Agenda and minutes

Licensed Transport Forum
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 10:00 am

Venue: Room 16/17 Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh SO50 9YN

Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer tel: 02380688112; email:  cheryll.kemsley@eastleigh.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of Meeting, Tuesday 20 October 2015 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 20 October 2015 were agreed as a correct record.

2.

Election Results

Following the annual invitation to nominate other members of the Trade to stand as Private Hire and Hackney Carriage representatives on the Forum, it was resolved that three of the four posts up for election were non-contested, and the fourth post remains vacant at this time.

 

The Forum welcomes back Kevin May and Siobhan St John, Private Hire representatives, and Steve Lucas, Hackney Carriage Representative.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed back Kevin May and Siobhan St John, Private Hire Representatives, and Steve Lucas, Hackney Carriage Representative, following a non-contested election. The fourth Hackney Carriage Representative position remained vacant for the time being.

3.

Action List pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Minutes:

The Action List was considered and updates were given as follows:

 

Ageas Bowl – The annual meeting continued to be held and in the early part of the year and the next one was arranged for 28 January 2016.

 

Hilton Hotel – AL raised points regarding the number of issues that had been raised by the Trade in respect of One Day Internationals. SL added that the HC Trade puts the effort and arrive in reasonable number when needed but there were problems getting in and out of the ground and there was nowhere to rank up. They wanted NM to contact the hotel to confirm that they will be attending the meeting in January and would circulate once received.

 

Taxi Rank Provision Hamble Square and Hedge End Station – CK read a response from Tracy Haskett that advised that she had written a briefing note for the Area Co-ordinator to include in their Chair’s Report at the next Local Area Committee (LAC) meeting on 7 March 2016. The note set out the request of the Forum for a single bay at Hedge End train station and asked the LAC to progress a TRO to formalise the taxi bay. Hamble Square taxi rank was programmed to start in the new financial year. AL reported that he had been unable to attend the previous meeting where this was discussed. He added that as he was often the sole Hackney Carriage driver who operated from the station, it was not worth the cost of marking out a rank within the car park area unless the rank is immediately outside the station ticket office or gate to the platform, if not so located the scheme should be dropped. He was more than happy to wait the twenty minutes or so right outside the station. The Chair advised that this would be conveyed to TH.

 

Eastleigh Station – The Trade had raised concerns regarding the taxi rank outside the station at night. An incident had recently taken place where a passenger had jumped in the car and grabbed the driver around the neck. Therefore in the interest of public safety they requested that the taxis be permitted to face the other way in the rank so they could see who was approaching.

 

Deregulation Act – This had been actioned and could be removed from the list.

 

Test Purchasing – This continued to be very positive. The Trade commented that drivers should be reminded how to operate their meters in the Borough as some, especially at Eastleigh Parkway around 9pm, appeared to not understand the procedure.

4.

NVQ (KM)

Minutes:

KM reported that NVQs were no longer funded by the Government and that he could not get drivers on the courses. They were too expensive, too far away, or too long. He queried why those drivers, who only did school runs, doing the same journey every day, required an NVQ. He said that ninety five percent of the NVQ was irrelevant to school run drivers and it was an onerous exercise to get through. They earnt around £130 per week and only worked 38 weeks per year; they could not afford to do a course. He added that when it was Government funded there had been no problem with people doing the course although the quality of the course was disgraceful; he had one driver that had passed but could not speak or write English.

 

NM advised that she had contacted a number of places who ran courses: B Fluent (www.bfluent.co.uk) who charged £250 for a 3-4 day course; Value Group Training (www.valuecarstraining.co.uk) who charged £361; and Eastleigh College (www.eastleigh.ac.uk) who charged £311 and would run the course with four people, but added an admin charge of £50. The Trade advised that they had also looked into courses and found that many came with ‘add-ons’.

 

Councillor Hughes thought that courses should be relevant to the job. NM advised that the Administration Committee had passed regulations in 2007 that all drivers must pass an NVQ within three years of getting their licence, however maybe it was something that needed to be revisited, especially with regards to restricted drivers, and that Southampton City Council required drivers to pass their NVQ first.

