|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> Wilcock v Lancaster City Council  EWHC 1231 (Admin) (11 April 2013)
Cite as:  EWHC 1231 (Admin)
[New search] [Printable RTF version] [Help]
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Manchester Civil Justice Centre
1 Bridge Street West
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a High Court Judge)
|LANCASTER CITY COUNCIL||Defendant|
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr Holland (instructed by Lancashire CC) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
HIS HONOUR JUDGE WAKSMAN QC:
The Statutory Scheme
The Relevant Licence condition and breach provisions
"(2) Where a district council suspend, revoke or refuse to renew any licence under this section they shall give to the proprietor of the vehicle notice of the grounds on which the licence has been suspended or revoked or on which they have refused to renew the licence within fourteen days of such suspension, revocation or refusal.
(3) Any proprietor aggrieved by a decision of a district council under this section may appeal to a magistrates' court."
"Any authorised officer of the council in question or any constable shall have power at all reasonable times to inspect and test, for the purpose of ascertaining its fitness, any hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licensed by a district council, or any taximeter affixed to such a vehicle, and if he is not satisfied as to the fitness of the hackney carriage or private hire vehicle or as to the accuracy of its taximeter he may by notice in writing require the proprietor of the hackney carriage or private hire vehicle to make it or its taximeter available for further inspection and testing at such reasonable time and place as may be specified in the notice and suspend the vehicle licence until such time as such authorised officer or constable is so satisfied:
Provided that, if the authorised officer or constable is not so satisfied before the expiration of a period of two months, the said licence shall, by virtue of this section, be deemed to have been revoked and subsections (2) and (3) of section 60 of this Act shall apply with any necessary modifications."
"If any requirement, refusal or other decision of a district council against which right of appeal is conferred by this Act
(a) involves the execution of any work or the taking of any action; or
(b) makes it unlawful for a person to carry on business which he was lawfully carrying on up to the time of the requirement, refusal or decision;
then, until the time for appealing has expired, or, when an appeal is lodged, until the appeal is disposed of or withdrawn or fails for want of prosecution
(i) no proceedings will be taken for any failure to execute the work..."
So at least in a number of cases where an appeal is lodged it is possible for there to be, as it were, an automatic stay.
Ease of removal of the signs
The Suspension and the Dispute
The Current Position
(1) Was the suspension notice itself in breach of the claimant's substantive legitimate expectation?
(2) Was it ultra vires, because section 68, properly construed, did not permit a suspension notice to be issued in these sort of circumstances? And/or
(3) Did the defendant act disproportionately in the circumstances of this case in a human rights sense in seeking to serve a suspension notice on the facts here when it did?
I deal with each of those matters in turn.
Breach of legitimate expectation
Ultra Vires? The interpretation of s68
Disproportionate Interference by the Council in this case