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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: 3rd September 2012

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Applications for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licences

 

Purpose of the Report

1.            To consider how a number of applications for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver's Licences that remain open but 'dormant' should now be determined.

Recommendations

After careful consideration of the facts of each application as outlined in Appendix A to this report are requested in respect of this matter.  Members may wish to consider the following options;

  • THAT all the applications for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver's Licences on the list be refused. 
  • THAT the applications on the list be kept open indefinitely. 

The Officer recommendation in this matter is that all the applications now be refused and that the applicants be informed by letter giving reasons for the refusal. 

Reasons for the Recommendations

There are several reasons for the recommendation which include:-

  • The need to determine Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver's applications within a reasonable timescale. 
  • The costs incurred of processing these applications to date.
  • The concerns about the accuracy of information provided on applications.
  • The accuracy of Criminal Record Disclosures given the length of time that has elapsed since the applications were first made.

Background

2.            A review of pending Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver's application files has brought to light a number of applications that have been open for some time but have become 'dormant', in that the applicants have not sought to progress the application for some time.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.            There are currently twelve applications that fall into this 'dormant' category.  A list of the relevant applications and the significant dates in relation to them can be found at Appendix A to this report.

4.            Licensing Officers have written to all applicants giving them the opportunity to contact the Licensing Section to discuss the progress of their applications.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

5.            Resources directed to the administration and determination of Taxi Licences may be recovered through Taxi Licensing Fees and Charges.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

6.            None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

7.            Section 51 (1) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

Subject to the provisions of this part of the Act, a district council shall, on receipt of an application from any person for the grant to that person of a licence to drive private hire vehicles, grant to that person a driver's licence;

Provided that a district council shall not grant a licence-

Unless they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driver's licence; or

to any person who has not for at least twelve months been authorised to drive a motor car, or is not at the date of the application for a driver’s licence so authorised.

8.            Section 52 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states: Any person aggrieved by -

9.            (1) the refusal of the district council to grant a driver's licence under section 51 of this Act; or

10.       (2) any conditions attached to the grant of a driver's licence;

11.       may appeal to the magistrates' court.

12.       Section 59 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Act of 1847, a district council shall not grant a licence to drive a Hackney Carriage-

(a) Unless they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driver's licence; or

(b)To any person who has not for at least twelve months been and is not at the date of the application for a driver's licence, the holder of a licence granted under Part III of the Act of 1972 (not being a provisional licence) authorising him to drive a motor car.

(2) Any applicant aggrieved by the refusal of a district council to grant a driver's licence on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper person to hold such a licence may appeal to the magistrates' court.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.       Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Council has a statutory duty to consider crime and disorder implications whilst regulating licensing activities.  We must have due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on the need to do all we can reasonably do to prevent crime and disorder in our area.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.       The Council is obliged to apply its Licensing conditions on an equitable basis in the case of all applications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.       To protect the health and safety of the community by ensuring businesses meet legislative requirements, controlling infectious disease, encouraging responsible dog ownership, controlling pests and regulating animal health and welfare. To maintain a fair and equitable trading environment.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.       The proposals in this report are in accordance with the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.       Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.       Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Kate Thompson, Principal Regulatory Services Officer 01446 709105

Officers Consulted

None

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services.