Report of the Environmental Health Manager (Licensing)
The Sub-Committee considered Report No EHM/02/21-22 in respect of Mr H, Sheffield. The purpose of the report was to enable Members to decide whether or not Mr H was a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s License with North East Derbyshire District Council.
Mr H was present at the meeting, and confirmed he had received a copy of the report and understood the procedure to be followed. Mr H was accompanied by Mr N, Mr M and Mr F from the GMB Union.
The Sub-Committee heard that Mr H had applied to renew his Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s License. It was stated that an interim check on his license in February 2020, and a license check at the time of his renewal application in September 2021, had both identified driving offences which Mr H had failed to notify the Council of. Members were reminded that under the Council’s Taxi Licensing Policy, the driver must notify the Council, within seven days, of any conviction for an offence or of any receipt of a fixed penalty imposed on him/her whilst the license was in force. There had also been a number of complaints made against Mr H in relation to his driving conduct.
Mr H and his representatives offered mitigations for his failure to notify the Council of his driving related offences, as well as some of the driving related complaints. Members noted that Mr H now kept a log to check and maintain his vehicle to a good standard, and that all of those incidents took place in the first year of his license with the subsequent two years showing a clean record.
The Licensing Manager asked Mr H to confirm that he had received a copy of his license conditions and understood his obligations as a license holder. The applicant was also asked to explain the nature of his driving related offences and to provide evidence of his mitigations in regards to failing to notify the Council of one of the offences.
The Licensing Manager made her closing submissions by stating that Mr H’s pattern of behaviour was concerning, and that his version of events did not match the records held by the Licensing Team.
Mr H made his closing statement by explaining that he had learnt his lessons and apologised for the mistakes he had made. Members heard that the offences and complaints had occurred during his first year as an inexperienced license holder, and that there had been no further incidents in the remaining two years. Mr H argued that he was fit and proper to continue to hold a license, and had completed a number of additional driving courses.
Mr H, his representatives, and the Licensing Manager were requested to withdraw from the meeting whilst the Sub-Committee discussed the application.
The Sub-Committee discussed the application.
All parties were invited back to the meeting and advised of the below decision.
RESOLVED – That Mr H be GRANTED a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage License for a period of 18 months on the condition that the knowledge test was retaken and passed.