Agenda and draft minutes

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Venue: Committee Room - Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4ER. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 01799 510434  Email: committee@uttlesford.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

RESOLVED that under section 100I of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under section 1001 of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

 

2.

Determination of a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence

To determine a private hire/hackney carriage drivers licence.

Minutes:

 

The Chair brought Item 6 forward in proceedings.

 

The Licensing and Compliance Officer gave a summary of the report. The driver had notified the Council that she had been convicted for an offence of: Dishonestly failing to notify change of circumstances affecting entitlement to social security benefit/advantage/payment. The driver had been fined £175 and given a Community order to carry out 60 hours unpaid work within the next 12 months. The driver’s licence now came before members for them to determine whether she remained a ‘fit and proper’ person as she no longer met the Council’s licensing standards.

 

The driver said that she had made a genuine mistake and that she had not been aware that she had been committing fraud. She indicated that there had been a number of personal problems in her private life that contributed to her overlooking any declaration of a change of circumstances.

 

In response to Members’ questions she explained that she had failed to notify the authorities that she had been earning more than previously declared. She said that her job was very important to her and that she had been driving school contract taxis for almost seven years. She said that she had paid the court fine and had started to pay back the overpayment. She had also undertaken more than 18 hours community service to date.

At 10.15, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 10.25, the Committee returned.

 

The decision was read to those present.

 

 

DECISION NOTICE –

 

The application before the Panel today is for the suspension or revocation of the driver’s private hire licence number PH/HC0798 under S61  (1) (b) Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.- any other reasonable cause. The licence is due to expire on 30th June 2022 and the driver was first licenced by this authority on 15th July 2013. She works for A2B Cars on school contract work.

 

We have had the opportunity of reading the officer’s report in this case, a copy of which has been served on the driver, and we have also seen, as has she, the background documents annexed thereto including email correspondence between her and the Licensing Dept.

 

On 21 January this year the driver contacted UDC to advise that she had attended Court on 6 January, and provided documents from Barkingside Magistrates Court showing a conviction for an offence of dishonestly failing to notify change of circumstances affecting entitlement to social security benefit/advantage/payment under the Social Security legislation. The driver was fined £175 and ordered to carry out 60 hours unpaid work within the next 12 months.

 

The driver no longer meets the requirements of the Council’s suitability policy on 2 points. Paragraph 2.18 states “Where an applicant has a conviction for any offence of dishonesty, or any offence where dishonesty is an element of the offence, a licence will not be granted until at least 7 years have elapsed since the completion of any sentence imposed”.  Paragraph 2.41 of the policy states “As public trust  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Determination of a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence

To determine a private hire/hackney carriage driver’s licence.

Minutes:

The Chair returned to Item 3 in proceedings.

 

The Licensing Support Officer gave a summary of the report. The applicant had applied for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence on 4 September 2019 to drive school contract vehicles for 24x7 Limited. Question 11 on the driver application form asks ‘Has your licence ever been endorsed for a fixed penalty offence within the last 4 years?’ The applicant had answered ‘No’ to this question. The DVLA Drivercheck had been carried out on 21 October 2019 and this showed three separate offences all of which were convictions that had resulted in three penalty points on each occasion. The applicant now came before members for them to determine whether he was a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a licence as he had not met the Council’s licensing standards.

 

            The applicant stated that he had made a mistake on the application form but had realised his mistake and had contacted 24x7 Limited shortly after his interview to ask them to correct his mistake. However, this mistake had not been corrected. He said that he had not worked for two years and had not driven a car for 18 months due to a back operation. He said he had previously worked for an Ambulance company and he was blue light trained. He said he had been the first medic on site at the London Bridge terror attack and that this experience had greatly affected him.

 

            In response to Members’ questions he explained the circumstances surrounding each of the three penalty point offences. He said that he did not have medical evidence that he had been off sick for two years. He confirmed that there had been no other driving offences during his time spent driving ambulances

 

He said that he had been interviewed by 24x7 Limited in a Harvester Inn and that some of the application form had been prepared in advance. He re-iterated that he had contacted the company shortly after his interview to correct his error but despite being told that the application form would be amended this had not happened. He said that he had made mistakes but had a lot to offer.

 

            At 10.45, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

            At 11.00, the Committee returned.

 

            The decision was read to those present.

 

 

            DECISION NOTICE –

 

The application before the Panel today is an applicant’s application for a joint hackney carriage/PHV driver’s licence.  If successful, he has an offer of employment from 24 x 7 Ltd on the school contract side of the business. This hearing has been deferred to enable him to attend before us today.

 

Question 11 of the form (a copy of which we have before us) asks “Has your licence ever been endorsed for a fixed penalty notice within the last 4 years?”. The applicant replied “No” to this question. However, the routine DVLA Drivercheck carried out on 21st October 2019 as part of the Council’s due diligence revealed the following matters:-

4.

Determination of a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence

To determine a private hire/hackney carriage driver’s licence.

Minutes:

The Chair brought forward Item 7 in proceedings.

