Agenda Item No 6
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Licensing Committee: 20th January 2015
Report of the Director of Development Services
For Information - Bridgend Hackney Carriage Driver Prosecutions
Purpose of the Report
1. To inform Members of action taken by Officers of the Licensing Section and the decision of Cardiff Magistrate's Court in relation to Bridgend licensed vehicles and drivers plying for hire within the Vale of Glamorgan boundary.
That members note the contents of this Report
Reason for the Recommendation
To ensure members are aware of the action taken by Officers under delegated authority and the Magistrate's Court.
2. On Friday 20th June 2014 and Saturday 21st June 2014 a joint exercise took place between Enforcement Officers from Vale of Glamorgan Council and Bridgend Council following complaints from Vale of Glamorgan licensed hackney carriage / private hire drivers of unlicensed drivers and vehicles plying for hire in Cowbridge.
3. During the exercise three Bridgend licensed drivers accepted bookings from Cowbridge to Bridgend. The passengers of these journeys were Enforcement Officers from Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Relevant Issues and Options
4. All three drivers pleaded guilty and one attended Cardiff Magistrates Court on 11th December 2014.
5. The Magistrates Court imposed fines and costs to the first driver of £20 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £115 fine in relation to offence contrary to section 45 totalling £220. The second was £20 victim surcharge, £100 costs and £70 fine in relation to offence contrary to section 45 totalling £190 the third was £20 victim surcharge, £100 costs, £65 fine in relation to offence contrary to section 45 totalling £185.
6. No penalty points were imposed on any of the driver licences.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
7. Resources directed to the administration and enforcement of the Taxi Licensing function may be recovered through Taxi Licensing Fees and Charges.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
9. Section 45 Town Police Clauses Act 1847 states: -
If the proprietor or part proprietor of any carriage, or any person so concerned as aforesaid, permits the same to be used as a hackney carriage plying for hire within the prescribed distance without having obtained a licence as aforesaid for such carriage, or during the time that such licence is suspended as hereinafter provided, or if any person be found driving, standing, or plying for hire with any carriage within the prescribed distance for which such licence as aforesaid has not been previously obtained, or without having the number of such carriage corresponding with the number of the licence openly displayed on such carriage, every such person so offending shall for every such offence be liable to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings.
Crime and Disorder Implications
10. Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Council has a statutory duty to consider crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour implications whilst regulating licensing activities. There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this Report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
11. The Council is obliged to apply its licensing conditions on an equitable basis in the case of all applications.
12. To protect the health and safety of the community by ensuring businesses meet legislative requirements, controlling infectious diseases, encouraging responsible dog ownership, controlling pests and regulating animal health and welfare. To maintain a fair and equitable trading environment.
Policy Framework and Budget
13. This is a matter for decision by the Licensing Committee.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
15. Housing and Public Protection.
Amanda Ewington. Licensing Team Leader 01446 709782
Richard Price, Lawyer, Legal Services 01446 709409
D R Thomas, Director of Development Services