Agenda item

Consideration of Fit and Proper - 22/00024/TAXI


Members of the Licensing Sub-Committee have had to consider whether an applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a combined Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers licence issued by Bath and North East Somerset Council to drive in the Bath and North East Somerset area, subject to the conditions attached to the license and a satisfactory DBS check and DVLA check as appropriate.


In doing so they took account of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s 51(1) licensing of drivers of private hire vehicles, s 59 qualifications for drivers of Hackney Carriages, s 61 suspension and revocation of drivers’ licenses, and Human Rights Act 1998, case law and the Council’s Policy.

Members reminded themselves that each case is taken on its merit, any economic impact of the decision is irrelevant and with public protection being of paramount importance the whole of a person’s character is relevant.

Members had to:

  • Consider the evidence presented by the licensing officers and the applicant.
  • Had to determine the issue of whether the applicant was a fit and proper person the hold a private hire / hackney carriage license
  • Had to take any suitable action including consideration of attaching to the grant of a licence under section 51 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s 51(1) such extra conditions as they consider reasonably necessary; a suspension or a decision not to renew the license under s 61.


Licensing Officers Report

The applicant has held a licence since 15 January 2020.  The last licence expired on 28 February 2022 and is due for renewal.  The applicant submitted an application for renewal on 2 January 2022.


This hearing and consideration was triggered by information obtained on the consideration of the applicant’s application for renewal of his Private Hire / Hackney Carriage License. 

The Licensing Officer gave his report.

In the renewal application on 2 January 2022 the application form contained a standard question Have you been convicted or cautioned for any offence (including motoring & fixed penalties) since the grant of your last licence?”.


The applicant stated ‘No’.


A DVLA check advised the need for a new DBS check, which showed a formal caution for a matter under the Fraud Act 2006.


The conditions attached to the grant of a combined Hackney Carriage/Private

Hire Drivers licence state Should the Licence holder receive any conviction,

caution or Fixed Penalty Notice for a motoring offence during the period of the

Licence he/she shall within 7 days give the Council written notice of the

conviction, formal caution or Fixed Penalty Notice together with providing

information relating to the circumstances surrounding the offence.


In answer to the question, have you provided details of the convictions to the Council in accordance with the requirement in your license, the applicant stated ‘No’.


The applicant apologised for his failing and gave an explanation for his failure:


I am very sorry but I was not even aware that the caution was meant to be reported to council. When this happened it was pandemic and I was told by police officer I will have to pay fine. I thought police reported everything where was needed?

Do you want me to write everything and sent necessary document by email or sent by letter? I will write later afternoon.


Aa also my English is my second language I am not that confident with

understanding more complicated documents, so if I ommited sth it's my fault.


The applicant also gave an explanation about the caution for fraud:


The policeman said that this is a warning / punishment that should not affect the work. I thought it would not be so important and it would not hurt in DBS or other papers. Now that I had to do new a DBS check, I am surprised that this penalty was included under a paragraph. I also pay an annual fee on DBS website that you can have access to it. I was sure that You had all this information, so I did not inform about anything, because I thought that you know that everything is ok, because it was only fine. I am very sorry because my DBS is not clean anymore, and I do not know how to understand my offense in the context of my work. During pandemics, everything is done by e-mail, online, there is no one to deal with face-to-face, especially when English is my second language and not always everything is understandable. Now I know that when applying for a license this year I incorrectly marked the answer to the question: "have you been convicted or cautioned for any offense ...". I should tick yes. I have always considered these questions about convictions that they concern convictions carried out in court. Because my case did not go to court and I was not found guilty, therefore I considered this penalty a minor offense that will not affect my DBS.

I'm sorry in advance, yes now I understood this question. If there is anything else I can provide any information please let me know. I am very anxious to keep my licenses as I feel more independent working as a taxi driver and can fulfill my duties as a father to pick up my child from school when my wife is at work. Thank you in advance for listening to my position.


One complaint has been received from a member of the public during the term the applicant has been licensed by Bath & North East Somerset Council. 


Applicant’s Representations

The applicant apologised for failing to notify the Council of his convictions within 7 days and for failing to pay enough attention to these requirements.  He stated that he had forgotten that he had to inform the Council and that he had been stressed by the whole situation and with the pandemic the need to report the convictions had slipped his mind.


The applicant told Members that he was not trying to hide something. English is his second language.  He did not think he had to report the caution.  Now clear he has to report everything.  Did not think the caution would be on his DBS.


The complaint incident never happened.  Why would someone complain about something that did not happen?  He is an experienced driver.  Worked for First Bus for fourteen years and he has an NVQ in customer service. 


The caution, he tried to help a friend to buy the cheaper ticket.  Police say fine, not go to court, not go on your criminal record.  He paid £200 to the bus company.  He doesn’t know the value of the ticket. 


He is sorry if he knew it would go on his DBS he would have reported it.


Bath and North East Somerset Council Licensing Sub-Committee decision:

Having heard from the licensing officers and the applicant and taking into consideration:

·  that the applicant has had a formal caution for fraud involving his work as a bus driver and the selling of a fake ticket

·  that there has been a complaint from a member of the public which the applicant had denied and was not substantiated by the Council’s enquiries

·  that the applicant failed to follow the requirements of the license to report motoring convictions

·  that the applicant made a false declaration that he did not have any convictions as he did not realise that a caution was a conviction


The Members do consider on a balance of probabilities that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a combined Private Hire/ Hackney Carriage License.

The license is granted but the applicant is advised that this is a warning that any further offence or breach of the license conditions may result in a different outcome.


Supporting documents: