Since 2002 hackney carriage and private hire vehicle drivers are not protected by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
This means that all convictions are considered to decide whether relevant when applying or renewing a licence to become a hackney carriage or private hire taxi driver.
Guidelines are used to determine the relevance of all convictions in relation to application's for hackney carriage and private hire driver's licences and private hire operator's licences.
Each application will be determined on its own merits. The overriding consideration will be the protection of the public, particularly children and vulnerable adults.
In certain situation's, an application may be called for a hearing at the Taxi and Miscellaneous Sub-Committee.
The licensing officer and the applicant/licence holder are invited to attend the sub committee meeting. The members of the sub committee will have received a report about the matter and will have it before them.
The solicitor describes the procedure to be followed at the hearing. Then the licensing officer presents the facts of the case by taking the sub committee through the report (and calls any witnesses whom he may have).
The applicant/licence holder presents the matters, which he wishes to say in support of his case. This includes an explanation of the matters mentioned in the report.
The members of the sub committee and licensing section have the opportunity to put questions to the applicant/licence holder and any witnesses. At the invitation of the chair, the solicitor and the principal licensing officer may also ask questions if they consider that any matters require clarification.
The chair then asks the principal parties to withdraw to allow discussion of the issue in private. The sub committee considers all the evidence and makes a decision. Once the sub committee has reached its conclusions, all parties are recalled and the decision is announced to the applicant/licence holder by the chair.
The decision will be confirmed in writing.
If it is a refusal, a written warning, a suspension or a revocation the applicant/licence holder is told the reasons for the decision. The decision letter will also include details of his right of appeal to Preston Magistrates' Court (if applicable).
More information is available in the Taxi and Miscellaneous Sub Committee Hearing procedures.