 

The Chair advised that it was important to get this revisited, and NM confirmed that she would seek the input from the Forum reps and report back to the next meeting in June.

 

In the meantime it was agreed to suspend any pending NVQ suspensions for any school run drivers who had a restricted licence.

 

AGREED –

 

That any pending NVQ suspensions be suspended for any school run drivers who had a restricted licence.

Actions: Licensing Team

5.

Operators Licensed Premises - ie planning (KM)

Minutes:

KM explained that a situation had arisen whereby he had had to apply for planning permission for change of use of the land and building where he operated. As ‘Taxis’ were in a planning ‘use class’ of their own it came under what was known as ‘sui generis’. This information had come about from a form completed by another operator who was sharing KM’s premises, and which had been picked up by the Council’s Development Management. KM, not wishing to act illegally, had paid the fee of £2500 after a lot of angst in persuading his landlord to agree the change of use of the land. He asked how many other operators were acting illegally and why this had not been picked up before.

 

NM advised that if operators were applying to change their address then Development Management would be advised as a matter of course. The Licensing department forward application details to Development Management on receipt of an application, the taxi handbook also refers to the need to check for planning permission..

 

KM then read a note from Bob at ‘Handy Cabs’ who had received a letter from the Development Management Enforcement Team advising that he also had to apply for ‘sui generis’ use. Bob questioned why it was only KM and himself that had been sent letters and not all the other operators. The Chair advised that this was probably due to the Enforcement Team being reactive rather than proactive due to staff shortages. The Licensing Team issue the Operator’s Licence not the Enforcement Team. KM raised concerns that there was an operator who had an office in Millbrook but worked in Eastleigh; the Licensing Team advised that they were aware of this.

 

It was suggested that a list of Use Classes be added to the Minutes for information.

 

Use classes can be found here http://nlpplanning.com/uploads/ffiles/2015/08/776168.pdf

6.

Additional questions from AL

Minutes:

Subsequent to the published agenda AL submitted the following questions:

 

a)             The long promised rewriting/renumbering of the Private Hire and Hackney Drivers handbook does not appear on the “to do” list –

The Trade were advised that this had inadvertently been missed off the Action List but would be rectified, and the rewriting/renumbering would be done in due course.

 

b)             When was the decision taken to reduce meetings to three a year? –

NM advised that the meetings had always been three, to coincide with Administration Committee

 

c)              The reps were receiving complaints that all too often enquirers at the Council Offices were being told “there is no-one in the licensing office” –

KS advised that there were times when there was no-one available (lunchtime and test times) but drivers had been made aware of this, and the fact that they could email documentation in (instead of popping in) as the Licensing Team only request to see originals at renewal.

 

d)             Would the Council try and facilitate a meeting with SWT to discuss issues regarding the servicing of stations by taxis that were paying ever increasing amounts for the “privilege” –

The Trade added that the access had been restricted due to ongoing engineering works in the region; fare increases; and that there was no constructive communication with SWT who had a ‘take it’ or ‘leave it’ attitude, and asked the Chair to help with communication. The Chair advised that he was happy to do that.

 

e)             Was it possible for the Depot, when testing a car for Certificate of Compliance (CoC) to issue an MOT and a signed checklist with regards to the CoC. The current system causes a problem when a driver wishes to sell their car and only has a CoC, if there was a problem with it he has to go some expense to get an MOT which may well be uneconomical and it would have to be sold for scrap, whereas if it had a current MOT there would be a good chance they would recoup more than scrap value –

The Depot had responded that the signed CoC was issued with each test. The option of an MOT test Certificate was always available, as long as the tester was made aware of it before the test started, at an additional cost of £41, this being a reduced rate of the normal £54 MOT test fee.

Actions: Action List The Chair

7.

End of Year Results (SE) pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

SE presented his 2015 End of Year results in detail, drawing attention to the high number listed under ‘vehicle conditions’ as being advisory notes given. On the whole the results were pretty good.

8.

Dates of next meetings

Proposed dates for forthcoming meetings:

 

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Minutes:

The dates of the next three meetings were agreed and meetings invites had been issued.

9.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

There was no other business at this time.