To consider an application for the grant of a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licence seeking exemption from Council Policy.
ZG was in attendance.
The Chair explained the procedure that would be followed and everyone introduced themselves.
The Licensing Officer introduced the report and summarised it for everyone.
The Members of the Committee inspected the vehicle.
ZG then put his case and answered questions highlighting the following:
· He works for National Taxis and wants to carry out executive work
· He already has a Private hire Vehicle but this does not generate enough income for him
· He considers that executive work will generate more income for him
· He did not know about applying for an exemption to not be required to carry plates on his car for executive work (and therefore did not apply)
· He has been a taxi driver for 4 years and has found that a number of customers want tinted glass
· He misunderstood the Council’s Policy concerning diesel vehicles as he considers that the Policy is not clear and this led to him misunderstanding its requirements concerning the licensing of diesel vehicles
· He would expect to use the vehicle for about 5 years
· He summed up his case
The Licensing Officer stated that to qualify for executive work status a driver would have to spend at least 75%of his/her time doing this type of work and BCC would expect to see evidence to back this up. This evidence would include a statement from an employer confirming that a driver would be spending at least 75% of time doing executive work, a contract requiring tinted windows on the vehicle, dress code requirements as well as other evidence from the company concerning work and requirements.
The Licensing Officer read out the Policy concerning diesel powered vehicles and advised Members that this Policy was agreed by the Full Committee on 28th February 2017 and came into effect on 1st April 2018. She also confirmed that a vehicle could be used for private hire purposes up to 12 years from first registration.
The Licensing Officer and applicant left the room while the Committee made its decision.
The Members considered very carefully all of the written and verbal evidence presented to them. They also noted the visual inspection of the vehicle.
They noted their Policy. A licence can only be granted for a diesel vehicle if there is no petrol version of the vehicle. They noted that although exemptions for tinted glass have been allowed, these relate to executive work and Members must be satisfied that they have seen sufficient evidence to persuade them that the vehicle would be used predominantly for executive work.
The Members did not consider that they had been presented with sufficient evidence to confirm that the vehicle would be used for executive work and therefore persuade them to set aside their Policy in this case. The Members, whilst having sympathy for ZG if he misunderstood the Policy concerning diesel vehicles, also did not consider that they had heard sufficient evidence to persuade them to set aside the Policy in this case. They therefore agreed to refuse the application.
Everyone returned to the room to hear the announcement of the decision.
Resolved – that the application for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence made by ZG be refused as the vehicle does not comply with the Council’s Policy relating to Private Hire Vehicles.