A report by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) is attached.
The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) regarding an application for a Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licence.
Applicant 10/2019 attended the meeting and was accompanied by the President of the Mosque he attends.
The Chair made introductions and explained the procedure and ensured that the Applicant and members of the Licensing and Safety Panel had all read the report. The report, which was accepted by the Applicant, explained that he was previously a licensed Private Hire driver with Bury Council between 27 January 2014 and 21 January 2019. The Applicant’s licence had lapsed and he had therefore submitted a new application on 10 April 2019 and as part of that application, he had provided an enhanced DBS certificate and declared on his handwritten application a conviction on 23 September 2017 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court for speeding, resulting in £100 fine and his licence being endorsed with 3 penalty points.
Also declared on the application were convictions on 9 April 2018 at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court of possessing goods with a false trade mark for sale or hire, resulting in a community order, costs of £3,563.77 and 150 hours unpaid work requirement with a victim surcharge of £85 and on 27 September 2018 for failing to comply with the requirements of a community order at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court resulting from the original conviction on 9 April 2018, which was ordered to continue with 10 hours unpaid work requirement in addition to the original sentence.
The Applicant had notified the Licensing Service of the speeding conviction on 18 December 2017, however, he did not notify the Service of the trade mark offences as required by the Private Hire driver licence conditions, which should have done so within 7 days.
The Applicant addressed the Panel and explained that he came to renew his licence but was told the Council could not find his details and to put in a new application. However, this was not a new application but a renewal. The Licensing Unit Manager explained that the licence had expired and therefore it was classed as a new application.
When asked why he had not declared the offence of possessing goods with a false trade mark, the Applicant explained that it has been a difficult time for him with not working and trying to provide for his family and home. His wife suffers from severe depression and it was a genuine mistake on his part that he only declared this conviction when he came to renew his licence and didn’t realise he should have declared it within 7 days. He went on to explain that he was a shopkeeper in Skegness and was not aware of the illegal practice, as he was not there very often due his wife’s illness and the fact he had to care for his children. He left someone else to run the business and it was them who had sold counterfeit goods.
The Applicant provided a character reference from the operator he had worked for and asked the representative of his mosque to speak. The Applicant’s representative, addressed the Panel and explained that he is a family man responsible for his wife and 3 children. He is a very trustworthy character who had been treasurer of the mosque for 6 years and is open and honest. He stated that he was aware of the convictions at the time and believed the Applicant had to declare them only at renewal.
The Panel carefully considered the report, the oral representations by the Applicant and representative of his mosque 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 10/2019 be granted.
The Panel noted;
· that the convictions of possessing goods with a false trade mark were serious, but the Applicant was clearly remorseful
· that the Applicant had failed to declare them was significant, however, but the Panel accepted this was a genuine mistake and the Applicant has been under significant pressure at home at the time
· that the Applicant had not hidden the fact he had been convicted from others in the community
· that the Applicant was trusted by the mosque to be their treasurer.
Councillor Rafiq, as Chair, left the room before the following item and it was proposed by Councillor Morris and seconded by Councillor Cummings that Councillor Walsh should Chair the final item.