Venue: Remote Meeting via Zoom
Contact: Chris Cadman-Dando
Democratic Services Officer
01903 221073 Email: email@example.com
Declarations of Interest / Substitute Members
Members and officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to
any business on the agenda. Declarations should also be made at any stage such
an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.
If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.
Cllr Dawn Smith declared an interest as a parent of a child attending a school mentioned in item 6
Cllr Hazel Thorpe declared a substitution for Cllr Robert Smytherman
Confirmation of Minutes
To approve the minutes of the Licensing and Control Committee A meeting of held
on the 19 October 2020, copies of which have been previously circulated.
Resolved: that the minutes of the Licensing and Control Committee A meeting of held on the 19 October 2020 be approved as the correct record
Public Question Time
To receive any questions from Members of the public in accordance with Standing
( Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)
A Member of the Public asked the following question:
The taxi trade asked in 2019 where were the complaints regarding the lack of wheelchair vehicles on the taxi ranks and the licensing committee based their decision for more wheelchair vehicles on the taxi ranks at the meeting held on the 13th of February 2019, I was told they are published on the Worthing council website, the only complaints I can see that are displayed or published are those relating to the private hire trade when ( booking or calling), there are no phones or offices at the taxi rank as they are for immediate hire only and rely solely on passing foot trade, so where are these complaints relating to the taxi trade on the taxi ranks.
The Licensing Officer answered the question as follows:
The ‘Taxi and private hire vehicle statistics - England: 2020’ published by the Department for Transport in December 2020 strongly reflect the figures of 2019. The latest statistics show that nationally 57% of licensed hackney carriages were wheelchair accessible and in London all were wheelchair accessible. In Worthing only 19% of Hackney Carriages are wheelchair accessible.
This Committee reviewed the Worthing Handbook in February 2019. A completely redrafted handbook had been approved in September 2016 and would normally be fully reviewed every 5 years. However, in March 2017 this committee requested an interim review be carried out after 2 years because the new handbook departed substantially from the previous.
Among other issues the Committee considered at the interim review were representations from groups asking that more Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles were provided and that rear loading wheelchair accessible vehicles be allowed as Hackney Carriage Vehicles to encourage the trade to provide such vehicles. As members are aware these are cheaper to purchase.
In light of these representations received during the review consultation and the plans that WSCC had in place to redevelop the area around the Chapel Road and Station ranks, including making changes to the ranks themselves, the committee agreed to amend the conditions regarding wheelchair accessible vehicles contained in the handbook to allow rear loading wheelchair accessible vehicles to be licenced as Hackney Carriages.
I am unaware of any request from the taxi trade from 2019 asking for copies of complaints regarding the lack of wheelchair vehicles on the taxi ranks. Certainly, the trade would not be advised that they would be published. Complaints made to the Council, including those regarding Taxis, are not published. Rather, all the representations received regarding wheelchair accessible vehicles were published in full in the Committee report reviewing the Council’s handbook and are published in full on the Council’s website and I can provide Mr Carrington with the relevant link. These include the representation from UNITE, on behalf of the trade, supporting the licensing of rear loading vehicles as Hackney Carriages.
A Member of the public asked the following question:
Licensing officer Simon Jones stated at the last operational trade meeting held in October 2020 that the ... view the full minutes text for item LCCA/9/20-21
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 - Proposed Increase in the Worthing Hackney Carriage Tariff PDF 1 MB
To consider a report by the Director for Communities, copy attached as item 4
Before the Committee was a report by the Director for Communities, copies of which had been circulated to all members. A copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as item 4. Members were requested to consider an application received from the Chair of the Worthing Hackney Carriage trade for an increase in the Hackney Carriage Tariff.
The Licensing Officer introduced the report to the Committee and answered questions to clarify what changes of tariff would mean. Members were told that short journeys would cost approximately 50p more than the current tariff and that had been verified that a significant Members of the trade had supported the proposed increase.
The Chair of the Hackney Carriage Trade introduced the application to members and answered questions about the working of the tariff.
The Members debated the tariff and on a vote agreed that the proposed tariff should be put to public consultation. The Licensing Officer explained that the matter would be brought back to members should there be any unmediated public representations on the proposed increase.
Resolved: That the request for a change tariff be approved subject to public consultation
Exclusion of the Press and Public
In the opinion of the Proper Officer the press and public should be excluded from
the meeting for consideration of items 12 and 13. Therefore the meeting is asked
to consider passing the following resolution:
'that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and
press be excluded from the meeting from the following items of business on the
grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in
the paragraph of Part 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act indicated against the item'
Resolved: that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting from the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act indicated against the item.
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 - Determination of a review of a Private Hire Driver’s Licence
To consider a report by the Director for Communities, copy attached as item 6
Before the committee was a report by the Director for Communities, copies of which had been circulated to all members, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as item 5. Members were asked to review a Private Hire Drivers’ Licence the details of which meant that it was appropriate for the Committee to consider the application
The Committee carried out the procedure before it.
The meeting adjourned at 7.15pm for the members to consider their decision and reconvened at 8.36pm
The meeting was told that in reaching its decision, the Licensing Committee gave due regard to relevant legislation and guidance within the Councils Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Handbook. The Committee also gave regard to human rights legislation and the rules of natural justice. Due consideration was given to representations that were made at the hearing and in writing.
Resolved: that the licence be suspended for a period of 12 weeks and it be required that the respondent successfully complete an advanced driving assessment with Sussex Safer Roads as soon as a course is available
Reasons for decision: The Committee are concerned about the number of incidents before them that they have been asked to consider and the fact that the respondent has only held their private hire licence since 11th March 2019. The respondent appeared to show no remorse or accept the seriousness of their actions. A suspension for a period of 12 weeks is proportionate in all the circumstances and will allow them to reflect on their actions and ensure that when they re-commence driving it is to a high standard. The Sussex Safer Roads course it is hoped will be available after 12 weeks and this too will ensure the standard of driving is that required of a private hire taxi driver.