Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee
Tuesday, 5th March, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds

Contact: Governance Services  37 88662

Items
No. Item

94.

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:

The Chair admitted the following late items to the Agenda:

 

·  Taxi & Private Hire Licensing – Results of consultation on Suitability and Driver Training Policy

·  Taxi & Private Hire Licensing – New Statutory Guidance from the Department of Transport

 

 

95.

Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31 of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-16 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

 

 

96.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence (If any)

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors B Gettings and G Wilkinson.

 

 

97.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider and approve the minutes of the last meeting held on 5th February 2019.

 

 

(Copy attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2019 be confirmed as correct record.

 

 

98.

Annual Licensing Report 2018 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory which presents the Annual Licensing Report for 2018

 

 

(Report attached)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory presented the annual report for 2018.

 

Nicola Raper, Section Head, Entertainment Licensing and Andrew White, Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Manager presented the report.

 

The report covered the 2018 calendar year for both Entertainment and Taxi & Private Hire Licensing.  Issues highlighted from the report included the following:

 

·  Partnerships involved with Entertainment Licensing.

·  Proactive work including objectives to apps in CIP areas

·  Training available for night time economy providers

·  Complaints investigated and resolved

·  Reviews carried out under the Licensing Act

·  Gambling – agreement with the Large Casino provider to support those with gambling problems.

·  Outdoor events – major events would be held at Elland Road, Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam in the coming year.

 

In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:

 

·  There was a code of practice for all gambling operators to provide support and information for problem gamblers and staff should be trained to identify issues.  Problem gamblers could be prevented from gambling by operators or through self-exclusion and information on further support was available for those with problems.

·  Adult shops – the number across the city had dropped.

·  Equality issues – complaints had been received of cases relating to gender and disability access.  Work had been done with license holders regarding accessibility.

·  Purple flag accreditation – this had been awarded following an assessment of the night time economy.  This was the second year that Leeds had received the accreditation.  There had been publicity of the accreditation when first awarded.

·  Further concerns regarding protection for problem gamblers – issues discussed included reduction of stakes for foxed odd betting terminals; responsibilities of operators.  Checks and visits to gambling establishments were carried out by Licensing Officers.

 

With regard to Taxi and Private Hire Licensing, the following was highlighted:

 

·  There had been a reduction in the number of license refusals and revocations.

·  There had been fewer applications.  It was thought that drivers had chosen to be licensed elsewhere.

·  There had been an increase in suspensions – this had included giving drivers opportunity to reach compliance or for investigations to be carried out and also due to issues relating to DBS checks.

·  There had been an increase in the number of complaints.  The largest area was related to driver conduct.

·  There had been an increase in the number of appeals against suspension.

 

In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:

 

·  Drivers were sent reminders when medical certificates were due to expire.  Most cases of refusal for not having medical clearance were due to certificates having expired.

·  Drivers caught plying for hire were prosecuted.  Hot spot locations were targeted and those caught often had licenses revoked and points added to their licenses.  If the drivers were registered elsewhere, the host authority would be informed.

·  On street checks – 1,300 to 1,400 checks had been carried out. Ten percent of these were for vehicles registered outside of Leeds.

·  There was a mandate for harmonisation for driver safety, suitability and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.

99.

Taxi & Private Hire Licensing - Results of consultation on Suitability and Driver Training Policy pdf icon PDF 540 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory which informs Members of the results of two recent consultations in Leeds, and consultations and engagement exercises in neighbouring authorities. 

 

 

(Report attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Manager presented the results of recent consultation in Leeds and neighbouring authorities on two areas of taxi and private hire policy.

 

Andrew White, Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Manager presented the report.

 

Issues highlighted from the report included the following:

 

·  Driver training and suitability – harmonisation with other West Yorkshire Authorities and City of York.

·  Driver training survey – this had received a large and overall positive response.

·  Refresher training was identified as an issue.

·  There would not be any significant change to policy – there would be more focus on driver training and further consideration regarding the level needed to pass training.

 

In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:

 

·  Operators and drivers were required to undertake English language tests.

·  Concern regarding waiting times for training – it was reported that the training could take up to three months to complete through different training providers for areas including advanced driving, customer care and safeguarding.  For drivers moving to Leeds from elsewhere some training aspects were transferrable.  It was acknowledged that at peak times and due to the number of applicants there was a period of waiting before training could commence.

·  Quality of training – evaluation was carried out and training was carried out by accredited staff.

·  Suitability – there was a difference across authorities with regard to suitability and concerns regarding how broad the categories were and how to address these.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

 

100.

Taxi & Private Hire Licensing - New Statutory Guidance from the Department of Transport pdf icon PDF 262 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory which informs Members of the start of a consultation in England and Wales on a set of new Statutory Guidance for licensing authorities. 

The reports highlights the areas where the new guidance would have significant impact on the council’s policies and the regional West Yorkshire and York policy review and seeks Member views on the response to the consultation and implications for current and planned policy reviews.

 

(Report attached)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Manager presented new Statutory Guidance on and consultation by the Department of Transport (DfT) on proposed taxi and private hire licensing policies.

 

The new guidance responded to the earlier DfT Task and Finish working group and made a number of recommendations for local authorities to adhere to in developing and reviewing their taxi and private hire licensing policies.

 

Andrew White, Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Manager presented the report.

 

Issues highlighted included the following:

 

·  The report outlined the 30 areas of statutory guidance.  The consultation period was until August 2018.

·  The guidance did not cover cross boundary issues.

·  The guidance did not alter key legislation but would shape any policy review work.  All areas of guidance would have to be addressed.

·  The response to the guidance would be submitted in consultation with the Chair and Executive Member, and the Committee was also invited to contribute.

 

In response to comments and questions, the following was discussed:

 

·  It was strongly advised to adopt the guidance.

·  It wasn’t anticipated that the final version of the guidance would be published before the end of the year.

·  Concerns regarding child sexual exploitation, county lines and drugs.  There had not been any instances in Leeds with regards to the taxi and private hire trade.

·  There was nothing in the guidance for the standard of vehicles.

·  Use of CCTV in vehicles.

·  Cross boundary enforcement – this was taking place in Leeds and information shared with other authorities.

·  Progress with maintaining the register of drivers whose licences had been refused or revoked.

·  Harmonisation - there were twelve thousand licensed vehicles in West Yorkshire and if standards were met in their own licensing authority it was not possible to stop them from working in Leeds.  Work was being done with neighbouring authorities to improve standards.

·  Collaboration of the West Yorkshire authorities and City of York was initiated by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).  WYCA had no responsibility for licensing.  It was suggested that there could be a meeting with the Transport Committee of WYCA.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)  That the Committee note the purpose and content of the information in the report.

(2)  That the Committee read the DfT Statutory Guidance and make any further recommendations for the Council’s response to the consultation and review of policies.

 

 

101.

Licensing Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To consider the contents of the Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2019.

 

 

(Report attached)

Minutes:

Members considered the content of the Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2019.

 

RESOLVED – That the Licensing Work Programme be noted.

 

 

102.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting will take place on Tuesday, 2nd April 2019 at 10.00am in the Civic Hall, Leeds.

Minutes:

Tuesday, 2 April 2019 at 10.00 a.m.