Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Breckland Conference Centre, Anglia Room, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Media

Items
No. Item

26/22

Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meetings held on 20 July 2022.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2022 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

27/22

Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ashby, Dale and Kiddle-Morris.

28/22

Urgent Business (Agenda item 3)

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.

Minutes:

None.

29/22

Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 4)

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.

 

Minutes:

None declared.

30/22

Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda item 5)

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

Minutes:

None.

31/22

Breckland Taxi Policy and Procedures - Medical Exemption Policy (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Report of Craig Fowler – Environmental Health & Licensing Manager.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Josie Hoven, the Senior Licensing Officer provided Members with a detailed overview of the report.

 

On 28 June 2022 the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 came into effect making changes to The Equality Act 2010. Those changes introduced new and amended existing duties for local authorities and hackney carriage/private hire drivers and operators alike.

 

The aim of the 2022 Act was to ensure that disabled people could use taxi and private hire services with confidence, and would not be discriminated against, and assistance would be given where required.

 

The Licensing Team had contacted all licensed drivers and operators to advise them of these changes. The Act allowed an exemption to be applied for should a driver be unable to carry out the duties required under the Equality Act 2010 on medical grounds.

 

Members were being asked if a section to the Breckland Taxi Policy and Procedures could be added that formally sets out the procedure for applying for exemption from those duties – the Medical Exemption Policy.

 

The new section advises that an application for exemption could be made using the new application form that must be completed by a GP.  

 

If approved, the applicant would be given an exemption certificate to display in their vehicle. This would enable anyone approaching the vehicle to see that the driver was exempt from assisting. The exemption certificate could be time limited (i.e., due to injury a driver would be exempted from duties for 3 months) or a permanent exemption which would be reviewed at each renewal application every three years. A copy of the proposed Medical Exemption Policy could be found at Appendix A of the report.

 

The following 3 minor amendments to the Appendix, suggested by Councillor Monument, were agreed:

 

Page 13 of the agenda pack:

 

To carry the passenger’s guide or assistance dog……

 

Page 14 of the agenda pack (2nd paragraph):

 

Upon receipt of a second doctor’s note, the licensing team may either accept the doctor’s note or require the driver to be referred to a health centre……

 

Page 14 of the agenda pack (3rd paragraph):

 

On the basis ofnot being a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

 

Although this might not form part of this Policy, Councillor Morton asked if Breckland Council had the ability, if a firm applied for a medical exemption for one driver, if they could then employ that driver in another car, so the number of taxis could be retained for disabled people. Members were informed that Breckland did not have any drivers with medical exemptions as yet but in general, if a wheelchair accessible vehicle or assistance was required an assumption would be made that the operator had asked that question and only provide employ a driver who could provide that assistance.

 

In response to a question about whether drivers had to pay for their medical examination to be provided with a certificate by their General Practitioner, Members were informed that they did.

 

RESOLVED that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31/22

32/22

Next Meeting (Agenda item 7)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting on Wednesday, 11 January 2023 at 10am in the Anglia Room, the Conference Suite, Dereham.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting on Wednesday, 11 January 2023 at 10am in the Anglia Room were noted.