Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing and Regulatory Committee - Monday, 13th January, 2020 10.00 am

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

Contact: Kimberly Soane  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

LIC24/19

Minutes pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2019 (to be laid on the table half an hour before the meeting).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed.

LIC25/19

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence and to report any substitutions

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Jackie Keen and Michaela Martin.

LIC26/19

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 in relation to matters on the agenda.

LIC27/19

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 submission of written questions for this meeting is Monday 6th Janaury 2020.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

LIC28/19

Questions from Members

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

 

The deadline for submission of written questions for this meeting is Monday 6th Janaury 2020.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions from Members.

LIC29/19

Nomination of replacement representative on Licensing (General Purposes) Sub-Committee

Chairman to ask for a nomination to replace Cllr Lee on the Licencing (GP) Sub Committee.

Minutes:

The Committee noted that following the sad death of Cllr Jack Lee there was currently a vacancy on the Licensing & Regulatory Committee and the Licensing (General Purposes) Sub-Committee. A by-election for the Milford Ward was due to be held on 13 February 2020.

 

Rather than appointing a replacement to fill the vacancy on the Sub-Committee at this time, the Committee agreed to await the outcome of the by-election and the consequent review of the political proportionality of the Council and allocation of committee seats.

LIC30/19

Action Authorised

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

Minutes:

No actions had been authorised by the Chief Executive since the last meeting of the Committee.

LIC31/19

Minutes of the Licensing (General Purposes) Sub Committee pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To agree the minutes of the licensing (GP) sub-committee held on 14th October 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Licensing (General Purposes) Sub-Committee meeting held on 14 October 2019 were approved.

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

Background Papers

 

Unless specified under an individual item, there are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to the reports in Part I of these minutes.

LIC32/19

Joint Warranting 2020 DOTX 49 KB

Purpose and Summary:

 

Waverley Borough Council is the licensing authority for the purposes of regulating taxi and private hire services in the Borough. This report seeks approval for making arrangements between Surrey Licensing Authorities to introduce joint warranting for Licensing Officers. This will enable improved enforcement of the taxi and private hire trade across the County and improve safety within the licensed hackney carriage and private hire vehicle service operating in Surrey. 

 

The Committee are asked to recommend to Full Council that:

 

 (a)    the Council delegate the Taxi and Private Hire enforcement functions under the legislation set out in Appendix A to the Surrey local licensing authorities (also set out in Appendix A), in addition to retaining those functions within the Borough and to similarly receive the delegated Taxi and Private Hire enforcement functions (as set out in Appendix A) of those local authorities; and, 

 

(b)     the responsibility for relevant Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing legislation in accordance with 2.1 of the Council’s Constitution which confirms an existing delegated power to the Head of Environmental & Regulatory Services at Part I.3 of the Council’s Scheme of Delegation  (authorisation to enforce all relevant Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing legislation) be extended to include the authorisation of officers of other Surrey authorities participating in a Joint Warranting Scheme. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

32.1     The Committee considered a report setting out proposals from the Surrey Local Licensing Authorities to introduce joint warranting for Licensing Officers to enable improved enforcement of the taxi and private hire trade across the county. It was proposed that each of the eleven borough and district councils would delegate their taxi and private hire enforcement function under the relevant legislation (set out in the report) to the other Surrey Local Licensing Authorities in addition to retaining those functions themselves.

 

32.2     The joint warranting arrangements would not restrict the movement of taxi and private hire vehicles into other boroughs, but would enable Waverley officers to enforce against taxi and private hire vehicles and drivers licensed by other Surrey boroughs. The joint warranting arrangements would commence from April 2020.

 

32.3     The Committee noted that such joint working arrangements represented ‘best practice’ as proposed in the draft statutory guidance to taxi and private hire licensing authorities which was the subject of a Department for Transport consultation in 2019.

 

32.4     The Committee welcomed the proposals for more joined up working across the county that would help protect users of taxi and private hire vehicles, and asked that similar arrangements be developed with neighbouring licensing authorities in other counties, such as East Hampshire, Chichester and Rushmoor.

 

32.5     Having considered the report, the Committee

 

1.    RESOLVED to recommend to Full Council that:

 

i.              the Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire enforcement functions under the legislation set out in Appendix A of the report be delegated to the Surrey Local Licensing Authorities (as set out in Appendix A), in addition to these functions being retained within the Borough; and, to similarly receive the same delegated Taxi and Private Hire enforcement functions of the Surrey Local Licensing Authorities.

 

And,

 

ii.             the responsibility for relevant Taxi and Private Hire licensing legislation in accordance with Part 3 (Responsibility for Functions) of the Council’s Constitution, which confirms an existing delegated power to the Head of Environmental & Regulatory Services at part I.3 of the Council’s Scheme of Delegation (authorisation to enforce all relevant Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire licensing legislation), be extended to include the authorisation of officers of other Surrey authorities participating in a Joint Warranting Scheme.

 

2.    RESOLVED to ask the Head of Environmental & Regulatory Services to write to the neighbouring licensing authorities in other counties to explore development of similar reciprocal joint warranting arrangements.

PART II - MATTERS OF REPORT

The background papers relating to the following items are as set out in the reports included in the original agenda papers.

