Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual Meeting, Licensing Committee - Tuesday 27th October 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Legislation has been passed that allows Council's to conduct Committee meetings

Contact: Mark Devin, Democratic Services Officer (Committees)  Telephone 01392 265477 or email  mark.devin@exeter.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2020.

 

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2020 were taken as read and approved for signing as correct by the Chair at the earliest possible convenience.

 

 

15.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item.  Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made by Members.

 

 

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1976

16.

The Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards pdf icon PDF 304 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead - Environmental Health & Community Safety.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Lead - Environmental Health and Community Safety presented the report on the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, which provided Members with an overview of the of the recently published document, issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) and for Members to consider the proposed requirements of the document. It was highlighted that the standards set out provided a range of measures to protect taxi passengers, most notably the more vulnerable, to ensure public safety.

 

Particular reference was made to the Section 177(1) of the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which required Local Authorities to address and consider the proposed individual changes. Should the Licensing Committee be minded to reject the proposals, Central Government could impose a national legislation.

 

The Service Lead - Environmental Health and Community Safety commented on the measures outlined in the report, highlighting that the requirement for Private Hire Operators to conduct DBS checks for Call Handlers and Dispatchers would commence in February 2022 to allow appropriate time for taxi operators to implement the required changes.

 

The Service Lead - Environmental Health and Community Safety made reference to the following three categories of recommendations:-

 

·         elements stipulated which the Council had already achieved such as sharing information, changes to the application form to declare previous convictions and refusals by other authorities, a full list being set out in Appendix A

·         measures to adopt because of gaps in the current policy and detailed in the recommendations with varying timescales to provide the trade time to implement such as moving to an automatic updating system on the disclosure and barring system (DBS) administered by the Council, and the need for private hire operators to adopt a policy on relevance of conviction to cover its call handling staff.

·         elements to give further consideration such as a points based system for disciplinary matters, the extension of mandatory CCTV to private hire vehicles, and training for the trade, these measures to be progressed through a working group via the Taxi Forum

 

In response to questions raised by the Licensing Committee Members, the Service Lead - Environmental Health and Community Safety explained:-

 

·         CCTV provision had been a mandatory condition in respect of Hackney Carriage vehicles since 2017. Private Hire Vehicles operated under a different legislation, and currently had no condition requiring CCTV. This would be progressed through the working group including other aspects such as voice recording.

·         the measures outlined in the report would be monitored for progress of implementation through regular engagement. The Licensing Authority would provide guidance and, where needed, regular reminders to ensure the measures are put into operation. Regular inspection of operators and their staff would be undertaken to ensure compliance and the onus was on individual operators to achieve compliance;

·         only a basic, rather than an enhanced DBS Check, could be required under Department of Transport statutory standards for operators although some 80% held drivers licences and were therefore required to produce enhanced DBS checks. The enhanced check include additional “soft” information provided  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Licensing Fees and Charges Update to Animal Licence Fees pdf icon PDF 358 KB

To consider the report of the Service Lead - Environmental Health & Community Safety.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report on the Animal Licensing Fees and Charges, which sought approval for the proposed amendments to the fee structure for animal licensing in Exeter from 1st January 2021. He highlighted the statutory principle to the setting of fees was that they be reasonable and relate to the  costs of performing the function and that recommendations would ensure Exeter City Council complied with the European Services Directive (2006/123/EC)

 

Particular reference was made to the changes brought in by DEFRA, which included a new scoring Matrix, which had been in use by Exeter City Council for several years, which provided an estimation of the costs involved. The costs had been split into Parts A and B, where part A would cover the majority of the costs for the more lengthy inspections. Members noted that, as part of the fee re-structure detailed in the report, a new section for dog, day care venues had also been included.

 

RESOLVED: that the Licensing Committee approve the fees for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021, as contained in Appendix A of the report presented at the meeting.