PUBLIC PROTECTION LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 7th November, 2017.
Present: Councillor A.D. Hampton (Chairman); Councillor M.J.G. Morgan (Vice-Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, R. Crowley, Mrs. P. Drake, O. Griffiths, K.P. Mahoney, Mrs. A. Moore, Mrs. J.M. Norman, J.W. Thomas, Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson and Mrs. M. Wright.
441 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillors Mrs. J. Charles, B.T. Gray and S.T. Wiliam.
442 MINUTES –
RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd October, 2017 be approved as a correct record.
443 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
444 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC –
RESOLVED – T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.
445 RENEWAL OF DRIVER LICENCES – S (EHS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –
The Committee was required to determine whether or not S was a fit and proper person to hold Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Vehicle Driver Licences.
In commencing this item, the Chairman asked S to introduce the representatives who would be providing representations on their behalf. S’s family member and S’s legal representative then stated their names for the benefit of the Committee.
Following a request from the Chairman, the Legal Officer advised all present of the procedure for the meeting and confirmed that S and their legal representative had received copies of the papers.
The Team Manager – Licensing, in presenting the report, stated that S submitted an application for the renewal of his Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licences on 9th October, 2017, prior to expiry of the licences on 13th October, 2017. The application was technically one of a grant of a licence.
In addition, the Committee was also asked to take into account one complaint and two instances of poor vehicle maintenance involving S and relevant to an assessment of whether he was a fit and proper person to hold taxi driver licences. The report also contained information from South Wales Police concerning an investigation that had been discontinued during 2016.
The Chairman then provided S’s legal representative an opportunity to ask questions or points of clarification in relation to the contents of the report.
S’s legal representative was then afforded the opportunity to make representations to the Committee.
Having heard the representations, Members of the Committee questioned S in relation to the contents of the report and sought clarity on a number of matters.
Following the presentation of the report and the representations made at the meeting, the Committee then deliberated the matter in private.
On returning, the Chairman advised those present of the Committee’s decision as below:
RESOLVED – T H A T it was the Committee’s determination that S was not a fit and proper person to continue to hold a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence, and that the Driver Licence renewal application be refused.
Reasons for decision
Having considered the report presented to the Committee and the representations made and in the absence of evidence to the contrary in relation to information disclosed to this Authority by South Wales Police. Taking account of the Policy on Treatment of Convictions and Cautions and Charges, in particular Sections 7.2, 15.1 and 2.3 and having applied the test set out at paragraphs 18 and 19 of the report.
Whilst the Crown Prosecution Service may have taken the decision not to prosecute S, that decision was based on a higher test in terms of evidential burden. The Committee was satisfied that S’s conduct alone in presenting vehicles for testing which had required a suspension notice to be issued was of considerable concern alone. However, taken with the fact that officers have had to address behaviour described as “threatening” by S to passengers and public safety concerns in terms of S’s driving of vehicles, the Committee could not be satisfied that S was a fit and proper person to hold a Vale of Glamorgan Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence.