Licensing Committee – 12 January 2012
Chair: Councillor Clark
Venue: Function Room 1, Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe
2. Declarations of 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 24 November 2011, 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-committee
(i) Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 11 and 24 November 2011
5. Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and Town Police Clauses Act 1847 – Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Length of Licence
6. Hackney Carriage Table of Fares – Proposed Increase 2012
7. Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
8. Appeals submitted to the Magistrates’ Court (if any) – oral update by the Assistant Director Democratic and Legal
9. Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified
Note: Reports are by Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services unless otherwise stated.
PRESENT: Councillor Clark in the chair.
Councillors P Vickers (vice-chairman), Allcock, Armitage, Carlile, Eckhardt, Ellerby, Glover, Ogg, Oldfield, O’Sullivan, K Vickers, Wells, Wilson and Whiteley.
The committee met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
961 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH APPLICANTS, OBJECTORS OR THIRD PARTIES (LOBBYING) – The following members declared a personal interest –
|Member||Minute Number||Nature of Interest|
|Councillor Armitage||966||Licence holder|
|Councillor Oldfield||966||Licence holder|
962 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this committee held on 24 November 2011, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chairman.
963 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 11 and 24 November 2011 be received.
964 (15) LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1976 AND TOWN POLICE CLAUSES ACT 1847 – HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVERS, LENGTH OF SERVICE – The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a report requesting the committee to consider increasing the length of time that Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers licences were issued.
The report explained that Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers licences were issued in accordance with the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 respectively.
Section 53 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 stated that both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers licences remained in force for three years or a lesser period if specified by the council. North Lincolnshire Council had determined that all Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers licences be issued to expire after a period of one year other than where the licence holder had passed the BTEC in Transporting Passengers by Taxi and Private Hire and the NVQ in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving.
The report proposed to change from the one year licence to a three year licence from 1 April 2012. In order to graduate the number of licences over the three years, it was further proposed to allow applicants wishing to renew their licence during the period of 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013 to apply for a licence of either one, two or three years. Licences would be issued over the periods on a first come first served basis. Currently there were 600 licensed drivers, meaning that over the course of the year, 200 would be licensed for each period.
The Director in his report explained that the proposed changes would result in reduced material costs for producing licences and ID badges, and would reduce the burden on both applicants and licensing staff. The option would still be available for the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee to issue a licence for a lesser period should it deem it appropriate. Associated financial implications were outlined in the report.
Consequently, Paragraph 16 of the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy would need to be changed to reflect the proposed changes. A copy of the revised policy was attached as appendix A to the report.
Resolved – (a) That option 2 at paragraph 3.2 of the report be approved allowing the change to three year licences, including the phased approach, and (b) that the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy be amended accordingly, as attached as appendix A of the report.
965 (16) HACKNEY CARRIAGE TABLE OF FARES – PROPOSED INCREASE 2012 – The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a report informing the committee that the North Lincolnshire Taxi and Private Hire Association had requested an increase to the current table of fares for Hackney Carriage Vehicles. The current and proposed revised table of fares were set out in appendices A and B of the report.
The report explained that Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 stated that the council may set the table of fares for hackney carriages. North Lincolnshire Council had previously determined to set a maximum table of fares which allowed drivers to charge less than the fare on the meter should they wish to. Periodically the council could review its table of fares, or Hackney Carriage Associations may request an increase.
The proposed revised table of fares had been compared with the fares charged in neighbouring council’s areas and this was summarised in appendix C. Should the proposed table of fares be agreed, then it would be advertised in accordance with statutory requirements. If any objections were received, they would be considered by the committee at a future meeting.
Resolved – (a) That the proposed table of fares set out in appendix B of the report be approved; (b) that the table of fares be advertised in accordance with statutory requirements, and (c) that any objections be reported back to and considered at the next meeting of the committee.
966 (17) POLICE REFORM AND SOCIAL RESONSIBILITY ACT 2011 – The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a report informing the committee of the likely implications of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act for licensing authorities.
The report explained that the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 was first presented to Parliament on 1 December 2010 and received Royal Assent on 15 September 2011, although the relevant part of the Act had to date, not yet come into force. The Act included a number of changes to the Licensing Act 2003 and was the follow on from the Home Office Consultation entitled “Rebalancing the Licensing Act – A consultation on empowering individuals, families and local communities to shape and determine local licensing”. A report was presented to the committee at its meeting on 14 September 2010 on the consultation (minute 885 refers).
The changes proposed to the Licensing Act 2003 were contained within Part 2 of the Act and were summarised in the Director’s report. The full impact of the changes would need to be determined, with some requiring significant deliberation and consultation, namely the introduction of the early morning restriction orders and the late night levy. These two elements of the new Act had the potential to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder within North Lincolnshire.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
967 APPEALS SUBMITTED TO THE MAGISTRATES COURT (IF ANY) –
The Assistant Director Democratic and Legal reported orally that no decisions of the council’s Licensing Committee, Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee or Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee had been appealed to the Magistrates Court since the last meeting of the committee on 24 November 2011.
Resolved – That the position be noted.