Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Pittville Room - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Saira Malin, Democracy Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Cllr Payne.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None declared.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 301 KB

26 February 2018

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting were approved and signed as a correct record.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 26 February 2018, be agreed and signed as an accurate record

4.

Public and Member questions

These must relate directly to the business for which the meeting was convened and must be received no later than 12 noon on Thursday 22 March 2018

Minutes:

None received.

5.

Call-in of decision regarding the review of the taxi and private hire licensing policy pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Consideration of a call-in request regarding a decision made at Cabinet on 6 March 2018

·         Introduction by the Chair, who will speak on the call-in request

·         Questions to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

·         Questions to the Business Support and Licensing Team Leader, Louis Krog

·         Questions to the representative of The National Private Hire and Taxi Association (tbc)

·         Questions to the Chairman of the Licensing Committee, Councillor David Willingham

·         Conclusions and agree recommendations

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained the call-in process and the procedure to be followed at the meeting.  He explained that having received a representation from the National Private Hire and Taxi Association requesting a call-in and following consultation with officers he had concluded that a call-in was appropriate and it had been accepted by the Proper Officer.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding the grounds for the call-in, he referred to the letter of representation he had received and to the grounds for the call-in as set out in the calling-in form in appendix 1.  Under Article 13 of the Council's Constitution he considered there were possibly, the following deficiencies in:

c) consultation,

f) clarity of aims and desires

g) due consideration of all objections and

h) explaining and giving reasons for the decision

 

He confirmed that all those reasons applied and he had received support for the call-in from members of all the political groups.  He had sought legal advice that it was acceptable to refer to the letter of representation in the call-in form and this was duly attached. In response to a question from a member he confirmed that he as an elected member had agreed that there were sufficient grounds for the call-in.

 

The Chair invited the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay, to be the first witness and answer questions from the committee.

 

Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

What are your thoughts on the policy?

 

The Cabinet Member explained the process followed leading up to the decision by Cabinet on 6 March 2018 to adopt the revised policy.  The details of the working group as well as consultation and feedback was set out in the Cabinet report which had been circulated.The results of the consultation were set out in detail in Appendix 4 of the Cabinet report.

 

He went on to highlight the 6 main elements of the new policy and in particular he highlighted the reasons for changing the grandfather rights which were fully set out in the report.

 

In 1988 the council had passed a policy that required all taxis to support the disabled. However the taxi drivers with the grandfather rights had continued to use saloon cars which were not accessible by disabled people and therefore not fit for purpose.

 

Disability access was less well-defined so a requirement for wheelchair accessibility would ensure the vehicle could be accessed by everybody. Currently the proportion of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) in the fleet provided a one in five chance that a vehicle in the taxi rank would be suitable for a wheelchair user which he stated he considered discriminatory and therefore unacceptable.

 

He emphasised that it was the council's policy and not the taxi drivers that was discriminatory. It would be easier to implement the government's requirement for 100% disability access and guide dog accessibility if taxis were required to be 100% wheelchair accessible.  

 

He referred to a report produced by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Date of next meeting

23 April 2018

Minutes:

Date of next meeting will be 23 April 2018