Agenda item

Chair's Urgent Business - Review of a Hackney Carriage Driver's license


The Committee:


1.     On the 2 February 2023, having heard representations from the Hackney Carriage Driver, agreed to adjourn the hearing so that an interpreter could be obtained and so that the Hackney Carriage Driver could arrange legal representation. This was to ensure the driver had a fair hearing.


10 February 2023: Present (Councillors: Churchill, Tofan, Rennie & Tuffin)


2.     On the 10 February 2023 (with an interpreter in attendance), having heard a request for an adjournment from the Solicitor acting for the Hackney Carriage Driver, agreed to adjourn the hearing for a maximum period of two weeks in order to allow the Hackney Carriage Driver to obtain legal advice to ensure they had a fair hearing.


24 February 2023: Present (Councillors: Churchill, Tofan, Rennie & Tuffin)


3.     On the 24 February 2023:


a.     At the start of the meeting, were provided with a written statement from the Hackney Carriage Driver sent by their solicitor on the 23 February 2023;


b.     Having read the content of the representation, Councillor Rennie made the decision to withdraw from the meeting and take no part in the consideration of this matter. However, it was noted that he completely refuted the allegation that the Hackney Carriage Driver would not receive a fair hearing if he sat on the Committee, and that Councillor Rennie did not accept that he had acted inappropriately in his conduct during the previous meetings;


Councillor Rennie left the meeting at this point and took no further part in this matter


c.     Took into account:


                                               i.     The content of the report from the Director of Public Health and all information, law and policy contained within it;


                                              ii.     the written information provided by the Hackney Carriage Driver in their representation however, they disregarded any reference of their ability to earn a living as this was not relevant to the consideration of whether or not they were a fit and proper person to hold a licence;


d.     Were mindful of the fact that all they had to consider before them was hearsay, both from the Hackney Carriage Driver, and the police. However, the Committee were entitled to take hearsay evidence into account when reaching their decision, and that they could only make a decision on the information before them.


e.     The overriding consideration for the Committee in deciding whether a person is fit and proper to hold or retain a licence is to protect the public. With that in mind, the members of the Committee asked themselves, whether they would want a vulnerable person or other  person they cared about to get into a vehicle alone with a driver against whom it was known that serious allegations of this type had been made, even though those allegations were still being investigated and were not proved. The answer to the question was no;


f.       Agreed that the Hackney Carriage Driver licence would therefore be revoked under S.19(1)(b) of the Plymouth City Council as they were no longer considered a fit and proper person to hold a licence due to concerns about the risk to public safety;


g.     Further agreed that no action would be taken against Hackney Carriage Driver’s vehicle licence as the revocation of their driver’s licence would sufficiently address the concerns of the Committee.


(Please note, there is a confidential part to this minute)