Agenda and minutes

Licensed Transport Forum
Tuesday, 18 October 2016 10:00 am

Venue: Rooms 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 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To consider the Minutes of meeting held on 21 June 2016.

Minutes:

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2016 were agreed as a correct record.

2.

Action List pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Minutes:

The Action List was considered and updates were provided.

3.

Vehicle Testing (PN)

Minutes:

This item was taken early in the meeting.

 

The Chair welcomed Paul Naylor, Head of Direct Services, to the meeting. Paul reported that he had recently been appointed to the post, and, as part of his new role, he was now looking to make vehicle testing more transparent for operators. It was hoped that users would find the Best Practice Guidance for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles document useful as it detailed the standards that vehicles would be subjected to, and explained the reasons why a vehicle had not been issued with a pass certificate, making the process of inspections more open and transparent for the user. Paul added that in the future, the Depot would be able to automatically advise the Trade of when an MOT was due and allocate a slot in the diary, rather than the Trade contacting the Depot to book an appointment.

 

Paul went on to report that he had been looking at systems and processes and had noted that there was a large amount of paperwork missing from Operators, with especial regard to N1 and M2 vehicles, which led him to assume that some may be operating without certificates. He was therefore giving Operators two weeks’ notice to produce the V5 and Certificate of Compliance issued by VOSA, and informing them that they should notify their insurers if the vehicle had been modified as it could have been invalidated (as highlighted on the VOSA / 3.Hants / TFL websites)

 

The Chair felt that two weeks’ notice was a rather short time frame to obtain the confirmation from insurance companies, and it was agreed that this be extended to 28 days.

 

Kevin May raised concerns that he had tried this before and VOSA would only look at vehicles with over and above eight seats and he was therefore unable to obtain certificates.

 

Phil Bates, Licensing Manager, Southampton City Council, advised that he and his team would speak to VOSA and establish what the problem was as he was keen to work with the Trade to resolve the issues. They would obtain all the information and report back to the Forum as soon as possible so that it could be passed to the Trade.

 

Steve Lucas was disappointed that this had been put on the agenda at the last minute without looking at the feasibility of contacting insurers in a short timeframe. The Chair responded that this had only come to light recently and it was before the Forum first, as was standard practice. If a Working Group was required in the future, once more information had been received, one could be convened.

4.

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

Minutes:

Discussion took place around the Uber App and the implications it had on the Trade in Eastleigh. The Trade was not opposed to new technology but legislation had not caught up with the times. The Trade wanted local people serving the local residents but there was concern that a large number of drivers, licenced in London, now worked in local areas, and it was harder to spot them. With less enforcement on the rank, there was no control of illegal drivers working for large companies.

 

Phil Bates advised that he had contacted Uber and was awaiting a response. The Licensing Team was doing their very best to manage the situation. Nicki Moorhouse added that enforcement was being carried out by Southampton City Council and that there had been twenty enforcement cases dealt with over the last couple of months by SCC. 

 

4a

Taxi App Update (NM)

Minutes:

This was taken in conjunction with item 4.

5.

Taxi Rank in Eastleigh Town Centre (Cllr A)

Minutes:

The Chair report that at the last ‘pub watch’ meeting, the landlords asked if the taxis could be encouraged to use the rank outside KFC as it would stop people hanging around the town once bars had closed. They also asked if this rank could be repainted to highlight it. On inspection if was concluded that the lining was fine, and it was brought before the Forum now to remind drivers that there was a rank there.

6.

Photo Evidence for Exempt Limousines (KM)

Minutes:

Kevin May questioned the purpose of this condition in the Handbook. He owned limousines but was not the driver and he felt it was pointless to insist that a picture of the driver, in smart/chauffeur attire, be provided.

 

Nicki Moorhouse advised that this was brought in over ten years ago and had never been questioned until now. The Forum was of the opinion that this was out of date and that common sense should prevail where legislation no longer fitted the bill. It was agreed that this be brought into line with neighbouring authorities who only took photos of the vehicle. The key issue was safety and Nicki confirmed that the issue of a licence had not been held up due to the lack of a photo, but for proof of why it required an exemption.

 

7.

Training for Restricted Drivers (Cllr A)

Minutes:

This was picked up from three items on the Action List.

 

Nicki Moorhouse confirmed that the BTEC was still a condition of the licence that drivers had to pass an NVQ within three years. With regards to MiDAS, the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme, organised by the Community Transport Association U.K. (CTA) which promoted a nationally recognised standard for the assessment and training of minibus drivers, she was waiting for a response from Hampshire County Council regarding courses.

 

Kevin May announced that he was a MiDAS Instructor but had not trained since he had qualified. He was willing to do the training ‘in-house’ and could then send more drivers to become instructors.

 

The Chair concluded that this was a good way forward but would need a little more internal investigation.

8.

Questions from the Trade

1) Could the Council inform us of any night time economy possibilities (Steve Lucas)

2) Could the Council give us a progress report on licensing current staffing levels, predicted future levels and when we physically will have a licensing enforcement officer as previously promised

3) Discuss - reintroduction of the working group for dress code (Simon Cornwell)

 

Minutes:

(a)           In response to the question on an increase in Eastleigh’s night time economy, there was none in place at the moment.

 

(b)           Southampton City Council would take over the Licensing function as of 1 December 2016. Recruitment was taking place for an enforcement officer to work predominantly in Eastleigh. Phil Bates would, on occasions, work from Eastleigh House and provide staff to support Kim Scully.

 

(c)           Simon Cornwell reiterated that there was a need for a dress code for a small percentage of drivers who ignored the fact that it was a front facing service dealing with the public and felt it did not reflect well on the Trade or the Council if drivers were wearing unclean or inappropriate clothing. A polo shirt should be the minimum standard; no T shirt or sports shorts. The Chair advised that unfortunately a dress code could not be enforced on Hackney Carriage drivers but suggested that perhaps peer pressure was a way to try to educate them.

9.

AOB

Minutes:

Siobhan St John raised a question about buying old plates.

 

There were no other items of business for consideration.