Licensing Committee 21 September 2017
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 22 June 2017 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 6 July, 27 July, 3 August and 7 September 2017.(ii) Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee held on 24 July, 25 July and 28 July 2017.
5. Licensing Policy – Hackney Carriage and Private Hire.
6. Private Licence Plates for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles.
7. Hackney Carriage Table of Fares – Proposed Increase 2017.
8. Business Compliance and Support Policy (Licensing).
9. The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014.
10. Appeals Submitted to the Magistrates Court.
11. Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
PRESENT: – Councillor K Vickers in the chair.
Councillors, Ali, Allcock, Armitage, Clark, Ellerby, Glover, Hannigan, Ogg, Oldfield, O’Sullivan, Rowson, C Sherwood and Swift.
The committee met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
1457 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 personal interests –
|Member||Nature of Interest|
|Councillor Armitage||Personal Licence Holder|
|Councillor Oldfield||Personal Licence Holder|
|Councillor C Sherwood||Personal Licence Holder|
The following member declared a disclosable pecuniary interest –
|Member||Minute(s)||Nature of Interest|
|Councillor Ali||1461, 1462, 1463||Taxi Licence Holder and Proprietor|
1458 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of thiscommittee held on 22 June 2017, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chairman.
1459 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee held on 6 July, 27 July, 3 August and 7 September 2017 be received.
1460 SUB-COMMITTEE PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Licensing (Activities) Sub-Committee held on 24, 25 and 28 July 2017 be received.
(Councillor Ali having declared a disclosable pecuniary interest, left the meeting prior to consideration of the following item – Minute 1461 refers).
1461 (16) LICENSING POLICY – HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE – Further to minute 1407, the Director: Operations circulated the revised draft of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy following a period of consultation with interested parties.
Members were informed that the 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 be implemented. A policy had been in place since January 2011 and was last reviewed in November 2015.
The consultation had been carried out over a number of months. Working groups had been held with representatives from the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade and letters had been sent to every licensed driver and operator.
All proposed changes had been discussed at length with representatives of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade. The revised draft policy was attached at Appendix A of the report.
Recommended to Council – That following the incorporation of the amendments made at the meeting, the draft policy be approved.
1462 (17) PRIVATE LICENCE PLATES FOR HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES – The Director: Operations circulated a report that considered proposals to allow hackney carriage and private hire proprietors to apply for and display a “private licence number” on their vehicle.
Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles were licensed in accordance with the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1976.
In accordance with section 41 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 there was a requirement to print the licence number on the licence plate, with the same provision contained with section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1976 for private hire vehicles. There was nothing within either section that stated that a licence number cannot be a combination of letters and numbers, just that the licence number must be displayed on the licence plate.
When a licence was issued, the vehicle was allocated a licence number with the next available number used. In the proposed scheme, that number would still be issued but the proprietor would be able to make an application to pick their own number, which would then be displayed on the licence plate.
The report contained the criteria that would have to be met for any application to be approved, as well as the proposed fee. Three sign design examples were attached to the report.
Resolved – That the proposal for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire proprietors to apply to change their licence number be approved.
1463 (18) HACKNEY CARRIAGE TABLE OF FARES – PROPOSED INCREASE 2017 – Further to minute 1425, the Director: Operations circulated a report that informed members of a request from the North Lincolnshire Taxi and Private Hire Association to increase the Table of Fares.
Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 stated that the council may set the table of fares for hackney carriage vehicles. A copy of the current Table of Fares was attached at Appendix A of the report.
The council had previously determined to set a maximum table of fares. The setting of a maximum table of fares allowed drivers to charge less than the fare on the meter should they wish too.
A request was made by the North Lincolnshire Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Association to increase the Table of Fares, which was approved by the committee at its meeting on 22 June 2017. The revised Table of Fares as per this request was at Appendix B of the report.
The proposed Table of Fares was advertised in the Scunthorpe Telegraph. Following this advertisement, on 8 August 2017, the council was in receipt of an objection to the proposed Table of Fares. A copy of this objection was attached to the report as Appendix C.
An alternative request had been made by the North Lincolnshire Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Association to increase the Table of Fares. A copy of the request was attached to the report as Appendix D.
Resolved – (a) That the proposed table of fares, attached to the report at Appendix D, be approved; (b) that the table of fares be advertised in accordance with statutory requirements, and (c) that any objections to the table of fares be reported back to the next scheduled meeting of the Licensing Committee.
(At this stage of the proceedings Councillor Ali returned to the meeting).
1464 (19) BUSINESS COMPLIANCE AND SUPPORT POLICY (LICENSING) – The Director: Operations submitted a report that informed members of a draft Business Compliance and Support Policy.
The draft Business Compliance and Support Policy sat between the Directorate Level Enforcement Policy and the individual Licensing Policies. It had been developed to demonstrate how the council dealt with compliance issues.
The draft policy was not a statutory policy, however it helped the council to have transparent approach to enforcement and how it supported businesses.
The consultation on the Policy started in April 2017 and closed on 31 July 2017. The revised draft policy was attached as Appendix A to the report.
Recommended to Council – That the draft Business Compliance and Support Policy (Licensing) be approved.
1465 (20) THE OPENNESS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES REGULATIONS 2014 – The Director: Operations submitted a report that advised the committee of all decisions taken by authorised officers of the Licensing Division, in relation to licences, registrations, permits and consents, under the scheme of delegation.
In August 2014 the Government introduced regulations which required the publication of decisions by officers for non-executive functions where were for authorisation, a licence or where it affected the rights of an individual.
The adoption of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations in August 2014 changed the requirements placed on local authorities in regard to reporting decisions taken under delegated authority by Officers.
Prior to the new regulations, Officers were required only to produce a report on decisions taken under authority delegated to them under the Authority’s Executive powers.
The requirement had now been extended to all decisions, whether made by an officer or on behalf of another committee/sub-committee or joint committee, in which the council participated. This applied where the decision had been delegated to an officer, either under a specific delegation or under a general authorisation.
A summary of all decisions made by officers for licences, registrations, permits and consents issued between 12 May 2017 and 22 June 2017 was attached at Appendix 1 of the report.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
1466 APPEALS TO THE MAGISTRATES COURT – The Director: Governance and Partnerships informed the committee of the outcome of a recent appeal lodged to the Magistrates Court as a result of a decision made by the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee.