Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Chesterfield, S40 1LP
Contact: Brian Offiler 01246 345229
Declarations of Members' and Officers' Interests relating to items on the agenda
No declarations of interest were received.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bingham, A Diouf, Miles, Niblock and Perkins.
The Licensing Manager submitted a report for Members to consider proposed amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.
The report explained the reasons for the proposed amendments to the policy, covering the following issues:
1) Adoption of the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) database of refusals and revocations;
2) Consideration of convictions to commence from the completion of any sentence imposed, rather than the date of conviction, in line with recent Institute of Licensing guidance;
3) Introduction of a computerised knowledge test, which would lead to more test appointments being available;
4) Payment of an initial application fee, which would be deducted from the rest of the existing fee payable once the application had been successful;
5) A requirement for licensed private hire drivers to notify the Council which private hire operator they are to work for;
6) Amendment of the code of conduct to ensure equivalent standards for men and women in line with recent advice from the government’s Equality Office;
7) Replacement of the requirement for applicants to provide financial references with a self-declaration form.
It was noted that a recent Department for Transport report had recommended the establishment of national minimum standards for taxi applications for consideration by the Secretary of State.
It was confirmed that there would be a one month period of consultation on the proposed amendments to the policy, including at the next meeting of the Taxi Consultative Committee on 24 October and notification to all licensed drivers and operators.
* RESOLVED –
That the proposed policy amendments be approved for a one month period of consultation, including:
· Adoption of the NAFN database of refusals and revocations;
· Consideration of previous convictions from the completion of any sentence imposed, not the date of conviction;
· Knowledge tests to be administered by a computerised system when appropriate;
· Applicants for a taxi driver’s licence to pay an initial fee to cover the process up to the point their application is determined, the fee to be non-refundable;
· Drivers of private hire vehicles to notify the Council of which operator they are working for before they drive the vehicle;
· The code of conduct is amended with regard to the wording of the dress code;
· The requirement for a financial reference to be replaced by a self-declaration as to a person’s finances.
Councillor Caulfield, Chair of the Taxi Consultative Committee, presented the Committee’s annual report for 2017/18.
The report provided details of the Committee’s membership and meetings held during 2017/18 and outlined the issues which had been considered during the year.
It was noted that the Committee provided an important forum for consideration of issues of interest with trade representatives, and with representatives of the Police and the County Council Highways department as required.
That the Taxi Consultative Committee annual report for 2017/18 be noted and accepted and that the Taxi Consultative Committee be thanked for its work during the last year.