Professionalism Through Knowledge

Council defeats appeal by driver over refusal of taxi or PHV licence for false declaration about pending convictions

30/10/2019

Council defeats appeal by driver over refusal of taxi or PHV licence for false declaration about pending convictions

Council defeats appeal by driver over refusal of taxi or PHV licence for false declaration about pending convictions

23 October 2019

A court has upheld a decision by Telford & Wrekin Council not to grant a convicted man a licence to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV). Shropshire Magistrates sitting in Telford on 17 October 2019 heard that in June 2019, Kalim Hussain of Parkdale in Hadley applied for the dual driver licence. The local authority refused the application which Hussain brought to court to appeal. 

 

The court was told that on the online application form Hussain indicated he had no pending prosecutions but earlier that month he had been served a summons to appear before magistrates on charges relating to his management of a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

 

The following month he appeared in court, pleaded guilty to six HMO offences and was fined.

 

Giving its reasons for the refusal, Telford & Wrekin said it was not satisfied that Mr Hussain was a fit and proper person because of his false declaration in the application and because of his previous convictions which include affray in 2007, drink driving in 2014 and the recent HMO offences. The local authority told the court that its licensing regime was not to punish an applicant with a criminal history a second time, but was to ensure the safety of the public.

 

Upholding Telford & Wrekin’s decision not to grant a dual licence to Hussain, the court is reported to have stated that:

 

·         The council had a clear policy in order to deal with taxi licenses;

·         Hussain should have disclosed the pending prosecution on his application; and

·         The conviction for the HMO offences was both relevant and significant as the breaches were in respect of public safety and regulatory compliance.

 

Magistrates ruled that the council was therefore not wrong to conclude that Hussain was not a fit and proper person and that the decision not to grant a licence was made soundly, against the clear council policy.   

 

Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said:

 

“Our officers are working hard to protect and care for the public we serve. The safety of everyone in our borough is of paramount importance and I thank them for their dedication to this cause. Telford & Wrekin Council has higher standards than other local authorities when considering driver applications.

 

We are looking to consult on proposals to further drive up those standards. We are also lobbying the Government to change the law that currently allows drivers to apply for a licence elsewhere in the country where the standards are lower, then return here to work.”

 

Source- Local Government Lawyer

2019

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