Licensing Committee – 12 September 2013
Chairman: Councillor K Vickers
Venue: Function Room 1, Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe
Time: 10 am
2. Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Personal or Personal and Prejudicial Interests or Significant Contact with Applicants, Objectors or Third Parties (lobbying) if any.
3. To take the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 6 June 2013, as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign.
4. Sub-Committee Proceedings – To receive and where necessary confirm the minutes of the meeting of the following sub-committees –
(i) Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 27 June 2013 (Special Meeting)
(ii) Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee held on 31 May, 13 June and 4 July 2013
5. Scrap Metal Dealers Act, 2013.
6. Licensing Policy – Hackney Carriage and Private Hire.
7. Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1976.
8. Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
Note: Reports are by Director of Places unless otherwise stated.
PRESENT: Councillor K Vickers in the chair.
Councillors Wardle (vice-chairman), Armitage, Carlile, Eckhardt, Ellerby, T Foster, Glover, Jawaid MBE, Kataria, Ogg, Oldfield, P Vickers, Wells and Whiteley.
The committee met at Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
1118 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS, PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH APPLICANTS, OBJECTORS OR THIRD PARTIES (LOBBYING) – The following members declared a personal interest –
Nature of Interest
Family member a taxi licence holder
Hackney Carriage licence holder
1119 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this committee held on 6 June 2013, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chairman.
1120 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the special meeting of the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 27 June 2013 be received.
1121 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee held on 31 May, 13 June and 4 July 2013 be received.
1122 (9) SCRAP METAL DEALERS ACT, 2013 – The Director of Places submitted a report advising members of changes to the way scrap metal businesses would be regulated from 1 October 2013, through the implementation of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 , and how the licensing authority was preparing for its introduction.
The report explained that the above Act repealed the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 (and associated legislation) and Part 1 of the Vehicle (Crime) Act 2001, creating a revised regulatory regime for scrap metal recycling and vehicle dismantling industries. The aim of the new regime was to reduce duplication and the overlapping regimes for these industries creating a single regulatory scheme. Similarly, the Act also repealed and re-enacted the amendment to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 in section 146 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which created the offence of buying scrap metal for cash. This offence prohibited scrap metal dealers from paying for scrap metal other than by cheque or electronic transfer, it applied to the scrap metal dealer, the site manager and any person who made the payment acting for the dealer.
The Director of Places in his report stated that scrap metal dealers would now be required to obtain a licence in order to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. It would be an offence to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer without first obtaining a licence. This offence was punishable on summary conviction with a fine not exceeding level 5 (£5,000). An application for a licence must also be accompanied by a fee. The fee would be set by the local authority on a cost recovery basis, but local authorities would have a duty to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. (To date this guidance had not been issued, so a temporary fee was proposed until the guidance was received). Having considered the implications and administrative process of the regime – it was therefore proposed that the fee level for a site licence would be £885.00 and itinerants would be £290.00. The fees identified would generate an additional income of approximately £27,125. This would be needed to be re-invested into the licensing service in order to deliver the service. It was proposed to increase the hours of the two licensing assistants by 13.5 hours per week to cover the additional work, which would cost £7,267 per year. This should enable the additional work to be covered.
Also, the Act maintained local authorities as the principal regulator but gave them power by allowing them to refuse to grant a licence to an ‘unsuitable’ applicant, or to revoke a licence if an applicant became ‘unsuitable’. Suitability would be judged on a number of factors including any unspent relevant criminal convictions.
The Director of Places responded to members’ questions.
Resolved – (a) That the proposals set out in the Director’s report be approved, and (b) that preparations begin to ensure that the licensing authority is compliant with the new Act on 1 October 2013.
1123 (10) LICENSING POLICY – HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE – The Director of Places submitted a report presenting a revised draft of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy following changes to Guidance to Members and other policy issues, which needed to be reflected in the policy. A copy of the draft policy was attached in appendix A. Appropriate consultation would be carried out with interested parties on the revised draft policy, and a further report would be submitted to the committee at a future meeting.
The report explained that North Lincolnshire Council had a duty to protect the public and was authorised to carry out the statutory function of issuing Licences in relation to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers, Vehicles and Operators. These Licences were issued in accordance with the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. There was no legal requirement for the policy, however it was considered good practice that such a policy was implemented.
The current policy was previously reviewed in September 2012. Since then there had been a number of required changes which were summarised in table 1 of paragraph 2.4 of the report.
Resolved – (a)That the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy be approved, and (b) that consultation be commenced with interested parties in line with Option 1 set out in the report.
1124 (11) PART II OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISION) ACT 1976 – The Director of Places submitted a report proposing that the council passes the required resolution to apply Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act1976 throughout the whole area of North Lincolnshire. Part II of the above Act along with the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 regulated the licensing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles, Drivers and Operators.
The report explained that the provisions of the Act would have been adopted by North Lincolnshire Council some time in 1996, however a copy of the resolution had yet to be found, thus it has been deemed appropriate to pass a resolution to re-adopt Part II of the Act. Before a resolution to adopt Part II of the Act could be made a notice of the intention to pass the resolution must be placed in a local news paper on two occasions, on consecutive weeks and the council must serve a copy of the notice on each parish council in the specified area, ie the whole of North Lincolnshire. The proposed timetable for the resolution to be passed was set out in the report and would be completed at the council meeting on 10 December 2013.
Recommended to Council – That Option 1 at paragraph 3.1 of the report be approved and the required resolution be made.