Agenda and draft minutes

General Licensing Committee - Wednesday 10 February 2021 9.30 am

Venue: Virtually

Contact: Sharon Hurr on 01243 534614  Email:  shurr@chichester.gov.uk

Link: To listen to the live broadcast recording please follow the link which will direct you to the live broadcasting webpage

Items
No. Item

34.

Chairman's Announcements

Any apologies for absence that have been received will be noted at this point.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting.

 

Apologies had been received from Mr Hughes and Mr Elliot.

 

35.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the General Licensing Committee meeting held on 12 February 2020.

Minutes:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2021 with the following amendment:

 

In the Council’s proposed revised House to House Collection Policy item, in penultimate paragraph, the word ‘if’ was changed to ‘or’ to read

 

‘That the Committee approves the revised policy (which was generally revised every five years ‘or’ earlier if required).’

 

were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

36.

Urgent Items

Chairman to announce any urgent items which due to special circumstances are to be dealt with under agenda item 7b.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

37.

Declarations of Interests

Details of members’ personal interests arising from their membership of parish councils or West Sussex County Council or from their being Chichester District Council or West Sussex County Council appointees to outside organisations or members of outside bodies or from being employees of such organisations or bodies.

 

Such interests are hereby disclosed by each member in respect of agenda items where the Council or outside body concerned has been consulted in respect of that particular item or application.

 

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are to be made by members of the Committee in respect of matters on the agenda or this meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

 

38.

Public Question Time

Questions submitted by members of the public in writing by noon on the previous working day (for a period of up to 15 minutes).

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

 

39.

Review of the Council's Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire Licensing Policy and Conditions pdf icon PDF 288 KB

The Committee is requested to:

 

·         Consider, approve and adopt for immediate use the proposed revised Convictions Policy as shown at Appendix E of Appendix 1.

 

·         Consider and approve for consultation the proposed revised Policy and Conditions as shown at Appendix 1 together with supporting appendices.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Knowles-Ley introduced the report and summarised the key points.

 

Mr Knowles-Ley began by introducing two colleagues from the Licensing Team, Steve Bingham, Licensing Technician and Jon Munday, Licensing Support Assistant.

 

Mr Knowles-Ley explained that prior to 2012 the council did not have a formal overall documented comprehensive policy in relation to Taxi and Private Hire licensing matters and operated with byelaws and conditions attached to the various licences.  A decision was taken to create a number of draft policies relating to particular areas of taxi and private hire licensing specifically the licensing of drivers, vehicles and operators, with a separate convictions policy.  Conditions that would be applied to each licence type were also developed.  The various policies and conditions were subsequently approved by Committee in 2012 following extensive consultation with various stakeholders.

 

Mr Knowles-Ley further explained it had become evident that with the passage of time along with new and emerging challenges which had arisen since 2012, it was necessary to review current policies and conditions, to ensure they remained fit for purpose. 

 

In July 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) issued the ‘Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards’.  The standards focused on the protection of children and vulnerable individuals who are over 18, from harm when using the services of a taxi or private hire operator.  The guidance also afforded greater protection to all passengers.  The DfT expected all recommendations within the standards to be implemented unless there was a compelling local reason not to do so. 

 

Mr Knowles-Ley described how the review was conducted by initially assessing the contents of the existing six policy documents, and collating them into a single document.  This was followed by a review of the new DfT standards and incorporating any necessary changes into the revised policy, including a specific annex titled ‘Assessment of Previous Convictions’ which indicated in order to be fully compliant with the standards the existing Conviction Policy required updating.  Finally, a general update and revision was completed, to ensure longevity of the policy.

 

Mr Knowles-Ley made reference to the council’s recently adopted Climate Emergency Detailed Action Plan, and the necessity to reduce the emissions and the subsequent impact that licensed vehicles had on the environment. The current requirement was that all new vehicles licensed for the first time, must be compliant with the Euro 4 emissions standards, however since the introduction of that standard, Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards had been introduced which included more stringent emissions standards.

 

Mr Knowles-Ley drew Members’ attention to the section of the revised policy which related to vehicle specification, age, appearance and environmental impact, and explained the proposal to require any new vehicle to be compliant with the current Euro standard or that immediately preceding it, and in addition, to introducing an overall age policy of ten years for such vehicles.  With regards to existing licensed vehicles, the proposal was for there to be a five year transition period for existing vehicle licence holders to replace their vehicle.  Mr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Consideration of any late items as follows:

(a)  Items added to the agenda papers and made available for public inspection;

(b)  Items which the chairman has agreed should be taken as matters of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be reported at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no late items.

 

41.

Exclusion of the press and public

There are no restricted items for consideration by the General Licensing Committee at this meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

There was no requirement to exclude the press and public at this meeting.