The Assistant Director of Community Protection submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 38/12, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The applicant, who was in attendance at the meeting, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.
The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 7) in the submitted report. The applicant had first appeared before Members in June 2009 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 7). On that occasion, the Committee refused his application due to his poor driving history and the Home Office/Department of Transport guidelines (used by the Licensing Committee at that time) that recommended a period of three years free from conviction in relation to violent offences, such as assault, prior to issuing a licence.
The applicant now appeared before Committee with a fresh application. The applicant was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 20 September 2012 when he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and confirmed his previous explanations in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 7) in the submitted report.
The applicant confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee.
The applicant spoke in support of his application and responded to questions from Members.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Councils Legal Services and Members Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.
Subsequently all interested parties returned and the Chair announced the Committees decision.
ORDERED that the application in respect of Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 38/12, be refused as Members did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold a Combined Licence at this time, for the following reasons:-
1. Members considered the applicant to have a propensity to be dishonest.
2. Members were concerned that the applicant had committed a range of offences that included dishonesty, violence, road traffic offences, obstructing a Police Officer, breach of Community Punishment Order and offences involving taxis.
3. Members were concerned that the applicant had a total disregard for authority as he had breached his community punishment order on two occasions and obstructed a Police Officer by providing false details.
4. The applicant's representations at the meeting included that he had been young when he had committed the offences, however, the Committee considered this not to be the case.
The Chair highlighted that the Committee recognised the applicant had not had any further convictions since 2008 and that he may wish to re-apply at some point in the future, however, at this point in time the Committee did not consider him to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
The applicant was reminded of his right to appeal the decision to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision.
SUSPENSION OF COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE NO. 10 - ORDER OF BUSINESS
ORDERED that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 10, the Committee agree to vary the order of business to deal with Agenda Item 7) as the next item of business.