Richardson slams taxi licence delay

A former Hawick councillor who was refused a taxi driver’s licence earlier this year had the decision overturned but months later is still waiting on his licence.

And David Richardson is accusing Scottish Borders Council of dragging their feet on the issue and is considering legal action for loss of earnings.

Mr Richardson, 55, a former Independent councillor who represented Burnfoot and Mansfield at St Boswells up until 20007, was denied a licence in January this year after police claimed he was “not a fit and proper person”.

A letter from Police Scotland submitted to the council’s licensing committee, highlighted two assault charges, one of which was to severe injury and resulted in a nine-month prison sentence in 1979, three breaches of the peace and one speeding charge.

Recommending refusal at the time, chief inspector Andrew Clark said: “After due consideration I have to inform you that the police cannot support the granting of this licence on the basis that the applicant is not a fit and proper person.”

Speaking at the time, Mr Richardson said he was being made to pay for things that happened decades ago and that he was going to lodge an appeal on the grounds that he was being prevented from making a living.

The appeal was heard in February and the decision was overturned by the sheriff, but now, according to Mr Richardson, he has lost earnings from the appeal date and is furious that he still doesn’t have a licence.

And speaking to the Hawick News this week, a clearly annoyed Mr Richardson said: “This is a totally ridiculous situation. Scottish Borders Council were instructed by the sheriff to process my a taxi driver’s licence and have failed to do so. I can’t understand why this has not been done. It is over four months since I won my appeal. I am being denied the right to make a living. I intend to meet with my solicitor and have phoned the council and have been told they are dealing with it. I’m considering whether to take legal action to try to recoup lost earnings.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “The council will discuss with Mr Richardson the process required to proceed with his present application.”

As we went to press Mr Richardson telephoned the Hawick News office to say SBC had contacted him and advised him that he has another hearing scheduled for July 25.