Agenda and minutes

Taxi Consultative Committee - Wednesday, 30th January, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Chesterfield, S40 1LP

Contact: Brian Offiler  01246 345229

No. Item


Declaration 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 Ann Dickens, Trevor Durham, Stephen Oliver and Inspector Nicholls.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 24 October, 2018 pdf icon PDF 58 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 24 October, 2018 were agreed as a true record.


Railway Safety

PCSO Gary Poulson of British Transport Police, Sheffield and James Creaghan, Public Health Lead – Mental Health, Derbyshire County Council invited to attend.


James Creaghan, Public Health Lead – Mental Health, Derbyshire County Council referred to statistical information on deaths from suicide in Chesterfield and Derbyshire and the work of the Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum. This was a multi-agency group including police, ambulance service, mental health trust, hospital, Samaritans and Network Rail working to reduce deaths from suicide in Derbyshire.


It was noted that taxi drivers may identify passengers or members of the public who may be at risk and may be in a position to assist or support colleagues.


Gary Poulson, British Transport Police, referred to suicide awareness training delivered by Rural Action Derbyshire which aimed to raise awareness and help prevent suicide. Free half-day training sessions were available for taxi drivers, as well as online training, and representatives were requested to contact James Creaghan to book places. It was suggested that it may also be helpful to make such training available for elected Members.


Gary provided some awareness raising cards for representatives to distribute to drivers.


Police Issues


PC Palethrope and PC Smith explained that they were members of the recently formed town centre policing team, which was working to address issues of anti-social behaviour (ASB), drug use and rough sleeping in the town centre, including the use of dispersal orders where appropriate. They encouraged representatives to report any instances of ASB or drug use through the 101 phone line to provide evidence to enable dispersal orders to be authorised.


It was noted that the Council and the Community Safety Partnership had worked closely with the police and other partners to improve the situation in the town centre.


Following the meeting Inspector Nicholls submitted the reported crime figures for the period October - December, 2018 for the Chesterfield and the Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Policing sections, totalling 35 reports, which included:


20 – making off without payment, resulting in 2 charges and

4 restorative justice

  4 – criminal damage, resulting in 1 charge, 1 community

 resolution and 1 ongoing case

  2 – assaults (1 on taxi driver; 1 by taxi driver)

  7 – threats ( 6 to taxi driver, including 1 racially aggravated;

    1 by taxi driver), resulting in 1 charge

  2 – items left in taxi and not returned


Location of Taxi Rank - Knifesmithgate

Patrick Middleton, Project Manager, Northern Gateway invited to attend.


Patrick Middleton, Northern Gateway Project Manager, gave a presentation on the elements of the Northern Gateway scheme including:


·        the Premier Inn, restaurants, and fitness suite in the former Co-op building;

·        the new multi-storey car park, due to be completed in May;

·        the new Enterprise Centre, which, subject to planning approval, was due to be completed in mid 2020;

·        public realm improvements on Elder Way and Knifesmithgate,


comprising significant investment to increase the amount of commercial floorspace, job opportunities and economic activity in the town centre.


It was confirmed that the public realm improvements proposed replacing the current taxi rank with improved pedestrian access on Elder Way and extending the taxi rank space on Knifesmithgate (to a total length of 49m). The proposed loading bays at either end of this rank would be available as rank space in evenings.  


Trade representatives explained that they would ideally like further rank space to be available elsewhere in the town centre, and it was agreed that the Committee request that consideration be given to the possibility of including  one or more taxi rank spaces as part of the development of the Enterprise Centre.


Derbyshire County Council Highways Issues


Simon Tranter reported that the Highways Authority was working with the Council and developers to prepare the Traffic Regulation Orders required for the public realm improvements on Elder Way and Knifesmithgate, which would then be subject to public consultation.


Actions Taken by the Licensing Team since the Last Meeting


Steve Ashby reported that during the past three months two drivers’ licences had been revoked and one appeal to the Magistrates’ Court against revocation had not been upheld.


The safeguarding training was being delivered with Bolsover and North East Derbyshire District Councils for new drivers and passenger assistants. This now included police input in respect of ‘County lines’ drug issues, and the impact of this would be assessed.


31 vehicles had failed the six-monthly vehicle test, although it had not been necessary to issue penalty points in respect of any of these cases.


The Licensing team would shortly be trialling the computer based test for applicants with trade representatives.


It was noted that there had not been any recent issues relating to the drop off zone at the Royal Hospital and that the situation at the railway station appeared to have recently improved.  


It was confirmed that Trevor Durham had reported the incident involving a community transport bus working on a school transport contract to the Derbyshire County Council Transport Manager and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. Chris Brown had received confirmation from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) that the incident was being investigated. It was confirmed that such vehicles were subject to different legislative requirements to hackney carriage / private hire vehicles and drivers, and it was agreed that Councillors Caulfield and Burrows meet with Chris Brown and Mandy Shaw and officers outside the meeting to clarify further.


Chris Brown reported that the evening vehicle tests at the Eckington test station were working well and he thanked the test station staff for their cooperation.


Arrangements for Appointment of Trade Representatives for 2019 - 21 and Dates of Meetings for 2019/20


It was noted that the process to invite nomination of trade representatives to serve on the Committee from June, 2019 to May, 2021 would commence in April.


It was agreed to schedule meetings of the Committee in 2019/20 for the following dates, commencing at 5.00 pm:


Wednesday, 10 July, 2019

Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Wednesday, 22 January, 2020

Wednesday, 22 April, 2020