Venue: Room 16/17 Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh SO50 9YN
Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer tel: 02380688112; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 were agreed as a correct record.
The Action list was considered and updates were given as follows:
· Dual Licensing – this was completed and removed;
· Unlicensed PH operators – this was completed and removed;
· Ageas Bowl – this was ongoing and regular meetings were being held;
· Ageal Bowl hotel rank – SE was attending a meeting mid-June 2015 and would report back;
· Clock meter lock down - this was completed and removed;
· Credit Card Charges - this was completed and removed; and
· Taxi rank provision at Hamble-le-Rice, and Hedge End Station – ongoing.
Taxi licensing and training in respect of Safeguarding (including missing, exploited and trafficked people) (Presentation by Niki Haytack, Barnardo's Trafficking Services
The Chair welcomed to the meeting Niki Haytack, from Barnardo’s, who had come along to give a presentation on the Safeguarding of children and young people.
Niki began by explaining the definition of sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18. It involved exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where children (or a third person or persons) received ‘something’ (for example, food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of performing sexual activities and/or another person performing sexual activities on them.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) could occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition, for example, persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phone with no immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child/young person have ‘power’ over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation was common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability. If society accepted that CSE was a child protection issue, then children could not consent to their own abuse. It was as simple and as complex as that.
Barnardo’s had found that child sexual exploitation tended to be a hidden activity and much more likely to take place in private residences than visibly, on the streets, and had identified three different models of activity; they were not exhaustive, but showed a spectrum of exploitation.
• Usually involving one perpetrator who had inappropriate power or control over a young person (physical, emotional or financial).
• One indicator may be a significant age gap.
• The young person may believe they were in a loving relationship.
• May be groomed for one perpetrator or for further exploitation
• The exploitation appeared to be taking place within age appropriate associations or relationships.
• Young people were forced or coerced into sexual activity by peers and associates.
• Specific areas in each region
• Sex as a commodity
• Sex parties
• Research within Barnardo's services had identified a significant issue with groups of young people hanging around in parks drinking alcohol given by older people or peers and having sex.
Organised/networked sexual exploitation trafficking
• Young people (often connected) were passed through networks
• Internal/External Trafficking
• Forced /coerced into sexual activity with multiple men.
• Criminal activity
Abuse takes place in a variety of places including private houses, transportation vehicles, public spaces, and Niki had been informed that taxis had been used to transport vulnerable young people to hotels. Eastleigh was not a ‘hot spot’ at the moment, but ‘hot spots’ were always moving and it could become one in the future. If drivers were suspicious or had a ‘gut’ feeling that something was not quite right with their fare, then they had a responsibility to pass that information on to a responsible body, like the police or social care.
The Trade were concerned that although they understood the fundamental issues surrounding CSE, and appreciated what Safeguarding was trying to achieve, they raised a number of issues: the basic foundations were not in place to build multi-agency working; police did not have the resources to respond to calls; police needed to improve their relationship with drivers; neighbouring councils’ approaches were all different; where did drivers direct their concerns; and letters should be sent to all drivers with information and contact numbers, which would also be appended to the Handbook.
The Chair thanked Niki Haytack for her informative presentation and ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Actions: Licensing Team/Dem Services Licensing Team Licensing Team
Abolition of Counterpart Licences on 8 June 2015 (NM)
Nicki Moorhouse advised that there were changes from the DVLA around licences that were due to come into effect from 8 June 2015, to those with photocard licences.
To save the £8M costs in producing counterpart licences for photocards, the DVLA were setting up a Share Driving Licence website which would be formally launched on 8 June 2015. Counterparts would no longer be valid after this date. This website would hold all the details that could not be fitted onto the photocard part of the licence. This included information such as penalty points accrued and which vehicles the licence holder was entitled to drive.
Drivers would have to access the site and get a one off code that would be valid for 72 hours, they would then advise the Licensing Team who would then logon to attain the information required. It was a free service.
The Trade asked why they would still need to come into the offices when they could just submit the code to the Licensing Team. They were advised that as it was a new process the Team wanted to be confident that the new website could cope with the demand and would consider the request again in 3-4 months.
Shaun Eade added, as an advisory note, the same process would apply for drivers wishing to hire cars in the UK or abroad.
Eastleigh Cab company advertising their phone number on taxi rank Eastleigh Face book page (SC)
Simon Cornwell reported that he had been approached by another driver who had complained that the Eastleigh Cab Company was advertising its phone number and taxi rank on the Eastleigh Facebook page.
The Trade were advised that the Eastleigh Facebook page had nothing to do with Eastleigh Borough Council.
Proposals for private hire drivers (RV)
Could the Council consider allowing people wanting to become private hire drivers paying the £15 and take the knowledge test. I have a number of people who are interested in becoming a driver but can't afford the full fee unless they know that they will pass the knowledge test.
Roger Vivian asked if the Council would consider allowing people to pay £15 to take the knowledge test. He had a number of drivers interested in becoming a driver but could not afford the full fee unless they knew they would pass.
