The Assistant Director of Improving Public Health submitted an exempt report in connection with a review of Combined Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, Ref: 29/16, where circumstances had arisen which required special consideration by the Committee.
The Principal Licensing Officer advised that the matter had been due to be considered by Members at the Licensing Committee held on 25 July 2016. On that occasion the applicant had failed to attend the meeting. He had failed to contact the Licensing Section to advise of his absence and Members had therefore deferred consideration of the matter to this meeting of the Committee.
The driver's wife had telephoned to advise that he was unable to attend the meeting as he was working in another town however he had requested that the matter be heard in his absence. The Council's Legal Officer confirmed that the Committee could hear the application in the driver's absence.
The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report which set out the circumstances of the case in relation to the offences detailed at 1) to 2) in the report.
The Principal Licensing Officer and the Council's Legal Officer responded to questions from Members of the Committee.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Council's Legal Services and Democratic Services, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the application.
Subsequently all interested parties returned and the Chair announced the Committee's decision.
The Committee considered the case on its own merits, the report and guidance and noted that the driver had advised he was unable to attend the meeting but was happy for the case to proceed in his absence.
ORDERED that Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence: Ref No: 29/16 be suspended for a period of four weeks.
It was noted that the driver's licence was due to expire on 31 August 2016. Should the driver apply to renew the licence, the Committee decided that delegated power be granted to Licensing Manager to renew and suspend the renewed licence for a period of four weeks or any lesser period still remaining out of the four week suspension period that has not been completed prior to the 31 August 2016.
The reasons for the suspension was because the driver had been convicted of illegally plying for hire and for having no insurance on 24 May 2016. The driver had received a warning when his licence was granted in September 2009 that any further incidents or offences would call into question his suitability hold a licence.
Also in July 2015 the driver received a further written warning regarding inappropriate parking. It considered that the driver would have been aware that plying for hire was contrary to his private hire vehicle licence and deprived hackney carriages of the opportunity to access those fares. The Committee also considered he put the travelling public at risk because the vehicle was not insured during this journey.
The driver would be advised of his Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the date of the decision.