Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meetings held on 21 November 2018.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

2.

Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Bowes.

 

Members conveyed their best wishes to Councillor Bowes following a recent operation.

3.

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.

4.

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.

5.

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:

Councillor Robert Richmond was in attendance to observe the meeting.

6.

Department for Transport Taxi Licensing Consultation (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Report of Phil Adams, Executive Manager, People and Public Protection.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Donna Hall, the Licensing & Business Support Manager presented the report. 

 

Breckland Council had a statutory duty to license taxis, private hire vehicles, their drivers and operators.

 

The Department for Transport had issued and were currently consulting on Statutory Guidance for Licensing Authorities.  The Guidance addressed how licensing authorities should use their powers to protect children and vulnerable adults.

 

Members were asked to consider the draft Statutory Guidance and agree consultation responses to submit to the Department for Transport.  The Committee’s response would result in shaping the draft Statutory Guidance through the consultation process.

 

Appended to the report were the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing – Protecting Users: Statutory Guidance for Licensing Authorities (consultation version) and the consultation questions and response form.

 

The Licensing & Business Support Manager highlighted each question in turn whilst referring to specific sections of the Statutory Guidance throughout and Josie Hoven, the Licensing Officer also made reference to guidance issued by James Button, a solicitor and legal expert in the field of taxi licensing.

 

The recommendations for questions 3 to 9, 11 to 26 and 28 to 29 were agreed; however, for questions 10, 27, 30 and 31 the responses were as follows:

 

·        Question 10 – the recommendation was irresolute as the Licensing Authority did not make referrals direct to the DBS

·        Question 27 – no opinion was given

·        Question 30 -   Members felt that the list did not provide enough detail to aid consistency in the ‘fit and proper’ assessment for licences.  It was agreed that more detail should be provided as shown in the 2018 Institute of Licensing (IOL) Guidance

·        Question 31 – Members did not believe that they had the expertise to determine if there were any additional offences that should be added to the list in Annex A although it was suggested that further detail in respect of cautions should be clarified.

 

Under each question, a comment box had been provided to allow for further explanation.  Under certain questions the following comments were added:

 

·        Question 4 – Breckland Council, as the Licensing Authority, already operated such a procedure

·        Question 5 – although Members had agreed the recommendation – that all issued licences should be reviewed following changes in licensing policy (paragraph 2.29), it was felt that a pragmatic approach should be taken in terms of timescales and decisions

·        Question 11 – although Members had agreed with this recommendation as the Licensing Team already had these checks in place, Councillor Gilbert felt that these checks should be strengthened

·        Question 13 – again it was felt that the guidance should be strengthened so all licensing authorities had no choice but to use the national register of taxi and PHV driver licence refusal and revocations (NR3) to improve information sharing

·        Question 14 – the recommendation had been agreed; however, Members felt that applicants should be given the chance to explain why they had an application refused, or had a licence revoked or suspended elsewhere and have regard to the circumstances

·        Question 16 – Members’ agreed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

AOB

Minutes:

The Licensing & Business Support Manager provided Members with an update on Animal Welfare.

 

The Licensing Team had worked hard and done a great job in re-licensing every premise since the new regulations came into force.  The next phase included the licensing of exhibition animals which was new to this authority. 

 

Members were given a flavour of the places that the Licensing Officer had visited and the animals that she had seen.