Agenda and draft minutes
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Contact: Claire Morris, Democratic Services 01242 264130
There were apologies from Councillor Stafford and Councillor Wheeler attended as a substitute.
Declarations of Interest
There were none.
Minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2022.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
Report of the Senior Licensing Officer
The Senior Licensing Officer introduced the report.
The matter then went to Member questions for the officer and the responses were as follows:
- There are very few drivers that swapped to private hire, however we do need to be aware that may be setting a precedent.
- There are very few big proprietors who switched to private hire.
- In this particular case the applicant could have applied to renew in September, however he would have had to renew again on the 31/12 with another test etc.
The applicant then addressed the committee and made the following points:
- It was all a matter of timing for him with his renewal in September.
- He chose not to get a WAV due to the expense.
- He was a sole trader but chose to go to private hire which cost an extra £270.
- He chose not to go to a third party due to the cast involved with the fee that you have to pay to the third party.
- It would be better if he could go back to being a hackney carriage driver.
During the Member debate the Members made the following points:
- There needs to be discussion that the committee is happy to give officers the delegation to make this decision ongoing.
- The change to the WAV was unfortunate it was bad timing in this particular case.
- The priority has to be to make life easier for the driver.
The matter went to the vote on
1.9a – the vote was unanimous in favour.
To close the matter the Chair stated that this would draw a line under the matter unless a driver has already engaged with officers on the matter, the committee would not consider any future applications.
Report of the Licensing Team Leader
The Cabinet Member introduced the report and started with thanks to Louis and Jason for all their hard work, along with engagement with him as the Cabinet Member, other colleagues and the accessibility forum. The aim is for a wheelchair accessible fleet without too much pressure on the trade. The aim to have a zero carbon fleet by 2030 looks complicated but it takes a vehicle by vehicle and category by category approach.
The Senior Licensing Officer confirmed that the closing date for the consultation is 25th April 2022.
Members comments were as follows:
- Huge thanks was given to the Licensing team for their work in a very well written and laid out report.
- The phased approach to bringing in these changes seems like a good idea.
- There was praise given due to the trade engagement.
- There was a question raised with regard to the fleet being silver and how easy silver cars are to obtain. The Senior Licensing officer confirmed that this will be looked into.
- With regard to electric vehicles there was acknowledgement that charging points would be needed on the rank and that pressure would need to be put on GCC to make sure that there are charging points on terraced streets.
- There needs to be numerical analysis of the different pathways – how will the role out run in terms of number, safe vehicles and obtaining a good life out of them.
- It is important to clarify what is meant by a carbon neutral WAV.
- There will need to be an exceptional circumstances policy ie when a driver is waiting for a vehicle to be delivered, or if a vehicle is written off in a no fault accident.
- Consideration needs to be given to unexpected damage.
- There is a need to give the fleet time to prepare for the changes going forward, there needs to be a fully accessible fleet whilst respecting the economic constraints of the trade.
The Cabinet Member concluded the debate by explaining that the definition of carbon neutral is laid out by the government. With respect to electric vehicles there is acknowledgement that there will have to be a policy regarding pavements etc.
Any Other Items the Chairman Determines Urgent and Which Requires a Decision
There were none.
Local Government Act 1972 Exempt Information
The committee is recommended to approve the following resolution:-
That in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from themeeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, inview of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 and 2, Part (1) Schedule (12A)Local Government Act 1972, namely:
Paragraph 1: Information relating to any individual
Paragraph 2: Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual
The decision to enter exempt session was voted for unanimously.
To approve the exempt minutes of the meeting held on 18th January 2022.
The minutes were approved.
Review of Hackney Carriage Driver's Licence
Report of the Licensing Team Leader
After the Senior Licensing Officer introduced the report and the matter went to Member questions and debate, the vote was taken and the decision was unanimous to revoke the licence with immediate effect.