Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest

To receive any apologies for absence and declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence or declarations of interest.

 

2.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

Consideration of reports containing exempt information within the meaning of section 100I and paragraph 1 part 1 Schedule 12A Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under section 1001 of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 part1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

3.

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

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

Minutes:

The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer gave a summary of the report.

The applicant had applied to the Council for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver’s licence on 30 March 2020 to work for Airports Direct on their contracts.

 

On the application form the applicant had not declared any convictions.  The enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate showed two cautions. The applicant took part in an informal telephone interview with the Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer and when asked why these had not been stated in his application, the applicant said that they were cautions with no further action and he had not realised that they needed to be declared.

 

The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer said the delay in bringing the application before the Panel was due to the lockdown period and the applicant not returning all the relevant documentation.

 

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 said that because they were cautions and not convictions he had not realised they had to be declared, he had read the application form incorrectly.  The applicant said that he knew they would show up on the enhanced DBS and was not trying to be dishonest.

 

In response to Members’ questions he confirmed that he was in full time employment with Harlow District Council.  At the time of the cautions he had been going through a divorce and dealing with bereavement.  The Interim Legal Services Manager said that a basic DBS would no longer show the cautions, however they would always remain on the enhanced DBS.  The applicant stated that he had an all access pass for Stansted Airport and the basic DBS was carried out and nothing showed up.

 

The Chair explained that the Panel would retire to consider the case and would notify the applicant of their decision within 5 working days.

 

The applicant left the meeting at 11.20 and the Committee retired to make its decision.

                       

DECISION NOTICE

 

The application before the Panel is to grant a new joint hackney carriage/PHV driver’s licence to the applicant. We are hearing the case remotely. If his application is successful he has an offer of employment from Airports Direct.

 

We had the opportunity of reading the officer’s report in this case, a copy of which has been served on the applicant, and we have also seen, as has he, the background documents annexed thereto including the application form and the DBS documentation supporting the application. We have also taken into account the Council’s policy and have heard from the Case Officer and from the applicant.

 

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 that he had none.

 

However, the application process required applicants to produce an enhanced Disclosure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

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

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

 

Minutes:

The Licensing Support Officer gave a summary of the report.

The applicant had applied to the Council for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver’s licence on 27July 2020 to work for 24/7 Ltd on their contracts.

 

On the application form the applicant had not declared any convictions.  The enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate showed one conviction.

 

The applicant now came before members for them to determine whether she was a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a licence as she had not met the Council’s licensing standards.

 

The applicant apologised and said that 24/7 had filled in the application on her behalf and had sent in the wrong form.

 

In response to Members’ questions she confirmed that due to current restrictions the form had been filled in over the phone.  She has been a passenger assistant for 4 years in Central Bedfordshire.  The conviction was 4 years ago and related to her son’s attendance at school.  The applicant confirmed that she had not been told where she would be driving for 24/7 but said she thought they had a contract in Bedfordshire.

 

The importance of applicants filling out their own applications was discussed.  This and previous mistakes had been caused by 24 x 7 Ltd completing the application on behalf of the applicant.  The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer explained that the application process was due to become an online system and this would hopefully alleviate the problem.  Members discussed and the Chair agreed to send another letter to 24 x 7 Ltd.

The Chair explained that the Panel would retire to consider the case and would notify the applicant of their decision within 5 working days.

 

The applicant left the meeting at 11:40 and the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

DECISION NOTICE –

 

The application before the Panel today is for the grant of a new joint hackney carriage/PHV driver’s licence to the applicant. We are hearing this case remotely. If her application is successful she has an offer of employment from 24 x 7 Ltd on the school contracts side of the business.

 

We have had the opportunity of reading the officer’s report in this case, a copy of which has been served on the applicant, and we have also seen, as has she, the background documents annexed thereto including the application form and the DBS documentation supporting the application. Additional information has been supplied by 24 x 7 Ltd, accepting some responsibility for what has happened. We have also taken into account national and the Council’s policy and have heard from the Case Officer and from the applicant.

 

On her application form, in answer to question 6 ‘Do you have any unspent convictions?’

The applicant declared she had none.

Part of the application process requires applicants to produce an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate and the applicant’s certificate dated 28 July 2020 shows 1 conviction as follows:

Conviction 1 – Offence – Knowingly failed to cause regular attendance at school of a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.