Venue: Council Chamber, First Floor
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Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Cllr Mark Howell commented that he had not discussed any of the proposals with his colleague County Councillor Kevin Cuffley who was a licensed Private Hire Driver.
To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2019.
The minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2019 were agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:
· Minute 3: ‘Vehicles’. The words ‘also of concern’ would replace ‘more significant than vehicle age’. The agreed amended text was therefore ‘…emission levels were also of concern.’.
· Under 3.8 Age of Vehicle: the number 7 would be replaced with 9. The agreed amended wording was therefore ‘…unless the vehicle is less than 9 years old and it complies with emissions standards.’
Appendices B-F of the report will follow.
The Chairman set out the supplementary information which had been issued with the agenda, as well as the correspondence that committee members had received. Officers addressed all the points on which the council had been challenged in recent correspondence. The committee was informed by officers that discussions of national standards by Parliament had been delayed, however the council could not delay its Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licencing Policy and Conditions for this. Officers did not anticipate that Parliament’s discussion would lead to any changes that would require a re-drafting of the council’s policy.
Officers informed the committee of the letters of objection that had been received, some of which had been part of the first public consultation. Others had been received after the close of the first consultation and before the start of the second public consultation. Members were assured that issues and comments raised in this correspondence had been considered informally at workshops and had been taken into account.
The committee was informed by officers that the draft Private Hire and Taxi handbook had not been available for the first public consultation as it was being drafted at the time. It had however been available to view during the second public consultation and a link to it had been provided.
The Chairman reminded committee members that the changes being proposed to the policy were to protect public safety.
The Corporate Licensing Manager presented the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, setting out the process of developing and consulting on the draft policy, which had included a second public consultation. This had closed on 31 January 2020. She informed the committee that all comments from interested parties had been considered and the policy had been amended as appropriate in response to these.
The committee discussed the sections of the policy in turn:
Section 2 Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers
· Reference at 2.9 to the European Economic Area would have to be reviewed in due course.
· The Chairman informed the committee that safeguarding training for drivers was taking place. The aim of this was to increase drivers’ understanding of safeguarding issues. If a driver performed poorly in this, officers would work closely with them. It was recognised that language may be an issue.
· Officers informed the committee that drivers were notified of the requirement to submit a safeguarding certificate, three months in advance of their licence renewal date. All existing Private Hire Drivers had a year to complete the safeguarding training.
Section 3.6 External Signage and Livery
· The Chairman informed the committee that council policy had already incorporated the requirement for operator door signage in 2018. Officers had considered the concerns raised during public consultation in relation to this and considered that this requirement did not stop drivers from working for more than one operator and did not infringe on the rights of privacy of the driver.
· Committee members agreed that the safety of the public was paramount and that the requirement for operator door signage increased this. ... view the full minutes text for item 3.