Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a confidential report by the Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services (copy enclosed) seeking members’ determination of an application for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence.

12.00 noon


RESOLVED that the application for a hackney carriage vehicle licence be refused.


[Councillor Arwel Roberts attended for this item but did not take part in the process and left the meeting during the Committee’s deliberations on the application.]


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


(i)             an application having been received for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence;


(ii)            the vehicle having previously been licensed as a hackney carriage but the licence had not been renewed prior to expiry of the existing licence 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 presented for licensing did not comply with the Council’s policy with regard to the five-year age limit for vehicles licensed under a new application;


(iv)          the Applicant’s supporting statement, MOT history and vehicle emissions together with further relevant information relating to the application, and


(v)           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 accompanied by his vehicle mechanic.


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


The Senior Licensing Officer summarised the report and facts of the case.


The Applicant referred to the maintenance of the vehicle, advising of the garage where the mechanics of the vehicle had been maintained, and he undertook to maintain the interior vehicle furnishings himself.  It was a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.  In responding to members’ questions the Applicant advised that he had purchased the vehicle from new and had no plans to replace/upgrade it given his personal circumstances and costs involved.  The vehicle was available for inspection.  He elaborated on the circumstances leading to submission of the renewal application some eleven days after expiry of the vehicle licence due to difficulties sourcing the relevant parts needed for vehicle repair in order to pass the compliance test and submit the compliance certificate with the renewal application.  The Applicant had received the renewal forms from the Council which he had completed and put aside until nearer the renewal date; it had been an oversight which led to the late submission of the renewal application.


Officers confirmed that renewal reminders were sent a month in advance and the expiry date was specified on the vehicle licence plate.  It was the licence holder’s responsibility to submit the renewal application before expiry of the current licence.  If the renewal application had been submitted within timescale, the grandfather rights afforded to vehicles over twelve years’ old which were already licensed would have applied given that the grace period had been extended to July 2024.  In terms of a final statement the Applicant confirmed he had nothing further to add.


The Committee adjourned to consider the application and it was –


RESOLVED that the application for a hackney carriage vehicle licence be refused.


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


Members had carefully considered the application, officer’s report and case put forward by the Applicant.


The Committee had resolved to refuse the application because the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and Conditions stated that vehicles licensed under a new application must be up to a maximum of five years old.  As the vehicle subject of the application was thirteen years old it did not comply with the Council’s policy.


In reaching their decision, the Committee had considered all the evidence before it which included written submissions circulated in advance of the hearing and verbal submissions during the hearing itself, and had placed weight on the following –


·       the vehicle being eight years over the age limit as set out in the Council’s policy

·       a general vehicle MOT and service history showing clear issues of previous non-compliance over a number of years, as detailed by the fail/advisories contained within Appendix 3 to the report

·       the whereabouts of a compliance certificate from 6 January 2022 to 7 October 2022 and use of the vehicle to carry members of the public without that certificate.

The Committee considered their duty to ensure licensed vehicles were safe for members of the community, especially vulnerable wheelchair users, to be of paramount importance.  The current Council Policy had been in operation for a number of years and had been adopted to raise standards amongst the fleet and the age limit of new vehicles was part of that process.  The Committee considered that the Applicant had offered no acceptable mitigation which would persuade them to deviate from the Council’s policy in this instance.


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


The meeting concluded at 12.35 pm.

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