The applicant was in attendance.
The Licensing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to the following:
· The application for a Private Hire Driver’s Licence was made on 9 April 2020. The applicant has held a licence since 2014.
· Upon processing the application a DVLA check was carried out which identified an SP30 offence resulting in a 6 points licence penalty. The applicant did not declare this offence on his application as required by the policy.
· The Council’s general policy on criminal behaviour states that this offence is a hybrid offence which will be treated as a major traffic offence if 4 or more penalty points were imposed for the offence. 6 points were imposed therefore the offence is treated as a major traffic offence.
· However, where the conviction is within 6 months prior to the date of the application the application will normally be refused
· An application will normally be refused if there is a major traffic offence within 6 months prior to application.
The applicant gave the following evidence:
· The date of the offence was 3 December 2019. The company he worked for received a letter asking who the driver was. He then received a letter in late January/early February where he accepted responsibility for the offence and returned a form. . He then went on holiday 10 – 24 February 2020 and moved house on 1 March 2020. Mid to end of March 2020 he received a letter regarding the offence requesting his financial details, which he states he provided.
· He applied for the licence on 9 April 2020 as the licence would be expiring in May. At the time of the application, he had not received an outcome for the speeding offence and he did not have an outcome / conviction at the point of application. He had not received a fine or points at that time and therefore he ticked the declaration box as at that time he state there was nothing to declare.
· There was an article in the press about this conviction, which was the first that he had heard about the points. This was around 5 May. He then got a letter 6 May, then paid fine on the 7 May.
· The offence was driving 40 mph in a 20mph limit, which was why the penalty points were doubled. He states he was not on a job or hurrying to one, but was just careless.
After questioning from the committee, the following information was confirmed:
· . The applicant’s driving record does not reveal any other offences
· There has been a delay in bringing this case to committee due to a backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic
· The press article referred to was found and was dated 4 May on the Somerset Live website. The address in the article is his current address.
· The applicant moved house before making his application but did not inform the authority of this change of address, which is a breach of conditions.
· The applicant has not been able to work for the past 2 months as his licence expired in May.
The Committee withdrew to deliberate on their decision.
The Committee takes the offence of speeding very seriously as it is a danger to public safety. The Committee acknowledged the applicant’s previous good record and applied the Council’s policy on convictions. At the time of the application was made four months had passed since the offence took place, and the applicant has not been licenced since his licence expired in May. The Committee are satisfied that six months has passed since the offence occurred, with no further offences occurring and granted the licence. The Committee gave him a warning in respect of the speeding offence and failing to comply with licencing conditions (by not informing of his change of address) and reminded him of the standard expected of licence holders.