The Applicant was in attendance.
The Licensing Officer outlined the background to the application as follows:
· The Applicant had held a licence from 2012 to January 2018 when it had expired. A grant application had been required in January 2019 as there had been a year since expiration.
· The applicant had been convicted in January 2016 of driving without insurance and had declared as such on his application.
· A further check of his DVLA record had also shown a further conviction of TT99 ‘Totting Up’ having reached 12 or more points within 3 years. The matter had been heard on 3 June 2018 for which he was disqualified for six months with a fine.
· The Applicants licence was returned to him on 3 December 2018.
The Applicant made the following points in support of his application:
· He had not received his paperwork through the post and therefore had to rely on his email.
· He had been driving a gentleman (Mr. A) around using Mr. A’s car on the agreement that the relevant insurance had been arranged. This had been for an hourly fee.
· It transpired that the insurance in fact had not been in place. Mr. A would not agree to appear in court and had subsequently died. His estate had refused to bear any responsibility.
· He had appeared before the PSP Sub Committee at the time and they had decided not to take any sanctions.
· The ‘totting up’ had occurred largely due to the speeding cameras on the M32 which had caught 83,000 other people out. He did not see any signs and had been invited to the magistrates in Weston Super Mare but was not well enough to travel that far to attend.
· He had not worked for over a year due to ill health and a new hip. He had been driving for 51 years apart from the last two years. He wished to work again as he enjoyed working and looking after people.
· He had paid for a medical through the application process but had not been advised that there would be repercussions due to the driving enforcements.
The Licensing Officer responded to questions of clarification as follows:
· Council policy was that a period of one year free from conviction was required following disqualification and restoration of the DVLA licence. The Applicant’s licence was returned on 3rd December 2018 and a year from that date was December 2019.
· The agenda and reports to the Committee had been sent via the post and email.
At this point in the meeting, the Applicant and the Licensing Officer withdrew while the Committee considered the application and subsequently returned to hear the decision.
Members considered very carefully all of the written and verbal evidence presented to them.
RESOLVED – that the application for the grant of a Private Hire Driver Licence be REFUSED for the following reason:
Although sympathetic to the applicant that he wants to get back to driving the Committee noted their policy that where several minor traffic offences had resulted in disqualification, a period of 12 months free from conviction must have elapsed from the restoration of the DVLA licence. A sufficient period of time had not elapsed from the date of the offence to persuade them to set aside their policy and grant the licence at this time.