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Agenda item


To consider licence holders who have been convicted of offences or who have otherwise given reasons for concern.


(This item contains personal information regarding licence holders which is exempt from publication by virtue of Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972)


The Sub-Committee considered a referral in respect of Hackney Carriage Vehicle and Driver Licence holder, JTM, who had a history of presenting vehicles for testing in poor condition.


Mr Ryan Ratcliffe, Licensing Officer, presented the case on behalf of the authority. He reported that JTM had been licensed as a driver for over twenty years and had been a vehicle licence holder since November 2014. On 13 October 2020 JTM presented a vehicle for testing at the Council’s Central Vehicle Maintenance Unit which failed due to eight defects being identified. Mr Ratcliffe highlighted that the history of this vehicle showed seven initial failures out of nine tests since it was first licensed in July 2017. Although JTM had since replaced this vehicle the authority had concerns over their ability to maintain their vehicles to the required standard. Mr Ratcliffe advised Members that JTM had previously appeared before the Sub-committee in January 2019 for presenting a vehicle for inspection in a poor condition which resulted in a severe warning letter being issued and had conditions added to their licence. Mr Ratcliffe suggested that those conditions seemed to have had little effect and the Licensing Service therefore recommended the minimum of a suspension of JTM’s licence.


JTM joined the meeting by telephone and advised that they had since replaced the vehicle. This new vehicle failed its initial inspection but had passed a second inspection later the same day. JTM explained to the members that on the week of that test they had learned that their cancer had returned so had other things on their mind, but accepted that it was wrong to have presented the vehicle in that state.


When asked who decided when their vehicle needed to be mechanically checked, JTM responded that they decided, and that the vehicle was last checked by a mechanic around four to five weeks before the test. Mr Ratcliffe referred the Sub-committee to the licence holder’s last appearance before them where there were similarities in basic defects such as an inoperative reversing light causing the vehicle to fail. It was suggested that such defects should be simple for the licence holder to check and fix prior to inspection. In addition, Mr Ratcliffe reported more serious defects such as a broken bonnet catch which could present a serious safety concern if the bonnet catch was to fail whilst driving.


Members expressed concerns about the history of test failures and the lack of routine vehicle checks made by the licence holder as well as the failure to comply with the existing licence conditions in respect of maintenance and service/inspection record keeping. Concerns were also raised that the licence holder appeared to the Sub-committee to have little knowledge of basic vehicle maintenance.


The Sub-Committee carefully considered the information provided by both parties. Members wished to make clear that they considered the consistently poor condition of vehicles presented for testing by the licence holder as extremely serious and so agreed to impose a four week suspension.


Resolved: To suspend JTM’s Hackney Carriage Vehicle and Driver licences for a period of four weeks.

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