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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: 2nd October 2012

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Applications for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver's Licences

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek the Committee's approval to delegate to officers the power to refuse applications for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver licences which cannot be determined within 12 months of application.

Recommendations

THAT officers are provided with delegated power to refuse applications for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver licences which cannot be determined within 12 months of application.

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 accuracy of Criminal Record Disclosures and information provided on the application when a length of time that has elapsed since the application was first made.

·         The cost involved in bringing such matters before the Licensing Committee.

Background

2.             At the Licensing Committee on 4th September 2012 the Committee considered a number of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver's licence application files that were open but had become 'dormant', in that the applicants had not sought to progress the application for some time.

3.             The Licensing Committee resolved to refuse the applications and further instructed that a report be brought to Committee to allow the delegation of the power to refuse Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver Licence applications in similar circumstances to Licensing Officers.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             It is proposed that where applicants are not able to meet the application criteria for the grant of a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver licence within 12 months of the date of application, the application be refused. 

5.             Should the Committee be minded to support the proposal contained within this report, all relevant information available to applicants will be amended to reflect the changes.

6.             In such circumstances a final letter will be sent to the applicant notifying them of the refusal of their application and their right of appeal, and the file will be closed.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

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

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.             None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.             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.

 

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

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

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

may appeal to the magistrates' court.

 

11.        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

12.        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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.        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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.        Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Kate Thompson, Principal Regulatory Services Officer 01446 70910

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services.