Agenda for Licensing Committee on Monday 15th March 2021, 6.00 p.m.

Agenda and minutes

Virtual Meeting, Licensing Committee - Monday 15th March 2021 6.00 p.m.

Contact: Pauline Ross 

Media

Items
No. Item

7/20

To receive apologies for absence and notification of substitutes

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor S. A. Robinson, Councillor M. A. Sherrey with Councillor M. Thompson present as substitute and Councillor C. J. Spencer with Councillor S. A. Webb present as substitute.

 

8/20

Declarations of Interest

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

9/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 407 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 21st September 2020 were submitted.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held 21st September 2020, be approved as a correct record.

 

10/20

Draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy - Approval to Commence Consultation pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Practitioner (Licensing), Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), presented a report on the Draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy – Approval to commence consultation.

 

Members were reminded that at the meeting held on 21st September 2020, the Committee received a report regarding the Statutory Standards and were asked to note that officers would now begin a review of all of the Council’s hackney carriage and private hire licensing policies.

 

Members were informed that a review of all of the Council’s hackney carriage and private hire licensing policies had now been undertaken in response to the publication by the Department for Transport of guidance under section 177 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 entitled “Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Standards.”  This work had culminated in the production of a new draft hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy, which officers believe should now be consulted upon.   

 

This review had now been undertaken and had led to the production of a new

draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, as detailed at

Appendix 2 to the report.

 

Section 177 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 enabled the Secretary of State

to issue statutory guidance to taxi and private hire licensing authorities as to

how their licensing functions may be exercised so as to protect children and

vulnerable individuals who were 18 and over from harm.

 

The legislation was to a large extent prompted by the Jay and Casey reports

on child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSAE) in Rotherham.  Both of these

reports highlighted examples of taxi / private hire vehicle drivers being directly

linked to children that were abused, including instances when children were

picked up from schools, children’s homes or from family homes and abused or

sexually exploited.

 

A public consultation on the draft statutory guidance ran between 12 February

2019 and 22 April 2019.  Following lengthy consideration of the consultation

responses, the Department for Transport published guidance entitled Statutory

Taxi & Private Hire Standards (hereafter referred to as “the Standards”) on 21

July 2020, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The Standards contained a number of recommendations regarding matters

connected to taxi and private hire licensing functions which included:-

 

  • Criminality checks for licence holders
  • Working with the Police
  • Sharing information with other licensing authorities
  • Dealing with complaints about drivers and operators
  • Training for Members
  • Criminal convictions and rehabilitation of offenders
  • Safeguarding awareness advice, guidance and training for drivers
  • Language proficiency
  • CCTV in licensed vehicles
  • Regulation of booking and dispatch staff
  • Record keeping

 

The Statutory Standards stated that:-

 

“Whilst the focus of the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards is on protecting children and vulnerable adults, all passengers will benefit from the recommendations contained in it. There is consensus that common core minimum standards are required to regulate better the taxi and private hire vehicle sector, and the recommendations in this document are the result of detailed discussion with the trade, regulators and safety campaign groups.

 

The Department for Transport therefore expects these recommendations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10/20

11/20

Licensing Committee Work Programme 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Work Programme for 2020/21.

 

RESOLVED that the Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2020/2021, be noted.