Blackpool's taxi and private hire licensing authority have refused licences to two new applicants on the grounds of not being fit and proper to hold a licence.
The first applicant, only named as D.J.M in council meeting records, who applied for a dual hackney carriage and private hire licence was found to have previous convictions.
Mr Ryan Ratcliffe, Licensing Service Oficer, presented the case and informed the Sub-Committee that the application had been referred to the Sub-Committee due to D.J.M’s relevant conviction for an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 within the last years.
The offence had been part of a Lancashire constabulary operation to combat organised crime, notably the supply of drugs and money laundering.
Mr Ratcliffe reminded members that the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy section 9.2 and 10.2 outlines that licences would not normally be granted within 3 years of convictions linked to drugs or fraud.
D.J.M joined the meeting via video conferencing. He outlined his opinion that the offence had resulted solely from him seeking to help a friend and that he had not been involved in the supply of drugs or organised crime.
The Sub-Committee considered carefully the information submitted by both sides and the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.
The Sub-Committee expressed significant concern about D.J.M’S involvement to any degree in serious or organised crime, and the very serious and recent nature of the offence. It did not consider that there were any reasons to depart from the Council’s policy and it should not do so lightly.
The committee resolved that the application for D.J.M. for a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver’s licence be refused on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper to hold such a licence in view the criminal offences.
Mr Ratcliffe then presented the second applicants case, known as J.J.M-H, to the Licensing Service, this time for a Private Hire Driver’s Licence.
The application had been referred to the Sub-Committee as J.J.M-H had been convicted of a violent offence in March 2019.
Mr Ratcliffe reminded the Sub-Committee that the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy sections 6.6, 6.7, 9.4 in relation to offences involving violence and that a licence would not normally be granted where the applicant had been convicted of a violent offence within the last three years.
Mr Ratcliffe emphasised that J.J. M-H had been convicted only just over a year ago in March 2019.
J.J.M-H was not in attendance but the Sub-Committee was satisfied that he had been notified of the Sub-Committee meeting. It therefore agreed to consider the application in his absence.
The Sub-Committee considered carefully the information submitted by all parties. It concluded that there was no grounds to depart from the established policy given the recent and violent nature of J.J. M-H’s conviction.
The decision was made to refuse a private hire licence to the applicant J.J. M-H on the grounds that the applicant is not a fit and proper to hold such licence due to his recent conviction for a violent offence.