Richard Ward advised that there were issues surrounding identity which raised concerns, and Nicki Moorhouse stated that it would be not preferable as the Team would need to keep a check on who sat which test, as they sat a different one each time if they failed. The Team would also still have to carry out the ID checks that were required before sitting the test so therefore there would be an administrative burden. The Chair responded that he understood where Roger was coming from but agreed with Richard and Nicki.
Kevin May suggested that 1:1 was the best way to undertake a knowledge test and that he had invested in his drivers to take the test.
Steve Lucas asked when the ‘Suitability Test’ was going to be introduced and was advised that this was being looked at.
Actions: Licensing Team
Plate renewal (RV)
Is there really the need for a full application for a plate renewal and driving licence? Other Government bodies seem to be able to renew licences without the need to see everything again. As it is a renewal you actually know who we are and if there is the need for us to bring in passport/driving licence and utility bills. Surely it could be just a declaration signed saying nothing has change.
Roger Vivian asked why drivers still had to bring in all the same documentation just for plate renewals, could something be done to update the forms so that this was not necessary.
Following discussion, Nicki Moorhouse advised that she had started to look at all the forms to make them more succinct, and would liaise with the Trade before they came into effect.
It was AGREED –
That the Trade reps be consulted on the redesign of forms before approval.
Actions: Licensing Team
Ageas Bowl Update (AL)
Update on the Ageas Bowl with regards to a rank outside the hotel and information about expected numbers at various events (AL)
Alan Lloyd reported that there were two outstanding issues: He had not seen an events list as promised by the Ageas Bowl with the start/finish times and expected crowd numbers; and requested that for T20 matches they be left alone if they could not get on the hill. At the last match he had been directed to the hotel which was not helpful as the crowd did not know he was there.
Shaun Eade advised that he had a meeting the following week with the Ageas Bowl management to discuss.
Actions: S Eade
Eastleigh town Centre (AL)
A report on any plans, or applications, to improve the trading position in the town – with particular reference to the open spaces in the Swan Centre and the increasingly poor night time economy.
Alan Lloyd asked if there was any news on the economy. The Chair advised that unfortunately an update on the town centre economy was not able to be given at this time as the Area Coordinator had not supplied the information. Once received it would be emailed to the reps.
Actions: Area Co-ordinator
Ranks in Hamble-le-Rice and Hedge End Station (AL)
Updates on progress with new ranks in Hamble-le-Rice and Hedge End Station.
The Chair advised that there was no available update regarding the Hedge End Station, but read out the following exert from an email received from Transportation and Engineering on the proposed rank at Hamble-le-Rice:
Hamble Square Taxi Rank Provision
Various locations were assessed in order to provide a suitable taxi rank provision in Hamble Square. Four options were subsequently presented to the forum for discussion. After consideration of the options it was agreed that the area outside of the Co-op was the most preferable location for the two rank spaces to be provided.
The site had been measured up and tracking plots checked to ensure that vehicles could manoeuvre safely and without obstruction past taxis waiting in the proposed rank.
Letters would be sent to premises fronting the proposed facility and to the local bus companies.
2 weeks would be allowed for comments.
Plans and details of the proposal would be sent to Hampshire Police and BHH LAC for informal approval.
Statutory consultation. This is the legal process required to enable the implementation of the facility. It would include a consultation process with statutory consultees (e.g. emergency services, bus companies) as well as with members of the public. A period of 21 days would be given for consultation where any objections and supporting comments to the proposal could be submitted. (At the start of this period an advert would be placed in the Hampshire Independent, on the Council’s website and the Hampshire Portal, as well as notices being placed on site).
Consider any objections (and supporting) representations received and draft Local Area Committee report.
Report presented to Bursledon, Hamble-le-Rice and Hound Local Area Committee on 1 October 2015 for their consideration and for a decision as to whether the Head of Transportation and Engineering can proceed to make the Traffic Regulation Order and introduce the taxi rank facility.
Implementation (assuming it would be approved).
Update on proposed fare increase. (AL)
This had been agreed by the Administration Committee on 1 June 2015. Alan Lloyd reported that on behalf of the Trade, they were very grateful to the Administration Committee for approving the proposal.
Options for future licensing enforcement officer, following retirement (AL)
Will take advice from the Chair as to whether this is a good idea at this time (AL)
Alan Lloyd directly addressed the Chair and referred to an email conversation they had had regarding the continuation/replacement of an enforcement officer should the current officer’s position become vacant in the future. The Chair had agreed for this item to be on the agenda for general discussion with the Forum; however there were no plans for any staff to retire just yet.
This authority did not have the resources to match the enforcement practices of other larger council’s (for example Birmingham City Council), but the Licensing Team would contact neighbouring authorities and explore all other options available to it at the appropriate time.
Update on Mystery Shopper (NM)
The mystery shopper continued to be used 2-3 times per month on tariffs 1 and 2.
De-Regulation Act 2015 (NM)
Nicki Moorhouse advised that the De-regulation Act 2015 had been amended and would affect those drivers/operators who had one year licences. There was a lot of detail to digest and more information would follow in due course.
Actions: Licensing Team