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Part II (CLOSED SESSION)
Review of Application for Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver's Licence
To receive the report of the Lead Licensing Officer.
Councillor Christie opened the meeting by welcoming the applicant and introducing the Licensing Sub-Committee Members and Torridge District Council staff present.
Members present declared that they had no prejudicial interest in the matter before them.
The applicant confirmed his name and address. He explained that he had been expecting a representative to join the meeting but had been told representation was not allowed. The Senior Solicitor asked whether the applicant wished to defer the hearing to organise representation. The applicant declined.
The Chair explained the procedure for the hearing and invited the Lead Licensing Officer to present his report.
The Lead Licensing Officer presented the report and advised that the authority had received an application for a hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence. Checks carried out by the Licensing Team had revealed criminal convictions which called into question the applicant’s suitability to be granted a licence. For that reason, the application had been brought before a Licensing Sub-Committee for determination. Legislation required the authority not to grant a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle if they were not satisfied that the applicant was a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold such a licence. The key consideration for the Sub-Committee was public safety.
A number of questions were raised. The applicant responded in detail.
The Chair stated that the informative responses had very much put forward the applicant’s case and he asked if there was anything else the applicant wished to add. The applicant disclosed additional personal information.
The Chair invited the Lead Licensing Officer to make a closing submission on behalf of the authority. The Sub-Committee was reminded that the key question to decide was whether the applicant was a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence. If, having regard to all the evidence, the Sub-Committee believed that the public was being put at risk, it should refuse the application.
The Sub-Committee retired at 10.20 to consider its decision.
At 10.28 am the Sub-Committee returned.
The Sub-Committee’s findings were that:
The applicant was considered to be a suitable person to hold a hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence as the offences committed were regarded as historic. The applicant’s recent employment record suggested his past indiscretions would not be repeated. The Sub-Committee recommended that a hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence for be granted 12 months.
The Chair explained that at the end of the 12 month period the applicant would have to reapply.
The hearing closed at 10.31 am.