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. 047689.


RESOLVED that Driver No. 047689 be warned as to the seriousness of the incident and a final written warning be issued as to his future conduct.


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


(i)           the suitability of Driver No. 047689 to hold a licence to drive hackney carriage and private hire vehicles;


(ii)          an allegation of assault having been made against Driver No. 047689 on 11 August 2014 which was subsequently investigated by Licensing Enforcement Officers (a summary of facts together with witness statements and associated documentation had been attached to the report);


(iii)         the Licensing Committee on 3 December 2014 having deferred consideration of the Driver’s suitability pending the outcome of criminal proceedings in this case (details of which had been attached as a supplementary report), and


(iv)         the Driver having been requested to attend the meeting in support of his licence review and to answer members’ questions thereon.


The Driver was in attendance at the meeting and following introductions confirmed he had received the report and committee procedures.  The Licensing Enforcement Officer (HB) introduced the report and detailed the facts of the case.  CCTV footage of the incident subject of the report was shown to the Licensing Committee and replayed a number of times throughout the hearing at members’ request.


In mitigation the Driver submitted a written statement from his Solicitors which included reference to the outcome of the criminal proceedings in this case and the circumstances surrounding the offence.  Given those details together with the time lapse since the incident during which the Driver had continued to drive taxis it was submitted that revocation of the Driver’s licence would be unjust in this case.  The Driver also explained his version of the events leading up to the incident and talked members through the CCTV footage, denying the assault allegation and stressing his innocence of any wrongdoing.


Members questioned the Driver regarding the evidence which had been presented and his conduct before, during and after the incident.  The Driver responded to members’ questions and denied the assault allegation but expressed regret over confronting his assailant and further elaborated upon his intentions and actions during the incident.  In expressing his remorse the Driver recognised how the incident would be perceived by the public and he also accepted he should have handled the situation differently.  He referred to his desire to continue his profession as a taxi driver and provided firm assurances regarding his future conduct.


In his final statement the Driver said that he enjoyed his job and was good at it and he appealed to the committee not to revoke his licence.


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


RESOLVED that Driver No. 047689 be warned as to the seriousness of the incident and a final written warning be issued as to his future conduct.


[Councillor Stuart Davies asked for it to be recorded that he voted against the above resolution.]


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


Members carefully considered all the evidence presented and the Driver’s submissions in support of his case and response to questions.  It was considered that the Driver had instigated the incident and members were very critical of his behaviour which had brought the Council into disrepute.  Concerns were also raised that the Driver had been brought before the committee previously relating to conduct issues.  In assessing the Driver’s suitability as a licensed driver members had taken into account that elements of the CCTV footage were inconclusive but the Driver had taken some responsibility for the events which had occurred.  It was also acknowledged that he had continued to drive since then without incident and had expressed remorse for his actions.  Consequently members decided to issue a final warning that the Driver was at risk of losing his licence in the event of any future transgressions.


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


[During the meeting a statement had been submitted regarding the state of the taxi industry in Denbighshire and the Chair asked licensing officers to look into the matters raised and provide the committee with a response thereto.]


The meeting concluded at 12.55 p.m.

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