Glasgow City Council has successfully challenged a sheriff’s ruling to overturn its decision to refuse to renew the licence for the director of Milngavie & Bearsden Station Taxis’.
Judges in the Inner House of the Court of Session held that the licensing authority was “fully entitled” to conclude that Vincent Bimende, director of the limited company, Milngavie & Bearsden Station Taxis Ltd (MBST), was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence and that the sheriff “erred in law” in concluding that their decision represented an “unreasonable exercise” of its discretion.
Lady Paton, Lord Drummond Young and Lord McGhie heard that in June 2014 Vicente Bimende applied to the Glasgow City Council for renewal of a licence for a taxi booking office on Great Western Road, Glasgow.
However, the police objected based on the respondent’s conduct as a director of the limited company, Milngavie & Bearsden Station Taxis Ltd (MBST), which had a licence to operate within East Dunbartonshire council area.
The chief constable alleged that drivers working for MBST regularly breached that licence by taking customers on journeys beginning and ending outwith East Dunbartonshire, contrary to section 21 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
Computerised records in February 2013 showed that 43 per cent of the recorded journeys were outwith the East Dunbartonshire area.
The company had also been dissolved on 19 October 2010, but subsequent police investigations on 9 July 2013 and 2 September 2013 found that the company was continuing to trade.
The licensing committee refused the renewal application on the grounds that the respondent was not a fit and proper person to be the holder of a licence.
The committee said Mr Bimendi’s actions in relation to the dissolution of Milngavie taxis “demonstrated a disregard for lawful authority and therefore constituted a weakness in character”.
Lady Paton said: “The committee were entitled to reach the view that the respondent’s conduct constituted significant non compliance with the law.”
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council told the Herald: “We are satisfied with this judgement as it confirms the committee was entitled to conclude Mr Bimende is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.”