 

The Licensing Support Officer gave a summary of the report. The applicant had applied for a Combined Driver licence to drive for Airport Lynx on 20 January 2020. The applicant had declared on the application form that he had received 6 points in August 2017 for an IN10 (driving with no insurance). The DVLA Drivercheck had confirmed that he had received 6 points on 8 August 2017. The applicant now came before members for them to determine whether he was a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a licence as he had not met the Council’s licensing standards.

 

The applicant explained the circumstances surrounding the 6 point penalty. He stated that his wife had owned one vehicle in her name but that he was the main named driver with his wife as the second driver. He had then purchased a vehicle in his name but the insurance was in his wife’s name. He had not realised that he was not covered by insurance on his vehicle. The main reason that he had applied for a licence was in order to be able to see his son regularly.

 

In response to Members’ questions the applicant provided details of a previous offence when he was 15 years old. He explained that his wife had purchased her vehicle in 2015 and he had purchased his vehicle about 8 months later. He said that he thought he was covered by insurance to drive his vehicle but realised the serious consequences of not being insured. He stated that he had previously worked as a senior supervisor in the Metal industry but re-iterated his intention to be able to see more of his son.

 

At 11.20, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 11.45, the Committee returned.

 

The decision was read to the applicant.

 

 

DECISION NOTICE –

 

 

The application before the Panel today is the applicant’s application for a joint hackney carriage/PHV driver’s licence.  If successful, he has an offer of employment from Airport Lynx.

 

In his application the applicant declared six penalty points received in August 2017 for an IN10 driving with no insurance offence.  This was confirmed by his DVLA Drivercheck dated 20th January 2020 which stated that the date of the award of the points was 8th August 2017. His form also contained a handwritten reference to a juvenile Court conviction in respect of possession of a knife. He freely admits to having been young and stupid at the time and we say no more about it. That lesson has been learned.

 

This therefore means that he does not meet the requirements of the Council’s driver suitability policy. Insurance offences are regarded by this Committee as being very serious matters. Paragraph 2.29 thereof states ‘Where an applicant has a conviction for a major traffic offence or similar offence, a licence will not be granted until at least 7 years have elapsed since the completion of any sentence imposed’

 

He would therefore not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Determination of a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence

To determine a private hire/hackney carriage driver’s licence.

Minutes:

The Chair brought Item 5 forward in proceedings.

 

The Licensing and Compliance Officer stated that the applicant had originally been intending to attend the meeting but had been made aware of information recently received from Dundee City Council and had left the building.

 

Members agreed to consider this item in the absence of the applicant.

 

The Licensing and Compliance Officer gave a summary of the report. The applicant had applied for a private hire/hackney carriage driver’s licence on 2 January 2020 to work for 24x7 (Kent) Ltd on their school contracts. On his application form, in answer to question 12 ‘Have you ever been convicted of ANY offence (including motoring offences) including spent and unspent convictions in any Court or received a police caution?’ the applicant declared a SP30 offence from 1996. Part of the application process required applicants to produce an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Certificate and the applicant’s certificate dated 9 January 2020 showed 2 convictions.

 

The Licensing and Compliance Officer stated that there had been further contact with Dundee City Council and they had confirmed that he was currently awaiting trial for a number of very serious offences and as a result his licence had been suspended by them until the matter had been resolved. They had provided an email that outlined extremely serious matters and a copy had been given to the applicant prior to the meeting. The applicant now came before members for them to determine whether he was a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a licence as he had not met the Council’s licensing standards.

 

Members reviewed the papers and considered the new evidence provided by Dundee City Council.

 

DECISION NOTICE –

 

The application before the Panel today is the applicant’s application for a joint hackney carriage/PHV driver’s licence.  If successful, he has an offer of employment from 24 x 7 (Kent) Ltd on the school contract side of the business. He attended the Council’s offices on schedule this morning but then left after speaking with the Licensing Officer.  We are therefore satisfied that he was aware of this hearing, could have remained and chose not to do so and therefore we proceed in his absence.

 

Question 12 of the form (a copy of which we have before us) asks “Have you ever been convicted of ANY offence (including motoring offences) including spent and unspent convictions in any Court, or received a police caution?” The applicant declared a 1996 SP30 speeding offence in response to this question.

However, the application process requires applicants to produce an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate and the applicant’s, dated 09 January 2020, showed 2 convictions as follows:

·         Conviction 1 – Offence – Fail to attend Diet on Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. Disposal – Sentence deferred 31.03.2015 admonished.

·         Conviction 2 – Offence: Send a non-sexual offensive/indecent obscene/menacing message by means of public electronic communications on Communications Act 2003. Disposal – sentence deferred 28.11.2017, community payback order 80 hours unpaid work 80 hours within 6 months local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Determination of a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver's Application

To determine a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver's application

Minutes:

The Chair returned to Item 4 in proceedings.

 

This item was deferred due to the driver being unable to attend because of a medical appointment.

 

Members agreed that in future applicants should be asked to provide evidence to officers for any non-attendance.

 

 

 

 

The meeting ended at 12.15pm.