Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Rotary Way, Northallerton, DL6 2UU
Contact: Democratic Services Officer 01609 767015
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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.10 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 driver licence.
Alternative options considered:
The Panel considered the options in paragraph 6.1 of the officer’s report but, having concluded that D was not a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage driver licence, the only suitable option was to revoke D’s licence.
The Panel was not satisfied that any of the alternative options, including issuing a warning or a suspension, would adequately serve the interests of the public and address the concerns raised.
The reason for the decision:
The Panel considered the Director’s report, the oral and written representations of D, the witness statements from two complainants, the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and the relevant legislation.
D informed the Panel that he picked up a passenger (“P”) from Amadeus nightclub in Northallerton in the early hours of the morning on Sunday 26th February and, on the way to Brompton, the passenger asked D to pick up her friend (“F”) who was walking home.
D informed the Panel that he recognised F from previous journeys. D indicated that he had stopped picking F up because she rarely had money to pay the fare. D informed the Panel that many taxi drivers in the area take the same approach with F. When asked why he hadn’t refused to take F on this occasion, D informed the Panel that the Council expects all passengers to be taken under any circumstances. The Panel noted that all drivers can refuse to carry passengers if they have a reasonable excuse and it was satisfied on the basis of D’s own account that he, along with many other drivers, had frequently exercised this discretion on apparently reasonable grounds prior to the date in question.
D informed the Panel that when he asked his passengers how the fare would be paid, P and F had given him the impression that they were not willing to pay. The Panel noted that this was in keeping with P’s statement, which indicated that she told the driver they are “not paying for this taxi now”. However, P alleges that this statement was in response to D’s demands for a sexual act from F in lieu of payment. The same allegation was also made directly by F.
The Panel considered the allegations made by P and F in relation to their claims that D had made sexually suggestive remarks. D denied making any remarks of a sexual nature and insisted that he would never use language of this kind. D informed the Panel that, at the start of the journey, he had no reason to doubt that P was willing to pay the fare. The Panel noted that no alternative account was provided to explain the reason for P’s apparent change of heart in this regard. The Panel ... view the full minutes text for item LAHP.11