The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with an application for a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 06/15, 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 accompanied by a friend who was a Hackney Carriage 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) to 3), seven separate complaints and information supplied by Redcar and Cleveland Council on 8 January 2015, relating to an incident that occurred when the applicant had been undertaking his taxi knowledge test with Redcar and Cleveland Council. Details of the incident were attached at Appendix 16.
The applicant was first licensed with Middlesbrough Council in August 1997. The applicant first appeared before the Licensing Committee in November 2008 in relation to Complaint 1, outlined in the report. On that occasion Members allowed him to retain his licence but warned him in relation to his future behaviour.
The applicant next appeared before Members in March 2011 in relation to the offences detailed at 1) and 2) and three further complaints (complaints 2, 3 and 4). On that occasion his licence was suspended until successful completion of the Driver Improvement Scheme. The applicant completed the course in March 2012.
The applicant again appeared before Members in September 2013 following three further complaints (Complaints 5, 6 and 7) regarding his behaviour and further information from Cleveland Police. On that occasion, Members revoked his licence for the reasons detailed within the submitted report. The applicant appealed the decision to the Magistrates Court where the appeal was refused. He subsequently appealed to the Crown Court when the appeal was again refused.
The applicant now appeared before Members with a fresh application. He was interviewed by the Senior Licensing officer on 27 January 2015 at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware and confirmed his previous explanations in relation to the complaints at 1) to 7) and the offences at 1) and 2) and offered an explanation in relation to the offence at 3). He also commented in relation to additional information received from Redcar and Cleveland Council, detailed at Appendix 16.
The applicant confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts and was invited to address the Committee.
The applicants representative spoke in support of the applicant then the applicant addressed the Committee in support of his application and responded to questions from Members.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the applicant, his representative 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 for a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 06/15, be refused as the Committee did not consider the applicant to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence for the following reasons:-
The applicant had previously held a Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence which was revoked, by the Licensing Committee, in September 2013 due to seven separate complaints made against him by a variety of people.
The applicant had behaved aggressively towards public servants carrying out their duties and his driving standards were unsafe.
The Committee had noted that the applicant had apologised for his behaviour, however, he had behaved aggressively towards a Licensing Officer at Redcar and Cleveland Council, in October 2014, during the application process.
The Committee did not consider that sufficient time had lapsed for the applicant to have changed his character and believed he had a propensity to be aggressive towards public officials and to disregard what they said.
The applicant was reminded of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Courts within 21 days of the date of the decision.