Agenda and minutes
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Election of Chairman
It was moved by Councillor N Clarke, seconded by Councillor D Everitt and
Councillor J Cotterill take the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.
Apologies for Absence
No apologies for absence were received.
Declarations of Interest
Under the Code of Conduct members are reminded that in declaring disclosable interests you should make clear the nature of that interest and whether it is pecuniary or non-pecuniary.
There were no declarations of interest.
Exclusion of Press and Public
The officers consider that the press and public should be excluded during consideration of the following items in accordance with Section 100(a) of the Local
Government Act 1972 as publicity would be likely to result in disclosure of exempt
or confidential information.
In pursuance of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and in the circumstances of the matter under consideration, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
Application for a Private Hire Driver's Licence
Report of the Licensing Enforcement Officer
Exempt under Schedule 12A, part 1, paragraph 7
The Licensing Enforcement Officer presented the report which asked Members to determine whether a private hire driver’s licence should be granted.
In response to a question from Councillor N Clarke, the Licensing Enforcement Officer advised that he was satisfied that the courses undertaken by the applicant were appropriate and the providers were reputable.
The applicant had no questions for the Licensing Enforcement Officer.
The applicant presented his case and informed Members that Mr D Underwood, his previous employer, was present in support of the application. He stated that he had previously held a licence since 2009 and before the complaints were made in 2014, he had received no complaints. Regarding the majority of complaints which related to overcharging, the applicant stated that customers did not understand how the charging system worked and only a few metres could lead to a slight change in fare in comparison to a previous journey. He stated that the complaints were about very small amounts of money, for example twenty pence, and this price difference was not unusual. He believed he had been treated unfairly as complaints were made dependent on people’s moods at the time. He informed Members that a lot of the complaints had been misunderstandings and once he had explained the circumstances with officers, they seemed to sympathise.
He explained that he had undertaken training as Members had previously advised which had improved his customer service and anger management skills. He now understood that he was in need of customer service training before and he believed that he was now a better person. He apologised for his previous actions and stressed that he loved his job as a taxi driver.
He stressed that he had a clean drivers licence and had no criminal record. He was willing to undertake more training if necessary as he would like to continue to improve and he asked Members to give him a chance to prove that he was worthy of a private hire driver’s licence.
In response to questions from Councillor D Everitt, the applicant explained that he currently worked as a waiter at a restaurant in Birmingham. He informed Members that he enjoyed the flexible working hours of taxi driving and as he was planning to return to university, it would be more suitable as he could work during the day. He added that he was not earning much money at his current employment and would like the licence so he could better support his family.
Councillor D Everitt stated that the complaints were varied but consistent which caused him concern. He added that he understood it could sometimes be difficult when dealing with customers but he asked the applicant why he did not learn from the first few complaints by changing his behaviour sooner. The applicant stated that he did not believe he was at fault with the initial complaints and once he had explained the circumstances, his employer was also in agreement, therefore no action was taken. He informed Members that ... view the full minutes text for item 5.