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:

Councillor Gerard noted that he was on the panel when the driver in relation to Item 5 last came before the Committee.

2.

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 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.

3.

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

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

Minutes:

The Solicitor said this item would be dealt with in tandem with Item 4, Determination of a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence.

 

The Licensing and Compliance Officer gave a summary of the report. The driver had notified the Council that he had received a conditional offer of a fixed penalty for using a motor vehicle without third party insurance. He explained that his vehicle had broken down and he had borrowed a friend’s car for private use for a day. He was sure that his insurance covered him to do this. He was stopped by the Police and was told he was not insured to drive the car. The driver had accepted a £300 fine and 6 penalty points. The driver’s licence now came before members for them to determine whether he remained a ‘fit and proper’ person as he no longer met the Council’s licensing standards.

 

The driver said he apologised for everything that had happened. He had been certain he had been insured to use the vehicle otherwise he would not have opened himself up to the risk of doing so. It had been a busy day and he had had time to think much. He had managed to give away all his other jobs but didn’t want to let the customers down. He wished he could go back and was grateful that nothing more serious had happened.

 

B Drinkwater said the driver had been a good proprietor and took his responsibilities seriously. The case was a very serious matter but an inadvertent offence.

 

At 11.25, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 12.05, 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  joint private hire/hackney carriage licence number PH/HC1697 under S61  (1) (b) Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.- any other reasonable cause. The licence is due to expire on 31st July 2022 and the driver also holds a hackney carriage licence reference no HCV 072  (See post) due to expire upon the same date.

 

We have had the opportunity of reading two officer’s reports in this case, copies of which have been served on the driver, and we have also seen, as has he, the background documents annexed thereto.

 

On 11th November 2019 the Licensing Department received an email from the driver notifying the Council that he had received a conditional offer of a fixed penalty notice for using a motor vehicle without third party insurance. He explained that his licensed vehicle had broken down and that he had borrowed a friend’s car for private use for a day. He was sure that his insurance covered him to do this.  He was stopped by the Police and was told he was not insured to drive the car. The conditional offer of diversion from the Courts was for a £300 fine and 6 penalty points. The Council replied by e-mail on 13 November 2019 explaining  ...  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 Licensing and Compliance Officer gave a summary of the report. The applicant had held a combined private hire/hackney carriage driver’s licence from June 2016 to July 2018, when his licence was revoked following a complaint regarding his behaviour and he was no longer regarded a fit and proper person to hold a driver’s licence. The applicant had now reapplied to the authority.

 

The applicant said he was currently working as a taxi driver in London, but it was expensive to live down there. His daughter was autistic and required a great deal of care. She would have a good life here.

 

In response to a Member question, the applicant said it was important to have a nice manner around customers, to ask whether they wanted to go and whether they wanted to use the meter. He had had no complaints in the last three months and was very careful not to ask personal questions of his customers. He was a different man with different priorities.

 

At 13.05, the Committee retired to make its decision.

 

At 13.20, the Committee returned.

 

The decision was read to the applicant.

 

 

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. The applicant previously held a licence from UDC but this was revoked with immediate effect by a panel of this Committee on 16th July 2018 after a full hearing at which oral evidence was heard from the complainant and from her aunt.  We understand they were supported by a female Enforcement Officer, and that the applicant did not exercise his right of appeal against that decision.

 

Since then, the applicant unsuccessfully applied to Epping Forest DC for a licence but withdrew that application: he also applied, successfully to TfL in May 2019. We have no information regarding the work he is doing under that licence save for a suggestion he may be driving for an app based operator, but in the application before us today he indicated that he would be driving for Audley End Chauffeurs. This statement was followed up by the Licensing Department and an email from the proprietor of that firm indicated that at present they were not recruiting any new drivers.  A copy of that email is before us, but since that date he has advised the Licensing Department that he would be willing to offer the applicant a job.

 

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 July 2018 decision notice, correspondence from Audley End Chauffeurs, and a lengthy letter written by a legal representative on the applicant’s behalf.

 

We have heard from the applicant and we have listened carefully to what he said in response to our questions. He did not answer those questions. All he spoke of was the high cost  ...  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 was deferred due to the driver being unable to attend.

 

 

The meeting ended at 13.25.