Agenda and draft minutes

Eastbourne Borough Council Licensing Committee
Monday, 30th September, 2019 4.00 pm

Venue: Court Room at Eastbourne Town Hall, Grove Road, BN21 4UG

Contact: Committee Services on 01323 410000 

Items
No. Item

15.

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 August 2019 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 29 August 2019 were submitted and approved and the Chair was authorised to sign them as an accurate record.

16.

Apologies for absence/declaration of substitute members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were reported from Councillor Diplock and Councillor Murdoch. 

17.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) by members as required under Section 31 of the Localism Act and of other interests as required by the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were none.

18.

Questions by members of the public

On matters not already included on the agenda and for which prior written notice has been given (total time allowed 15 minutes).

 

Minutes:

There were none.

19.

Urgent items of business

The Chairman to notify the Committee of any items of urgent business to be added to the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

20.

Right to address the meeting/order of business

The Chairman to report any requests received to address the Committee from a member of the public or from a Councillor in respect of an item listed below and to invite the Committee to consider taking such items at the commencement of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Chair reported that an Objector had requested to address the Committee, having raised an objection to the proposed Hackney Carriage Fare increase during the Public Consultation, and would be invited to speak when the Committee considered that item.

21.

Taxi Licensing Guidance Review pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report of the Senior Specialist Advisor (Licensing and Pollution)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery which requested that Councillors consider and approve the Draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Guidance document in light of the comments received during the consultation.

 

The Functional Lead – Quality Environment (FLQE), referred to Appendix A which set out the draft Eastbourne Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Guidance and Appendix B, the Taxi Licensing Consultation Report, which set out the consultation process, who responded and key findings.

 

Members were advised of three amendments on page 9 of the report.  Under Purpose of Report, the words ‘reviewed Taxi Licensing guidance’ were deleted. Under Officer Recommendation(s) the words ‘and approve a final version’ were added after the word ‘consultation’. Under Reasons for recommendations, No (2), the word ‘Guidance’ was inserted after the words ‘changes to the’.

 

Liz Trethewey, spokesperson for Eastbourne Access Group / the Chair, Mr Ian Westgate; Possability People, Mr Rowkins (resident) and herself as an access group member, welcomed the review of the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Guidance. She stated that the need for a new and proactive policy will lead to an increase in the choice and availability of licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles for hire by disabled citizens in Eastbourne. In particular, they were in support of (para 5.5, option A) of the officers report that Hackney Carriage vehicles are replaced by wheelchair accessible vehicles, and (option B) must be rear loading only. They also supported (para 5.6, option A) that all new hackney carriage vehicles should only be licensed if they are wheelchair accessible and that (option B) the vehicles are rear loading only, or at least both to ensure there are more rear loaders on the road, available to pre book and available on the taxi ranks.

 

Discussion included:-

 

·           Clarification on the percentage of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVS). The FLQE explained that in 2009, 12% of Hackney Carriages were wheelchair accessible and this had increased to 22% in 2019. Eastbourne is considered favourable compared to other urban areas at 15%.

 

·           The cost of side loading vehicles compared to rear loading vehicles. The FLQE advised that side loading vehicles are more expensive than rear loading vehicles and do not provide as much accessibility.  The Specialist Advisor – Licensing (SAL), added that as part of the quality control checks for vehicles post 2009, if a vehicle is less than a year old with 20,000 miles on the clock, these vehicles would not be licensed. This increases the amount drivers pay for vehicles.

·           Can WAVS carry non-wheelchair passengers? The SAL confirmed that rear loading WAVS can carry up to 8 non-wheelchair passengers.

 

·           How many customers have requested a WAV and not received one?  This information was not immediately available.

 

·           Do rear loading vehicles take up more space on the taxi rank?  The SAL confirmed that rear loading vehicles do take up more room.

 

·           How regularly do Hackney Carriage drivers change plates? The SAL advised that drivers were changing to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 6 January 2020 at 6 pm.

Minutes:

The next meeting is scheduled for 6 January 2020 at 6pm.