEW OF A LICENCE TO DRIVE HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES - DRIVER NO. 15/0427/TXJDR
4 REVIEW OF A LICENCE TO DRIVE HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES - DRIVER NO. 15/0427/TXJDR
To consider a confidential report by the Head of Planning and Public Protection (copy enclosed) seeking members’ review of a licence to drive hackney carriage and private hire vehicles in respect of Driver No. 15/0427/TXJDR.
- Restricted enclosure 3 , View reasons restricted (4/2)
- Restricted enclosure 4 , View reasons restricted (4/3)
- Restricted enclosure 5 , View reasons restricted (4/4)
RESOLVED that the hackney carriage and private hire vehicle driver’s licence issued to Driver No. 15/0427/TXJDR be revoked on public safety grounds with immediate effect.
A confidential report by the Head of Planning and Public Protection (previously circulated) was submitted upon –
(i) the suitability of Driver No. 15/0427/TXJDR to hold a licence to drive hackney carriage and private hire vehicles following allegations of inappropriate behaviour whilst undertaking a school transport contract;
(ii) details of the allegations and circumstances of the case having been provided (a summary of facts together with associated witness statements and documentation having been attached to the report);
(iii) the Driver having submitted documentary evidence in support of his licence review which had been included as an appendix to the report, and
(iv) the Driver having been invited to attend the meeting in support of his licence review and to answer members’ questions thereon.
The Driver was in attendance at the meeting accompanied by his Union Representative and a fellow witness. The Union Representative confirmed receipt of the report and committee procedures.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer outlined the case as detailed within the report.
The Union Representative presented the Driver’s case. He advised that the typed witness statements submitted by the Investigating Officer had not been signed and asked that they be discounted. He also submitted that the investigation had not been conducted in a fair and open manner highlighting where he considered there to be areas of bias within the case. It was argued that particular lines of enquiry which may have found in the Driver’s favour had not been pursued and the credibility of particular evidence was also questioned. Representations were also made regarding the standard of proof required in such cases given that the right of appeal was to the Magistrates Court. In terms of the allegations detailed within the report the Union Representative clarified those allegations admitted by the Driver and put them into context giving the Driver’s version of events. The committee was also advised of the allegations which had been denied by the Driver. It was highlighted that no complaints against the Driver had been made from other service users or the public. Given the contrary evidence presented and support detailed in the character references (previously circulated) the Union Representative asked that the Driver be permitted to retain his licence and continue as a licensed driver.
At this point the issue of the unsigned witness statements was discussed and copies of the original signed witness statements were made available. The Union Representative argued that he had not been given the opportunity to check the documents and asked that they be discounted in the interests of a fair hearing. The Head of Legal, HR and Democratic Services gave a legal viewpoint on the situation and fairness of the proceedings. The Licensing Enforcement Officer confirmed the statements had been typed to ensure they were legible and had been checked for accuracy. The committee adjourned to consider the legal arguments. Upon resuming the proceedings all parties were advised of the committee’s decision to accept the statements in evidence and continue the proceedings. The committee did not consider there was a material unfairness on the basis that assurances had been given by the Licensing Enforcement Officer, who owed the committee a duty of candor, that the typed versions had been transcribed accurately and that the information contained within the statements had been made available in advance and could have been clarified earlier within the process. In making their decision the committee had also considered advice from the Head of Legal, HR and Democratic Services regarding the standard of proof required. It was clarified that the committee’s decision as to whether the Driver was a fit and proper person to ... view the full minutes text for item 4