Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Offices, Woodgreen
Contact: Democratic Services
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2021.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Steve Good.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations from Members of the Committee on any items to be considered at the meeting and any from Officers.
There were no declarations of interest received.
Exclusion of Public and Press
In view of the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person, the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining items of business.
RESOLVED: That, in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, the public were excluded from the meeting for the remaining item of business.
Review of a Dual Drivers Licence
To review a Dual Driver’s licence held by an existing West Oxfordshire District Council licenced driver.
That the Sub-Committee determines whether or not it deems the licence holder is a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a Dual Driver’s Licence in the light of the information in this report.
The Sub-Committee received a report from the Group Manager of Residents’ Services which asked them to review a Dual Driver’s licence, held by an existing West Oxfordshire District Council licence holder.
Members were required to determine whether or not they deemed the individual to be a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold said licence, in light of the information contained in the report.
The Service Leader (Licensing and Business Support)?, Mrs Bignell, outlined the report which advised that the driver had been licenced with the authority since 2011. During that time, Officers had received one complaint about him in 2019 regarding his proficiency in English.
Mrs Bignell explained that all licensed drivers and new applicants had to complete Safeguarding and Disability Awareness Training every three years. This was also a requirement of the West Oxfordshire District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy which formed part of the conditions of the driver licence.
The driver’s Safeguarding Training expired in 2020. However, the Council had decided to extend this to 31 March 2021 due to the Pandemic.
Due to the fact that the driver’s proficiency in English was poor, he had to be accompanied to his Safeguarding Training session in 2017. However, Oxfordshire County Council was not permitting this now due to Covid-19 restrictions meaning that the driver could not pass the examination and fulfil the mandatory requirement.
Mrs Bignell outlined the options available to the panel, as detailed at section 5 and signposted Members to the written submission from the driver, attached as Annex A to the report.
The driver, his representative and the Officers present were introduced.
The Chairman, Councillor MacRae clarified that none of the Members had any questions for the Officer and then proceeded to ask the driver a number of questions regarding his current working situation.
The driver’s representative explained that his client’s family had suffered a number of bereavements over the last 12 months, resulting in him travelling to, and staying in, Pakistan for four months. On his return he had continued to work as a taxi driver in West Oxfordshire. He advised that his client had undertaken Safeguarding Training previously but had been unable to do the refresher training because the County Council was not allowing interpreters or assistants to provide support, due to Covid restrictions.
Following a question from Councillor Fenton, Officers advised that it was not known when the County Council was likely to remove the restriction and they had not been advised that it would change on 19 July 2021 when other restrictions were potentially due to be lifted.
Councillor Saul addressed the driver in order to ascertain how he currently communicated with his passengers and heard the circumstances surrounding the previous complaint received in 2019. The driver’s representative also provided some background to the complaint which had occurred during the Charlbury Festival.
In response to a question from Councillor MacRae, the driver explained that he was not able to undertake the Safeguarding test because the County would not ... view the full minutes text for item 5.