Agenda item

Application for a Private Hire Driver's Licence


The Senior Licensing Enforcement Officer outlined the circumstances as set out in the report.


The Licence Applicant advised that on making his application he was unaware of making a false declaration. The information on the conviction was later set out in the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The Applicant stated that he was not intentionally trying to hide any information. He was unaware what was on his DBS Certificate and did know what to disclose. He subsequently failed the taxi driving test. At this point, the Applicant explained that after passing the taxi driving test he required a new DBS check as the original had expired. The Applicant further explained that his business was accused of not keeping its accounts for the financial year 2008/09. 


The Applicant explained that he had run a large company employing in excess of 150 people which was based in Northampton. After moving to Wellingborough, they lost the back up to the accounts records and the accountant removed the other copy. Having no accounts to produce meant that the Applicant as the Company Director was prosecuted.


The Applicant stated that he had defended the prosecution but was convicted. He later found the original accounts to prove the accounts were kept. In response to questions from Members, the Applicant stated he had accounts from previous years and in response to further questions he stated he was the only director prosecuted. He further stated that he did not defend the charges on the basis of Section 387 of the Companies Ac since the records had been kept and the provisions of that Section would not have been an appropriate defence.


In response to questions, the Applicant explained that he was prosecuted as a company director and did not have funds or resources available to clear his record. In reference to the Applicant’s conviction for theft dated 1983, he explained that he was taking prescribed medicine which caused sleeplessness and convulsions. The Applicant further stated that the medication caused him to commit the theft from Woolworths and led to the conviction.


The Solicitor questioned the Applicant as to whether any further persons were prosecuted. The Applicant explained that he was the only person to be prosecuted as he was the only Director.


The Solicitor explained to Members their options and the relevant test to be applied; whether the Applicant is deemed to be a “fit and proper person” to be granted a licence as a Private Hire Driver. He also outlined the offence concerned, that conviction did not automatically mean the applicant was to be considered a dishonest person, and stated that the Council’s policy on convictions did not expressly address such offences.


Members retired at 20:20 to make a decision.


The meeting reconvened at 20:35.




The Committee has carefully considered the written report together with the officer’s verbal report at the meeting.  They have also listened carefully to the explanation given by the Applicant in relation to the offences.  The Committee made the following findings:


1.    They consider any offence relating to financial matters to be serious.

2.    They note however, the circumstances in which the offence was committed and the explanation provided, particularly the fact that the accounts had been located.

3.    The shoplifting offence is so old that it is irrelevant as far as the Applicant’s fitness to hold a licence is concerned.

4.    The Council’s policy is directed toward offences of dishonesty and they do not find that he is a dishonest person.

Taking account of all matters together, the Committee is satisfied that the Applicant is a fit and proper person to be licensed as he poses no risk to the public.


Accordingly, the Committee GRANT the Applicant’s application for a private hire driver’s licence.