Licensing Committee – 28 January 2016
Chairman: Councillor K Vickers
Venue: Function Room 1, Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe
Time: 10 am
2. Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or personal and prejudicial interests, and significant contact with applicants, objectors or third parties (lobbying), if any.
3. To take the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 19 November 2015, 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 14 January 2016
(ii) Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee held on 7 December and 14 December 2015
5. Private Hire Operators Licence – Deregulation Act 2015
6. Any other items that the chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances that must be specified.
PRESENT: Councillor K Vickers in the chair.
Councillors P Vickers (Vice-Chairman), Ali, Allcock, Armitage, Clark, Ellerby, Glover, Grant, Mumby-Croft, Perry, Ogg, Rowson, Wells and Wilson.
The committee met at Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
1303 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS, PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH APPLICANTS, OBJECTORS OR THIRD PARTIES (LOBBYING) – The following member a disclosable pecuniary interest –
Nature of Interest
|Councillor Ali||1307||Proprietor of Hackney Carriage business and Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle drivers licence|
The following member declared a personal interest
Nature of Interest
|Councillor Armitage||Personal Licence holder|
1304 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of thiscommittee held on 19 November 2015, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chairman.
1305 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 14 January 2016 be received.
1306 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee held on 7 December and 14 December 2015 be received.
(Councillor Ali, having declared a disclosable pecuniary interest, left the meeting for consideration of the following item – Minutes 1307 refers).
1307 (33) PRIVATE HIRE OPERATORS LICENCE – DEREGULATION ACT 2015 – Further to Minute 1288, the Director of Places submitted a report that considered the proposed licence fees relating to Private Hire Operators Licences due to changes made by the Deregulation Act 2015, following the period of consultation.
Members heard that the Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent in early 2015. Section 10 of the Act made changes to the length of time that the council may issue a Private Hire Operators Licence for.
Under section 55 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1976 the Council could issue an operator’s licence for up to five years. The change to the legislation was quite subtle in that the requirement was for the council to issue a five year licence, save where it was deemed appropriate to issue a licence for a lesser period.
At the meeting on 19 November 2015, members agreed, subject to consultation, to offer businesses the choice of either a one or five year licence. The proposed fee for the one year licence was £315 (to be phased in over three years) and £1,015 for a five year licence.
The proposed fees were advertised in the Scunthorpe Telegraph on 3 December 2015.
One representation was received following the statutory consultation. A copy of the representation was attached at Appendix A.
The Chairman had invited Mr Stuart Commander from Scunthorpe and District Taxi Association and author of the letter of representation to attend the meeting and address members. Mr Commander suggested that –
- A 300% increase in the fees will see many operators going out of business
- Private hire operators/drivers provide a valuable service to North Lincolnshire residents
- In the current economic climate, small operators struggle to make a profit. Having to pay an increased fee will further hinder their ability to make a profit
- Lincoln City Council charge £308 for a five year licence, whilst Doncaster Metropolitan Council charge £298 for a five year licence
- £142 for a one-year licence was very excessive
- The average Private Hire Operator was a conscientious driver. Therefore the five hour enforcement charge would not apply to them
- The council must implement a fairer policy, whereby only offending drivers have to pay for any enforcement action.
Following Mr Commander’s verbal presentation, members then discussed the level of fees to be attached to Private Hire Operators Licences.
Resolved – (a) That the annual fee for a Private Hire Operators Licence be £210; (b) that licence operators be offered the option to pay for a five year licence, costing £490, and (c) that the fees be advertised in accordance with legal requirements.