Decision Maker: Licensing Regulatory Sub-Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Application to Renew Hackney Carriage Licence
contrary to Vehicle Age Limit Policy
The Licensing Specialist presented a report regarding an application to renew the hackney carriage vehicle licence, which would require the Council to dispense with the current vehicle age limit policy. In this instance, the vehicle in question was more than ten years old and was not a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
The Applicant’s vehicle was first registered on 5 September 2011 and had covered 277,605 miles since this time. The vehicle had been nine years and ten months old when it was transferred to the Applicant and was not an accessible vehicle. The Licensing Specialist noted four failed MOTs, details of which were set out in Appendix 2 to the report.
In response to a query raised by Members, the Licensing Specialist informed the Sub-Committee that any failures in MOT should be reported to the licensing authority by the garage and Applicant, neither of which had happened on this occasion.
A further question was asked, regarding approximately 300 miles, which had been added to the vehicles mileage during the period when the vehicle had no valid MOT certificate.
The Applicant addressed the Sub-Committee, he referred to the difficulty faced during the Covid-19 Pandemic which meant he had not been able to buy a vehicle straight away which was the reasoning behind the application to extend for 12 months. He informed the Sub-Committee that he had been driving in the area for 15 years and had never asked for an extension within that period.
The Applicant informed the Committee that his previous vehicle, with a 2014 registration plate, had been stolen and that he had quit taxi driving during the Covid-19 pandemic until restrictions had been lifted. He concluded by informing the Sub-Committee that the car ran well despite the high mileage and noted the extended inspection report as set out in the agenda.
The Applicant provided answers to questions raised by Sub-Committee Members regarding why he had not informed the Council of the failed MOT, his actions following the failed MOT and the condition of the vehicle’s tyres.
The Applicant responded to queries raised by the Licensing Specialist regarding daily vehicle checks.
Following a request from the Chairman, the Applicant presented the vehicle to Members for inspection.
Note – The Sub-Committee passed a resolution to adjourn the meeting to exclude the press and public in making its decision and retired in accordance with Regulation 14(2) of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005 (as amended) in order to further consider the application.
The Sub-Committee, supported by the Legal, Governance and Democracy Specialist (Solicitor) and Trainee Solicitor, then withdrew at 10.50 a.m.to consider the application.
The meeting reconvened at 11.44 a.m.
The Trainee Solicitor communicated the Sub-Committee’s decision.
The Licensing Sub-Committee, having read and heard the representations made by the Applicant, and based on the submitted report, including the report of MGD Limited, and following an inspection of the vehicle by members of the Sub-Committee, the Sub-Committee
RESOLVED – That the Council’s age limit policy be dispensed with on this occasion and that Mr. Ullah be granted a renewal for his Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence for the vehicle bearing the registration mark MF61 ERY, for a 12 month period.
The evidence presented to Members at the hearing and documents contained within the report showed that:
a. The Applicant’s vehicle undergoes a four-monthly MOT tests in accordance with the Council’s Policy due to the vehicle being over 8 years old;
b. The Engineers report and inspection, which was conducted on 22 April 2022 at Appendix 1, did not identify any problems;
c. Members were satisfied with the current state of the vehicle in light of the evidence before them; and
d. This application was the Applicant’s first extension request beyond the Council’s Ten Years Age Limit for Hackney Carriage Vehicle.
In accordance with the Council’s Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy, the Applicant must produce to the Licensing Authority a test certificate, showing pass or fail, for every MOT test and Hackney Carriage Vehicle Inspection conducted throughout the licence period.
Members wished to make an additional observation in relation to the information that has been presented today, Members were concerned that the vehicle was driven for a substantial distance without a valid MOT certificate and, although, the Applicant’s position is that the vehicle was not operating as a hackney carriage vehicle during this time, the Members of the Sub-Committee requested that the Licensing department consider if the Council’s Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy had been breached, and if appropriate, take further action.
Report author: Donna McCarthy
Publication date: 15/08/2022
Date of decision: 11/08/2022
Decided at meeting: 11/08/2022 - Licensing Regulatory Sub-Committee