Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

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 to exclude the public and press for the following items on the grounds that they contained exempt information within the meaning of s.1 etc

2.

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

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

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the panel.

 

The Enforcement Officer gave a summary of the report.

 

At 11.15, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 11.30, the Committee returned.

 

The decision was read to the applicant.

 

 

DECISION NOTICE –

 

The applicant’s application dated May 2019 is for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver’s licence.  If successful , he intends to carry out school contract work with 24 x 7 Ltd.

 

The applicant’s application disclosed a number of matters. We have a copy of this document before us. Firstly, there is a discrepancy regarding his residential address. The one stated on the report before us is in London and the one given on the application form is in Southend.

 

Next, Question 12 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 disclosed that he received a £600 fine and five penalty points in 2011 for an offence of driving without due care and attention.     He also disclosed that he received six penalty points and a £200 fine in 2012 for driving without insurance.

 

Part of the licensing process requires all applicants to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and the applicant’s check was dated 17 May 2019.  

 

The DBS check showed the following convictions:

Conviction 1: Dated 01 December 2008, possessing an offensive weapon in a public place on 18 June 2008: Chelmsford Crown Court: Conditionally discharged for two years and the  forfeiture of a metal pole.

Conviction 2: Dated  27 February 2012: failing to surrender to custody as soon as practicable after the appointed time on 21 February 2012: South Essex Magistrates Court: Fined £25 together with one day detention within the Court House, plus  a victim surcharge of £15.

 

We are aware that making a false statement to obtain a licence is an offence under S57(3) of the 1976 Act and that this offence carries a fine of up to £1000 upon summary conviction. Given the potential seriousness of the matters revealed by the DBS check, the applicant  was interviewed under caution in respect of them on 26th June 2019. He provided the following explanation.

 

Firstly, he confirmed that the London address provided is where his mother lives and the Southend address is where his children live. His current work is as a van driver on a zero hour’s contract and he wants other employment.

The applicant read the declaration at the end of the application form fluently and confirmed it was his signature.   He explained  that he completed the application form the previous month and the mistake with the date must have been a memory lapse. Apparently he was in a car accident some time ago when he lost consciousness and since then he has memory lapses.

 

As to the convictions, the applicant explained that at the time of the first one, he was an apprentice and for some reason had a trolley jack in his vehicle.   He  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

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

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

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the panel.

 

The Enforcement Officer gave a summary of the report. He confirmed the Group 2 medical certificate was satisfactory.

 

The applicant said he had had a brain injury and had had to be rehabilitated. He had made a good recovery and was now trying to get his life back on track.

 

At 11.50, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 12.20, the Committee returned.

 

The decision was read to the applicant.

 

 

DECISION NOTICE

 

The applicant’s application dated July 2019 is for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Driver’s licence.  If successful , he intends to carry out school contract work with 24 x 7 Ltd.

 

The applicant’s  application disclosed a number of matters. We have a copy of this document before us. Question 12 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?’   Nothing was disclosed by the applicant.

 

However, part of the licensing process requires all applicants to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and the applicant’s check was dated 25th July 2019.   It revealed the following convictions:

Conviction 1: Dated 07 April 1992, for offences of theft and criminal damage for which he was fined £20 and £40 respectively and ordered to pay costs. This is an offence of dishonesty.

Conviction 2: Dated 05 April 2011, for offences of driving without due care and attention and failing to give name and address after an accident.   He was fined £70, ordered to pay costs and his driving licence was endorsed with 7 penalty points. This matter speaks for itself.

 

He also received a Police caution on 03 February 2015 for an offence of battery, ie the lowest level of assault.

 

We are aware that making a false statement to obtain a licence is an offence under S57(3) of the 1976 Act and that this offence carries a fine of up to £1000 upon summary conviction. Given the potential seriousness of the matters revealed by the DBS check, the applicant was interviewed under caution by two Enforcement Officers  on 16th August 2019. He provided the following explanation.

 

The answers on the application form were partially typed in and the applicant said this was done by 24x7 Limited and they posted it to him to finalise and sign before he had to post it back to them. We interpose that this practice causes us some concern. The answer to question 12 had already been answered by 24x7 Limited, but the applicant had not amended it, and he could not explain this failure in interview and he did not address this point before us today.

 

He explained that the convictions in 1992, 2011 and the caution in 2015 were not included on his form because he forgot about them. Apparently he had a serious brain injury in 1995 following an accident, was unconscious for a month, was transferred to a specialist brain injury hospital and remained in hospital  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

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

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

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the panel.

 

The Enforcement Officer gave a summary of the report.

 

Members watched a video of the driver’s dash-cam when the incident took place.

