Consideration was given to a report, presented by the Licensing Manager, providing an update in relation to the Licensing Service performance against the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Performance Framework. In addition, the report contained information on the key activities and actions undertaken by the Licensing team during the first six months of 2018/19. Specific reference was made to:-
- Enforcement actions and other activity undertaken by the Licensing service;
- Licensing Enforcement work – options available to officers, including compliance advice, guidance and support.
- Corporate performance measures for the Licensing Service (second quarter update);
- Licensing performance framework (second quarter update);
- Current priority work – review of private hire operators and takeaways and late night restaurants;
- Licensing Service – review of structure and recruitment of staff;
- Statistics of decisions on Licensing matters made by the Sub-Committee of the Licensing Board (calendar year 2018 to date);
- Summary information about appeals made by individuals against the refusal or revocation of licences.
Members noted that the National Register of Revocations and Refusals (NR3) had become a live national database during August, 2018 and was being hosted by the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN). This facility enabled participating Licensing Authorities to undertake a check of the database as part of the process of assessing an applicant’s fitness to hold a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver’s licence. Officers from this Council had been involved in the establishment of the NR3 national database.
Discussion took place on the sharing of relevant information about Licensing matters with the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (including the South Yorkshire Police). Members of the Licensing Board requested an assurance that appropriate information was being shared in a timely manner, enabling necessary investigation work to begin at the earliest opportunity.
Members of the Licensing Board were informed that persons in receipt of a Police Caution (usually issued within a Police station) would receive a printed document, from the Police, giving details of the nature of the Caution.
The submitted report also provided details of forthcoming issues affecting the Licensing Service:-
(i) The introduction of a window sticker to be displayed in licensed vehicles. The sticker will confirm that the vehicle is licensed by Rotherham MBC and provide details of the way in which passengers may obtain further information about the vehicle and raise a concern about or compliment the driver. It was anticipated that these stickers would be introduced in licensed vehicles during October or November 2018.
(ii) There will be a general review (beginning early in 2019) of the conditions that are attached to Hackney Carriage / Private Hire licences.
(iii) There will be a review of the way that camera systems used in licensed vehicles are procured and approved. This review may involve a tendering process and the identification of a single or several approved suppliers.
Resolved:- (1) That the report be received and its contents noted.
(2) That, with regard to Licensing enforcement work, the options available to officers, including compliance advice, guidance and support, as detailed in the report now submitted, be supported.