Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Carole Oliphant Member Services Officer
Chairman - Election
To elect a Chairman for the Hearing.
Cllr D J Knowles was duly elected Chairman for the Sub Committee.
Apologies and Substitute Members
To receive any apologies for absence and notices of Substitution (if any).
There were no apologies or substitute Members.
Committee to note Remote Meetings Protocol and Members of the Committee to introduce themselves.
The Sub Committee had before it, and NOTED, *the Remote Meetings Protocol.
Note: *Protocol previously circulated and attached to the minutes.
Access to Information Act - Exclusion of the Press and Public
It may be necessary to pass a resolution to exclude the press and public having reflected on Article 12 12.02(d) (a presumption in favour of openness) of the Constitution. This decision may be required because consideration of this matter in public may disclose information falling within one of the descriptions of exempt information in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972. The Regulatory Sub Committee will need to decide whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption, outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
To consider passing the following resolution so that exempt information may be discussed:
Recommended by the Proper Officer that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the next item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 respectively of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, namely information relating an individual.
Prior to consideration of a report from the Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services to consider whether or not a license holder was fit and proper to hold a licence (or Licenses) with Mid Devon District Council the Sub Committee discussed whether or not the hearing should be held in public or private. Members considered the circumstances of the case and agreed that the hearing should be conducted in closed session. The following resolution was therefore passed:
ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT – EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
RESOLVED that under section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the next item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, namely information relating to an individual.
To determine whether or not a Licence Holder is fit and proper to hold a hackney carriage/private hire licence
A Hearing to determine whether or not a Licence Holder is fit and proper to hold a hackney carriage/private hire licence.
The Corporate Manager for Public Health, Regulation & Housing, Public Health outlined the contents of the report and explained the key aims and objectives within the policy, those being public safety along with the prevention of crime and disorder. The options before the Sub Committee in relation to the licence were also outlined.
The Officer explained that the hearing was to determine if the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage/private hire licence in light of an incident that had occurred.
The Officer outlined the circumstances of the case and drew attention to additional information received which had been circulated to the Sub Committee.
The defendant answered questions from the Sub Committee and explained that they had not instigated the situation and had tried to walk away from it on a number of occasions.
The Sub Committee then withdrew to consider the evidence.
Having reflected on the evidence presented to the Sub Committee:
The Sub-Committee took into account the relevant legislation, the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy and the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards (Department for Transport) –regarding the ‘fit and proper’ test and especially the overriding consideration of public safety and maintaining the public confidence in the licensing regime given the incident occurred in a public space i.e. Gold Street.
It also considered what was said by the defendant and the CCTV footage of the incident. It was felt they acted with some restraint in all of the circumstances and were acting in defence of themselves and others at times.
The Sub-Committee RESOLVED to issue a warning. The Sub-committee would not condone this sort of behaviour and wanted the defendant to understand the need to uphold professional behaviour at all times whilst licensed, not just whilst driving. They needed to understand that their behaviour could bring the Council’s licensing process into disrepute as it had to regulate licensing in Mid Devon.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
The Solicitor confirmed that written confirmation would be sent to the Licence holder which would include details of the right to appeal.