Agenda and minutes

Lewes District Council Licensing Committee - Thursday, 1st April, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Remote meeting (via Microsoft Teams).

Contact: Committee Services on 01273 471600. 

Note: This meeting is being held remotely using Microsoft Teams and in accordance with section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and section 13 of the related regulations. You can view the meeting via the Council’s YouTube page. 

Media

Items
No. Item

20.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Sam Adeniji and Keira Rigden.

21.

Declarations of interest

Disclosure by councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the councillor regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were none.

22.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 251 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 17 December 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2020 were submitted and approved, and the Chair was authorised to sign them as a correct record.

23.

Urgent items

Items not on the agenda which the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances as defined in Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were none.

24.

Written questions from councillors

To deal with written questions from councillors pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12.3 (page D8 of the Constitution).

Minutes:

There were none.

25.

Taxi Licensing Guidance Review pdf icon PDF 353 KB

To receive the report of the Director of Service Delivery.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report which detailed the results of the consultation on the proposed Lewes District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Guidance, and to agree a final Guidance document to be adopted on a date to be agreed.

 

The Specialist Advisor (Licensing) (SAL), Mr Thornton, presented the report and its findings, and highlighted the officer recommendations that the Committee was asked to consider.

 

Discussions included:

 

·         Questions surrounding WAV vehicles and how many of the total number of drivers within Lewes District which were licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers, operated WAV vehicles. Officers confirmed that there were 138 licensed Hackney Carriage Drivers, 5 of which had WAV vehicles, and a further 468 Private Hire Drivers.

·         Why the safeguarding awareness training and the fit and proper test were detailed in the report but were not shown in the proposed Guidance. The SAL apologised and clarified that if the Committee chose to implement these points, he would ensure that they were properly referenced in the Guidance.

·         Questions surrounding costs in relation to the safeguarding awareness training and whether or not the Council could use the money ringfenced to supplement the fees for current drivers. Officers confirmed that they would research the possibility and feedback the results to the Chair.

·         Questions surrounding age restrictions referenced in paragraph b in section 3.1 of the report which related to electric and hybrid vehicles, and if they would fall under exceptional circumstances. The SAL explained that in the case of electric vehicles, they would have to be approved on their merits and that a wider discussion would need to be had as to whether they should be subject to the ten-year rule.

·         Whether or not there was a cut-off date for magnetic plate removal. The SAL confirmed that there was currently no cut-off date in place.

 

The Committee had a detailed discussion regarding CCTV and the cost implications. Although a majority of the Committee agreed that CCTV systems be installed in all Hackney Carriage vehicles within the District beginning October 2023, Councillor Linington requested that her objection to making CCTV mandatory be noted in the body of the minutes.

 

Resolved:

 

1)    That the proposed Lewes District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Guidance as set out in Appendix 1, be agreed subject to the following amendments:

a.    That CCTV systems be installed in all Hackney Carriage vehicles within the District beginning October 2023; and

b.    That Officers present alternative solutions in relation to WAV licences as set out in section 3.1 (ff) of the report, and provide a further report to the Committee on the findings; and

 

2)    That the Senior Specialist Advisor (Licensing), take the necessary steps to implement the changes as set above, produce a final Guidance document and publish it on a date to be agreed by the Chair of the Licensing Committee.

 

26.

Date of next meeting

To note that the next meeting of the Licensing Committee is scheduled to take place on 24 June 2021.

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That it be noted that the next meeting of the Licensing Committee is scheduled to commence at 10:30am on Thursday, 24 June 2021.