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Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive any apologies for absence and declarations of interest.
There were no apologies for absence or declarations of interest.
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.
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 part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Determination of a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Drivers Licence
To determine an application for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage Drivers Licence.
The Licensing and Compliance Officer gave a summary of her report which requested that members considered an application for a Private Hire/ Hackney Carriage Driver Licence.
The applicant said that he considered that the report had explained the situation quite well. In response to questions from Members, he said that he was unaware that he had a criminal record. He provided explanations for the events surrounding the convictions from 2016.
The applicant left the meeting at 14:25 hrs and the meeting was adjourned; the Panel retired to make its decision following the next Agenda item.
The matter 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 Ltd on the Home to School Transport (HtST) side of the business. This is a hybrid hearing with the Panel and our Legal Advisor in the Council Chamber at London Road and the other parties attending remotely.
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 he, the background documents annexed thereto including the application form and the DVLA documentation supporting the application. We have also taken into account national and the Council’s policy and have heard from the Case Officer and from the applicant.
On the applicant’s application form the answer given to question 6 ‘Do you have any spent convictions?’ the applicant had answered ‘NO’. The applicant had also answered ‘NO’ to the question of ‘Do you have any unspent convictions?’
However, the applicant’s enhanced DBS check submitted to Uttlesford District Council Licensing Department showed that he had 5 convictions as set out below:
16.3.20161. Use of threatening/abusive behaviour likely to cause harassment/alarm or distress – Public Order Act 1986 – Compensation £150
16.3.2016 2. Resist or obstruct constable – Police Act 1996 – Conditional discharge 2 years
16.3.2016 3. Resist or obstruct constable – Police Act 1996 – Conditional discharge 2 years
16.3.2016 4. Destroy or damage property at a value unknown - Compensation £50
20.5.2016 5. Failing to surrender to custody at appointed time under the bail act – No separate penalty.
These matters, taken together, mean that the applicant does not meet the requirements of the Council’s suitability policy in a number of respects.
Our starting point is clause 2.5 which states
“Generally, where a person has more than one conviction, this will raise serious questions about their safety and suitability. The licensing authority is looking for safe and suitable individuals, and once a pattern or trend of repeated offending is apparent, a licence will not be granted or renewed.”
Furthermore, UDC’s driver conditions policy goes on to state:
2.3 Any dishonesty by any applicant or other person on theapplicant’s behalf which is discovered to have occurred in any part ofany application process (e.g. failure to declare convictions, falsenames or ... view the full minutes text for item LIC12
Review of Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver Licence
To determine a review of a Private Hire & Hackney Carriage Driver Licence.
The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer gave a summary of his report which requested that members determine a review of the applicant’s Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Driver Licence.
In response to various questions from Members, the driver said that he had not attempted to bribe the vehicle technician but had said that the technician could keep the change when he paid a £35 invoice with a £50 note. The driver said that he had not used the vehicle since then but he had been using a vehicle supplied by Happicabs, the operator for whom he drives.
The matter before the Panel today is an application for the review of the driver’s joint hackney carriage/PHV driver’s licence reference PH/HC0187. Since the driver is an owner/driver, we may also need to consider vehicle licence reference number PHV 4109, dependent on our decision today. This is a hybrid hearing with the Panel, our Legal Advisor and the driver in the Council Chamber at London Road and the other parties attending remotely.
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 he, the background documents annexed thereto including the list of vehicle defects and the written statements of the vehicle technician involved. We have had the opportunity of hearing from the driver and have been able to ask him questions. We have also seen some video footage of the car in question prior to today’s hearing. In reaching our decision we have also taken into account national and the Council’s policy and have heard from the Case Officer and the driver. We also understand that the Police have become involved in this matter since it involves, inter alia, allegations of dishonesty
The facts of the case are simply that on 16 July 2021, Private Hire Vehicle PHV4109 underwent a vehicle compliance test at Takeley Performance Tyres (TPT), which is one of the testing stations on the Council’s approved list. The car was due for a 6 monthly inspection.
The Private Hire vehicle owned by the driver failed its test on 11 items. A list of these items along with the compliance test certificate and photo of the vehicle are included in the bundle before us. TPT contacted the Licensing Team at the time the test was being carried out to advise of the poor condition of the vehicle, and they provided photographic evidence of this. Pictures of the car are in our bundle and a short video of the wheel being tested has also been viewed by us. Furthermore, a member of staff at TPT advised officers that the driver had attempted to bribe him into passing the vehicle with a £20 note, both before and after the test had been carried out. A S9 Witness Statement provided by the member of staff at TPT is among our papers and we accept the truth thereof..
Licensing Officers attempted to ... view the full minutes text for item LIC13