Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds

Contact: John Grieve, Governance Services, Tel (0113) 37 88662 

Link: to view the meeting

Items
No. Item

32.

Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2 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 15.2, written notice of an appeal must be received by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals against the refusal of inspection of documents.

 

33.

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 those 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

 

Minutes:

There were no late items identified where it was considered necessary to exclude the press or public from the meeting due to the nature of the business to be considered.

 

34.

Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration

 

(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes)

 

Minutes:

Although there were formal late items the Committee did acknowledge receipt of representations from the Hackney Carriage Association and Joint Trades Council who had offered comment on the Taxi and Private Hire Harmonisation proposals (Item No. 9 of the agenda)

35.

Declaration of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests made at the meeting.

 

36.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence (If any)

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors: H Bithell, A Garthwaite and A Smart.

 

 

37.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To consider and approve the minutes of the last meeting held on 10th August 2021.

 

 

(Copy attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th August 2021, were accepted as a true and correct record.

 

38.

Matters Arising from the Minutes

To consider any matters arising from the minutes.

Minutes:

There were no issues raised under Matters Arising.

 

39.

Cumulative Impact Assessment pdf icon PDF 446 KB

To consider a report of the Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory which seeks approval for an interim review and consultation to ensure that the cumulative impact areas remain in place until a detailed and thorough review of the assessment can take place in 2022.

 

 

(Report attached)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory submitted a report which sought approval for an interim review and consultation to ensure that the cumulative impact areas remained in place until a detailed and thorough review of the assessment could take place in 2022.

 

Addressing the report, the Principal Licensing Officer explained that following the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown measures, activity within the city centre and other cumulative impact areas was significantly reduced. It was further reported that crime rates for the same period were also low.

 

Members were informed that in July 2021 corona virus restrictions were relaxed resulting in an increase of the activity within the night-time economy. As night-time activity increased so did the crime rates.

 

Members were informed that the last assessment was undertaken in 2018.

 

The Principal Licensing Officer said it was important that up-to-date intelligence and analysis was now gathered to determine if the cumulative impact areas remained appropriate.

 

Members were supportive of the proposal for an interim review and consultation

 

RESOLVED – That approval be given for an interim review and consultation to ensure that the cumulative impact areas remain appropriate until a detailed and thorough review of the assessment can take place in 2022.

40.

Taxi & Private Hire Licensing - West Yorkshire & York Harmonisation pdf icon PDF 282 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory which provides a summary of progress by the council and neighbouring councils on aligning taxi and private hire policies and practice to improve passenger safety.

 

 

(Report attached)

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory submitted a report which provided a summary of progress by the council and neighbouring councils on aligning taxi and private hire policies and practice to improve passenger safety.

 

Addressing the report, the Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Manager spoke of the main issues in trying to align different taxi and private hire policies and practice. Members were informed that the five West Yorkshire Council’s plus the City of York Council had identified six areas where they could work to improve passenger safety in the region:

 

·  CCTV in vehicles to discourage and detect inappropriate behaviour by any person in a taxi or private hire vehicle

·  Convictions (now called Suitability) to take steps so that an individual

  with convictions and allegations against them couldnt move from being

  licensed by one licensing authority and moving to another without   being properly checked

·  Driver training to develop common training policies and assessment

  methods and standards

·  Enforcement capacity and practice to strengthen on street enforcement and equip enforcement teams with the means to take or initiate enforcement action on drivers and vehicles licensed in other licensing authorities

·  Information sharing to improve information sharing about licence holders who are believed to pose a risk to passengers across the region

·  Vehicle conditions to improve vehicle condition standards so that a weak policy in one authority does not pose risks across the region.

 

Members were informed that the six local authorities had all implemented driver training policies, information sharing and suitability policies, and delivered cross-border enforcement powers and staff training. However, there remained outstanding areas of policy development, vehicle conditions was highlighted by the trade as a particular area of concern along with cross border working.

 

The Chair asked if a report could be prepared for a future meeting of this committee which provided an indication of the number of taxi drivers operating in Leeds who were registered elsewhere.

 

In terms of discussions with the trade, the Chair said he was willing to meet with the trade to discuss areas of concern but a practical working relationship with structured meetings was required.

 

In the discussion that followed Members were informed that up to 700 vehicles and 300 drivers may not return to the taxi and private hire industry, many drivers choosing alternative driving opportunities where the driver operating conditions and the requirement around vehicle standards was not as robust as those for a taxi/ hackney carriage vehicle.

 

One Member said the taxi and private hire trade had been badly affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic and suggested that discussions round harmonisation be paused until the trade had time to recover.

 

The Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Manager said many other City Regions and Local Authorities were involved in harmonisation discussions some using alternative models (Manchester)

 

The Chair suggested it would be useful to know what alternative models were been considered and to understand what the priorities were in other areas.

 

The Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Manager said  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 262 KB

To consider and approve the Licensing Committee Work Programme

 

 

(Copy attached)

Minutes:

Members considered the ongoing Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2021/22.

 

RESOLVED – That the Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2021/22 be approved.

 

42.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting will take place on Tuesday, 14th December 2021 at 10.00am in the Civic Hall, Leeds.

Minutes:

RESOLVED - To note that the next meeting will take place on Tuesday, 14th December 2021 at 10.00am in the Civic Hall, Leeds.