If a Licensing Officer believes that a driver, operator or vehicle owner may not be a "Fit and Proper Person" as defined with our Policy on the Relevance of Warnings, Offences, Cautions and Convictions, the applicant or licence holder may have their case determined by a panel of three elected Members (the Sub-Committee) chosen from those elected to the General Purposes Licensing Committee.
If this should happen, notification will be sent to the applicant or licence holder that a Hearing has been convened and the date of the Hearing. Approximately 2 weeks before the Hearing takes place a formal report will be published and sent to the applicant or licence holder.
The Sub-Committee has strict guidance to follow when considering any application brought before them and will take into account any relevant representations made by the applicant or licence holder or his or her representative. When making any decision the will be guided by the Policy on the Relevance of Warnings, Offences, Cautions and Convictions and the promotion the Licensing Objectives, which are:
- Safety and health of drivers and the public;
- The promotion of a professional and respected Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade;
- To prevent crime and disorder and to protect consumers;
- Improve the local environment, economy and quality of life; and
- To promote the aims and vision of Oxford City Council and its Partners.
The Hearings are held in private due to the confidential nature of the subject matter being heard.
What happens during the Hearing
At the start of the Hearing, the Chair of the Sub-Committee will introduce the other Members of the panel, and all of the other parties are able to state who they are and why they are attending.
The Licensing Officer will then read a summary of the report detailing the reasons why the matter has been referred to the Sub-Committee for determination, and the relevant sections of the Policy on the Relevance of Warnings, Offences, Cautions and Convictions that will direct the Sub-Committee, and the relevant legislation that applies to each particular case.
The applicant or licence holder or his or her representative then puts their case forward as to why an application should be granted or renewed, or why the Sub-Committee should depart from the Policy on the Relevance of Warnings, Offences, Cautions and Convictions when determining the case.
Questions can be put to any of the parties during the Hearing, and at the end of the Hearing, the Sub-Committee retires to determine an outcome.
The Sub-Committee will most likely declare their decision and their reasons for such a decision at the Hearing.
A Notice of Determination will be sent to the applicant / licence holder shortly after the Hearing providing a written decision and detailed reasons for the decision.
The Sub-Committee has a number of steps available to them including:
- Granting or refusing an application
- Adding additional conditions to a licence
- Issue a Councillor Warning
- Suspend a licence
- Revoke a licence
If upon receipt of the Notice of Determination you believe that the decision of the Sub-Committee was incorrect, you may appeal to the Oxford Magistrates' Court.
Any appeal must be lodged with the Court within a period of 21 days from receipt of the Notice of Determination.
You must also advise us that you have lodged an appeal and provide evidence (given to you by the Court) that you have done so.
The court details are: Oxford Magistrates' Court, The Court House, P.O. Box 37, Speedwell Street, Oxford, OX1 1RZ
Upon hearing all of the evidence provided, the Magistrates' Court may:
- Uphold the decision of the Sub-Committee
- Uphold the appeal
- Refuse the appeal on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
It is advisable to ensure that you / your legal representative is aware of our Policy on the Relevance of Warnings, Offences, Cautions and Convictions, and the Conditions attached to your licence, when attending both the Sub-Committee Hearing and any Court appeal.