The Chair invited Elaine Moreton, Section Leader (Licensing) and the Applicant (RK), accompanied by MN, a private hire vehicle driver in Birmingham, into the Hearing, made introductions and outlined the procedure to be followed.
The Section Leader (Licensing), outlined the report regarding an application for a Private Hire Driver Licence, which had been circulated to all parties in advance of the meeting. The matter had been referred to the Sub-Committee in accordance with Guidelines Relating to Relevance of Convictions and Breaches of Licence Conditions, specifically paragraphs 5.1.10(b), 5.1.13(b) and 5.1.6(b).
All parties were invited to question the Section Leader (Licensing) on the report. No questions were asked.
RK confirmed that the information contained within the report was accurate.
The Chair invited RK to make representations.
With the agreement of the Chair, RK circulated a character reference from his local Member of Parliament. RK stated that at the time of his drug related offences he had been having a bad time and stress with his children and had smoked cannabis whilst playing snooker with friends, who he now stayed away from, but had found that it made him paranoid. He no longer smoked it and would be willing to take a drug test to prove so. He had never drank alcohol. He had recently undertaken work in the community and worked with his local councillors. He was a very trustworthy and honest person that needed a secure job to support a large family. He added that he had never stolen from anyone.
MN added that he trusted RZ, he was an honest person and would be a good PHVD. He needed the job to allow him to take care of his kids.
All parties were invited to question the Applicant on his submission.
In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, RK stated the following:
· Although the cannabis conviction were 2 years apart, he had only taken it occasionally during a stressful time;
· For the second drug offence the Police had found him parked up in a park smoking cannabis. He was not driving. He pleaded guilty;
· At the time of the drug offences he had not recognised the bad example that he was setting for his children but he was now disgusted with himself. He had not smoked cannabis since 2015;
· He was currently a delivery driver for a takeaway restaurant on a zero hours contract;
· He saw the key roles of a PHVD as being responsible, picking up the public, being nice, pleasant, loyal and respectful, providing customer service with a smile on his face and driving safely. He would also assist any customers in need, such as disabled people;
· He had approached a taxi company with a view to working for them;
No questions were asked by officers.
The Chair invited AK to make a final statement. MN said that he knew a lot of PHVD drivers and thought that RZ would make a good one. RZ said that his father had died when he was young and that his mother had brought her children up to show respect regardless of colour. He had got married young and had been friends with the wrong people. He believed in working hard and behaving in the right way as he did not want to bring shame on his parents. He would appreciate from the heart if a licence was granted.
RK, MN and the Section Leader (Licensing) left the room to allow the Sub-Committee to determine the matter.
The Chair invited RK, MN and the Section Leader (Licensing) back into the Hearing.
The Chair detailed the decision of the Sub-Committee.
That, having considered all the evidence presented at the Hearing, both written and oral, the Sub-Committee is not satisfied that you are a fit and proper person and therefore, in accordance with Section 51 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, have decided not to grant RK a Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licence. This decision is made in accordance with paragraphs 5.1.13(b) and 5.1.6(b) of the guidelines relating to relevance of convictions and breaches of licence conditions agreed by the Licence Committee on 25 July 2012.
The Applicant has a right of appeal, against the decision of the Sub-Committee, to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of receipt of this decision.
RK, MN and the Section Leader (Licensing) left the room.