Manchester Council raised concerns that a driver was still able to work and ply for hire illegally in West Lindsey jurisdiction
Minutes from a Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Sub Committee, which was held in private, considered the status of a taxi driver who awaiting a prosecution for sexual assault by Greater Manchester Police.
Manchester City Council had raised concerns that the driver who cannot be named for legal reason was continuing to work and that he was plying for hire illegally where he was not licensed to do so.
The driver was due to appear before a recent meeting of West Lindsey District Council’s Taxi and Licensing Sub-committee for the committee to consider if he was “fit and proper” to hold a council hackney carriage/private hire driver licence. The Sub Committee considered that not only was the applicant not a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage drivers licence, considered that revocation of his licence on grounds of his licence should be immediate on the grounds of public safety.
However, the October 23 meeting granted licenses to two drivers who hid convictions for driving offences. One said he made “a silly mistake” when he committed a driving offence and he made “a genuine mistake” when filling out his licence application form.
Granting the licence, the sub-committee said it “takes convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol very seriously” but it was “an isolated conviction, it did not occur whilst operating a taxi,” and the driver has completed a driving rehabilitation course.
Another taxi driver said he had made “a genuine mistake” to say he had no criminal convictions as he “did not think driving convictions constituted criminal offences. But the council accepted the man was ‘fit and proper’ as “the last conviction was five years ago and his life has moved on.
West Lindsey District Council, in a statement, said: “the sex case driver does not have a West Lindsey area address. Before the ban, the banned driver would have plied his trade in West Lindsey but also have could have accepted private hire bookings which may have taken him outside the district too.”
The spokesperson for the council continued: “In the last 4/5 years, 2 or 3 allegations ‘along similar concerns’ have been raised.
Committee chair Councilor, Jessie Milne said: “The whole process of taxi licensing is in the main about protecting the public. Therefore if public safety is being compromised, the members of the sub-committee sometimes have to make difficult decisions and we have demonstrated that we will do that.”