Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Anne Beauchamp  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

Councillor A Hodson in the Chair

7.

MEMBERS' CODE OF CONDUCT - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Committee are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non pecuniary interests, in connection with any application on the agenda and state the nature of the interest.

Minutes:

Members of the Committee were asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non pecuniary interests in connection with any application on the agenda and state the nature of the interest.

 

Councillor T Norbury declared a personal interest in respect of item 11 – Review of Hackney Carriage Fares by virtue of him being a Branch Secretary of Unite the Union.

 

Councillor J Bird declared a personal interest in respect of item 11 – Review of Hackney Carriage Fares by virtue of being a Member of Unite the Union.

8.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 22 May 2019.

Minutes:

Resolved – That the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 22 May 2019 be approved.

9.

CHANGE OF MEMBERSHIP OF THE LICENSING PANEL

To replace the third Conservative Member of the Licensing Panel.

 

Minutes:

Members of the Committee were invited to replace the third Conservative Member of the Licensing Panel.

 

On a motion by Councillor I Lewis and seconded by Councillor L Rowlands it was –

 

Resolved – That Councillor M Collins be appointed as the third Conservative Member of the Licensing Panel.

10.

REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS AND PLACES 2019 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Governance and Assurance (Monitoring Officer) provided a report advising Members of the arrangements for the statutory polling district and polling place review that was currently being undertaken within the Borough. 

 

The Electoral Services Manager reported that the review commenced on 19 August 2019 and would conclude on 18 October 2019.  The details of the review were outlined within the report and Members were informed that the Electoral Administration Act 2013 states that the reviews must be carried out every five years.  The proposed changes would be presented for approval to the Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee meeting on 20 November 2019.  Members were advised that this would enable any proposed changes to the Electoral Register to be made and effective upon its publication on 1 December 2019.

 

Resolved – That the report be noted and any changes to the current arrangements be presented for approval at the next Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee scheduled to be held on 20 November 2019.

11.

REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE FARES pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Minutes:

  Councillor T Norbury declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of him being Branch Secretary of Unite the Union (minute 7 refers).

 

Councillor J Bird declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a Member of Unite the Union (minute 7 refers).

 

The Director of Governance and Assurance reported upon a proposal submitted by Unite Hackney Carriage trade representatives to increase the Hackney Carriage Tariffs.

 

The Licensing Manager advised that the last increase of hackney carriage fares was in November 2018 and that the proposal submitted was to increase the tariffs with effect from 1 November 2019 by an average of 3.6%.  It was noted that due to the way the fares are calculated, the increase at all distances will not necessarily be equal to 3.6%.  Members had been provided with a comparison table outlining the current and proposed rates, a table showing the effect of the proposed increases and also a table comparing the current and proposed tariffs with neighbouring local authorities. 

 

The Licensing Manager referred to a letter and a petition signed by 51 Hackney Carriage Drivers which had also been submitted and advised that the author of the letter accompanying the petition was unable to attend the meeting however had requested that Members note the opposition to the proposal as it would not be detrimental to the Hackney Carriage trade.

 

Mr D Cummins, Unite the Union attended the meeting and made representations.  He referred to a decision made by the Committee on 24 September 2007 to consider an annual review of fares based upon the Public Carriage Office (PCO) recommendations for London.  He requested that the Committee apply the PCO formula which he believed would result in a 3.6% increase.

 

Mr Hazlehurst, Unite the Union also attended the meeting and advised that he had submitted the proposal however he believed that this would result in only a small rise and it would not be equivalent to 3.6%.

 

The Licensing Manager clarified that the proposed increase had been calculated on the proposal outlined within an email submitted by Mr Hazlehurst.

 

Mr Hazlehurst addressed the Committee and advised that the content of his email did not reflect his proposal in respect of the increase in fares.

 

On a motion by Councillor I Lewis and seconded by Councillor M Collins it was –

 

Resolved – That officers seek further clarification in respect of the proposal to amend the Hackney Carriage fare tariff and that a further report be brought back to the next meeting of this Committee.

12.

HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER LICENCE APPLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Governance and Assurance submitted a report requesting Members to consider introducing a limit on the number of times an individual may undertake the Knowledge Test during their application for a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Driver Licence and to introduce a requirement that an individual must re-sit the complete test should they fail to pass any one module.  Members were also requested to consider setting a time limit of six months for an applicant to complete all the necessary requirements to be considered for the grant of a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Driver Licence.

 

The Licensing Manager advised that there had been cost implications and an impact on staffing resources on occasions when applicants had taken the test on a number of occasions and also believed that applicants would be better prepared and more focussed should the limit be introduced.

 

In response to questions from Members, the Licensing Manager provided details in respect of the test and advised that all the requirements could be completed within a six month period.

 

On a motion by Councillor M Collins and seconded by Councillor L Rowlands it was –

 

Resolved – That with effect from 1 October 2019, the Committee agree the following policy be applied to the application procedure for the granting of a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Driver Licence:

 

1.  An individual who fails to pass any module or modules of the Knowledge Test must retake the complete Knowledge Test.  This re-sit of the test must take place within three months of taking the test for the first time.  An individual who fails to pass the test on the second attempt be prohibited from taking the test for a period of six months from the date of the second attempt.

 

2.  A time limit of six months be imposed for an applicant to complete all the necessary requirements to be considered for the grant of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver Licence.