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Rossendale men lose appeals after being refused taxi licences
2:00pm Saturday 20th October 2012 in News
TWO men who were refused licences to drive taxis in Rossendale have had their appeals thrown out in court.
Mahmood Hussain, from Oldham, and Ilyas Ramzan, from Bradford, had their applications turned down by the council’s licensing committee due to previous motoring offences.
It comes as part of a borough-wide clampdown on the issuing of licences after the council was accused of being an 'easy target' for would-be hackney carriage drivers earlier this year.
In July, Manchester cabbie Les Reid said officers in Rossendale were ‘less stringent’ and chairman of Rossendale Taxi Association Glenn Bulcock said ‘far too many licences’ were being granted in the Valley.
Mr Ramzan, 27, was disqualified from driving for 16 months in 2011 after being found guilty of drink-driving.
He was denied a hackney carriage licence in September and the council’s decision was upheld in Reedley Magistrates Court on Thursday when he was ordered to pay costs of £120.
Mr Hussain, also 27, was convicted of possession with intent to supply cannabis in 2007 and also has two speeding convictions.
He was refused a licence in June, and the council’s ruling that he was not a ‘fit and proper person’ was upheld in the same court last month.
A council spokesperson said: “A local authority must not grant a licence to a hackney carriage or private hire driver unless they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person.
“The purpose of a licensing regime is to ensure that the service to the public is accessible and safe, and seen to be so as taxi drivers are persons of trust and maintain contact with the public.
“In both these cases the magistrates considered the council’s policy and upheld the licensing committee’s decisions.”
So far this year, Rossendale Council has approved seven licences and rejected 17 applicants. In the same period it has revoked four licences.