Regulatory Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 28th November, 2013
Time:
7.30 pm
Place:
New Council Chamber, Town Hall, REIGATE
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor G. Crome, Chairman; Councillors S. Banwait, Mrs L. Brunt, A. Horwood, F. Kelly, R. Mantle, A. Lynch, D. Pay† and B. Truscott
† Substitute

Min NoDescriptionResolution
Part I
8. MINUTES
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 May 2013 be approved as a correct record and signed.
9 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Harper. It was noted that Councillor Harper had an interest in item 6 on the agenda and would have had to leave the meeting during its consideration.

Apologies for absence were also received from Councillor Shillinglaw (substitute: Councillor Pay).
10 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
11 ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS
There was no other business.
12 EXEMPT BUSINESS
RESOLVED that members of the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that:

(i) it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and
(ii) the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information
Part II(Confidential)
13 TO DETERMINE WHETHER A PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER IS A FIT AND PROPER PERSON TO HOLD SUCH A LICENCE
  • Agenda item: 6
RESOLVED,

1. that a formal warning be issued to the licenceholder; and

2. that the licenceholder be strongly recommended to undertake a driver's awareness course, organised either by himself or with the help of his employer.

In reaching its decision, the Committee advised the licenceholder that it had given serious consideration to the option of revoking his licence.

It also requested that the relevant documentation evidencing completion of a driver's awareness course should be forwarded to Officers,
8.55 pm

Minute

Min NoMinute
13The Licensing Officer presented a report asking the Committee to determine whether a private hire driver remained a fit and proper person to hold a private hire driver licence.

The report set out a history of complaints made against the driver over a number of years. The complaints were both from passengers complaining about his personal attitude and from other road users complaining about his aggressive driving.

Following the most recent complaint, officers had invited the driver to reply to a letter under caution. Subsequent to this, and in view of the number and context of the complaints, officers referred the matter to the Regulatory Committee so that it could decide whether it wished to take further action.

The private hire driver attended the hearing accompanied by his legal adviser who spoke on his behalf.

In the course of the submissions, it was noted that four of the eight complaints had been anonymous. A number of statements made by the complainants, such as traffic lights remaining red for five minutes at a specific road when a test had shown that the maximum was two minutes, indicated an exaggeration of the facts, but as none of the complainants was present at the hearing it was not possible to question them or corroborate the details in any way.

Furthermore, the complaints covered a span of more than ten years which helped to set the context, bearing in mind that the licenceholder was a professional driver doing a high volume of mileage each year.

Notwithstanding this, the licenceholder fully recognised that he had a duty to his passengers to maintain a high standard of behaviour at all times and not to respond if other road users drove badly or remonstrated with him.

The licence holder very much regretted that his behaviour had necessitated the present hearing and appreciated the seriousness of this. It was of great concern to him that the Committee might revoke his licence, because of the impact this would have upon his livelihood.

In mitigation, the licenceholder referred to his generally extrovert personality, which some people may have interpreted as loud or argumentative when they did not know him, and he undertook to ensure that his future behaviour would be exemplary.

The Committee adjourned to deliberate at 8.08 pm
and resumed at 8.52 pm.