Wednesday, 12th September, 2012 6.30 pm
|Declaration of interests - members are reminded that following the adoption by Council of the new Code of Conduct, any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the new code. In particular, members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'personal' or 'prejudicial'.
The Monitoring Officer would like to remind members that when they are considering whether the following items are exempt information under the relevant paragraph under part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 they must have regard to the public interest test. This means that members must consider, for each item, whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption from disclosure outweighs the public interest in making the item available to the public.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Adams and A Bridges.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
Councillor J Coxon declared a personal interest in item 4, Request to Operate Ashby Statutes on Sundays, as an owner of property in Market Street and Brook Street, and as a member of Ashby Town Council.
Councillor G Jones declared a personal interest in item 4, Request to Operate Ashby Statutes on Sundays, as the Ashby Ivanhoe Ward Member and as a member of Ashby Town Council.
Councillor N Smith declared a personal interest in item 4, Request to Operate Ashby Statutes on Sundays, as a business and property owner in Market Street.
Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday, 23rd November, 2011
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2011.
The minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2011 be approved.
REQUEST TO OPERATE ASHBY STATUTES ON SUNDAYS
The Head of Community Services presented the report to members, drawing their attention to the consultation process which had been undertaken and outlining the responses received, particularly in respect of the concerns raised regarding car parking issues, and the suggestion to further alter the opening times to 1.00pm - 6.00pm. The Head of Community Services reported that Ashby Town Council supported the Sunday opening in principle, and the Police had stated that they would not object to the proposals. He added that since the time of writing the report, a response had been received from the Highways Authority and they had no objection to the proposals.
Members welcomed the proposals for Sunday opening, and were in favour of a trial period. A member sought reassurance that any decision on the Sunday opening following the trial period be brought back to the Committee and not made under delegated powers.
In response to a question from a member, the Legal Advisor explained that small businesses did not require a licence to open on Sundays and could open as they saw fit.
In response to a question from a member, the Head of Community Services advised that the Council would administer aspects of the fair, including the provision of the stalls. The Council would be handling communications on the matter. In respect of the face painting and the street theatre, it had been suggested by Mr Harris that he pay a fee of £500, and the Council would then commission the theatre.
a) The application to open Ashby Statutes on Sundays between the hours of 12.00pm and 6.00pm be granted for a trial period of one year.
b) Any subsequent decisions regarding the opening of Ashby Statutes on Sundays be referred to the Licensing Committee.
REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE AGE POLICY
The Environmental Health Team Manager presented the report to members, drawing their attention to the proposed changes to the policy and the consultation process which had been undertaken.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Health Team Manager advised that vehicles over the age limit would still be licensed if they met the definition of being exceptionally well maintained.
In response to questions from a member, the Environmental Health Team Manager explained that the depot test was more stringent than an MOT test, and additional checks were made to items such as the meter. He added that some defects were not subject to the re-test fee if they could be rectified quickly by the driver.
In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Health Team Manager advised that responses to the consultation have been received only from taxi drivers.
A member felt that the focus should be on spot checks rather than the age of the vehicle. The Environmental Health Team Manager reported that there had been a significant increase in enforcement action in the past year. He added that an analysis of the data regarding vehicle age had been undertaken and this had informed the original report and recommendations considered by the Licensing Committee in November.
In response to a question from a member, the Licensing Team Leader advised that approximately 90 per cent of vehicles passed the re-test.
a)The draft Vehicle Age Policy and commencement dates detailed at paragraph 7.1 of the report be approved.
b) The definition of 'exceptional condition' detailed at paragraph 2.2 of the report be approved.
Councillors G Allman, J Cotterill, J G Coxon, D Everitt, P Hyde, G Jones, C Large, L Massey, T Neilson, V Richichi, J Ruff, M Specht, L Spence and M B Wyatt.
In attendance: Councillor A V Smith.
Officers: Mr S Eyre, Mr D Gill, Mr G Lewis, Mr L Mansfield, Mr J Richardson and Miss M Terry.