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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.15 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.
Conduct of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver
Report of the Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer)
The subject of the decision:
The Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer) asked the Panel to consider whether the licence holder (“D”) was a fit and proper person to continue to hold a hackney carriage and private hire driver licence.
Alternative options considered:
The Panel considered the options outlined in paragraph 6.1 of the Director’s report. The Panel concluded that D was a fit and proper person to continue to hold a hackney carriage and private hire driver’s licence subject to being issued with a written warning and therefore it was not necessary to revoke or suspend D’s licence.
The reason for the decision:
The Panel considered the Director’s report, the written and oral representations of D, the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and the relevant legislation.
The Panel noted that, in 2001, D was the subject of an investigation into an allegation of overloading a licensed vehicle. D subsequently admitted carrying an excess number of passengers and received a written warning as a result.
The Panel also noted that, in December 2013, North Yorkshire Police issued D with a Community Resolution Order following allegations that he made threatening comments on Facebook about foreign people setting up taxi firms and putting him out of business. D also received a written warning from the Council in relation to the same matter.
The Panel noted that, on 18 December 2019, Hambleton District Council’s Licensing Team received some information from Hambleton and Richmondshire Pupil Referral Service (via North Yorkshire County Council) in relation to concerns over some comments allegedly made by a driver who was later identified as D.
The Panel noted that the report of the Pupil Referral Service stated that a 14 year-old male student indicated that D had used inappropriate language of a sexual nature in response to a taxi booking enquiry from a female passenger. The report stated that the 14 year-old male student was amused by D’s comment and that this was not the first time that D had made comments similar to this.
The Panel noted that, on 19 December 2019, D attended the Council offices to give his account of the alleged incident. D denied that the incident occurred and he insisted that he had never had a conversation of that nature in the presence of passengers. D acknowledged that conversations of this nature would be totally unacceptable.
The Panel noted that, in December 2019, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) at North Yorkshire Safeguarding Unit consulted with the Pupil Referral Service and a social worker in relation to the alleged incident and this was reported back to the Licensing Team. The social worker stated that the 14 year-old male student described the incident to her directly and confirmed that D had used inappropriate language of a sexual nature in response to a taxi booking enquiry from D’s ex-girlfriend.
The Panel noted that the Pupil Referral Service had sought to make further enquiries with the male student in January 2020. However, ... view the full minutes text for item LAHP.15