Venue: Committee Room 1, at the Council Offices, Southfields, Loughborough. View directions
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 23rd July 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed.
Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interests
No disclosures were made.
Questions Under Other Committee Procedures 12.8
No questions were submitted.
No questions had been submitted.
A report of the Head of Regulatory Services to consider an amended draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy prior to consultation with the public and trade.
Considered a report of the Head of Regulatory Services to consider an amended draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy prior to consultation with the public and trade (item 5 on the agenda filed with these minutes).
Councillor Ward arrived at the meeting.
Assisting with consideration of the report: The Head of Regulatory Services and the Licensing Manager.
Summary, key points of discussion:
(i) preventing drivers parking in taxi ranks with the engine running causing issues with air quality was not covered by current licensing legislation. The licensing regime covered the safety of the travelling public and the standard of vehicles. With clear air zones (CAZ) due to be introduced in various cities, including in the East Midlands, over the next six months it was likely that more electric or hybrid vehicles would be used. Vehicles that didn’t meet the appropriate air quality standards could be charged travelling through CAZ increasing the driver’s overheads.
(ii) The designated wheelchair list was a public register and although the Council as the Licensing Authority could not make a recommendation, the list could be provided to the public.
Councillor Brookes arrived at the meeting.
(iv) whether the provision of a practical driving test certificate within 3 months of the completion date was of short duration, but it was considered acceptable as a driver’s situation could change within that time period and it was in line with DBS checks.
(iii) if a driver did not enrol on the DBS update service within 30 days of the date of their disclosure certificate they would not automatically be precluded but they would face additional costs to obtain an annual DBS check.
(iv) the maximum age of vehicles was set at 6 years. This did not differentiate between hackney carriages and private hire taxis. As garages were provided with clear instruction from the Council regarding taxi testing, older vehicles were slowly disappearing from the taxi trade.
(v) the inclusion of additional information regarding Council Penalty points in the policy clarified and strengthened an informal process already in place. It was at the discretion of the Sub-Committee whether to reduce the numbers of penalty points a driver had incurred.
(vi) the Council circulated newsletters to the Association of Hackney Carriages, drivers and operators. Feedback was welcomed from taxi operators although it was noted that as a licensing regulator the relationship could be complex. News items relevant to taxi drivers was included in newsletters and renewal letters. The taxi drivers would be consulted regarding this draft policy.
(vii) choosing the first taxi in a rank was addressed by bye-laws. Some taxis did take private bookings whilst parked in the ranks and this caused confusion. When the taxi trade informed the Council of any issues it would investigate but required information regarding the venue, time and party involved.
(viii) with respect to overcharging customers, if a taxi had a meter it could not charge more than was indicated on the meter and any verbal contracts between the public and taxi ... view the full minutes text for item 8.