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Tribunal cases for LAs' rehearing?

17th November 1972
Page 65
Page 65, 17th November 1972 — Tribunal cases for LAs' rehearing?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

1111 Two appeals were considered by the Transport Tribunal last Friday and in both 7equests were made that if the appeals were lot completely successful then the cases be -emitted to the LA s for rehearing.

The first appeal concerned Mr F. J. :..`racknell, of Beddingfield, Suffolk. His icence, said his representative, Mr J. E. Bastin, had been curtailed by the Eastern leputy LA from 13 vehicles and four .railers to three vehicles and three trailers. :n addition one vehicle had been suspended 'or three months.

Mr Cracknell did not appear at the 3ection 69 hearing in Ipswich and, said Mr Bastin, the decision was based solely on the widence of a vehicle examiner. It appeared hat the deputy LA had become "testy" at he non-appearance of the appellant but it vas maintained that the clerk of the court iad been told he would not be attending )ecause he was unable to find a solicitor to epresent him at court.

The hearing had been called because of one GV9 but in tact this was not considered at the inquiry. The vehicle examiner, however. gave evidence of bad maintenance that would have resulted in a GV9 had not repairs taken place immediately and a GV9 was not issued. Mr Bastin submitted that the LA based his decision on evidence that was far too general; the vehicle examiner had told the court that tools and facilities had only been sufficient for three vehicles and three trailers but he did not specify the facilities or the tools.

Mr Cracknell was allowed to tell the Tribunal that he had tried to get representation for the hearing but his solicitor had been unable to help.

The Tribunal decided to dismiss the appeal and not to allow the case to be remitted. The President, Mr G. D. Squibb, QC, said that although Mr Cracknell had been unable to obtain representation he was bound to attend himself and the deputy LA was justified in taking the action he did on the evidence he had before him.

The second case concerned the revocation of, and , the refusal to renew, the licence of P. G. and J. M. Gerrish of Melksham by the Western LA following the issue of 11 GV9s within 12 months on the fleet of eight vehicles and five trailers, and a conviction for using rebated fuel. Mr J. Main, appearing for the partnership, said that on the 'evidence before the LA it was difficult to argue against the decision. However, not all documentation that could have helped the appellants' case had been presented to the court.

Mr Main explained that only maintenance records which had been completed before the application had been made were presented. No opportunity had been given for the 'remaining records to be collected. The question of the conviction for using rebated fuel was not being disputed.

It was significant, thought Mr Main, that in the -LA's written decision it was stated that if the Tribunal, in the event of an appeal, allowed fresh evidence to be presented 'then the LA should be given the opportunity of considering the new evidence at a rehearing.

Mr Main asked that if the appeal was not entirely successful then the case should be remitted to the LA.

The Tribunal is to give its decision in writing.

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