The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with the review of Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 27/15, 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 in attendance at the meeting, 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 submitted by a member of the public in relation to the driver.
It was noted that the driver was first licensed with the council in July 2010 and first appeared before Members at that time when they considered the offence detailed at 1). On that occasion Members approved his application.
The driver now appeared before Members following a complaint submitted by a member of the public where it was alleged that the driver had driven through a red light at a crossroads. Members were also invited to consider the motoring offences detailed at 2) and 3). The driver was interviewed by the Senior Licensing Officer on 16 July 2015, at which time he confirmed that there were no outstanding matters of which the Council was unaware, confirmed his previous explanations in relation to the offence at 1) and the complaint dated 16 March 2015 and offered explanations in relation to the offences detailed at 2) and 3).
A witness statement, provided by the complainant in relation to the incident on 16 March 2015, was attached at Appendix 1 to the submitted report. A further witness statement was submitted by a Hackney Carriage driver who had witnessed the incident and this was attached at Appendix 2. A copy of the drivers version of events, provided during interview on 23 March 2015, was attached at Appendix 3.
The driver confirmed that the report was an accurate representation of the facts.
The complainant joined the meeting and the Chair introduced those present and explained the procedure to be followed. The complainant confirmed his name and the content of his submitted statement, attached at Appendix 1 to the submitted report. The complainant recalled his version of events in relation to the incident on 16 March 2015.
The complainant alleged that the driver had driven through a red traffic signal at a busy crossroads junction.
Members asked questions of the complainant and these were responded to accordingly. The driver confirmed that he had no questions of the complainant. The complainant subsequently withdrew from the meeting.
The Senior Licensing Officer confirmed that the second witness (statement attached at Appendix 2) was not in attendance.
The driver provided his version of events in relation to the incident and responded to questions from Members.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and the driver 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 returned and the Chair announced the Committees decision.
ORDERED that Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref 27/15, be retained but that the driver be required to complete the Driver Improvement Scheme, at his own expense, within the next two months, for the following reasons:-
The Committee was concerned in relation to the drivers standard of driving and believed the witnesss version of events, in relation to the incident on 16 March 2015, to be credible. The Committee had also considered a second witness statement provided by a Hackney Carriage driver and believed this to be credible and believed that the driver had driven through a red traffic signal.
The driver had a poor history of driving and had been convicted of excess speeding on two previous occasions.