The Applicant was in attendance.
The Licensing Officer outlined the background to the case as follows:
· The Applicant had previously held a Licence for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle (HCV) from 2014 until 17 September 2019 when he surrendered his HCD and HCV licences as he intended to retire from work;
· The Applicant had subsequently reapplied for a vehicle licence on 3 October 2019 as he stated he had made a hasty decision to retire and wished to return to work;
· There was a long history of Council Policy in relation to diesel vehicles, as set out in the report, but under current policy, any new Hackney Carriage Vehicle had to be a ultra-low emission vehicle and the vehicle in question was not;
· If Members were minded to grant the application, this would be subject to the Applicant providing the information as detailed in paragraph 18 of the report.
In response to questioning, the Licensing Officer advised that:
· the deadline had been extended twice before to allow transitional rights but it would not be appropriate to further extend the deadline and the vehicle did not meet the current standard;
· if the Applicant had not surrendered his vehicle licence, it would not have expired until 2024 and he would have been able to use his vehicle as a Hackney Carriage until that date.
The Applicant presented his case as follows (a paper copy was circulated to the Committee):
· he thanked officers for arranging the meeting to consider his application;
· he had made a hasty decision to surrender his licence, he had considered retiring as business was slow due to competition from other taxi operators;
· On retiring, he soon realised he missed his work and decided he wanted to return to driving;
· He had enjoyed being a Bristol Hackney Carriage Driver and made sure he met the standards of the job in especially in relation to the safety of his passengers;
· He asked the Sub-Committee to reconsider his application.
In response the questioning, the Applicant confirmed:
· The vehicle was a Peugeot diesel with a mileage of approximately 100,000;
· He would like to carry on working for as long as possible, at least another 5 years;
· He would like to work 3-4 days a week;
· His intention was to use the vehicle himself and not hire it out;
· He had been a Hackney Carriage Driver for approximately 20 years and a Private Hire Driver before that;
· He had been successful in his application for a Hackney Carriage Driver’s Licence;
· If his vehicle licence was not granted, he would consider renting a vehicle, but he would rather use his own vehicle.
At this point in the meeting, the Licensing Officer and Applicant withdrew from the meeting while the committee considered the application. They returned to hear the decision.
RESOLVED – that the application for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence be granted subject to the following satisfactory documents being produced prior to a vehicle licence being issued:
a. Vehicle inspection check issued by Bristol City Council fleet services
b. Proof of ownership
c. European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval, and Certificate of Conformity
d. Valid Insurance
e. Licence Fee
REASON: The Committee considered that the circumstances of the application was exceptional to set aside the Council Policy in view of the short period of time of less than one month between the Applicant surrendering his licence and reapplying for a new licence, and if he had not surrendered his licence, his vehicle would have been licensed until 2024. The Committee was satisfied that the circumstances of the case were unique and would not set a precedent.