Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday 1st February 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: The Customer Service Centre, Civic Centre Exeter

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

Note: Note: Due to the current social distancing restrictions brought about by the Corona Virus outbreak, any members of the public wishing to attend the meeting please contact the Democratic Services Team committee.services@exeter.gov.uk in advance as there is limited capacity for public attendance. 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 10 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2021.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2021 were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chair as correct.

 

2.

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

3.

Licensing Fees and Charges for 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 252 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Committee received the annual report for the proposed licensing fees and charges for 2022/23. The Licensing Committee had a statutory responsibility to set fees for the year which related to the cost of performing the various Licensing functions. Members were referred to appendices attached to the report, which listed all the fees levied by the Licensing Authority. The Principal Licensing Officer explained that these were set in accordance with guidance from the Local Government Association and could be set at a level to recover the cost of delivering the individual licensing function to which they related. Appendix A summarised the Council’s powers to set its fees in respect of licensing applications, and any limitations on those powers, and Appendix B listed all the fees levied by the Licensing Authority as of last year and the proposed fees for 2022/23.

 

The Service Lead- Environmental Health & Community Safety advised that should any representations be raised regarding the fees and charges, this would be reported back to the Licensing Committee. He also responded to a Member’s question in relation to affordability of taxi fares for disabled passengers and explained that the fee quoted in the report related to the licence to operate.  Taxi fares were set by the Council, and he suggested a review of tariffs may be forthcoming to a future meeting of the Licencing Committee.

 

RESOLVED that the proposed Fees and Charges for the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 be approved, as set out in Appendix B of the report.

4.

Establishment of Licensing Committee Working Groups pdf icon PDF 251 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Committee received the report, which referred to informal discussions that the Licensing Committee had previously considered to establish working groups to address key aspects of the Licensing Committee’s work and agree their terms of reference. The proposed working groups would be Member led to review two distinct policy areas relating to City Street Trading and Taxi and Private Hire Standards and would seek input from relevant stakeholders as part of the work to develop the policies, with any recommendations presented to the Licensing Committee and Council depending on the nature of the changes proposed.

 

The Service Lead – Environmental Health and Community Safety provided some background.  He referred to the previous review of street trading, and the ever changing culture of the city offered a chance to rework the street trading policy to encourage a more vibrant, diverse and greener approach. The City Street Trading working group would also seek input from a variety of different stakeholders and audiences to ensure that street trading offered a more positive aspect of the city and its economy. The formation of a Taxi and Private Hire Standard’s working group would also be following up on a Government response on the statutory standards for taxis and private hire. There would be the opportunity to consider a number of areas in more depth including standard areas such as discipline, and also if it was pertinent to consider whether other changes might be needed in the light of more recent developments in technology and innovation.

 

It is projected that these deliberations could take up to 18 months, and in that time, Members may consider that different policy changes could be implemented in the intervening period. The Service Lead noted a Member’s suggestion that in view of the projected timescale and to ensure continuity, it would be appropriate for the chairs of the working groups not to be a Member standing in the Local Government Elections in May.

 

The following Members put themselves forward to serve on the following working groups:-

 

·         City Street Trading -: Cllrs Foale, Newby, Vizard and Wright

·         Taxi and Private Hire Standards: Cllrs Buswell, Holland, Newby and Wood

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

(1)  a Licensing Committee Working Group be established to look at Street Trading in the city to consider any changes be recommended to the Street Trading Policy, as set out in Appendix A of the report presented at the meeting;

 

(2)  a Licensing Committee Working Group be established to look at Taxi and Private Hire standards to consider any changes be recommended to the Street Trading Policy, as set out in Appendix B of the report presented at the meeting;

 

(3)  appointments to the Working Groups be at the discretion of the Chair of the Licensing Committee;

 

(4)  Officer appointments to the Working Groups be set by the Service Lead – Environmental Health and Community Safety; and

 

(5)  any proposed changes to Council policies and procedures and any necessary consultations be reported back to the Licensing Committee for consideration.