Venue: By Microsoft Teams
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gordon Blair, Daniel Hampsey, Graham Hardie, Andrew Kain, Luna Martin and Dougie Philand.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest. Councillor Paul Kennedy advised that he was a Taxi Driver but as this was for the Helensburgh and Lomond Area he would remain in the meeting and take part in the hearing.
CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982: APPLICATION FOR GRANT OF A TAXI DRIVER LICENCE (I MACLEAN, DUNBEG)
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.
Police Scotland opted to proceed by way of
video call and Sergeant David Holmes joined the meeting by MS Teams.
The Senior Solicitor advised that an
objection from Police Scotland had been received outwith
the time period allowed by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for making
objections or representations. It was
noted that it would be competent under Paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 1 of the 1982
Act for the Committee to entertain a late objection or representation if they
were satisfied that there was sufficient reason for it not having been made
within the time allowed. She advised
that the objection had been received on 30 August 2023 but due to an
administrative error Police Scotland had not been notified of the application
until 21 August 2023 the day after the 28 day period had expired.
The Chair invited Police Scotland to comment.
Sergeant Holmes confirmed that the
application had been made on 24 July 2023 and that the Police would have had
until 18 August 2023 to lodge any objection.
Notification of the application was only received by Police Scotland on
21 August 2023 and they endeavoured to respond to this as quickly as possible
with an objection being submitted on 30 August 2023.
The Chair sought and received confirmation
from the Applicant that he had no comment to make.
The Chair sought the views of Members as to
whether or not this late objection should be taken into consideration.
The Committee agreed to accept the late
objection from Police Scotland and a copy of this was circulated by email to
Reference was then made to a request from
Police Scotland that the Committee take account of a matter that was considered
“protected” in terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. It was noted that the Committee may take into
consideration such evidence relating to protected matters where they are
satisfied that justice cannot be done except by admitting such evidence.
The Chair outlined the procedure that would
be followed in this respect and invited Police Scotland to address the
relevancy of the protected matter.
Sergeant Holmes advised there was one
“protected” conviction which was connected to the licence applied for. He confirmed that it was Police Scotland’s
position that justice could not be done in this case except by admitting the
evidence relating to this “protected” conviction.
The Chair then invited the Applicant to ask
Police Scotland questions and to address the relevancy of the protected matter
to his application.
Mr MacLean referred to all his convictions
being years ago and in the past. He
advised that he was currently working full time for Argyll and Bute Council and
that he had children. He said that he
was looking to do extra part time work at the weekends to help out his
Uncle. He said that all the convictions
were in the past and that he had not been in trouble since. He advised that he has been working for
Argyll and Bute Council for nearly 3 years.
He said he had nothing further to add in respect of the “protected”
The Chair invited Police Scotland to comment
on the Applicant’s submission and Sergeant Holmes advised that he had nothing
further to add.
The Chair then invited questions from
Councillor Irvine sought and received
confirmation from Sergeant Holmes that the date of the “protected” conviction was
7 October 2020.
Councillor Kennedy asked Police Scotland why
the conviction was “protected”. Sergeant
Holmes explained that in terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
there were certain convictions that Police Scotland could and could not disclose. Although a fairly recent conviction, this
fell under the protection status due to the nature of the offence and the
outcome of the court disposal.
Councillor Green sought and received
confirmation from Sergeant Holmes that it was considered that this conviction
was connected to the licence applied for and that justice could not be served
without admitting this evidence to the Committee today.
Councillor Kennedy advised that he agreed
justice could not be done without admitting this evidence if it was considered
relevant to the application.
Councillor Irvine referred to the date of the
conviction being after the other convictions and thought that this may be
something that would be relevant to this application.
Councillor Forrest advised that she agreed
that justice could not be done without admitting this evidence and that she
would like to hear the detail of it.
The Committee agreed to consider the
protected matter as part of this application on the grounds that justice could
not be done in this case without admitting this evidence and a copy of the
letter from Police Scotland was circulated by email to the Committee.
The Chair then outlined the hearing procedure
that would be followed and invited the Applicant speak in support of his
Mr MacLean advised that he had applied for a
Taxi Driver Licence so that he could help out his Uncle and that this would be
a part time job for himself. He said
that the convictions were several years ago and that he had not had any recently. He said he was hoping for a good outcome
today. He advised that he had submitted
his application in July and had hoped to be able to help out his Uncle a lot
sooner. He said that he hoped that
things could be resolved today and that he could help his Uncle part time at
Sergeant Holmes advised that he had no
Sergeant Holmes referred to ... view the full minutes text for item 3.