Venue: By Skype
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mary-Jean Devon, Audrey Forrest, Donald MacMillan BEM and Sandy Taylor.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest
CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982: APPLICATION FOR AMENDMENT TO TAXI CAR LICENCE NUMBER 2130 (J HANNAH, HELENSBURGH)
Report by Head of Legal and Regulatory Support
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. In line with recent legislation for Civic Government Hearings, the parties (and any representatives) were given the options for participating in the meeting today. The options available were by Video Call, by Audio Call or by written submission. For this hearing the Applicant opted to proceed by way of Audio Call and joined the meeting by telephone. The Applicant had also made a written submission which was contained within a supplementary Agenda pack issued to the Committee. One of the objectors, Mr McAuley, had originally intended to proceed by way of Audio Call but proceeded by way of written submission following difficulties in joining the meeting.
The Chair advised that an objection had been received outwith the time period allowed by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for making objections or representations. The Council’s Solicitor, Mr McMillan, explained the procedure to be followed in this respect.
The Chair sought and received confirmation from Mr McMillan that Mr Haddow had been contacted within the statutory time frame to provide reasons for his objection having been submitted late and that none had been provided.
The Chair sought the view of the Applicant as to whether or not this late objection should be taken into consideration.
The Applicant advised that he felt that the objection should be ignored as it was submitted late.
The Chair sought the views of Members as to whether or not this late objection should be taken into consideration.
Councillor McCuish advised that he felt that the representation should be ignored as Mr Haddow had not responded to provide reasons for the objection being late.
The Committee unanimously agreed not to accept the late objection.
The Chair then outlined the procedure that would be followed and invited the Applicant to speak in support of his application.
The Applicant advised that, as per information provided within the written submission to the Committee, Mr Cowin had approached the Applicant in relation to forming a partnership. The Applicant confirmed that he did not want any money in return for forming a partnership, and was originally intending not to renew his taxi car licence in June as he was turning 66 and would be of pensionable age. The Applicant noted that when Mr Cowin had approached him, he thought that the partnership would be beneficial to him as he could renew his taxi operators licence and work if and when he would want to.
The Applicant expressed concerns that objections from Mr McAuley were of a personal nature due to Mr McAuley's perceived dislike of Mr Cowin.
The Applicant noted that he understood, from Mr McAuley’s objection, that Mr Cowin had approached other people in relation to potentially selling their taxi car licence plates after having been previously rejected by the Committee when applying for one, however when Mr Cowin had approached him it had appeared to be a good opportunity for them both and no money was changing hands.
The Applicant reiterated his concerns that the objections raised by Mr McAuley were of a personal nature and noted that Mr McAuley was incorrect in stating that Mr Cowin was working as a taxi driver, as he was working as a private hire driver and could not work at the taxi rank or put a sign on top of the car, which would potentially increase his trade.
The Chair sought and received confirmation from Mr McMillan that Mr McAuley’s objection did not require to be read out to the Committee as it was provided within the agenda pack for the meeting.
Councillor Colville sought and received confirmation from the Applicant that he had not originally been intending to sell the plate, but had been approached to ask if he would consider selling it. Councillor Colville asked if the Applicant had found the situation to be questionable as it was a serious offence to sell a taxi plate and usually when someone was considering retiring they would surrender their plate and give others the opportunity to apply for it.
The Applicant advised that his understanding was that Mr Cowin had previously applied to the Committee but had been rejected as no taxi licences were being granted by the Council at that time. When Mr Cowin had approached him, the Applicant had felt that it was a good option for both of them as it would give the Applicant the chance to work shifts when he wanted to and would allow Mr Cowin to have the taxi plate that he was looking for.
Councillor Colville noted that a taxi car licence had been granted at a previous Hearing earlier in the day and that each application was considered on its own merit by the Committee, with some being granted and some being rejected. Councillor Colville expressed his concern at this being a potential attempt to circumnavigate the rules.
The Chair asked the Applicant to clarify that the Applicant and Mr Cowin were entering into a partnership and what the benefit to the Applicant was of entering into this partnership. The Applicant confirmed that it was his intention to enter into a partnership with Mr Cowin and that Mr Cowin would be taking over the general running of the licence, with the Applicant driving the taxi from time to time when he wanted to. The Applicant confirmed that the benefit to him was that he would still be able to drive on occasion when he wished to do so, and noted that no money was changing hands.
The Chair requested clarification as to how long the Applicant envisaged the partnership lasting, the Applicant confirmed that he was unsure but he could envisage the partnership lasting between one to two years. The Chair asked Mr McMillan if there was any stipulation as to when one partner could exit the partnership. Mr McMillan confirmed that the licence holder of the taxi car licence would be the partnership and therefore if the Applicant was to withdraw from the ... view the full minutes text for item 3.