Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday, 1st March, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Ashurst Main Hall - The Charis Centre. View directions

Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@crawley.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Disclosures of Interest

In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.

 

Minutes:

No disclosures of interests were made.

 

Councillors Ali, Ayling, Bounds, Buck, Jaggard, Jones, Lamb, McCarthy, Morris, C Mullins, Nawaz, and Peck confirmed that they had received some form(s) of lobbying in respect of agenda item 5 – Review of Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy (Consultation Feedback).

 

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 13 September 2021.

 

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 13 September 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

 

3.

Public Question Time

To answer any questions asked by the public which relate to an item on this agenda and which are in line with the Council’s Constitution.

 

Public Question Time will be concluded by the Chair when all questions have been answered or on the expiry of a period of 15 minutes, whichever is the earlier.

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted by members of the public.

 

 

4.

Review of Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy (Consultation Feedback) pdf icon PDF 333 KB

To consider report HCS/38 of the Head of Community Services.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered report HCS/38 of the Head of Community Services, which set out the feedback from the public consultation and changes made to the draft Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy.

 

The Committee Chair invited the Chair of Crawley Hackney Carriage Association to speak on the item.  Matters raised included the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the taxi trade, hackney carriage drivers’ wish to extend the 11 year age limit on licensed vehicles for a further 12 months, the possibility of introducing ‘dual badge’ licences, and revisions to the cap on licensed vehicles’ engine sizes.

 

In accordance with General Committee Procedure Rule 8.5, the Committee Chair invited Councillor Lamb to speak on the item.  Councillor Lamb spoke in support of an extension to the 11 year age limit on licensed vehicles in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Crawley as a whole, and specifically on licensed drivers in the area.  It was highlighted that the granting of a further 12 month extension to 11 year old vehicles would help to mitigate current obstacles encountered by the trade such as less business, rising fuel prices, lower incomes, and being forced to leave the trade.  It was suggested that the administration could cover the extra administrative costs relating to implementation of the extension.

 

The Health, Safety and Licensing Team Leader presented the report and summarised the consultation feedback and the changes to the Policy, which aimed to promote public safety – the primary purpose of the licensing regime.  The proposed changes to the Policy were based on the Department for Transport’s Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards which sought to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm – it was heard that all elements of the Standards were required to be implemented unless there was a compelling local reason not to do so.  The proposed changes to the Policy included higher standards of testing for licensed drivers, increased frequency of DBS checks for drivers and dispatch/booking staff, and more rigorous medical standards, among other matters.  The Team Leader summarised the feedback received through the consultation process (of which there had been 57 official respondents), and the clarifications made by officers in response to the matters raised.

 

Committee members discussed the report and proposed revised Policy in detail.  Committee members sought further detail on the nature of advisories that may be identified by a Certificate of Compliance test.  The Team Leader explained that advisories were similar to those given in an MOT, such as worn tyres, worn brake pads, or steering column issues.  Recent tests had picked up more advisories than in previous years, signifying potential safety concerns.  Garages undertaking these tests were audited by the Council to ensure all requirements were being followed.  The Committee was to be asked to consider the policy on advisories, along with several other matters, at a later date.

 

The Committee deliberated the 11 year age limit on licensed vehicles.  The following matters and views were raised as part  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.