To consider an application by Miss A
(separate copy for sub-committee members only)
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. He explained that the decision would be made in accordance with Gwynedd Council's licensing policy. It was noted that the purpose of the policy was to set guidelines for the criteria when considering the applicant's application, with the aim of protecting the public by ensuring that:
• The person is a fit and proper person
• The person does not pose a threat to the public
• The public are safeguarded from dishonest persons
• Children and young people are protected
• The safeguarding of vulnerable persons
• The public have confidence in using licensed vehicles.
The Licensing Officer presented a written report on the application received from Miss A for a hackney/private hire vehicle driver's licence. The Sub-committee was requested to consider the application in accordance with the DBS record, the guidelines on criminal offences and relevant convictions, and also the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's report. The Licensing Authority recommended that the Sub-committee approve the application.
The applicant was invited to expand on the application and provide information about the background of the endorsements on the licence and her personal circumstances. She admitted that she had not submitted the details of her new address to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and had not informed the Licensing Department about serious traffic offences - she noted that at the time she had been moving house and she acknowledged her oversight.
RESOLVED that the applicant was a fit and proper person to be issued with a hackney/private hire vehicle driver's licence from Gwynedd Council.
In reaching its decision, the Sub-committee considered the following:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The requirements of 'Gwynedd Council's Licensing Policy for Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles'
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>the applicant's application form
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>the Licensing Department's report, the DBS statement and the DVLA's report
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>the applicant's verbal representations
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's guidelines
Specific consideration was given to the following matters:
In April 2020, the applicant had received six penalty points for failing to provide information relating to driver identity.
Paragraph 2.2 of the Council's Policy was considered, which states that a person with a conviction for a serious offence need not be automatically barred from obtaining a licence, but would normally be expected to remain free of any conviction for an appropriate period as stated in the Policy, and to show evidence that the individual was a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The onus was on the applicant to prove that they were a fit and proper person. Paragraph 2.4 states that when an applicant has a conviction(s) or there are other related matter(s) to be considered in connection with that, the Council cannot review the merits of the conviction or other matter.
Paragraph 4.5 was considered which states that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 2002 allows the Sub-committee to take into account all convictions recorded against an applicant, whether spent or otherwise, under the 1974 Act.
Section 12 of the Policy relates to driving convictions, and paragraph 12.2 lists major traffic offences for the purposes of the Policy. Among these offences, MS90 (failure to provide information about the identity of a driver etc) is included. Paragraph 12.3 states that an application will be refused if there is a conviction against the applicant and he/she has not been free of the conviction for at least six months.
The Sub-committee concluded that the 2020 conviction was a serious traffic offence. The applicant's failure to disclose information was considered in accordance with the requirements of the licence. The explanation provided by the applicant, that disorder arising from a house move was the reason for the failure to provide the information at the time, was accepted.
The Sub-committee was satisfied that the period of time noted in the Policy (at least 6 months) where applications should be refused due to such offences had elapsed.
The sub-committee decided in favour of approving the application. It was determined that the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a hackney vehicle and private hire driver's licence. The applicant was encouraged to behave responsibly and carefully as the 6 points on her licence would not be spent until April 2023.
The Solicitor reported that the decision would be confirmed formally by letter to the applicant.