Agenda item

To Interview an Applicant for a Re-Licence of a Private Hire Driver's Licence who has 11 Current Penalty Points, Item Number: 04/2021


The Licensing Officer:


a)    provided a report to determine whether the licence holder was a fit and proper person to continue to hold a private hire driver’s licence following 11 valid penalty points having been received on his driving licence


b)    stated that the licensee had held a licence since June 2017, when he appeared before Members of the Sub Committee as he was unable to provide a certificate of good conduct


c)    explained that the licensee made an application for a re-licence on 22 April 2021 and declared that he hadn’t received any criminal findings of guilt and wasn’t prosecuted as far as he was aware


d)    advised that a DBS check as detailed at Appendix A of the officer’s report showed relevant information disclosed at the discretion of the Chief Police Officer stating that the applicant had allegedly been involved in a road traffic collision with a cyclist whilst working as a private hire driver and that the matter was due to be heard at the Magistrates Court


e)    reported that the applicant was subsequently contacted and informed he was required to appear before Members and to inform the Authority of the outcome of the hearing


f)     stated that the applicant provided officers with paperwork on 19 July 2021 which stated that he had been found guilty of driving without due care and attention, a copy of the endorsement could be viewed at Appendix B and a copy of the fine and collection order at Appendix C of the officer’s report


g)    added that a further DBS check revealed 11 penalty points on his driving licence


h)    alerted the Sub Committee to the current Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy which stated the following in relation to penalty points and taking a stepped approach to driver licence enforcement: ‘If a driver receives 9 or more penalty points for minor or some hybrid traffic offences, the matter will be referred to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Sub-Committee for a hearing. The driver will be expected to address the issues before the Sub-Committee.’


The Sub-Committee questioned the applicant about his convictions and received responses from the applicant.


Members expressed particular concern as to the applicant’s trustworthiness and honesty with officers and members of the Sub Committee regarding his convictions and required assurances from him that he was a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Private Hire Driver’s Licence


The Solicitor for the City of Lincoln Council viewed an e mail trail between the applicant and the Court which was forwarded to her during the hearing by the applicant in his defence The Court advised the applicant he would be granted a Statutory Declaration to allow him the chance to say why the case against him should be reopened, for the Court to then determine whether this would happen. He had been convicted of criminal findings of guilt, subsequently fined and his drivers’ licence endorsed with 8 additional penalty points although he disputed having received any paperwork from the Court. His appearance before members this afternoon was the result of the offence against him of driving a vehicle without due care and attention


Members of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Sub Committee requested and obtained permission from the applicant to contact his Private Hire Driver’s employer to confirm details he said had given to them of two witnesses to the alleged road traffic collision who had stated it was not his fault.


It was agreed the company would be contacted the following morning for this assurance to be obtained.


The Decision was made as follows:


That the application for the grant of a private hire driver’s licence be granted subject to the following conditions:


  1. A special condition be imposed requiring a quarterly DVLA check to be carried out at the licence holder’s expense for a duration of two years starting from the date of his new licence.


2.    A strongly worded letter be issued which would emphasise the importance of declaring any further convictions or court proceedings as a legal requirement, to keep the Licensing Authority updated on all outcomes including that of the Statutory Declaration and subsequent appeal of his conviction and that the licensing authority reserves the right to call him back to committee once we have the outcome of these matters. There was an expectation that if any further offences were to occur then this may result in his Private Hire Drivers Licence being revoked.


The reasons for this decision were:


Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Sub-Committee was not totally satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a licence. However, the Sub-Committee considered that by imposing the above conditions on the applicant’s licence - they would consider him fit and proper:


1.    The applicant felt that he had conducted himself correctly at the time of the accident in reporting it to his employer including providing his employer with the contact details of the two witnesses involved.


2.    Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Sub-Committee expressed concern that the applicant had failed to report the accident to the Licensing Authority.


3.    It was noted that the Court had accepted there had been some confusion over the issue of the initial summons.


4.    The applicant explained to the Sub-Committee that he was in the process of contesting and appealing against his original conviction. He said that he had been found guilty in his absence because of an administrative error and that everyone had a right to a fair hearing, and it was his right to prove to the Court that he had not received notification of Court proceedings. He was therefore currently awaiting a date to make a statutory declaration before the court of the above.


5.    Members did believe that following the accident, the applicant had done everything correctly in relation to the accident.


Foot note: Following enquiries made to the applicant’s private hire driver’s employer regarding contact details of witnesses the applicant stated he had given to his employer after the accident, it was confirmed by the employer that the applicant had not provided any witness details or reported the accident to them.


In these circumstances it was agreed by the Chair that the applicant was required to appear again before Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Sub-Committee to explain himself further on this matter in order to satisfy members that he was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire driver’s licence before his licence could be reissued to him.


A hearing was set for 29 September 2021. 5.30pm, Committee Rooms1/2