Agenda and minutes

Licensed Transport Forum
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:00 am

Venue: The Boardroom, The Point, Leigh Road, Eastleigh

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

Items
No. Item

Welcome

The Chair apologised for the change of date and venue to that originally scheduled.

 

He also welcomed Sarah King, Phil Bates and Steve Nangreave to the meeting.

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2016.

Minutes:

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2016 were agreed as a correct record.

2.

Licensing Move (SE)

Minutes:

Agenda item 11 was taken first on the agenda. Phil Bates, Licensing Manager, Southampton City Council (SCC) had been invited to attend the meeting for this item.

 

Shaun Eade reported that this had been placed on the agenda as the team had heard that they were to be TUPE’d to SCC.

 

The Chair advised that there were proposals but no decision had been made at that time.

 

Sarah King – Corporate Director, Support Services (CFO) reported that Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) had been in discussions with SCC to look at the way the two services could operate together. They already had a working partnership with liquor licensing and EBC was looking to extend this relationship further.

 

The existing working partnership with regards to the Licensing Act 2003 was extremely strong, and to extend the relationship to include other services that were currently provided in-house would create greater ‘service robustness’ / continuity of service in the future, together with a more cost effective service. The Forum would see little difference, there would still be meetings, and there would still be an EBC hub. The only thing that may look slightly different would be the forms; all policies would still be made by EBC.

 

The Trade stated that they were not opposed in principle to the transfer of the administration however they did have a number of questions. Alan Lloyd warned of the difficulties experienced by the Trade when Worthing teamed with Adur Council. The Trade was assured that EBC already had an established partnership with SCC, and it was a natural process to take the next step. AL sought, and received, assurance that the fees would remain ring-fenced for licensing purposes. It was advised that the staff budget would be transferred but other elements would remain with EBC

 

Phil Bates added that it would bring greater resilience, some savings, and new ways of working. The Trade noted that SCC fitted the plates, this was different to the current practice at EBC and the Trade was not keen on this arrangement as it was not a procedure that EBC had followed. Phil advised that he would look into the legislation and feed back to the Trade; he was keen to work with them to agree a lead-in time which could not be done until the staff and IT was in place.

 

There was some discussion regarding taxi ranks provision and the same level of enforcement. The Trade also sought assurance that they would be consulted if other applications, namely Uber, were received. The Trade was advised that Uber had just submitted an application but the Team was still seeking further information from them before any decision was made.

 

The Trade asked that another Forum meeting be convened prior to the transfer being done.

3.

"Sui Generis" update (KM)

Minutes:

Steve Nangreave, Senior Planning Officer, had been invited to the meeting for this item.

 

Steve gave a brief overview of the Town and Country Planning Use Class Order 1987, explaining the different Use Class within the Order. A list of the use classes was attached the previous Minutes. With regards to taxis and uses, i.e. control officer/working place/service etc this, in planning terms was ‘ Sui Generis’ and he explained when and why it required planning permission.

 

In response to a question from Kevin May on how many the Local Planning Authority (LPA) had reviewed, Steve advised that this was something that the LPA did not review.

 

In answer to how it had come to light, Steve advised that Eastleigh Borough Council was a stand-alone LPA, however there was legislation in place which had not been followed up in recent years but it was now time to tighten up controls. It had been triggered by three operators in one premises stating ‘no’ to applying for planning permission on the operators’ licence application. This was then followed up.

 

Richard Ward added that the Handbook stated that operators must check with their LPA regarding planning regulation. Nicki Moorhouse also advised that SCC insisted that planning permission was put in place prior to applying for a taxi licence, which was good practice.

 

Kevin May said that it was extremely unfair that other companies outside the Borough did not follow the rules. Smaller companies were being penalised and would struggle to pay for it.

 

Richard Ward advised that operators must have the correct planning permission, for their own protection and especially if they leased premises.

4.

Action List pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Minutes:

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

 

Safeguarding – Hampshire County Council had been in talks to look at training/packages; and Alan Lloyd asked that the Suitability Test be linked with a ‘fit and proper person’.

 

Shaun Eade advised that a debrief meeting with the Safety Advisory Group was scheduled for the following day to cover the issues that arose from the recent Rod Stewart concert.

 

Alan Lloyd stated that the problem had arisen with bad traffic control and Marshalls. Shaun added that a one way routing system would alleviate most of the congestion.

5.

BTEC (KS)

Condition of your licence that you must within 3 years of the issue of their first licence must attend and pass the BTEC VRQ – Transporting Passengers by  Taxi and Private Hire.

Minutes:

Kim Scully reminded the Forum that it was a condition of the licensing that drivers had to pass an NVQ within three years.

 

Kevin May reiterated what he said in the Minutes of the meeting on 12 January 2016 and could still not understand why this qualification was required for drivers who did school runs, on the same journey with the same escort and child, day in day out. Ninety five per cent of the NVQ was irrelevant and the drivers could not afford it and he would lose drivers.

 

Simon Cornwell said that he was in favour of the test as it helped those drivers were self-employed to develop their interpersonal skills. There was nothing else in place to do this.

 

Roger Vivian stated that the course in Brockenhurst College had cost £1200 and had not been very successful. Nicki Moorhouse reported that the Administration Committee had passed a resolution that driver standards should be raised and the course must be sat within three years. Drivers must be trained in dealing with members of the public/vulnerable children. She had spoken to Brockenhurst College and there was funding available for a course in August (with an additional cost of £30 for the numeracy and literacy part), and also October half term.

 

The Chair advised that it was an important issue, especially with dealing with members of the public and child safety which needed to be kept at the forefront of how the Council operated.

 

Kevin added that he had a duty of care to his drivers; he did his own training sessions which was over and above any Btec course.

6.

Hackney Carriage Plates (KS)

Minutes:

Kim Scully reminded the Forum that plates needed to be renewed before the expiry date.

7.

DBS (KS)

Minutes:

Kim Scully reminded the Forum that the initial DBS was with the Council and that drivers should join the update service once they receive their DBS certificate back. Then they will be able to sign a declaration when it was next due, giving Licensing Officers permission to look on line.

8.

The implications of taxi / private hire company based App's for the trade and licensing (SL)

Minutes:

This item was deferred to the next meeting.

9.

Westminster Briefing Update (NM)

Minutes:

Nicki Moorhouse advised that she had attended a conference at Westminster regarding smart phone apps and legislation. Technology was happening so fast that it was legislation behind. A further update would be given at the next meeting.

10.

Definition (AL)

Update on the revision of the definition of a fit and proper person to hold a license – also with regards to the similar operation being carried out by SCC. Reference - http://www.southampton.gov.uk/business-licensing/licensing/taxis-private-hire/notice-board/fitandproperperson.aspx

 

Minutes:

Alan Lloyd reported that Southampton City Council had reviewed its policy on the application of the fit and proper person test in relation to the taxi and private hire trade, including drivers, proprietors and operators. Following consultation a report would be taken to their Licensing Committee later in the year to adopt the policy. Alan suggested that EBC’s Suitability Test be linked with a ‘fit and proper’ person test.