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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH

Contact: Hannah Etheridge, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

14.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting.

15.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 15th September, 2014 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Licensing Board held on 15th September, 2014, were considered. 

 

Resolved:- (1) That the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.

 

(2) That, with regard to Minute No.P10(4) (Borough-wide Designated Public Place Order) the Licensing Board notes that the South Yorkshire Police (Rotherham District) intends to implement immediately a suitable process to facilitate the capture of enforcement data relating to the Designated Public Place Order.

 

(3) That, with regard to Minute No.P13 (Review of the Council’s Licensing Processes in relation to Taxis and Hackney Carriages), the Licensing Board notes that, as part of the current review of licensing legislation, the coalition Government has withdrawn the ‘deregulation’ proposal which may have allowed hackney carriages and private hire vehicles to be driven by persons who are not licensed taxi drivers, at times when such vehicles are not being used for their licensed purposes.

16.

Minutes of the meetings of the Sub-Committee of the Licensing Board pdf icon PDF 27 KB

 

Minutes of the sub-committee meetings, held on:-

ñ          28th August 2014

ñ          17th September 2014

ñ          8th October 2014

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the contents of the minutes of the meetings of the Sub-Committee of the Licensing Board held on (a) 28th August, 2014, (b) 17th September, 2014 and (c) 8th October, 2014, as now submitted, be noted.

17.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. P13 of the meeting of the Licensing Board held on 15th September, 2014, consideration was given to a report, presented by the Business Regulation Manager, outlining the way in which this Council aims to improve and strengthen its regulation of the taxi and private hire industry to ensure that the standards applied in Rotherham are amongst the most stringent operating anywhere in the country. The report stated that this approach is intended to ensure that using taxis in Rotherham is a safe, reliable and pleasant experience, providing reassurance for local people and as a result the Rotherham Borough area will have a high quality, sustainable taxi trade.

 

This report contained the new policy as set out in the various appended documents. The policy will encompass a range of matters relating to the taxi and private hire trade which are currently dealt with as individual policy or guidance documents.  The main elements of this licensing policy will relate to driver, vehicle and operators’ standards, as well as limousines and special purpose vehicles.

 

Currently, local authorities are able to determine their own approach to regulation based on a wide range of Acts of Parliament and guidance documents. Consequently wide variation exists in the standards that apply to the trade, from one area to another.

 

The Licensing Board noted that the Law Commission has undertaken a review of taxi licensing and had published its report and a draft Bill on 23rd May 2014. If the draft Bill passed into law as it currently stands, this would herald the introduction of national standards for all taxis (i.e hackney carriages) and private hire vehicles, set by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with the power for local licensing authorities to set additional standards for taxi services only. Local authorities would, however, remain responsible for issuing licences and enforcement in relation to both taxis and private hire vehicles.

 

Discussion took place on the proposed licensing policy, as contained in the report and the various supplementary documents submitted. The Members’ debate highlighted the following salient issues:-

 

(A) Public Consultation (November and December 2014)

 

(i) There will be extensive public consultation about the new licensing policy for hackney carriages and private hire vehicles, their operators and drivers. The period of consultation will begin on Monday 3rd November, 2014 and last for eight weeks until the weekend of 27th and 28th December, 2014. Members agreed that the consultation should involve all of the spoken and written media, locally, as well as community and voluntary sector organisations to be contacted via Voluntary Action Rotherham. Every endeavour will be made to obtain the views of children and young people, via schools, local colleges, the Rotherham Youth Cabinet and, wherever possible, licensed outlets popular with young people and from where young people may travel by taxi.

 

(ii) The intention is to undertake a random sample of 500 members of the general public resident in the Rotherham Borough area, who will be contacted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.