 

The driver said he thought the other driver was going straight off the roundabout at the previous exit. However he realised as he was going down the slip road that the other driver was still alongside him. He could not brake as he could not tell if there was another vehicle behind him. He had had a licence for 35 years and had never had so much as a parking ticket.

 

At 1.00, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 1.15, the Committee returned.

 

The decision was read to the driver.

 

 

DECISION NOTICE

 

The application before the Panel today is for the suspension or revocation  of Mr Hughes’  joint private hire/hackney carriage licence number PH/HC1054 under S61  (1) (b) Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.- any other reasonable cause. The licence is due to expire on 28th February 2022 and Mr Hughes was first licenced by this authority on 14th March 2016. He drives for 24 x 7 Ltd on school contract work and they have reported the issues before us today to the Council. They have not as yet taken any disciplinary steps against him but in the light of our decision today they are likely to do so.

 

On 07 May 2019, the Fleet Manager at 24x7 Limited emailed the Council to notify them that they had received a complaint from a van driver who was alleging that the 24x7 Limited driver had run into their vehicle and thereafter failed to stop.   24x7 Limited indicated that they felt the driving by the licensed driver was not acceptable, and they identified the driver. The Council’s Enforcement Officer made further enquiries with 24x7 Limited who supplied the following information by email on 16 July 2019:

 

The incident took place on the roundabout joining A12 Boreham interchange.

The licensed vehicle involved was registration FJ56 VDP – Citroen Relay.

The speed of the vehicle looks to be 15-20 mph

There was a slight mark on the vehicle which could have been caused by contact, which simply T Cut out. There was no body work damage upon inspection.

The matter did not go through insurance.

No passengers were on board at the time of the incident.

 

The Enforcement Officer subsequently carried out a telephone interview with the driver on 02 August 2019.   He provided the following account. The incident happened on the Boreham interchange of the A12.  The driver had come from the A138 from Chelmsford;   he had turned right at the second roundabout to head onto the A12 southbound and had moved into the right hand lane as there were no arrows on the road.   He thought this was the correct lane to be in to turn right.

He confirmed that the dashcam was situated on the dashboard in the middle, that he did not see the van in question until it  ...  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:

This item had been deferred at the request of the applicant until the meeting on 30 September.

6.

Determination of a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Renewal

To determine a hackney carriage vehicle renewal.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the panel.

 

The Enforcement Officer gave a summary of the report.

 

The driver said he had not realised prior to his employment that the majority of his work would take place outside of Uttlesford District. Working around Sawbridgeworth was difficult because some roads were in Uttlesford and some were in East Herts. He had applied to work at Sadlers because many taxi firms do not employ drivers who already own their own cars.

 

In response to a Member question, the driver said he had not applied to Epping Forest District Council, as they received many applications and had closed off the application process for a few months.

 

At 14.00, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 15.25, the Committee returned.

 

The decision was read to the driver.

 

 

DECISION NOTICE –

 

The application before the Panel today is for the renewal of the driver’s hackney carriage vehicle licence number HCV074 under S61 (1) (c) Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.- any other reasonable cause. The licence  expired on 31st July and the vehicle was first licensed by UDC last year.

 

The driver lives in London and is a self employed owner/driver for a company called Sadlers Taxis, working from their Sawbridgworth office. All proprietors of hackney carriage vehicles are required to sign a declaration that they will predominantly work within the Uttlesford District.  

 

The declaration reads:

I have been advised that, based upon the decision of the High Court in the case of R. (on the application of Newcastle City Council) –v- Berwick-upon-Tweed BC, Uttlesford District Council ought not to licence Hackney Carriages which will be predominantly used outside the District.

I hereby declare that it is my intention that the vehicle/s licensed by me will be used predominantly in the District of Uttlesford and I understand that should this not be the case either at the date hereof or at any time thereafter the Council may revoke or refuse to renew the licence under section 60(1)(c) Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

 

The driver most recently signed this declaration on 01 July 2019. He previously signed  it on 28 June 2018; his circumstances then were as they are now and accordingly he received a letter from the Council’s Environmental Health Manager (Commercial) drawing his attention to the declaration and advising that going forward, the Council would be requiring evidence as to his compliance with this requirement. On receipt of his renewal application, containing the same details, the Enforcement Officer became involved and on 23rd July, requested that the driver submit details of all hackney carriage work undertaken by him since August 2018. 

This was supplied by Sadlers Taxis, and analysis of the information provided by them showed that of 1685 jobs undertaken by him for the previous year, 468 either began or ended within the District of Uttlesford.  Expressed as a percentage this amounts to 27.77% of his journeys, that is, a very little more than a quarter.

 

Since 1847 when the provincial hackney  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.