Agenda item

Petitions and Deputations

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:


·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings


1)       Mr Zeya Ahmed


Mr Zeya Ahmed of Gloucester Hackney Carriage Association believed that the ruling regarding public questions had not been applied in the past.


On behalf of the trade, he advised that the consultation on the Driving Standards Agency enhanced assessment had been flawed and asked the Committee to consider a fresh consultation with unbiased questions.


He noted that some drivers had not received the consultation paperwork or recent newsletters.


He believed that the best way to maintain standards would be to revert to the earlier criteria for granting licences. He cited that a previous requirement was to have held a driving licence for twelve months without endorsement and it was now possible to be granted a licence if the applicant had held a valid licence for a total of twelve months even if it had been revoked for a period and applicants could be considered for a licence if they had current endorsements.


if enforcement work was effective e the Committee could then require an existing driver to take the DVSA assessment as a disciplinary measure. he noted that a driver who had held a clean licence for forty years would be expected to take the assessment.


He referred to the Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, the right to a fair trial and to a family life respectively.


He believed that no other Councils expected drivers to retake assessments other than as a disciplinary measure and asked how many Councils expected existing drivers to take the assessment.


He asked Councillors to consider how they would feel if they were required to take the UK Citizenship test.


In conclusion, he stated that the DVSA made no allowance for other driving qualifications and he called for a fresh unbiased consultation.


2)       Mr Chas Rodgers


Mr Chas Rodgers stated that in 40 years he had never experienced restriction on public questions.


He advised Members that the Gloucester Hackney Carriage Association had adopted a policy on customer complaints and Council disciplinary hearings which he summarised as follows:


Customer Complaints Procedure


·       All customer complaints to be presented in writing to the driver involved.


Council Disciplinary Hearings


·       All evidence to be presented to Members to be provided in advance to the driver involved.


·       No surprise evidence to be presented without full agreement of all parties to the hearing.


·       In the event of failure to properly provide such evidence  the driver involved will require the hearing to be adjourned until the matter is put right.


·       Any Council officer having useful evidence to aid the case of the driver involved will present such evidence without fail.


·       Any Council Officer giving evidence to the hearing will be made available for full cross-examination without irresponsible or malicious interruption.


·       Any evidence that the driver involved intends to put forward in contention of evidence given by Officers shall be made known to the Council well in advance of the hearing.


·       The mutuality that forms the basis of taxi licensing must be properly regarded in all procedures.


·       If evidence is not supplied the GHCA advice will be to refuse to take part in the proceedings until all evidence has been properly disclosed.


·       Star Chamber procedures are not acceptable.


The Chair thanked Mr Ahmed and undertook to respond to him.


She thanked Mr Rodgers and assured him that the points he had made would be considered.