Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meetings held on 27 March 2019.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bowes, Dowling and Dale.



Urgent Business

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.




Declaration of Interests

The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011.  Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.





Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.




Draft Taxi Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Report of Donna Hall, the Licensing & Business Support Manager.

Additional documents:


The Licensing Team Leader, Heather Lawson, presented the report to the Members emphasising it was a draft document and outlined the specific changes to the previous Policy.


The main topics that triggered discussion were:


·         Changes to the sections regarding types of vehicles, age limits, emission standards and electric vehicles

·         Wheelchair access and disability adaptations to vehicles to support this

·         CCTV within vehicles, conditions and standards

·         Pushchairs, babies and children and the legal requirements

·         Tinted Windows

·         E-hailing

·         English tests and qualifications and the requirement to be able to read and write in English


There followed an in depth discussion on all of the above with particular attention to the Wheelchair access information. The draft Policy suggested that all Hackney Carriages taxis should eventually be adapted for wheelchair access and Members required further clarity on this point. There were marked differences between different types of wheelchairs, access and public requirements. Some disabilities required the customer to remain in the wheelchair at all times so would need the room to manoeuvre and access for the wheelchair, with a ramp to enter the vehicle and security fixings inside the cab itself. Whilst other customers may need the wheelchair for assistance with walking but could get in and out of the wheelchair and into the cab by themselves and under those circumstances the wheelchair could be folded and put into the boot.


It also raised the question of training to ensure the drivers were competent in the securing of the wheelchair within the vehicle, and the cost of the training would more than likely be borne by the driver which would be an additional cost. Some drivers were self-employed which would possibly price them out of the market. Members discussed the possibility of having a small percentage of vehicles with wheelchair access rather than a whole fleet. The cost implications for drivers to adapt cars for wheelchair access and, in addition, meet the requirements for emission standards was felt possibly too much for taxi drivers to pay with insufficient time to achieve the standards which may be required.


The Chairman suggested if it was a percentage of drivers that were wheelchair accessible and trained, it could be published on the Breckland Council website and in the Breckland Magazine so customers were aware how to contact the drivers. It was also felt consultation with the relevant disabled access groups and users should be carried out to find the possible requirements at this time in such a rural area compared to large cities and towns, along with consultations with the trade.


The Licensing Business and Support Manager, Donna Hall asked the Committee to make a decision on what they thought the requirements should be regarding wheelchair access, whether it should be all taxis or a percentage. Members agreed it should be a percentage of Hackney Carriages should be wheelchair accessible but this needs further consideration and Members also asked for clarity on the different types of wheelchair access before the policy went out to consultation.


Members also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting is Wednesday, 8 January 2020 at 10am in the Norfolk Room.


The arrangements for the next meeting on Wednesday, 8 January 2020 were duly noted.


N.B. Subsequent to the meeting, the above meeting date was postponed and will now take place at 10am, Tuesday 28 January 2020, in the Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE.