Consideration was given to a report, presented by the Licensing Manager, concerning the proposed introduction of a Licensing Enforcement Penalty Points Scheme, a method by which licenced drivers, operators or owners can be issued with points against their Council (Hackney Carriage and/or Private Hire) Licence by authorised officers of the Council.
The report stated that points would be used for less serious breaches of licence condition or legislation. The issuing of points formalises the previous practice of issuing warnings. The aim is to encourage licence holders to comply with all legislation, licence conditions and behave in an acceptable manner at all times, thereby improving the professionalism and reputation of the licensed vehicle trade. The points system would operate in addition to all existing enforcement options and would have regard to the principles of the Council’s ‘General Enforcement Policy’.
The draft schedule of enforcement penalty points and list of offences was appended to the submitted report.
(1) Resolved:- That the report be received and its contents noted.
(2) Recommended:- (a) That a Licensing Enforcement Penalty Points Scheme be implemented by the Council in accordance with the details contained within the report now submitted and incorporating the items listed at (i) to (v) below, as now determined by the Licensing Board:-
(i) offences relating to the installation and use of taxi camera systems shall not be included in the Penalty Points Scheme and such matters shall be determined either by the Licensing Board, the Licensing Board Sub-Committee or the appropriate officer in accordance with the Council’s scheme of delegation to officers on Licensing matters;
(ii) the various offences which are concerned with aspects of the attitude, behaviour and conduct of licence holders shall be consolidated into one offence;
(iii) appeals submitted to the Council against the imposition of penalty points shall be determined as follows:-
1 to 6 points – by the Assistant Director of Community Safety and Street Scene, or appointed representative;
7 to 12 points – by the Licensing Board or the Licensing Board Sub-Committee;
(iv) licence holders who accumulate a total 12 points shall be referred for a case hearing by the Licensing Board or the Licensing Board Sub-Committee.
(v) the Assistant Director of Community Safety and Street Scene and the Assistant Director of Legal Services shall, in consultation with the Chair and the Vice-Chair of the Licensing Board, determine the following matters:-
(A) the guidance to be used by Licensing staff when considering the imposition of penalty points upon a licence holder;
(B) the period (ie: the maximum number of days) within which a licence holder who wishes to appeal against the imposition of penalty points must submit the appeal to the Council;
(C) the date of implementation of the Licensing Enforcement Penalty Points Scheme.
(b) That the Licensing Manager submit a progress report about the use of the Licensing Enforcement Penalty Points Scheme to the first meeting of the Licensing Board which takes place after the implementation of the Scheme and thereafter information about the use of the Scheme shall be included within the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Performance and General Update reports.