Agenda item

Agenda item


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. 15/1594/TXJDR.


RESOLVED that the allegations made in respect of Driver No. 15/1594/TXJDR had not been proved and no action be taken.


A confidential report by the Head of Planning and Public Protection (previously circulated) was submitted upon –


(i)        the suitability of Driver No. 15/1594/TXJDR to hold a licence to drive hackney carriage and private hire vehicles following accrual of 20 penalty points under the Council’s penalty point scheme for presenting a licensed vehicle for test in an unsafe and dangerous condition;


(ii)       details of the defects noted following presentation of the vehicle for a Compliance/MOT Test in May 2016 and issuing of 20 penalty points had been included within the report together with associated witness statements and documentation;


(iii)      the Driver having appealed the decision to award 20 penalty points on the basis that he had presented the vehicle for test beforehand at a different garage and the necessary repair works had been undertaken in accordance with the test failure and advisory notifications (the two items identified as ‘dangerous’ at the subsequent Test in May had not been identified during the initial test) – the Driver having failed to provide documentary evidence of his claims and following investigations officers refused the appeal, 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 in support of his case and confirmed receipt of the report and committee procedures.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer outlined the case as detailed within the report.


The Driver accepted the facts as detailed within the report apart from the failure to believe that he had presented the vehicle to the Testing Station beforehand.  He argued that he had taken all reasonable steps to ensure fitness of the vehicle and detailed the sequence of events leading up to the Compliance/MOT Test Failure which included (1) refurbishment of the vehicle at a body shop; (2) presentation of the vehicle at a Testing Station where a pre-inspection was carried out which identified five defects; (3) submission of the vehicle to a different garage who repaired the identified defects, and (4) final presentation of the vehicle for requisite Compliance/MOT Testing which resulted in the test failure.  The Driver provided evidence of payments made to each of the three separate garages identified in his submission although evidence of the work carried out and defects identified had not been provided.  Documentary evidence was also provided in the form of a witness statement confirming collection of the vehicle from the Testing Station and its submission to a separate garage for repair work.  Finally a letter from the Driver’s Insurance Broker was submitted in support of his case.  In closing his submission the Driver maintained that he had taken all reasonable steps to ensure compliance and had trusted professionals at three separate garages who had failed to identify the faults as listed on the failure notice.  He provide assurances that immediate steps had been taken to repair the faults once they had been identified and that the vehicle had not been a danger to the public as it had been out of service during the period leading up to the test failure.  Finally the Driver provided some general information regarding the management of his business and maintenance of his licensed vehicles without previous incident.


Members took the opportunity to raise questions with the Driver in order to further clarify the sequence of events and action he had taken in response to particular circumstances to ensure that the vehicle was in a safe and roadworthy condition together with questions regarding the general management of his business and vehicle maintenance regime.  The Driver also responded to questions regarding the documentary evidence he had presented in support of his case and reasoning behind the lack of corroborating evidence in recording the vehicle inspection and repair work as detailed within his submission to the committee.


In his final statement the Driver advised that he had been honest in his submissions and drew members’ attention to the evidence presented advising that he could provide further witness statements if required.  He believed that he acted responsibly in this case and had been let down by other professionals.


The committee adjourned to consider the case and it was –


RESOLVED that the allegation made in respect of Driver No. 15/1594/TXJDR had not been proved and no action be taken.


The reasons for the Licensing Committee’s decision were as follows –


Members had carefully considered all the evidence presented and the submissions by the Driver and his response to questions.  The committee considered that the evidence in this case suggested that the Driver had followed the advice of other professionals, that he had taken his vehicle for a pre-inspection check, and had provided details of the work required to a garage for repairs which were carried out.  The Driver had paid for those services.  The vehicle was then presented for, and subsequently failed, the Compliance/MOT Test.  The vehicle was then taken for further repairs whereupon it subsequently passed the Compliance/MOT Test.


Based on the evidence presented the committee accepted that the Driver had taken reasonable steps to ensure the fitness of his vehicle in this case and considered him to be a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle driver’s licence.  Members also recommended that the 20 penalty points issued to the Driver be removed forthwith.


The committee’s decision and reasons therefore were conveyed to the Driver.


The meeting concluded at 11.10 a.m.


Supporting documents: