A report by the Assistant Director (Localities) is attached.
The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Localities) regarding an application for a private hire vehicle driver’s licence.
The Applicant was invited to attend the meeting and to address the Panel on their application and any matters referred to in the Officer’s report. The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed.
Applicant 31/2017 attended the meeting and was unaccompanied. The Licensing Unit Manager read the report which was accepted by the Applicant which explained the Applicant had been convicted at Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 10 September 2014 for offences of using a vehicle uninsured, for which the Applicant received 8 penalty points and was fined £165 and also for driving without due care and attention for which the Applicant received 0 penalty points and was fined £55.
The Applicant explained to the Panel the circumstances which had led to the conviction, which was that he had been working as a shop assistant and delivery driver for an e-cigarette company and had been using a company vehicle which he thought he was insured to drive whilst working. Whilst driving along Bury New Road, a pedestrian stepped out in front of him and was struck by the vehicle. The Applicant stated that there were no injuries to the pedestrian and no damage to the vehicle. At that time a Police car was passing and the Applicant gave a roadside statement. Although the Applicant pleaded guilty, on the advice of his Solicitor, he believes the pedestrian stepped out deliberately in front of his vehicle in order to claim compensation.
Following questions from the Members of the Licensing and Safety Panel, the Applicant further explained that he had in fact been stationary at the time of the impact and he believed this person was deliberately seeking compensation. He also stated that he had provided all the necessary information and documentation for his employer to insure him for the vehicle and that he had subsequently dismissed him from his job and they had not been held accountable for the vehicle he had been driving having no insurance. The Applicant stated that he had a family to support with three children and it was important for him to be the holder of a private hire licence in order to do so financially.
The Panel carefully considered the report and the oral representations by the Applicant and after taking into account the Council’s Conviction Policy and Guidelines and in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 resolved, unanimously, that the application for a private hire driver’s licence by Applicant 31/2017 be granted.
The Panel noted that although the convictions were serious, the court had sentenced him to small fines. The Applicant demonstrated he had understood the seriousness of the matter and had explained the circumstances surrounding the offences. He had shown remorse and apologised for the offences and the Panel felt he had been open and honest about the circumstances. The Panel agreed that the Applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire driver’s licence in Bury.