The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a Review of a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 60/14, 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 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) in the submitted report and a complaint received on 23 June 2014 from members of the public regarding an incident that had occurred on 14 June 2014. The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee.
The driver addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members of the Committee, the Council's Legal Officer and the Principal Licensing Officer.
The Chair requested that the Committee go into private session in order for Members to seek advice from the Council's Legal Officer with regard to part of the representations made by the driver. At this point of the meeting, the driver and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council's Legal Services and Members' Office, withdrew from the meeting.
Subsequently all interested parties returned and the driver responded to further questions from Members of the Committee and the Principal Licensing Officer.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver 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 Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 60/14, be suspended for a period of two weeks, for the following reasons:-
1. In relation to the conviction dated 28 February 2012, the driver was found guilty of plying for hire and having no insurance. The Committee could not go behind a guilty verdict and therefore could not accept the drivers version of events in relation to entrapment.
2. The driver had failed to report the offence detailed at 1) in the submitted report within seven days of conviction, as required by condition of his licence.
3. The Committee considered that the actions of the driver in attempting to drive the two lady passengers to a Police Station, then leaving the passengers to walk home, some distance from their home over a dispute in relation to the taxi fare was inappropriate and not the behaviour expected from a Combined Hackney Carriage/Licensed Private Hire Vehicle Driver.
4. The Committee upheld the complaint in part as there appeared to be some discrepancy regarding the price of the fare and the amount paid for the journey.
The driver was advised of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the date of the decision.