Court upholds council decision not to renew taxi licence

Newcastle under Lyme Magistrates’ Court has found in favour of Lichfield District Council after a taxi driver appealed the council’s decision not to renew his taxi driver’s licence.

On Wednesday 18 October Newcastle under Lyme Magistrates’ Court upheld Lichfield District Council’s decision not to renew Mohammed Chowdhury’s taxi driver’s licence.

48-year-old Mr Chowdhury from Birmingham had first appealed to Lichfield District Council’s Licensing Committee after council officers rejected his taxi licence renewal.

The committee heard that the decision not to renew the licence, which was first approved in 2016, followed a number of complaints about Mr Chowdhury.

Despite receiving   a warning about professional conduct, complaints continued and so the council carried out ‘mystery shopper’ tests on Mr Chowdhury.

The test purchasers were overcharged, not given receipts and on one occasion the meter was not on, and in a further case Mr Chowdhury was abusive to a woman making a journey on her own at night.

The council’s Licensing Committee upheld the officers’ decision, which Mr Chowdhury then appealed in the magistrates’ court.

The court in turn upheld the decision not to renew the taxi licence, and ordered Mr Chowdhury to pay Lichfield District Council’s costs of £5,000.

Councillor Doug Pullen, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Housing & Wellbeing, said:

“The taxi drivers we licence must meet the professional standards we expect of them. We take any complaints into conduct very seriously, and regularly carry out mystery shopper tests to make sure taxis that operate across the district are delivering the service we expect.

"We are pleased with the court’s ruling to uphold our decision not to renew Mr Chowdhury’s licence, as we do not want taxi drivers who do not have their customers’ best interests at heart to operate locally.”

Posted on Tuesday 7th November 2017

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