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 for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence.


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


(i)            an application having been received for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence;


(ii)          the vehicle having previously been licensed for private hire but the licence had not been renewed prior to expiry of the existing licence in April 2018 and therefore needed to be treated as a new vehicle licence application;


(iii)         officers having not been in a position to grant the application as the vehicle was registered in 2007 and therefore did not comply with the Council’s existing policy which specified that all vehicles licensed under a new application must be up to a maximum of 5 years old from the date of first registration, and


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


The Applicant was in attendance and confirmed she had received the report and committee procedures.


The Enforcement Officer (HB) presented the report and the Licensing Committee was asked to consider whether it would be appropriate to depart from the Council’s policy concerning the age requirement for new vehicles to fleet in order to grant the application as applied for.


The Applicant submitted that the vehicle was in a tidy condition, mechanically sound, suitable and fit for purpose as illustrated in the photographs provided.  General taxi work was not undertaken only school contract work and the vehicle had been adapted for eight persons and provided extra room for students’ bags/equipment.  Past experience had shown that a newer vehicle would not be as robust and could not cope with the demands of rural roads and conditions in remote rural locations – if a new vehicle had to be purchased it would result in a cost implication which would be passed onto the Council when contracting for school transport provision.  The Applicant also referred to her personal family circumstances and explained the circumstances which had led to the failure to renew the existing licence before its expiry given that the vehicle licence plate had been transferred at an earlier stage.


In response to members’ questions it was confirmed that seats had previously been removed from the vehicle leaving seating capacity for eight persons.  The vehicle had previously been granted an approval certificate for the modification to seating configuration – however a new approval certificate would be required given that the application had to be treated as a new vehicle application.  There being no further questions the Applicant was invited to make a final statement and advised that she had nothing further to add to her submission.


At this juncture the committee adjourned to consider the application and it was –


RESOLVED that the application for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence be refused.


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


Members had carefully considered the application and submissions of the Applicant in this case.  The decision of the Licensing Committee had been to refuse the application because the Council’s policy stated that vehicles licensed under a new application must be up to a maximum of five years old from the date of first registration.  As the vehicle subject of the application in this case was eleven years old it did not comply with the policy.  The Committee also considered that the Applicant had offered no acceptable mitigation which would persuade them to deviate from their policy in this instance.  The current policy had been in operation for two years and the Applicant would have been aware of it.  Whilst the Licensing Committee had been sympathetic to the struggles recently experienced by the Applicant the Committee considered their policy to be a strict one and as such must be adhered to.  The Council had adopted the policy to raise standards amongst the fleet and the age limit of new vehicles was part of that.


The Committee’s decision and reasons therefore were conveyed to the Applicant.  There was a right of appeal against the decision to the Magistrates Court within twenty-one days.


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