A report by the Assistant Director (Localities) is attached.
Licence holder 30/2017 attended the meeting and was accompanied by Mr Ahmed, Solicitor.
The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed and the Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Localities).
The report explained that the Licensing Service had received information from Greater Manchester Police on 19 December 2017 that the Licence Holder had received a conviction for the possession of a class ‘A’ drug on 21 November 2017 at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and was fined £100 with costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30. This had not disclosed to the Licensing Service within 7 days as required under the private hire drivers’ licence conditions.
Mr Ahmed stated that it was not the Licence Holder driving the vehicle but his uncle, which was accepted by the Licensing and Safety Panel. He explained that driving a taxi is all the Licence Holder knows and that he has worked as a taxi radio operator since he was 16 years old. He is the only financial provider in the household and his mother relies on him and that to lose his licence would be detrimental to the family.
Following questions from the members of the Panel, the Licence Holder explained that he had not been driving the vehicle but had been a passenger and it was not his car. He acknowledged that there was a bag of a class ‘A’ drugs in the pocket of the door of the car and that when the
Police stopped the car he automatically put this in his pocket as he didn’t want his uncle to get into trouble.
When questioned as to why he had not disclosed this conviction to the Licensing Service, Mr Ahmed stated that the Licence Holder had not been aware he had to. He stated that he was young and naive at the time of the conviction and was very remorseful for his actions and stressed how important it was for him to keep his licence in order to provide for his Mother and family.
The Panel carefully considered the report and the oral representations provided by the Licence Holder 30/2017 and his Solicitor and taking into account the Council’s Conviction Policy and Guidelines and in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, resolved, unanimously, to revoke the driver’s licence.
The Panel noted the following:
1. That the conviction for possession of a class ‘A’ drug was a serious offence.
2. That the conviction date of 21 November 2017 was very recent and the conviction guidelines state that a conviction of less than 3 years old will generally be refused and there were no exceptional circumstances to depart from these guidelines.
3. The Licence Holder provided no reasonable explanation for not disclosing the conviction, as the requirements for disclosure are clear.
4. That the Licence Holder was not a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire Driver’s Licence issued by Bury Council.
The Licence Holder was informed of their right to appeal to the Magistrates’ court within 21 days.