Agenda and minutes
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Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Ashman, D Everitt, J Hoult, A C Saffell and M B Wyatt.
Declarations of Interest
Under the Code of Conduct members are reminded that in declaring disclosable interests you should make clear the nature of that interest and whether it is ‘Pecuniary’ or ‘Non-Pecuniary’.
There were no declarations of interests.
To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 24 February 2016.
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 24 February 2016.
It was moved by Councillor M Specht, seconded by Councillor S Sheahan and
The minutes of the meeting held on 24 February 2016 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Report of the Environmental Health Team Manager.
The Environmental Health Team Manager presented the report to members.
Councillor T Eynon spoke in support of the dual taxi driver licence. She asked about the purpose of having to have at least two months remaining on an existing licence to be able to apply for a dual licence. The Environmental Health Team Manager explained that he wanted to give existing drivers a choice, which was the reason for allowing a licence to be transferred part way through an existing term. The two month cut off point was necessary so that officers could manage the process and initially it would be difficult to know the number of drivers that would want to transfer their licence. To cover costs, drivers would need to pay an administrative fee to transfer their existing licence but not if expired.
Councillor F Fenning expressed concerns regarding the possible increase in the use of taxi ranks due to the introduction of the dual taxi licence. The Licensing Team Leader did not envisage much of an impact on the taxi ranks as it was only hackney carriages that could use them.
In response to a question from Councillor P Purver, the Licensing Team Leader reported that dual taxi licences were used at other authorities and referred to Erewash Borough Council that had 100 percent dual taxi licences.
In response to a question from Councillor M Specht, the Environmental Health Team Manager explained that as some drivers stated that they would not be prepared to sit an enhanced knowledge test as part of the consultation, the decision was taken to retain the private hire driver’s licence for those who did not want a dual taxi licence. The hackney carriage licence would no longer be and would automatically be renewed as a dual taxi licence. He added that the fit and proper test for private hire drivers was the same as for hackney carriage drivers.
It was moved by Councillor M Specht, seconded by Councillor T Eynon and
a) The introduction of dual driver licences be approved.
b) The implementation of the introduction of dual driver licences be delegated to the Environmental Health Team Manager.
c) Amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Fit and Proper Persons Policy to reflect the changes in legislation and Central Government Policy be delegated to the Environmental Health Team Manager.
Report of the Environmental Health Team Manager.
The Environmental Health Team Manager presented the report to Members and addressed each of the nine proposals to go out for consultation in turn which were grouped within the four licensing objectives.
Proposal 1 – ‘Should a vehicle fail a visual inspection a second inspection will be permitted. Should a vehicle fail the second visual inspection it will be deemed not to be of an exceptional condition and consequently will not be licensed.’
The Environmental Health Manager explained that the aim of the proposal was to restrict the amount of times drivers could present their vehicles in a poor condition. The Chairman added the intention was to put the emphasis on the driver to ensure their vehicle was in the right condition and not to use the council to initially check for faults.
In response to questions from Councillor T Eynon, the Licensing Team Leader reported that he could not give the exact number of licensed vehicles that were over six years old but it was approximately 40 percent. He explained that it was not implying that older vehicles were poor but that they wanted the standards to be higher with vehicles passing the tests first time.
In response to questions from Councillor S Sheahan, the Licensing Team Leader reported that the amount of time given to drivers to rectify faults was dependant on the type of failures. Major failures were given three to four days and minor failures were usually the same day or following day. Dependent on the nature of the failure, drivers would still be able to carry passengers in the meantime. Councillor S Sheahan expressed his surprise that drivers would continue to present vehicles in a poor condition as he felt it would not be in their interest to do so. The Environmental Health Team Manager stated that approximately 65 percent of drivers passed the inspection tests first time and therefore did not believe the proposal would cause much of an issue.
In response to a question from Councillor G Allman, the Licensing Team Leader confirmed that there was not a charge for the visual inspection, however there was a £45 charge for the mechanical check.
The proposal was put to the vote and was agreed.
Proposal 2 – ‘Should a vehicle of six years or older fail a mechanical inspection with defects in more than one critical area, it will be deemed not to be of exceptional condition and consequently will not be licensed.’
Proposal 3 – ‘Should a vehicle of less than six years old fail a mechanical inspection, one retest will be available. Should the vehicle fail the inspection at the second attempt with defects in more than one critical area the vehicle will not be licensed.
The Environmental Health Team Manager stressed that if a vehicle failed a retest it would be the end of the process for them and the aim was to keep vehicles as new as possible.
Councillor J Clarke felt that the proposal was sensible even ... view the full minutes text for item 13.