Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Panel - Friday 27th January, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room, Sweanspool House, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1BP

Contact: Carol Mundy 

Items
No. Item

16.

Election of Chair for this Panel

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Lee and seconded by Councillor Bone that Councillor Ekins be elected as chair for this licensing panel.

 

Resolved to note that Councillor Ekins was elected as Chair for this panel.

17.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Resolved to note that there were no apologies for absence.

18.

Members' Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Resolved to note there were no declarations of interest made.

19.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

It was proposed that the press and public be excluded from the hearing during

consideration of the following item in accordance with Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972.On being put to the vote this was declared carried.

 

Resolved that the press and public be excluded from the meeting.

20.

To consider an application for a hackney carriage drivers licence where the applicant has a road traffic conviction and previous relevant licensing history (GR).

Presented By: Russell Howell

Minutes:

The Licensing Enforcement Officer introduced the report which asked the Panel to consider an application for a hackney carriage driver’s license where the  applicant had a road traffic conviction and previous relevant licensing history

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Sub-Committee grant the application for a Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence

 

Reasons for Decision: The sub-committee took into consideration:

 

           Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

           The Institute of Licensing’s Guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licensees in the hackney and private hire traces.

           The report from Russell Howell on behalf of the Council.

           Verbal evidence from the applicant

           Verbal Evidence from the applicant’s representative

 

It is the duty of the Sub Committee to determine the application on the balance of probabilities.

 

The Sub Committee have carefully considered the representations made by all Parties and also gave due regard to all of the above documents in reaching its decision.

 

The Sub Committee received evidence in the form of an email from the drivers solicitors confirming that there had been no charge against him in relation to failing to give information relating to the identity of a driver. It was confirmed that the Police had received the information from the driver. Therefore there was no need to give any consideration to any reference to this within the report.

 

The driver’s previous penalty points had been removed from his Licence. He currently has 3 points on his Licence that are due to expire on 23rd November 2023. It is noted that the driver declared his speeding offences as required on his application form.

 

The driver gave some background regarding personal difficulties he had faced in 2018 when his penalty points had accrued, and he was last considered before a Licensing Sub Committee.

 

The Sub Committee noted that the driver’s driving record’s prior to 2018 had been unblemished.

 

On the balance of probability the Sub Committee considered that the driver is a fit and proper person to be granted a Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence.

21.

To consider an application for a Private Hire driver licence where the holder has a traffic conviction. (TI)

Presented By: Russell Howell

Minutes:

The Licensing Enforcement Officer introduced the report which asked the Panel to consider an application for a Private Hire Driver License where the holder has a traffic conviction

 

RESOLVED

 

The Sub-Committee considered that the driving standards detailed in the officer’s report fell well below those expected of a professional licensed taxi driver and that the applicant was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a private hire drivers licence and that the licence was revoked.

 

Reasons for Decision: The sub-committee took into consideration:

        Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

    The Institute of Licensing’s Guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licensees in the hackney and private hire traces.

   The report from Russell Howell on behalf of the Council.

 

It is the duty of the Sub Committee to determine the application on the balance of probabilities.

 

The Sub Committee had carefully considered the representations made by all Parties and also gave due regard to all of the above documents in reaching its decision.

 

The Sub Committee noted that the applicant had failed to attend to provide any context or mitigation in reply to the Officers report.

 

The applicant’s private hire drivers licence was granted in April 2022. In November 2022 the applicant had received 6 penalty points for a motoring offence involving the use of a mobile phone.

 

The Sub-Committee referred to the Institute of Licensing Guidance that they have adopted that states that:

 

‘Where an applicant has a conviction for using a hand-held mobile telephone or a hand-held device whilst driving, a licence will not be granted until at least 5 years have elapsed since the conviction or completion of any sentence or driving ban imposed, whichever is later’.

 

The potential consequences of such actions are dangerous and a risk to the public.

 

The Sub Committee resolved to revoke the applicants  private hire driver’s licence as his conduct has fallen below the standards expected of a licenced driver and he is therefore no longer a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.

22.

To consider an application for renewal of a Private Hire driver licence (RO)

Presented By: Russell Howell

Minutes:

The Licensing Enforcement Officer introduced the report which asked the Panel to consider an application for renewal of a Private Hire driver license.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Sub-Committee considered that the driving standards detailed in the officer’s report fell well below those expected of a professional licensed taxi driver therefore it was determined that he was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence. The Sub-Committee refuse to renew Private Hire Driver Licence.

 

Reasons for Decision:

 

Reasons for Decision: The sub-committee took into consideration:

• Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

• The Institute of Licensing’s Guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licensees in the hackney and private hire traces.

• The report from Russell Howell on behalf of the Council.

• The application form to renew the Private Hire Driver’s Licence

• Verbal evidence from the applicant.

 

It is the duty of the Sub Committee to determine the application on the balance of probabilities.

 

The Sub Committee had carefully considered the representations made by all Parties and also gave due regard to all of the above documents in reaching its decision.

 

The Sub Committee resolved to refuse to renew the private hire driver’s licence. The applicant had a right of appeal within 21 days from receiving this decision to the Magistrates Court.

 

The Sub Committee noted that the applicant had failed to declare his speeding convictions from 3 May 2020 and 12 December 2020 at the time he received them. This is a breach of the conditions of his private hire driver’s licence. The applicant was asked if there was a reason that he did not notify the licensing authority. The applicant responded that he did not know he had to. The applicant was further asked if he had read and knew the conditions attached to his licence. The applicant responded that he had “had a quick look at the rules but did not pay attention. When asked if the applicant had notified his insurance company that he had the convictions he replied that he had not.

 

It is acknowledged that there was an error within the report to the Sub-Committee. The report stated that the applicant did not declare the convictions on his renewal application. This is incorrect. The applicant did declare the convictions on the relevant section of the renewal application.

 

The Sub-Committee considered that by the applicant’s conduct in failing to “pay attention” to the conditions of his licence, breaching the conditions of the licence by failing to notify the licensing authority of his convictions and failing to inform his insurers of his convictions is conduct that falls below the standard expected and that the applicant was no longer a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The application to renew his private hire driver’s licence was refused.

23.

To consider the renewal of a Private Hire driver licence where the holder has a road traffic conviction (SP)

Presented By: Russell Howell

Minutes:

Prior to the start of the meeting, members of the licensing panel were notified that the application for renewal of a Private Hire driver license had been withdrawn.

24.

Close of Panel meeting