Agenda item

Renewal of Private Hire Driver's Licence

Mr Francisco JR Calizon - PHD049


The Chair explained the process to the applicant.


The Licensing Team Leader then presented the report.  It was explained that the applicant had convictions that had not been declared on the application for his license renewal.


The options that were available to the committee were given as follows:


1.4.1 grant the applicants renewal application with no further action taken, if you are satisfied he remains a fit and proper person;


1.4.2 grant the applicants renewal application but issue him with a formal written warning;


1.4.3 refuse to grant his renewal application, if you are not satisfied that he is a fit and proper person.



The applicant then put his case and explained what happened to give him a criminal record.  He was at a family party and had too much to drink – he was not driving his car however he was a passenger.  When he arrived home there was a policeman waiting for him.  He may have accidentally knocked into the policeman.  He also developed bruises that he reported to the police.  As he was intoxicated he could not recall exactly what he had done but he may have pushed his wife and eldest son.


He confirmed that the matter went to court and he was sentenced to 45 hours community service and received a charge of £142.



Member Questions:


-       Please can you confirm who was driving the car.

-       Why were the police waiting for you when you got home and do you know who called them.

-       Has an incident like this happened to you before or since?

-       Are you a regular drinker and how do you ensure that you don’t drink and drive?

-       When the matter went to court how did you plead.



The applicant responded by confirming that his wife was driving the car and he did not know who called the police.  He has never been involved in an incident like this before or since.  He confirmed that he is not a regular drinker and he never has a drink when he knows that he will be going on duty as a driver.  When the matter went to court he pleaded guilty. 



Member Debate:

-       Members felt that they were being asked to believe that it was a misunderstanding.  Either the applicant didn’t know what he was doing on his application or he purposely left the details out. However, ignorance was not an excuse for not following the rules.  There seemed to be a problem with communication as English was not the applicant’s first language – Members felt that the applicant would need to improve his communication skills regardless.

-       Members were somewhat concerned that as a licensed driver  he was drunk, however there was some mitigation by the report that was supplied by Starline on the applicant’s behalf.  Members were disturbed that the applicant had failed to declare the offence both at the time it happened and upon renewal, particularly as the questions on renewal were very clear.

-       The applicant’s difficulty to communicate in English was raised as a problem, however it was not unusual to have taxi drivers in front of the committee for this reason.  The applicant seems to have learnt his lesson from the incident as  2.5 years have passed without incident so this may have been a one off.

-       Assistance is always offered to an applicant when English isn’t their first language.  The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that there is an English test that every applicant has to take if English isn’t their first language.

-       Members recognised that there were worst offences and 45 hours community service represented the lowest level of sentencing, if the offence had been more serious then the sentence could have been imprisonment.  They felt that it was an isolated incident and that the report from the employer was a mitigating factor.  It is not uncommon in an incident as this to grant the renewal with a formal written warning. 



Applicants final right to reply  

The applicant thanked the Members for their time and hoped that he would be able to continue to work.  He assured the committee that this would never happen again.



The  matter then went to the vote


1.4.1 – grant the application with no further action

For: 0

Against : 6




1.4.2 – grant the application with a formal written warning

For: 5

Against: 1





The meeting then adjourned for 10 minutes to reconvene at 15.10.



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