Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee
Tuesday, 3rd September, 2019 11.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds

Contact: Governance Services  2243836

Items
No. Item

36.

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.

 

37.

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 not items identified where it was considered necessary to exclude the press or public from the meeting due to the confidential nature of the business to be considered.

38.

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 no late items of business, the Chair accept the inclusion of Supplementary information, additional representation from the Hackney Carriage License Holders, in respect of Agenda Item No. 8 – Proposed Suitability Policy and update on Policy Harmonisation with West Yorkshire & York Authorities. (Minutes No. 43 referred)

39.

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 of disclosable pecuniary interests made at the meeting.

 

40.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence (If any)

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received for Councillors: R Downes, A Garthwaite, A Hutchison, A Wenham and G Wilkinson.

 

41.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th August 2019.

 

 

(Copy attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the previous meetings held on 13th August 2019, were accepted as a true and correct record.

 

42.

Matters Arising from the Minutes

To consider any matters arising from the minutes.

Minutes:

Proposed Working Group on CCTV in Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles (Minute No. 32 referred) – With reference to Resolution (ii) and the decision to seek expressions of interest from Members to serve on the Working Group. The Chair said he was aware that Councillors A Marshall-Katung and P Wray had volunteered to serve on the group but ideally more Members were required.

 

Councillor H Bithell said she would be willing to serve on the group.

 

The Chair thanked those Members who’d agreed to serve on the group, any further Members wishing to serve on the group should contact Governance Services.

43.

Taxi & Private Hire Licensing - Proposed Suitability Policy and update on Policy Harmonisation with West Yorkshire & York authorities pdf icon PDF 562 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory which sets out the results of a recent consultation in Leeds, and consultations and engagement exercises in neighbouring authorities, about the suitability of people to hold a licence to work as a taxi or private hire driver.

 

The report also highlights the areas where the Council’s proposed policy relating to the suitability of licence holders could be revised following the consultation and discussion with the other West Yorkshire and York authorities and the areas where the Council and other licensing authorities, professional bodies have suggested that the suitability policy could be further refined and developed.

 

 

(Report attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory submitted a report which set out the results of a recent consultation in Leeds and consultations and engagement exercises in neighbouring authorities, about the suitability of people to hold a licence to work as a taxi or private hire driver, based on proposals for national standards developed by the Institute of Licensing, Local Government Association, National Association of Licensing and Enforcement Officers and Lawyers for Local Government.

 

The report also highlighted the areas where the Council’s proposed policy relating to the suitability of licence holders could be revised following the consultation and discussion with the other West Yorkshire and York authorities and the areas where the Council and other licensing authorities, professional bodies had suggested that the suitability policy could be further refined and developed.

 

It was noted that an additional written representation from the Hackney Carriage trade had been circulated to Members of the Committee in advance of the meeting, albeit several months after the end of the consultation period.

 

Addressing the report the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Manager spoke in detail on the following issues:

 

·  The response to the suitability survey in Leeds

·  The response to the suitability survey in other authorities

·  Considerations about applicant and current licence holders suitability

·  Consideration of fit and proper person at renewal

·  The broad categories of caution and conviction

 

Referring to the consultation process Members noted there was a high degree of agreement with the exception of the Hackney Carriage trade, who according to the recent correspondence/ representation referred to above were “vehemently opposed to the proposed new policy”. 

 

The Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Manager addressed each of the issues raised by the representatives of the Hackney Carriage trade, and emphasised that if the council agreed to implement the suitability policy, it would be applied at application and renewal stages, and when any new information was received, such as arrests, cautions, convictions, and penalty points.

 

Members were informed that the Hackney Carriage trade represented approximately 20% of the total number of licenced drivers, the vast majority of people who responded to the consultation were in favour of the new policy.

 

Referring to criminal and driving convictions (Table A), Members queried if officers were able to apply discretion, taking into account other issues.

 

Members were informed that officers would apply the policy as it was set out, but that it incorporated some elements of discretion.  Referring to the fit and proper person test, it was suggested that there was a need to differentiate between a ‘push and shove’ and a sustained attack (Violent offence), Paragraph 3.16 of the submitted report referred.

 

Referring to the Disclosure and Barring Service, Members sought clarification around the production of a letter of good character and how would such a letter be obtained.

 

Members were informed that a solicitor would usually provide such a letter or alternatively it might be provided by another UK professional, the authority needing to be satisfied that the person is fit and proper and such  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

Licensing Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To note the contents of the Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2019/20.

 

 

(Report attached)

Minutes:

RESOLVED – To approve the contents of the Licensing Committee Work Programme for 2019/20

 

45.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting will take place on Tuesday, 8th October 2019 at 10.00am in the Civic Hall, Leeds.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – To note that the next meeting will take place on Tuesday, 8th October 2019 at 10.00am in the Civic Hall, Leeds.