Agenda item

    Creation of a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy

    Minutes:

    The Committee received a report on the outcome of the consultation for the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and seeking approval for the policy to be submitted to full Council for adoption.

     

    It was reported that currently the Council as the Licensing Authority had a number of policy decisions, guidance notes and conditions in place to consider taxi licensing matters but no overarching policy that combined them together. 

     

    A number of amendments following the consultation were highlighted to the Committee.  The first was that in relation to air quality, the date to be compliant had been moved to April 2022 to bring it in line with the age policy.  It was noted that it had been included that, due to this later date, if any charges imposed by the Clean Air Zone or similar would be met by the driver/proprietor and not passed to passengers.  It was also reported that the introduction of CCTV to be fitted in vehicles had again been moved to April 2022 to be in line with the age policy. It was noted that if this requirement was made mandatory by the government before this date, this would be reflected and the policy amended.

     

    The Committee then considered the draft policy and responses received in the consultation.  Members were requested to consider the element and wording regarding smart dress of drivers.  There were some views that a formal attire with tailored shirts and no denim should be required as the drivers are representing the district.  Overall however, it was agreed that a definition of smart dress was subjective and comfort for drivers should be considered.  The Committee also felt that it should be up to the employers to monitor and not the council to enforce.  It was also noted that it could be difficult to be too prescriptive without issuing a uniform and also cultural dress should be considered. Members agreed that the proposed wording was sufficient.

     

    It was confirmed when asked that it would be the Council who would ensure the six monthly DBS checks were completed and it would be for drivers to sign up to the update service.

     

    It was also confirmed that eye sight tests were part of the required medical tests.  It was also noted that test runs and purchases would continue to be carried out.

     

    The colour of vehicles was discussed and it was noted that ensuring that private hire could not be the same as the white hackney carriages ensured that customers knew their rights and whether there would not be regulated fees or vying for hire was allowed or not.  It was noted that wedding vehicles were exempt from this requirement under law.

     

    Members agreed with the requirement to have CCTV fitted to vehicles as it gave protection to both passengers and drivers.  Overall, the Committee felt the policy covered all breaches and rules and was a comprehensive document.

     

    RESOLVED:    1)       That the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy be approved for submission to Full Council for adoption; and

     

                              2)       That the Chairman of Regulatory & Licensing Committee together with the Head of Regulatory Services, Housing & Wellbeing be delegated to make any minor amendments tot eh Policy.

     

    Supporting documents:

     

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