Great Yarmouth Borough Council have defied legal advice and granted landau driver Fred England’s licence, despite knowing it was against the law.

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At a tense meeting of full council yesterday – called specially to deal with this issue – councillors voted to approve the licensing committee’s initial decision to allow Mr England to continue to operate on Yarmouth seafront, by a single vote.

As reported, Mr England has operated his horse drawn carriage for 25 years, but was told the council had discovered they had been breaking the law by letting him operate without holding a DVLA licence, required by law.

Following this were petitions, a decision approving the licence and a lengthy legal report by the council’s legal advisor Chris Skinner stating that that decision was unlawful.

Fast forward to yesterday and it looked unlikely, in the face of clear legal advice around the legality of such a decision, that Mr England would get the result he craved.

"We have little chance to make a decision based purely on common sense and logic. Tonight we have that chance."

Michael Castle.

Prior to the meeting, Trevor Wainwright, leader of the council, had said “the law is the law,” with Magdalen Ward councillor Brian Walker stating “we can’t cherry pick what parts of the law we apply.”

But at the meeting a number of councillors spoke up for Mr England.

Michael Castle, who represents Central and Northgate, said: “We have little chance to make a decision based purely on common sense and logic. Tonight we have that chance.”

After the meeting Mr England said: “I feel brilliant.

“To be honest I did not think I would get it. I will be back driving at Easter.”

John Holmes, chairman of the licensing committee, said the risk should not be on the council following this decision, but on Mr England, as he needed to show his insurance was “watertight public liability insurance.” Mr England said he was confident his policy would cover him.

4 comments

  • Just glad he can now carry on his family tradition. Well done.

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    pa012d9924

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • AND HOW MUCH DID THAT LOT COST US COUNCIL TAX PAYERS? WHAT A LOAD OF PLEBS AT THE TOWN HALL WE HAVE !!!!!!!!

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    yarco

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Small things like this seem to take attention away from the fact that GYBC are up to their eyeballs in suspicion regarding the deal with EastPort and the Outer Harbour.A THIRTY year wait for the information???? Well done Fred.

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    wes1975

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • A very strange law, lumping any horse and carriage used for hire in with taxis. Would have seemed more important that the carriage driving skills of landau drivers were up to scratch and at most a pass on the theory part of the driving test. As Mr England pointed out, absurd that someone with a driving licence but no horse skills could ply the trade but not a man with 40 years experience of driving a horse and cart on the road but no licence to drive a car.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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