Posted: Wed 5th Oct 2016

Private Hire Operator Prosecuted

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 5th, 2016

A private hire operator of a taxi business from Swansea, licensed by Powys County Council, has been prosecuted for a second occasion for a number of licensing offences. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Matthew Benjamin, operator of MCB Executive Travel in Swansea, pleaded guilty at Brecon Magistrates Court on Friday 30 September in a prosecution led by the council’s Environmental Health Service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Benjamin pleaded guilty to five charges under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and was fined £600 for each of the charges. He was also ordered to pay £2,125 legal costs and a surcharge of £60, bringing the total to £5,185. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Magistrates heard that Mr Benjamin, who had been prosecuted earlier this year for similar offences by Powys County Council, was found on four occasions to be employing unlicensed drivers to undertake hiring’s and also failed to produce his Private Hire Operator records as required. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It is the duty of all private hire operators to ensure that all vehicles and drivers employed by them are licensed to do so. These licences are required to ensure that the vehicles being used are safe and fit for purpose and that the drivers employed are also safe and fit and proper. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr John Powell, Cabinet Member for Environmental Health, said: “The purpose of licensing the hackney carriage (taxis) and private hire trade is to ensure the safety of the public by ensuring that drivers are fit and proper and that the vehicles they drive are safe, suitable and reliable. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This case should act as a warning to the trade that if they fail to obtain the necessary licences for their vehicles and drivers the council will take the appropriate action. Our licensing officers will continue to make sure that vehicles and their drivers comply with the important safeguards.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If businesses or members of the public in Powys want information or have any concerns about Taxi Licensing, they can contact the Licensing service on 0845 602 7037 or email environmental.health@powys.gov.uk. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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