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Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2018.
The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2018, were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.
For the committee to consider and make recommendations to full Council on an updated Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and Conditions.
The appendices to the report will follow.
The Interim Corporate lead for Licensing presented the revised Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, which had been consulted on with the public.
The Chairman invited Mr Tariq Ahmed, who was in attendance representing the Cambridge Taxi Drivers’ Association, to present the petition, ‘Taxi Drivers Reject Company Door Sign mandatory by South Cambridge District Council’, which had been submitted to the Council in relation to the policy. He raised concerns regarding mandatory door signs and made the following points:
· Taxi drivers were self-employed and worked for many operators; the requirement for door signs would inconvenience drivers who worked for more than one company.
· Taxi drivers were not consulted with widely on this issue. Larger companies were consulted with and supported mandatory door signage, knowing it would be harder for smaller companies to comply with this requirement.
· Mandatory door signage would make drivers more vulnerable. There were concerns about driver safety as drivers would have to leave their vehicles, potentially on busy roads, to change the door signs.
· Customer safety was the primary concern for drivers and door signage did not contribute to this.
· Mr Ahmed suggested the Council should oversee the operators more carefully, to ensure they were working within the guidelines.
· Mr Ahmed asked the committee to consider driver safety as well as customer safety. It was felt that the policy did not take the driver into consideration and targeted them negatively.
Mr Ahmed was invited to speak again later in the meeting and raised issues with the online DBS update service. Mr Ahmed pointed out that not all drivers had email. In response to his concerns, officers informed Mr Ahmed that licences were being suspended rather than revoked, until the driver had done another DBS check.
The committee discussed the proposed amendments to the policy.
Advertising on and in vehicles was discussed. Officers informed the committee that the permission for any advertising was at the licensing officers’ discretion. The committee was also informed that the Council did not receive requests for advertising on or in vehicles. Following discussion, as the Council did not receive requests for advertising, Councillor Hales proposed the rewording of 3.22 of the policy to reflect that the Council would not allow any advertising on its vehicles. This was seconded by Councillor Cone.
· 3.22 Advertising
The Council will not permit any advertising on or in vehicles.
The committee discussed the proposed changes to the section on drivers. The probation period of one year on all new licences and the requirement to provide two referees was discussed. Committee members agreed with these changes.
The competency test was discussed. Some members felt that drivers who had held their licence since before the competency test was introduced, should have to take this test. It was pointed out by some members that the requirement to complete the test could be added as a condition by the Licensing Appeals Sub-Committee, at taxi licensing hearings.
Vehicles ... view the full minutes text for item 3.