LIC33/19

Taxi Policy Covering Report re proposed changes for consultation 2020 pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Purpose and Summary:

 

This report proposes a number of changes to the Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Licensing Policy to reflect the recommendations from the Department for Transport on a safer system of taxi and private hire vehicle licensing and other proposed changes following review by Officers and to agree a basis for consultation with the Taxi and Private Hire trades and the public.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Licensing and Regulatory Committee;

 

·         considers the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy at Annexe 1 and agrees it, with or without amendments, as a basis for consultation; and notes;

 

o   the Task & Finish Goup report regarding taxi and private hire licensing;’

o   the Government’s response to the Task & Finish Group report;

o   Officer comments on the Task & Finish Group outlined in the report, including in relation to the NAFN project, English language test, complaints and dealings in relation to access refusal, employment factors relevant to the fit and proper test;

 

·         considers the recommendation in respect of;

 

o   the introduction of a reduced vehicle licence rate for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles and the inclusion of a condition requiring licensees to cooperate with appropriate Officers from other licensing areas

o   an additional requirement for all drivers to subscribe to and maintain DBS update service

o   the introduction of an appropriate Privacy Notice

o   the introduction of requirements for Private Hire Operators to;

 

§ hold & maintain a register of all staff that have contact with the public etc;

§ be able to evidence that a basic DBS is in place for staff listed on their register; and

 

o   Operators being prohibited from using PCV licensed drivers the reintroduction of a vehicle age policy

o   the introduction of requirements for door signs on Private Hire vehicles

o   the setting of a date for all licensed vehicles to be electric

o   the introduction of a refusal to licence written off vehicles

o   the introduction of a condition prohibiting the use of second

o   hand tyres or tyres that are 10 years old or more;

o   the current Surrey conviction policy compared with the relevant IoL guidance

o   the proposal to allow exemptions to the window tinting policy subject to consultation with the Chair of the Licensing Committee.

  • the location of vehicle testing station

 

·         considers the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy at Annexe 1 and agrees it, with or without amendments, and makes proposals for consultation;

Additional documents:

Minutes:

33.1     The Committee considered a report that shared the recommendations of the Department for Transport on a safer system of taxi and private hire vehicle licensing, and sought the views of the Committee on a number of proposed changes to the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2018 – 2023.

 

33.2     The proposed changes to the Policy came from the Department of Transport recommendations (where these did not need to be implemented by changes in legislation); from officers; and responded to representations made by drivers and operators in the trade. Subject to the agreement of the Committee, these would be incorporated within the Council’s Taxi and Private Hire Policy to be consulted upon.

 

33.3     The Committee discussed the representations from drivers on relaxing the Council’s policy on window tinting, and the variation in approaches of licensing authorities across the county on this matter. It was noted that it was difficult to judge how much difference tinting levels had on safety, although there was a perception that more light transmission was safer. The Committee was sympathetic to the representations of drivers, and agreed that for the purposes of consultation the policy would propose the same approach as Spelthorne (Regulatory minimum light transmission for the windscreen (75%) and front side windows (70%); at least 22% light transmission for rear side windows; and no minimum transmission requirement for the rear windscreen).

 

33.4     The Committee considered the policy on the age of licensed vehicles and promoting the take-up of Ultra Low Emission (ULE) vehicles by drivers and operators. It was agreed that offering a reduction in the licensing fee for ULE vehicles would send a positive signal, up until the point when all vehicles would have to be ULE. To align with the Council’s Climate Change Emergency declaration, the Committee felt that all Waverley licensed vehicles should be ULE by 2030. A maximum age of 7 years for licensed vehicles would mean that from 2023 all newly licensed vehicles would need to be ULE.

 

33.5     The Committee agreed with Officer’s recommendations on other matters to include in the draft revised policy for consultation, and RESOLVED

 

i.              To note the Department for Transport’s report on taxi and private hire licensing; the Government’s response to the report; and Officer comments on the report in relation to the National Anti-Fraud Network project, English language testing for drivers, matters in relation to disability and accessibility, and employment matters relevant to the ‘fit and proper’ test; and

 

ii.             That the following areas of policy be incorporated within the Council’s Taxi and Private Hire Policy to be consulted upon:

 

-        a reduced vehicle licence rate (50% of the full rate) for ULE vehicles, until such time as all vehicles are ULE under the vehicle age policy (DfT recommendation 7).

-        a condition requiring licensees to co-operate with appropriate Officers from other licensing areas (DfT recommendation 9).

-        a requirement for door signs on Private Hire Vehicles (DfT recommendation 19).

-        a requirement that all drivers subscribe to  ...  view the full minutes text for item LIC33/19

LIC34/19

Proposed Fares and Tariffs

To receive a verbal update on the proposed Taxi and Private Hire fares and tarriffs.

Minutes:

Paul Hughes, Licensing & Environmental Enforcement Manager, updated the Committee on the work being carried out to review Taxi Fares. Since the Committee met last, Officers had been using the Guildford methodology as a template to calculate tax fares. The initial outcome using this approach indicated that fares might reduce from £2.40/mile to £1.20/mile. Given the scale of the reduction, Officers were consulting with colleagues in Guildford to ensure that the methodology had been applied correctly, and there would be a further report to the Committee in March.

LIC35/19

FORWARD PROGRAMME

To note the following items programmed to come to forthcoming meetings.

Minutes:

The Committee noted that the Fares Policy would come to the next meeting of the Committee in March, as would the revised Taxi and Private Hire Policy following the consultation on proposals.