Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Pittville Room - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Sophie McGough, Democracy Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

ELECTION OF CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR

Minutes:

Councillor Thornton nominated Councillor Willingham as Chair. This was seconded by Councillor Collins.

 

Resolved That 

 

Councillor Willingham be elected as Chair of the Licensing Committee.

 

Councillor Willingham nominated Councillor Paul McCloskey as Vice Chair which Councillor Parsons seconded. Councillor Thornton also put herself forwarded as Vice Chair. Members voted 6 to 1 in favour of Councillor McCloskey as Vice Chair.

 

Resolved That

 

Councillor McCloskey be elected as Vice Chair of the Licensing Committee.

 

Councillor Willingham confirmed that Councillor Flynn had stood down as Chair. Members raised some concern that they had not been informed of Councillor Flynn’s resignation.

 

 

 

2.

CONFIRMATION OF MEMBERSHIP OF SUB-COMMITTEES

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that Councillor Helena McCloskey would sit on the Alcohol and Gambling Sub-Committee.

 

3.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Paul and Helena McCloskey and Councillor Harman.

 

4.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Thursday 30th November 2017.

 

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

6.

MINUTES OF LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To approve the minutes of the last meeting held on 6th September 2017.

Minutes:

 

The minutes of the last meeting held on 6th September 2017 were approved and signed as a true record.

 

7.

MINUTES OF SUB COMMITTEE MEETINGS - Alcohol and Gambling pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To approve the minutes of the Licensing Sub Committee meetings held on 2nd October 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd October 2017 were approved and signed as a true record.

 

8.

Ratification of Miscellaneous Licensing Sub-Committee's response to Taxi & Private Hire policy review pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Report of the Licensing Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the report and explained that following the sub-committee meeting held on Wednesday 22nd November it was the licensing committee’s responsibility to ratify and approve the sub-committee’s response to the review of Cheltenham Borough Council’s private hire and taxi licensing policy in readiness for submission to cabinet for consideration.

 

Some Members wished to raise concerns over grandfather rights and the sub committee’s preference towards option C to ‘amend the grandfather rights rules so that those who retain it can interchange between saloon cars and wheelchair-accessible vehicles without those rights being affected’. They felt that this was discriminatory against those with disabilities and that there was a need to enhance and promote equality, they felt option A would be more preferential.

 

The Chair suggested that the committee proceeded to go through the Policy – Consultation Document question by question and that should Members have any concerns they could raise them at the relevant question. No concerns were raised with regards to questions 1-9.

 

Several concerns were raised regarding question 10 and Grandfather rights and a discussion ensued. Some Members who had attended the previous sub-committee meeting justified why option C had been agreed as the preferential option. They rationalised that:

 

·           The cost for a replacement taxi was in the region of £30,000-£40,000 and it was unfair to impose this cost upon taxi drivers.

·           Wheelchair accessible vehicles were uncomfortable and it was unfair to impose this upon able-bodied persons. One Member made reference to a previous colleague who had found wheelchair-accessible vehicles so uncomfortable that they had preferred a saloon car with their wheelchair in the boot.

·           One Member reasoned that there were around 400 licensed taxis in Cheltenham and the number of wheelchair users in the area was fewer than 400, they, therefore, felt there was an issue of proportionality as there was not a 400 a day demand for wheelchair users.

·           In most cases, it was suggested that wheelchair users already had a driver with whom they called upon if necessary or relied on their spouse or other family Members.

·           Members did, however, reason that if a wheelchair user required a vehicle that it was easily available.

 

Concerns were raised over the fact that not all Members were party to the previous discussion and some felt there had been a lack of engagement with disability groups and professional bodies. It was agreed that it was imperative to seek guidance from professional bodies on the review of the licensing policy and that user groups should be spoken to on the consultation process.  The Chair confirmed that colleagues who were wheelchair users had been consulted to and advised that Leonard Cheshire and the National Star College were aware of the consultation.

 

Following discussion Members were invited to vote on what their preferred approach would be. 

 

The vote was 3 in favour of option A and 4 in favour of option C.

 

Councillor Willingham, Wilkinson and Collins voted in favour of option A, Councillor Thornton, Lillywhite, Seacome  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

ANY OTHER ITEMS THE CHAIRMAN DETERMINES TO BE URGENT AND WHICH REQUIRES A DECISION

Minutes:

None

10.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

7 March 2018

Minutes:

 

Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 6pm.