Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH
Contact: Debbie Pons, Governance Adviser
Declarations of Interest
There were no Declarations of Interest made at the meeting.
Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th June, 2019.
Resolved:- That the minutes be received and the contents noted.
Arising from Minute No. 3 (Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Year End Performance), it was noted that no progress had been made with regard to a possible local byelaw requiring CCTV cameras in vehicles operating in the Town Centre. Discussions would take place with Legal Services.
Alan Pogorzelec, Licensing Manager, presented a report outlining the proposed key changes to the existing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.
The current Policy had been introduced in July 2015 and was widely seen to be setting the standard for other local authorities to benchmark against in relation to taxi and private hire licensing. However, the Council was committed to the concept of continual improvement and consequently was reviewing the current Policy with a view to introducing amendments that would ensure that the standard of licensed driver, vehicle and operator in Rotherham continued to be of a high standard.
It was also noted that since the introduction of the current Policy, new Statutory Guidance had been proposed by the Department for Transport introducing requirements around 23 separate areas. All but one of the recommendations were currently implemented in Rotherham
The best practice guidance further indicated the high regard that Rotherham’s current Policy held. However, despite being confident in the standards of the Policy, a formal review was now necessary to ensure that the Council was still driving standards at a national level by enhancing current processes and standards which would ensure the calibre of licence holder in Rotherham remained at the very highest level.
To support the process of the Policy review, the Council had developed a number of proposals that could be considered for inclusion in a revised Policy. The proposals were as follows:-
The Public Sector Equality Duty
- Proposal – addition of clauses to the ‘Fitness and Propriety’ requirements for both drivers and operators, to be clear that any action by a driver or operator that would be in conflict with the Council’s Equality duty would be considered to be a breach of the fitness and proper person test
Driver Medical Assessments
- Proposal – applicants shall provide a completed medical examination form supplied by the Council and completed by their own General Practitioner (GP) practice on first application. A new medical would then be required at the next renewal after a driver reaches the age of 45. Thereafter, a medical will be required every 6 years until the driver reaches the age of 65 when a medical will be required annually. In exceptional circumstances, and with prior agreement from the Licensing Manager, a medical assessment can be carried out by another registered GP practice as long as the applicant’s medical history had been reviewed and assessed
Basic DBS Checks for Ancillary Operator Staff
- Proposal – private hire operators’ ancillary staff would be asked to complete a basic DBS check. This was the only recommendation contained within the Department for Transport’s Statutory Guidance that was not currently in place within Rotherham
- Proposal – introduce a requirement for drivers’ knowledge and driving ability to be reassessed at the point of licence renewal. It was also believed that existing drivers would find it beneficial to undertake refresher training in relation to safeguarding vulnerable passengers
- Proposal – to give drivers a greater ... view the full minutes text for item 6.