The Assistant Director of Development and Planning Services submitted an exempt report in connection with a review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 83/13, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The driver who was accompanied by his uncle, verified his name and current 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 and a complaint received from a member of the public on 2 August 2013 with regard to inappropriate parking by the driver.
Members were advised that the driver had been interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 15 April 2013 in relation to the offence detailed at 5) in the report, however on that occasion, the applicant had confirmed that there were further motoring offences that were still to be considered by the Magistrates Court and as a consequence, the interview was delayed until the additional matters had been resolved.
The additional offences were due to be heard by the Magistrates Court on 1 May 2013 however the case was adjourned until July then August 2013 and the Licensing Office eventually received confirmation that the offences had been heard in November 2013. The applicant had also been unavailable to attend for a number of interview appointments and he was eventually interviewed in relation to all the offences on 21 January 2014.
The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee in support of his case. The driver and his uncle spoke in support of the driver's case and responded to questions from Members of the Committee and the Principal Licensing Officer.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver and his uncle and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council's Legal Services and Members' Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.
Subsequently, all interested parties returned and the Chair announced the Committee's decision.
ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence Ref: 83/13, be revoked, as the Committee did not consider the driver to be a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence for the following reasons:-
1. The Driver had accumulated 21 penalty points on his licence over a period of five years commencing in 2009 and 9 of the 21 points had been received following the drivers attendance at the Driver Improvement Scheme in February 2013. Members were concerned about the number of offences that the driver had committed that involved issues with regard to safe driving. The Committee considered that the driver's record demonstrated that he had not benefitted from attending the Driver Improvement Scheme.
2. Members had concerns about the driver's honesty following information received from Cleveland Police under the Notifiable Occupation Scheme that he had received a caution on 24 February 2013 for theft of a mountain bike from a passenger.
In making their decision the Committee had regard to the Council's Policy Guidance on Convictions, Cautions and Complaints which stated that a significant history of offences showing a disregard for safety may result in a licence being revoked unless a period of at least 1 - 3 years, free from conviction , has elapsed, since the date of the last conviction. The driver's last driving conviction was dated 4 October 2013.
The driver was reminded of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision.