Meeting Details

Licensing Committee
28 Aug 2019 - 18:00
Occurred

Documents

Agenda

Part A
1 Welcome and Announcements
The Chairman will welcome members of the public and Councillors and remind everyone to use microphones at all times when they are speaking. The Chairman will also explain action in the event of an emergency, mobile phones switched to silent, audio-recording of the meeting. Councillors who are members of the committee will introduce themselves.
2 Substitutions
Councillors will be asked to say if they are attending on behalf of a Committee member who is absent.
3 Urgent Items
The Chairman will announce if there is any item not on the published agenda which will be considered because it is urgent and will explain the reason for the urgency.
4 Declarations of Interest
Councillors will be asked to say if there are any items on the agenda about which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest which would prevent them from participating in any discussion of the item or participating in any vote upon the item, or any other pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest.
5 Minutes of Previous Meeting
The Councillors will be invited to confirm that the minutes are a correct record of the meeting held on 29 May 2019.
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The minutes of the meeting held on 29 May 2019 were confirmed as a correct record.
6 Have Your Say!
The Chairman will invite members of the public to indicate if they wish to speak or present a petition on any item included on the agenda or any other matter relating to the terms of reference of the meeting. Please indicate your wish to speak at this point if your name has not been noted by Council staff.

The Committee have been asked to recommended the changes, set out in the report, be made to the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

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The Committee considered a report by the Assistant Director (Communities) proposing changes to the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licencing Policy in the light of recent operational experience. The suggested changes were in relation to:
The suitability of Hackney Carriage Proprietors to include requirements for a basic Disclosure and Barring Service check, details of previous convictions, the completion of safeguarding training, the provision of additional information accompanying an application, a proposed definition of a ‘fit and proper’ person and a minimum age requirement of 18 year;
Additions to deal with the revocation of a Hackney Carriage vehicle licence in cases where the licence was held jointly by one or more persons but the revocation was due to the action of one party only;
A requirement that meters in both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles be activated at the commencement of each journey;
A requirement within the pre-licensing standards that applicants holding an EU also hold a UK DVLA counterpart licence and applicants from all other countries hold a UK DVLA licence;
The addition of a condition requiring that the Council be notified of the sale of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle.

Jon Ruder, Licensing, Food and Safety Manager, presented the report and assisted the Committee members in their discussions. He explained that, if the proposed changes were approved by the Committee they would be the subject of a public consultation exercise for a period of four to six weeks, the outcome of which would be reported back to this Committee prior to the changes being referred to Council for ratification. He also explained that the proposed changes, if agreed, would be applied to new applicants and drivers wishing to renew at the expiration of their licence period.

Members of the Committee generally welcomed the proposed changes and acknowledged the need for the policy to be subject to regular change and updating in the light of experience and operation. Reference was made to forthcoming potential changes to the policy in relation to CCTV; the potential for the sale of vehicles with no disclosure to be deemed to be uninsured; the need for all of the Committee members to have ready access to the up to date versions of the relevant Council and national policies when considering appeals and for consideration to be given to the inclusion of relevant policy details within all agenda papers for ease of access.

Clarification was sought in relation to the need for applicants with EU driving licences to undertake a DVLA driving test; the proposed requirement for Hackney Carriage proprietors to disclose spent convictions in the same way drivers were required to do so; whether it would be permissible for a sole proprietor whose joint partner had been the subject of a licence revocation to seek another joint proprietor and what the implications were in instances when drivers were not activating the meter at the start of a journey.

The Licensing, Food and Safety Manager explained that it was not a requirement for applicants holding an EU driving licence to undertake an additional DVLA test although new drivers were required to pass a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle drivers’ test. He explained that the requirement for meters to be activated at the start of each journey would aid enforcement measures as the practice was leading to instances of overcharging. He also confirmed that it was proposed that proprietors be required to disclose spent convictions and also to undertake relevant safeguarding training in line with the requirements for drivers and that it would not be permissible for sole proprietors to offer a joint partnership to a person the subject of a licence revocation.

Discussion was had in relation to the minimum age of 18 years proposed for proprietors, given the minimum age of 21 years which was applied to drivers. A view was expressed that a common minimum age of 21 years may be easier to administer whilst it was also acknowledged that the higher age requirement may be deemed to be discriminatory to young people. It was further acknowledged that the requirement of a minimum age of 21 years for drivers had been considered appropriate on the basis that it was important for drivers to have acquired considerable road driving experience.

RESOLVED that the proposed changes to the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy be approved for public consultation purposes, the result of which would be submitted to a subsequent meeting of the Committee, prior to submission to the Council for ratification.
The Committee have been asked to note the contents Committee’s Work Programme for 2019-20.
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The Committee considered a report by the Assistant Director Policy and Corporate giving details of the Committee’s work programme for 2019 - 2010, updated since the last meeting.

Jon Ruder, Licensing, Food and Safety Manager, presented the report and assisted the Committee members in their discussions. He explained that the impact of delivering drivers’ safeguarding training had meant that it may be necessary to defer the Committee’s consideration of the CCTV issue, although he gave an assurance that the work would be undertaken before the end of the current Municipal Year. Responding to Committee members’ wish for other items of business to be prepared for the Committee’s consideration at the next meeting in October, he explained that it may be possible to reschedule other matters such as the Licensing Policy Review or Gambling Policy.

Councillors Harris and Moore confirmed that they would be unavailable for the meeting scheduled for 2 October 2019 and Councillor Moore sought assurances that the Caravans and Park Homes Update would not be submitted to the Committee at the October meeting.

RESOLVED that the contents of the work programme and the potential need for items of business to be rescheduled in the light of other Licensing work commitments be noted.
Part B
9 Exclusion of the Public (not Scrutiny or Executive)
In accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public, including the press, from the meeting so that any items containing exempt information (for example confidential personal, financial or legal advice), in Part B of this agenda (printed on yellow paper) can be decided. (Exempt information is defined in Section 100I and Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972).

Meeting Documents

There are no separate meeting documents but there may be meeting documents assigned to the Agenda.

Declarations of Interests

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