Venue: Meeting Room 1, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Rotary Way, Northallerton, DL6 2UU
Contact: Democratic Services Officer 01609 767015
Exclusion of the Public and Press
To consider passing a resolution under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 excluding the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 3 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.
That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public were excluded from the meeting during consideration of the item of business at minute no LAHP.11 on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act as the Panel was satisfied that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
Application for a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver Licence
Report of the Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer)
The subject of the decision:
The Panel was asked to consider whether to grant or refuse an application for a hackney carriage and private hire driver licence.
Alternative options considered:
The Panel considered the options outlined in the Director’s report. The Panel was not satisfied that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage and private hire driver’s licence. The Panel was not satisfied that granting the licence would adequately serve the interests of the public.
The reason for the decision:
The Panel considered the Director of Law and Governance’s report, the application for a hackney carriage and private hire driver licence, the applicant’s oral representations and written submissions, the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and the relevant legislation.
The Panel noted that the applicant had, as part of the application process, disclosed that he currently holds a hackney carriage and private hire driver licence with Darlington Borough Council. The Panel considered information provided by Darlington Borough Council indicating that the applicant had been licensed with them since March 2017 and had been the subject of two complaints in that time.
The Panel noted that the complaints related to two separate incidents involving parking in a loading bay and using a PDA (a digital device used to transfer taxi booking data) whilst driving.
The Panel acknowledged that no other information was provided by Darlington Borough Council to confirm whether the complaints were upheld or whether any sanction was imposed. However, the Panel noted that, during the hearing, the applicant acknowledged his wrongdoing in this regard.
The applicant informed the Panel that the PDA is used as part of his operator’s taxi booking system. The applicant informed the Panel that he had used the PDA while driving but only to press a button on the screen.
The Panel was concerned that the applicant had been in receipt of complaints in respect of matters relating to adhering to road safety and the Highway Code. However, the Panel was satisfied that the licence had not been suspended or revoked by Darlington Borough Council. Accordingly, the Panel was satisfied that this concern, in itself, would not necessarily render the applicant unsuitable to hold a licence.
The Panel noted that, in accordance with the Council’s Policy, a hackney carriage and private hire driver licence will not be granted unless a number of requirements have been satisfied. One of these requirements is that the applicant passes a written test which seeks to assess the applicant’s knowledge of the law, the Council’s Policy and the local area.
The Panel was informed that the applicant had first undertaken the knowledge test at the Council’s offices in October 2019. During the test, the Council’s Enforcement Officer observed the applicant repeatedly looking at another applicant’s test paper. The applicant was warned by the Enforcement Officer to keep his eyes on his own paper. Despite the earlier warning, the applicant continued to look at another applicant’s paper. The Enforcement Officer then instructed the ... view the full minutes text for item LAHP.11