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: 07/15, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
The Chair introduced those present and outlined the procedure to be followed. The driver who was accompanied by his Legal Representative, verified his name and address and confirmed that he had received a copy of the report.
The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report setting out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 3) in the submitted report and a complaint received on 28 October 2014 from a member of the public regarding an incident that had occurred on that date. The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.
The Chair advised that the witness who had submitted the complaint was in attendance at the meeting. The driver's legal representative advised that the driver also had a witness to the incident that occurred on 28 October 2014. The Chair suggested that the complainant be invited into the room first to present his version of the events that occurred on 28 October 2014.
The first witness was invited to join the meeting and the Chair made introductions and explained the procedure to be followed. The witness confirmed his name and the content of his submitted statement (attached at Appendix 2) relating to the incident that had occurred on 28 October 2014.
The witness provided his version of events in relation to the incident and responded to questions from Members and the driver's legal representative . The witness subsequently left the meeting at this point.
The driver's witness in relation to the complaint joined the meeting. The Chair made introductions and outlined the procedure to be followed. The witness confirmed her name provided her version of events in relation to the incident and responded to questions from Members and the driver's legal representative. The witness subsequently left the meeting at this point.
The driver's legal representative was invited to address the Committee on behalf of the driver and the driver responded to questions from Members and the Council's legal representative.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver and his legal representative and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Councils Legal Services and Members Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the review.
Subsequently all interested parties apart from the witnesses returned and the Chair announced the Committees decision.
ORDERED that Combined Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 07/15 be retained but the driver be given a strong warning with regard to his future conduct for the following reasons:
1. The Committee upheld the complaint submitted by the first witness as they believed his version of events to be credible.
2. The Committee considered that there were a number of contradictions in respect of the evidence of the second witness and the driver.
In allowing the driver to retain his licence, Members had taken into consideration the following:
1. The length of time that the driver had held a driving licence and the fact that he had held a taxi driving licence for seven years.
2. The fact that the driver had completed the Driver Improvement Scheme in 2013.