Agenda and minutes

Rescheduled from 19th September 2022, Licensing Committee - Thursday 29th September 2022 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Parkside Suite - Parkside. View directions

Contact: Pauline Ross 

No. Item


To receive apologies for absence and notification of substitutes


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A. B. L. English, C. J. Spencer and M. A. Sherrey.



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.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 227 KB


The minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 11th July 2022 were submitted.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held 11th July 2022, be approved as a correct record.



Review of Street Collection Policy pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report on the review of the Council’s Street Collection Policy.


The Principal Officer (Licensing), Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), introduced the report and in doing informed the Committee that, the Council regulated charitable collections taking place in any street or public place under the Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916.


The Council could regulate collections where there was a collection of money or the selling of articles for the benefit of charitable purposes (cash collections).


Street collections were an important method of fund raising for charitable

Causes.  However, they can cause annoyance to the public if not suitably

controlled and managed. This could lead to the public avoiding certain areas

where they believed they would be asked to donate money every time they

visited a certain area.  


The current Street Collection policy was approved by the Licensing Committee

on 22nd September 2014 and took effect from the 1st January 2015.  It had

therefore, been a number of years since the policy was last subject to review.


A revised version of the policy was therefore created, as detailed at Appendix

1 to the report.  The Licensing Committee had previously resolved that officers

should carry out a consultation exercise on the revised version of the policy. 

The consultation exercise was undertaken from 23rd June 2022 to 27th August



The following were all contacted and asked for their views on the updated policy



  • Those who had applied for permits in recent years
  • Local charities
  • Representatives of charitable organisations
  • Parish Councils
  • Bromsgrove District Councillors
  • Bromsgrove Centres Manager
  • Markets Manager


In addition, the consultation exercise was made available via the Council’s

website and publicised via the local press and social media channels.


During the consultation exercise, the only responses received were from the

Bromsgrove Centres Manager and the Markets Manager.   


The Centres Manager noted that the regulations, as set out in the policy

Document, included one that stated “collectors must remain within the location

as defined in the Permit and must remain stationary.”  The Centres Manager

had asked if Licensing Officers could work with her and the Markets Manager

to identify suitable locations for collectors to be positioned on Bromsgrove

High Street.  Officers were happy to do this but did not consider that any

changes to the revised policy were required in order to facilitate this.


The Markets Manager had requested whether additional requirements could

be included in the regulations to stop any collectors from being within the

immediate vicinity of any market trader, in order to ensure that anyone who

did not wish to make a donation to the charitable cause was not dissuaded

from visiting that market trader.


The Markets Manager had also requested whether the regulations could

make it explicit that collectors should not shake their tins, which he considered

to be a form of harassment of those who did not wish to make a donation.


Officers could see no particular concern with including these additional

conditions within the revised policy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12/22


Hackney Carriage Table of Fares pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report on the Hackney Carriage Table of Fares.


The Principal Officer (Licensing), Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), introduced the report and in doing informed the Committee that, in March 2022, the Licensing Committee had approved the advertisement of a revised table of fares which was subsequently implemented in May 2022.


At the time this decision was reached, Members also decided that the table of fares should be reviewed annually and that an interim review should take place during the second half of 2022 if the circumstances merited this.


Officers had also recently received a request submitted on behalf of hackney

carriage licence holders, for the table of fares to be further varied to address

some unintended consequences that were noticed by licence holders since the

implementation of the revised table of fares in May 2022.


The current table of fares, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report, were

approved by the Licensing Committee at its meeting on 14th March 2022 and

took effect on 16th May 2022.


The report also detailed, on page 30, the weekly fuel price data provided by the

 Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); showing the

average price of fuel in the week commencing 14th March 2022; and in the week

commencing 12th September 2022, according to the same statistics, the

average price of fuel.


This showed that fuel prices had continued to rise since March 2022. Fuel

prices peaked in July 2022 but had been coming down gradually since then.

The increase in fuel prices since March 2022 was despite the temporary 5p per

litre reduction in fuel duty, effective from 6pm on 23rd March 2022.


The cost of fuel was of course only one factor that Members should consider

when determining whether it was appropriate to vary the table of fares. Also,

of relevance would be other general increases in the cost of living for hackney

carriage proprietors.


As detailed on page 30 of the report, according to the data compiled by the

Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by

9.9% in the 12 months to August 2022, up from 7.0% in March 2022 but down

slightly from 10.1% in July 2022. The Bank of England had predicted that

inflation would climb to around 13% later this year, driven by the unprecedented

increase in energy prices. Inflation was then predicted to remain high

throughout much of 2023 before beginning to fall towards the Bank of England

target of 2%


Since the current table of fares had taken effect, officers were approached by

representatives of the hackney carriage trade in Bromsgrove in respect of some

unintended consequences that had been created by the new table of fares.


These included the fact that drivers of vehicles capable of carrying more than

4 passengers were now often not able to charge as much for journeys involving

more than four passengers as they were under the previous table of fares from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13/22


Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Age Limits pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report on Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Age Limits.


The Principal Officer (Licensing), Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS),

introduced the report and in doing explained that the meeting of the Licensing

Committee on 14th March 2022, Licensing Committee Members had approved

the adoption of a new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy

which had taken effect from 1st September 2022.


Towards the end of that meeting, Members discussed the Work Programme for

2022/23 and had requested that a report be brought forward to future

Licensing Committee meetings in respect of: -


  • Revisiting the Council’s vehicle licensing policies with regard to standards and age criteria for electric vehicles.
  • Looking at incentives for drivers to purchase less polluting vehicles.
  • The number of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) licensed by the Council; and ways to incentivise drivers to purchase WAVs and an estimate of the number of WAVs the district needed.


Therefore, the report before Members, was produced to try and address all of

the above requests and also to set out the details of some recent dialogue

between officers and representatives of hackney carriage and private hire

drivers licensed by the Council in respect of the current vehicle age policies in



The Council’s current policy on the licensing of vehicles to be used as a

hackney carriage or private hire vehicle included the following requirements in

respect of the age of the vehicle.


Hackney Carriage Vehicles


Maximum age (when first licensed)


Maximum age at renewal of licence


7 years


10 years

(12 years if WAV)



Private Hire Vehicles


Maximum age (when first licensed)


Maximum age at renewal of licence


10 years

(12 years if WAV)



10 years

(12 years if WAV)



Currently these requirements were the same for every vehicle and did not take

into account of how the vehicle was fuelled.

The current policy did provide some incentive for drivers to licence WAVs as

they could be licensed for longer than a vehicle that cannot carry a wheelchair

user who remained seated in their wheelchair. However, there were still only 4

hackney carriages out of 88 and 1 private hire vehicle out of 16 licensed by the

Council that was WAVs.


Recent dialogue had taken place between officers and representatives of the

hackney carriage and private hire trade in which the following had been

highlighted: -


  • The price of second-hand vehicles had increased dramatically in recent years.
  • Licence holders were suffering financial difficulties as a result of the income lost during the coronavirus pandemic with many having used their savings to meet their day to day spending needs during this time.
  • Licensed vehicles were used significantly less than usual during 2020 and 2021 as a result of the travel and business restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.


The representatives of the hackney carriage and private hire trade had

requested that consideration be given to amending the current vehicle licensing

policies to relax the age limits currently imposed on vehicles licensed to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14/22


Licensing Committee Work Programme 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 7 KB


The Committee considered the Work Programme for 2022/2023.


RESOLVED that the Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2022/2023, be updated to include the items discussed and agreed during the course of the meeting.