Venue: Committee Room, Civic Offices, Leigh Road, Eastleigh
Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8112; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2013.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2013 be confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Members are invited to declare interests in relation to items of business on the agenda. Any interests declared will be recorded in the Minutes.
Councillor Olson declared an Interest in agenda item 4, Proposed Vehicle Age Policy, because his son runs an MOT testing centre.
Councillor Mrs Welsh declared an Interest in agenda item 5, Polling Review 2013/14, because she is the Honorary Treasurer of Hedge End Village Hall Management Committee and involved in the hiring of Polling Stations to Eastleigh Borough Council.
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services that proposed a vehicle age policy for vehicles that were licensed by the Council as hackney carriages or private hire vehicles. This would ensure that the licensed fleet comprised more modern vehicles, met the safety standards and current CO2 emissions.
The age policy issue was initially raised by the trade at a Licensed Transport Forum meeting in January 2013. A working group was set up, comprising Councillors, officers and forum members from both the hackney and private hire trade. It was proposed that any new vehicles to be licensed should be no more than 7 years of age from date of first registration and no more than 12 years on renewal. The gradual introduction of the 12 year upper age limit over three years was considered appropriate in helping vehicle owners to plan for future replacement of vehicles.
It was reported that currently there were 9 licensed vehicles over 15 years of age which would require replacing by October 2014, and a further 78 vehicles aged between 12 and 14 years to be replaced in the timescales set out in Appendix 1 to the report.
It was appreciated that the proposals may cause difficulties for some small businesses, however Members felt it was vitally important to ensure the safety of passengers. The proposals were strong and robust and seen as a reasonable and fair policy. It would improve the Borough’s image and ensure viable business availability and public safety. In time it was hoped that the age limit of vehicles could be reduced further, in line with the policies of other neighbouring authorities.
That a Vehicle Age Policy relating to both Private Hire and Hackney
Carriage Vehicles, as set out in Appendix 1 to this report, be
approved with effect from October 2014.
(2) That with effect from 1 October 2014, a vehicle first presented for licensing would only be licensed as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle if it was no more than 7 years old.
(3) That with effect from 1 October 2014, hackney carriage or private hire vehicles over 15 years old would no longer be licensed, reduced to 12 years by 1 October 2017 as shown in Appendix 1 to the report.
(4) That with effect from 1 October 2014, an exemption to the policy in 3 above will be made for purpose built wheelchair accessible vehicles and those with executive certificates issued by Eastleigh Borough Council which would continue to be licensed until they reach 15 years of age.
(5) That authority be given to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services to depart from this policy in such cases where departure be justified.
(NOTE: (1) Councillor Olson declared an interest in this item and remained in the room during its consideration; (2) One member of the private hire trade spoke in objection to the proposals, and three members of the hackney carriage trade and one private hire vehicle owner spoke in support of the proposals; all five of the speakers were members of the Licensed Transport Forum.)
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which set out the comments received during a consultation on the Polling Review and suggested changes for future elections.
Members noted the comments received and asked if these could be taken into consideration for the next consultation.
(1) That the findings of the Polling Review 2013/14 be noted, and the Committee’s thanks to respondents be recorded;
(2) That the polling station for HG and HG(2) be moved from Wellstead Primary School, Wellstead Way to The Salvation Army Church and Community Centre, White’s Way for the forthcoming European and Borough elections on Thursday 22 May 2014 and for all future elections held in that area; and
(3) That all other existing arrangements in respect of polling districts and polling places remain as at present.
(NOTE: Councillor Welsh declared and interest in this item, remained in the room and voted.)