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Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents
To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).
(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).
There were no appeals.
Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public
1 To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.
2 To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.
3 If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-
RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:
No exempt items have been identified.
There was no exempt information.
To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.
(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)
There were no late items.
Declaration of Interests
To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.
No declarations were made.
Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes
To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Almass, Chapman and France-Mir. Apologies were also submitted on behalf of Councillor Flynn who was in attendance as a signatory to the call-in but not sitting as a Board Member.
Councillors Harrington, Jenkins and Walshaw were in attendance as substitutes.
To consider a report from the Head of Democratic Services advising the Scrutiny Board on the procedural aspects of Calling In the decision.
The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report advising the Scrutiny Board on the procedural aspects of Calling In the decision.
Members were particularly advised that the Call In is specific to the relevant report considered by the Executive Board, and issues outside of the decision, including other related decisions, were not to be considered as part of the Board’s decision regarding the outcome of the Call In.
Members were also advised that the options available to the Scrutiny Board in respect of this particular called in decision were as follows:
Option 1- Release the decision for implementation
Having reviewed this decision, the Scrutiny Board may decide to release it for implementation. If the Scrutiny Board chooses this option, the decision will be immediately released for implementation and the decision may not be called in again.
Option 2 - Recommend that the decision be reconsidered
The Scrutiny Board may decide to recommend to the decision maker that the decision be reconsidered. If the Scrutiny Board chooses this option a report will be submitted to the decision maker.
In the case of an Executive Board decision, the report of the Scrutiny Board will be prepared within three working days of the Scrutiny Board meeting and submitted to the Executive Board. Any report of the Scrutiny Board will be referred to the next Executive Board meeting for consideration.
In reconsidering the decision and associated Scrutiny Board report, the Executive Board may vary the decision or confirm its original decision. In either case, this will form the basis of the final decision and will not be subject to any further call in.
Failure to agree one of the above options
If the Scrutiny Board, for any reason, does not agree one of the above courses of action at this meeting, then Option 1 will be adopted by default, i.e. the decision will be released for implementation with no further recourse to call in.
RESOLVED – That the report outlining the call in procedures be noted.
To consider a report from the Head of Democratic Services. This presents background information relating to an Executive Board decision, which has been ‘called in’ in accordance with procedures set out within the Council’s Constitution.
The original decision taken by the Executive Board on 21 September 2022 relates to Taxi & Private Hire Licensing - Results of Consultation on Suitability (Minor Motoring Convictions).
The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that presented background papers to an Executive Board decision which had been called in in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
The decision had been called in for review by Councillors Billy Flynn, Andrew Hutchison, Neil Buckley, Mike Foster and Linda Richards.
The Scrutiny Board considered the following written information:
- Copy of the completed Call In request form.
- Report of the Director of Communities, Housing and Environment ‘Taxi & Private Hire Licensing – Results of Consultation on Suitability (minor Motoring Convictions) presented to Executive Board at its meeting on 21 September 2022.
- Extract from the draft minutes of the Executive Board meeting held on 21 September 2022.
The following were in attendance:
- Councillor Billy Flynn, Lead Signatory to the Call-in
- Councillor Deborah Coupar, Executive Member
- Councillor James Gibson, Chair of the Licensing Committee
- James Rogers – Director of Communities, Housing and Environment
- John Mulcahy – Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory
- Andrew White – Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Manager
- Kev Shillito – Section Head, Legal Services
- Nikki Deol, Legal Adviser to the Scrutiny Board
As the Nominated Lead Signatory to the Call In, Councillor Flynn addressed the Board. Councillor Flynn raised the following issues:
· The taxi and private hire trade was an essential part of the city economy and in particular the night time economy.
· The trade had been under pressure since the lockdown. They were hard hit during the lockdown due to their self-employed status and have also suffered due to roadworks. Other factors included a reduction in the number of pick up and drop off points and a fall in customers due to people working from home. The trade had subsequently lost a lot of drivers.
· There was a need to safeguard vulnerable people who used taxis and private hire vehicles but this decision only related to minor motoring convictions.
· The guidance was flexible and allowed alterations to local policy. Dozens of local authorities have done this including other West Yorkshire authorities.
· Drivers had to satisfy the Council that they were a fit and proper person to obtain a licence and Leeds was seen as having one of the toughest regimes for vehicle and driver standards.
· The current policy had only seen 6 licences revoked due to accumulation of points over the past 9 years. It was questioned as to why there was a need to change the policy in light of this.
· Reference was made to work that had been ongoing to improve communications with representatives of a trade which included cross party working.
· The call-in had followed two sets of consultation and various demonstrations from representatives of the trade. The final set of consultations that had been considered by the Executive Board had not been supported by the trade.
· Following meetings with trade representatives, Councillor Flynn had written to the previous Chair of the Licensing Committee and the Leader of the Council regarding the strong concerns with regard to ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
Outcome of the Call In
To consider the Board’s formal conclusions and recommendations arising from the consideration of the called-in decision.
The Scrutiny Board considered whether or not to release the decision for implementation. A vote was subsequently held and the Scrutiny Board agreed (by majority decision) that the decision be released.
RESOLVED – That the decision be released for implementation
Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place on 7 November 2022 at 10am. There will be a pre-meet for Board members at 9.45am.
Monday, 7 November 2022 at 10.00 a.m. Pre-meet for all Board Members at 9.45 a.m.