SA was in attendance accompanied by an Interpreter
The Chair explained the procedure that would be followed and everyone introduced themselves.
The Licensing Officer introduced the report and summarised it for everyone.
Committee were reminded that the application was deferred from the 4th December agenda because an Interpreter could not be provided. The following was highlighted;
· That the applicant had failed to declare a CU80 penalty on his licence
· That he failed to attend occupational medical assessment on the 12th December; the medical assessment was required to consider the existing disabilities and weakness in his right hand; to assess the applicants ability to meet DVLA group 2 entitlement ‘fitness to drive’
· Were reminded of two complaints on his record from 2016 & 2017
Members assisted the applicant through his Interpreter by putting questions for clarification:
· SA was asked for the reason why he failed to attend the medical assessment. He explained that because he was no longer working he had limited resources so unable to pay for the appointment. He further explained that he was also unwell and decided that when he was feeling better he would call to make a further appointment.
· SA was asked about his injury. He explained that he had fallen and that his Doctor had given him medication to apply to the area. That he had no evidence of his Doctor’s medical consultation.
· SA when asked confirmed that he was in Pakistan from 24th September to 8th November. Further explaining that he was led to believe from Officers that his ‘badge’ would be issued whilst he was away. As a result of enquires made over the telephone on the 1st October when he was advised that the driving offence & medical condition combined, meant the badge would not be reissued.
· SA shared that as a disabled persons he believed he received better assistance from staff at his local petrol station than from Officers in the Licensing office. He expressed his concerns about the negative perception of him speaking loudly; that he had caused no damage to customers whilst driving and that the situation had damaged him. That his daughter filled out the renewal form and had completed the form incorrectly.
· SA was asked to give an explanation of the mobile incident. He explained that he was on his way to the mosque for Friday prayers, his wife had called 3 times and he believed that indicated a family emergency.
· SA affirmed that it was the first time in 25 years he had been given points on his licence.
The Licensing Officer, applicant and the Interpreter left the room while the Committee made its decision.
Members considered very carefully all of the written and verbal evidence presented to them.
They noted their Policy that where a conviction is within 6 months of the date of the application, it merit refusal. Noted that he alleged that his daughter completed the application and he did not view penalty points as a conviction. That there had been 2 different types of complaints against him over the last couple of years. They then considered the situation with regards DVLA group 2 medical fitness test and whether he was fit to drive. The medical assessment had not taken place and until a report was produced on his condition(s) the test cannot be answered.
Members next considered the applicants action in line with the ‘fit & proper person’ criteria and although admiring his commitment to working despite his disability, they viewed the use of a mobile phone whilst driving a serious offence.
Members were unanimous in their decision that the application should be refused; that the application should be invited to replay for his licensing after 3 months had elapse, this allowed for the 3 months that he had been off the road. The applicant must attend an occupational health assessment to satisfy that he met the group 2 DVLA medical fitness to drive test and the result of the examination must accompany his application for his licence.
Everyone returned to the room to hear the announcement of the decision.
Resolved – that the application for a Hackney Carriage Driver (HCD) Licence made by SA be refused as he has not convinced the Council that he is a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.