Seven taxi drivers set to learn their fate following probe by council's licensing committee
By John Elworthy SEVEN taxi and private hire drivers will learn their fate next week following seven meetings inside the space of four hours by Fenland District Council Licensing Committee. The drivers have been invited, at half hourly intervals, to appe
By John Elworthy
SEVEN taxi and private hire drivers will learn their fate next week following seven meetings inside the space of four hours by Fenland District Council Licensing Committee.
The drivers have been invited, at half hourly intervals, to appear before a panel of councillors who will decide if their licence can be renewed.
Some of those appearing will have committed driving offences and once these get reported to the DVLA the council often summons the offenders to a separate hearing. One of those attending next week, for instance, was issued with a fixed penalty notice and handed three points on his licence before Christmas after police caught him behind the wheel using a mobile telephone.
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Councillor Kit Owen, licensing committee chairman, is scheduled to hear all seven applications along with two members of the council, listed as being Councillor Ralph Bellamy and Councillor Robert Scrimshaw.
Up to 45 firms across Fenland are licensed for private hire or hackney carriage licences and last year the committee met frequently to determine if drivers could continue. However this is the most cases heard in one day.
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Last month the committee heard an application for a licence after hearing that a Criminal Records Bureau check had revealed a driver to have a conviction for theft.
Councillors were advised they needed to "balance the importance of rehabilitation against the need to protect the public".
The committee, meeting in private, heard a summary of the convictions and questioned the driver before deciding he could have a licence "subject to the completion of the knowledge test".
Councillors also renewed the licence of a driver convicted of three traffic offences "with a due warning that future offences will be viewed with the utmost seriousness".
Last August the committee decided one driver could only have his licence renewed if police removed one of the cautions against him.