Agenda and minutes

Licensed Transport Forum
Monday, 19 November 2018 10:00 am

Venue: Room 11/12/13 Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh SO50 9YN or the Depot - order refreshments

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

Items
No. Item

7.

Welcome New Members

Welcome to Leigh Dodds, Hackney Carriage Driver, and Bob Parsons, Private Hire Driver.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Leigh Dodds, Hackney Carriage Driver, and Bob Parson, Private Hire Driver, to the Forum. They now filled the positions that had been vacant for a while.

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider the Minutes of meeting held on 14 June 2018.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2018 were agreed as a correct record.

9.

Action List pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

Handbook - AL asked that as the Handbook was still to be re-vamped, what was to be used in the interim. PB advised that the Handbook was still there, albeit fragmented, but he was trying to get it into a readable format. Once ready he would convene a working group so the Forum would be able to get involved with the review.

 

AJ added that new drivers were given a link to the online handbook and all were sent reminders to view it.

10.

Clean Air Zones (from Minute 2)

Minutes:

PB advised that he was unfortunately unable to secure anyone from SCC to attend the meeting as they were understandably busy at this time.

 

In 2017 Southampton City Council had secured funding for a feasibility study to assess the need for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) which was to be delivered before 2020. In response to a question from AL regarding enforcement of Southampton’s CAZ Strategy, PB confirmed that he had been in meetings with other authorities / bodies where there had been talks of considering a national database of taxi licence plates as a possible way forward.

11.

Guidance on Fitness and Propriety (from Minute 4)

Minutes:

PB advised that he had received responses from the trade about the ‘Guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licensees in the hackney and private hire trade’. Some aspects of it were supported while others were not. PB said he really needed more specifics before he was able to write a full report for formal consultation.

 

A lengthy debate took place around 7 points on a licence / five year ban, safety and safeguarding. The Trade felt the guidance was not fit for purpose and that they had been singled out against the likes of bus / train drivers who also carried passengers.

 

SC reported that a high profile Task and Finish Group hoped to get national guidance for all councils to adopt, but there was further concern that the document could then be superseded by central government.

 

In conclusion, the Chair advised that:

·         This became a standard item on the LTF agenda;

·         PB to make enquiries how this was being taken forward nationally;

·         PB to keep the Forum updated on this at all times; and

·         PB to liaise with the Chair and Forum members regarding dates should it be necessary for a working group to be convened before an LTF meeting.

12.

IVA testing (from Minute 5)

Minutes:

PN advised that the authority in fulfilling its obligations to ensuring public safety had to be satisfied that vehicles which had been converted by way of an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test, met set standards. The Council was aware of the impact this had on the Trade so it was advising that it was setting a deadline of April 2021 for all existing vehicles that had already been converted to be IVA tested.

 

KM stated that it was impossible to get an appointment with the DVSA testing stations and that the proposal was therefore impractical and unworkable. PN advised that this proposal had been talked about for two years and there was a further two years+ for the Trade to get existing vehicles tested before it came into effect.

 

The Chair advised that this would be on the agenda for the next meeting and he hoped that the timescales could be worked out in order to move forward.

13.

Enforcement Summary pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Enforcement Summary as set out in the Agenda. AL welcomed any increase in the presence of enforcement officers and asked that should there be any prosecutions, that the publicity of it be transmitted to a wide audience.

14.

Safeguarding (Standard Item)

Minutes:

PB reported that the Council was being placed under considerable pressure to commit to an ‘in person’ package for safeguarding. The Council’s preferred option of training was to seek a provider that could deliver this online so drivers were able to take this course in their own time. Certain measures would be put in place to ensure it was the driver taking the package and not an imposter. This may result in some being required to take an ‘in person’ test and in cases where there had been blatant fraud, consideration to revoke licences.

 

The Licensing Team would be sending out emails/letters to the Trade to consult on the adoption of the requirement to receive approved safeguarding  training every three years.

15.

Driving Standards (RV)

Minutes:

As RV was unable to attend the meeting PB relayed his comments regarding one of his drivers driving badly, and the time it took for the Licensing Team to react. RV had asked that the Council adopt a similar policy to the police in that they inform drivers within 14 days when an allegation had been made against them, as this would allow the driver the opportunity to recall the incident.

 

PB understood his concern and the team dealt with complaints as quickly as possible, however, there were occasions when other obstacles got in the way and caused a delay. There were no plans to adopt a similar police strategy.

16.

EBC Unmet Demand Survey (AL)

Minutes:

AL thought this would be a useful exercise to undertake and see what could be improved on, however PB advised that a survey would cost £15K and was resource intensive.

 

It was suggested that a small survey in the Borough News could be a way forward. AL was to provide PB with suggested subject areas.

17.

Improved Signage at Sainsbury's Rank (AL)

Minutes:

Cllr Clarke agreed that additional signage to the taxi rank from the train station would be a good idea and he would bring it up at the next local area committee team meeting.

18.

Refurbishment of Public Convenience at bus station (AL)

Minutes:

Councillor Clarke and PN both reported that the local area committee were keen to get this moving as soon as possible as a refurbishment of the public conveniences were long overdue.

19.

Timescale of Free Wi-Fi in town centre with particular regards to taxi rank (AL)

Minutes:

AL asked if there were plans to make the town centre a free wifi area and especially the whole of the taxi rank at the bus station. The Chair thought that there was free wifi in place but would check with the Eastleigh Local Area Manager.

20.

Resurfacing - Nightingale Avenue and bottom of Leigh Road (AL)

Minutes:

AL pointed out that the road surfaces on some roads in Eastleigh caused problems with passengers. Councillor Clarke advised that roads were Hampshire County Council’s responsibility, however with borderless boundaries and shrinking budgets nobody was taking responsibility. He would endeavour to push it forward at the Local Area Committee meetings.

21.

DBS Renewal (KM)

Minutes:

KM referred to a case where the Licence and Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) renewal were co-ordinated. One of his drivers had been refused her licence as the DBS had not been renewed. KM said it had not been renewed as it had a year left to run.

 

Discussion took place over the particular case and the various methods of contact made by the Licensing Team, to highlight that licence renewal and DBS checks should be co-ordinated. The licence was ready for collection but they were waiting on the DBS check.

 

PB added that the DBS did not have a life span, it could only be accurate at the time it was requested, and at the time of licence application the onus is on the applicant to prove that they are fit and proper. The renewal needs to be in line with the renewal of their licence. This is a one off necessity as from then on the Licence and DBS renewal would be co-ordinated.

22.

First Aid Kit and Fire Extinguishers (AJ)

Minutes:

The Licensing Team no longer felt it necessary or practical, as a condition of a licence, for drivers to carry a First Aid Kit and Fire Extinguishers. PB advised that the Hampshire Fire and Rescue’s advice was ‘to run’.

 

It was agreed that this condition be removed from the Handbook.

23.

Credit Card Payments (AJ)

Minutes:

AJ reported that the Team had received complaints that some drivers were using the credit card payment as a tool not to get short fares, and some were displaying signs in vehicles that they would only accept it over £5. The sign should be removed and all payments accepted.

 

SC stated that some drivers would make various excuses as it was not a requirement in the terms and conditions. PB responded that if they had the facilities to accept card payments there was not a reason to refuse and the enforcement team would be conducting test purchases.

24.

AOB

Minutes:

AL enquired about lines in the rank being repainted; and the Depot looking at cars every two years. PN was to reconvene meeting.

 

SC pointed out that some Havant private hire cars carried no signage. PB advised that he would raise it at the Hampshire Group meeting, but it was something that fell within the Task and Finish Group.