Deregulation Bill 2014
To receive the report of Assistant Director Community.
The Licensing Officer presented the report which updated Members on changes to legislation. The De-regulation Bill had recently received Royal Assent and a commencement date was awaited. The legislation was now known as the De-regulation Act 2015.
The main changes were alterations to the duration of licences for drivers and changes to the sub-contracting regulations. They were set out in paragraphs 1.3 to 1.8 of the report.
Concern was raised about the lack of details regarding sub-contracting. It was expected that central government would issue guidance but another option would be to attach a condition, if the Council saw fit, requiring records to be kept, etc.
Although sub-contracting occurred already it could only be done between taxis that were licensed by the same authority. Under the new legislation it would be acceptable to sub-contract to a firm licensed by another authority. That raised concerns about where responsibility would lie if there were problems or complaints.
It was confirmed that the Council could apply conditions to new and existing licences requiring record keeping, as long as they were justified and proportionate. However, if Members were minded to impose such conditions it would be good to carry out consultation first.
It was noted that the Council’s Taxi Policy had been adopted in 2007 and would be reviewed once the new legislation commenced. The Chairman pointed out that it was the General Purposes Committee that set the Policy but she thought that a condition requiring record-keeping of sub-contracted jobs should be applied after consultation with the Taxi operators.
RESOLVED that the proposed changes to Private Hire and Hackney Carriage legislation be noted; and
RECOMMEND TO GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE that when the legislation came into force a condition should be introduced to ensure that records of sub-contracted work were kept.
The Licensing Officer said that she would check to see if the taxi companies currently kept records of any sub-contracted work.