Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-Committee Panel Hearing, Licensing and Regulatory Committee
Tuesday, 31st January, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Note: Application for a Combined Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

Councillor G A Boulter assume the Chair for the Panel Hearing.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Miss A R Bond.

3.

Appointment of Substitutes

Minutes:

Councillor R F Eaton substituted for Councillor Miss A R Bond.

4.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded that any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the Members’ Code of Conduct. In particular, Members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'pecuniary' or ‘non-pecuniary'.

Minutes:

None.

5.

Minutes of the Previous Licensing Sub-Committee Panel Hearing held on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT: 

 

The Minutes of the previous Panel Hearing of the Sub-Committee held on 14 December 2016 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

6.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The press and public are likely to be excluded from the remainder of the hearing in accordance with section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (Exempt Information) during consideration of the application below on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information and that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The press and public be excluded from the remainder of the hearing in accordance with section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (Exempt Information) during consideration of the application below on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the respective paragraph(s) 1, 3 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act and that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

7.

Application for a Combined Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers Licence

To determine an application for a combined licence to act as a driver of a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Vehicle under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1976.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel Hearing was conducted in camera.

8.

Decision of the Sub-Committee

Minutes:

In reaching the decision, the Panel had carefully considered the contents of the report(s) and the presentation given by the Licensing Enforcement Officer.

 

The Panel also had regard to the written representation submitted by the applicant in advance of the hearing and his representation and character witness statements submitted.

 

The Panel had regard to all the circumstances of the case and in particular the following matters:

 

(a)    The objectives of the licensing regime (as detailed in section 5.5 of the report) “which were plainly intended to ensure that those licensed to drive vehicles were safe drivers with good driver records and adequate experience, sober, mentally and physically fit, honest and were not persons who would take advantage of their employment to abuse or assault passengers" as stated by Lord Bingham LCJ in the case of McCool -v- Rushcliffe BC 1998;

 

(b)   The test of fitness and propriety of a person to be licensed as a private hire driver (as detailed in paragraph 5.6 of the report); and

 

(c)    The applicant’s demeanour, appearance and behaviour when appearing before the Sub-Committee.

 

The Panel carefully considered the various witness statements contained within the agenda pack which make a number of allegations about the applicant’s character and the general tenor of those statements were that the applicant was/is not a fit and proper person to be granted a private hire driver’s licence.

 

The Panel were of the view that they preferred the statements of the witnesses who appeared to have no vested interest in making the statements particularly as the applicant presented no cogent rebuttal to Panel as to why those statements were made.

 

The Panel was required to decide the issue of whether the applicant was/is a fit and proper person to hold a taxi drivers’ licence on the balance of probabilities and in making that decision the Panel’s one and only duty as Members of the Licensing Authority was/is to ensure the safety of the public.

 

On balance and after considering all of the information presented to the Panel (including the applicant’s representations) the Panel was not satisfied that the applicant was/is a fit and proper person in light of the fact that the applicant had not been able to dispel the concerns raised about his character in the witness statements.

 

On that basis the application was REFUSED.