Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Regulatory Committee
Monday, 25th February, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming

Contact: Ema Dearsley  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

LIC27/18

Minutes

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2019 (to be laid on the table half an hour before the meeting).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting which took place on 14 January were confirmed and signed.

LIC28/18

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and to report any substitutions

Minutes:

There were apologies from Councillors Michael Goodridge, Peter Isherwood and Anna James.

LIC29/18

Declarations of Interest

To receive from members declarations of interest in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with the Waverley Code of Local Government Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

LIC30/18

Questions from members of the Public

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Monday 18 February 2019.

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

LIC31/18

Questions from Members

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Monday 18 February 2019.

Minutes:

There were no questions from Councillors.

LIC32/18

Action Authorised

To receive any action taken by the Executive Director after consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman since the last meeting.

Minutes:

There were none.

LICENSING ACT 2003 ITEMS

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

 

There were none.

PART II - MATTERS OF REPORT

LIC33/18

MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS OF THE LICENSING ACT 2003 SUB-COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive the Minutes of the Meeting of Licensing Sub-Committee B held on 24 January 2019 and Licensing Sub-Committee C held on 14 January 2019.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee B held on 24 January 2019 and Licensing Sub-Committee C held on 14 January 2019 be noted.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of meetings of the Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committees which had taken place on 14 January 2010 and 24 January 2019 were confirmed and signed.

LIC34/18

Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Fees 2019/20 - Outcome of advertisement pdf icon PDF 67 KB

The purpose of this report is to enable the Committee to consider representations received from operators and drivers following the advertisement of proposed fees for hackney carriage/private hire vehicles, etc.  These proposed fees were advertised on 18 January 2019 in accordance with the requirements of Section 70 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the closing date for objections was on 15 February 2019.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Committee considers the representations enclosed at Annexe 1 as a result of advertisement of the 2019/20 hackney carriage/private hire licence fees, and determines whether it wishes to confirm the fees and charges agreed on 12 February 2019 as shown in Annexe 2, or propose amendments to Council.

 

If the Committee determines to amend the fees for 2019/20, it must recommend to the Council a revised scale of fees for these licences for 2019/20, to be introduced from 1 May 2019, this date being not more than two months from the original advertised date of 1st April 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report outlining representations received from operators and drivers following the advertisement of proposed fees for hackney carriage/private hire vehicles. The proposed fees were advertised on 18 January 2019 in accordance with the requirements of Section 70 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2076 and the closing date for representations had been 15 February 2019.

 

The Committee was advised that the resource implications were chiefly the recovery of the cost of administering the licensing service for the coming year. The Government did not provide financial support as the licensing service was deemed to be self financing, therefore the net cost had to be met from Council Tax. Members noted that The overall costs of the service including hackney carriage and private hire licensing had been budgeted at £376,400 for 2019/20. The rate of cost recovery for the Hackney Carriage element was:

                                                           

·         2017/18  91%      (Actual)

·         2018/19  91%      (Predicted)

·           2019/20  91%     (Estimate, based on no increase in fees and charges)

·         2019/20 93%       (Estimate, based on increased fees and charges)

 

The Committee noted that there were 5 letters of objection from operators/taxi drivers raising concern about the level of increase. Members were surprised that there were not more letters of representation as there were 370 licensed drivers in the Borough.

 

Paul Hughes, the Licensing Manager, provided a breakdown of fees charged by other Local Authorities in the County and advised of a recent appeal made by drivers working in Guildford Borough Council relating to its proposals to reduce fares, which was dismissed by the High Court. It was felt that Waverley’s fees as proposed were reasonable compared to the others. 

 

Councillors were sympathetic to the trade, and recognised that fares enabled drivers to recover their costs. However, the Committee also needed to provide a service at a reasonable cost to the public and it was vital that they set the right rates to ensure this balance and to protect users from being overcharged.

 

The Committee, therefore, considered the proposals and agreed that the fees should remain as originally proposed and that they should come into effect without modification on 1 April 2019

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.    The amendments to the fees as provisionally agreed by Council on 12 February 2019 be confirmed without amendment; and

 

2.    The new fees as proposed be put into place on 1 April 2019.