Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a confidential report by the Head of Planning and Public Protection (copy enclosed) seeking members’ determination of an application from Applicant No. 517116.



RESOLVED that the application for a hackney carriage and private hire vehicle driver’s licence from Applicant No. 517116 be refused.


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


(i)            an application having been received from Applicant No. 517116 for a licence to drive hackney carriage and private hire vehicles;


(ii)          officers having not been in a position to grant the application in light of the convictions revealed following an enhanced disclosure to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) relating to offences committed in 1998 under the Road Traffic Act 1988 which had not been disclosed by the Applicant and the accumulation of 14 penalty points on his DVLA Driving Licence relating to traffic offences committed during 2014 and 2015, one of which had not been disclosed by the Applicant;


(iii)         relevant documentation relating to the case including details of the Applicant’s formal interview having been attached to the report;


(iv)         referred to the Council’s policy with regard to the relevance of convictions, and


(v)          the Applicant having been invited to the meeting in support of his application and to answer members’ questions thereon.


The Applicant confirmed he had received the report and committee procedures.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer (TB) introduced the case.


The Applicant provided some background information relating to his personal circumstances and employment history and his ambition to become a taxi driver.  He explained the circumstances surrounding the application process including discussions with licensing staff regarding his offences and detailed his reasoning behind the omission of particular details of offences on the application form and timing of its submission based on their advice.  Reference was also made to the taped interview and he elaborated further on the advice provided by licensing staff and called a witness who was in attendance to collaborate his statement.  The witness also provided a character reference for the Applicant.  Finally the Applicant assured members that he was fit to hold a licence which had been demonstrated in his previous and current part time occupation and he provided an explanation of the offences incurred and his circumstances during that time.


During questioning the Applicant reported upon research he had undertaken regarding the pertinence of his convictions and his belief that, apart from 3 penalty points, the remaining penalty points as detailed within the report had been spent.  However he conceded that he may have placed too much reliance on the advice provided by licensing staff during the application process.


Officers clarified a number of issues and responded to questions as follows –


·         information regarding penalty points was provided on the DVLA’s website – points remained on the licence for 3 years and were kept on record for 4 years in the majority of cases.  The points incurred by the Applicant were relevant in the application process and remained on record until the dates as specified in paragraph 4.9 of the report

·         the application had been made and received on 31 March and the DBS certificate had been submitted in May 2016

·         the Council’s conviction policy specified that a driver may be referred to the Licensing Committee where there were more than two minor traffic offences

·         every application pack included guidance for applicants and the Council’s convictions policy and clearly stated how convictions would be dealt with.  The hackney carriage/private hire licensing conditions (blue book) had not been issued at that time and related to conditions following the grant of a licence.


In making a final statement the Applicant reiterated that he had discussed his application with licensing staff and had disclosed his convictions and sought advice thereon prior to completion of the application form which had been submitted in accordance with that advice.  He assured members that he was fit to hold a licence and that he did not present a risk to the public based on his conviction history and taking into account his good character.

The committee adjourned to consider the application and it was –


RESOLVED that the application for a hackney carriage and private hire vehicle driver’s licence from Applicant No. 517116 be refused.


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


Members had carefully considered the facts of the case and explanation provided by the Applicant with regard to the offences and reasoning behind his non-disclosure of relevant convictions.  The Applicant had 14 penalty points which remained on record, some of which he had failed to disclose on his application form.  Therefore members determined that the application should be refused on that basis in accordance with the Council’s conviction policy.


No mitigation put forward by the Applicant had persuaded members that they should deviate from the conviction policy and grant the application and it was considered that the onus was on the Applicant to ensure the correct information was provided on the application form.  However the Applicant was reminded that he was able to make a fresh application at such time in the future when the penalty points had been spent.


The committee’s decision and reasons therefore were conveyed to the Applicant together with the right of appeal against the decision to the Magistrates Court within 21 days.


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