Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday, 9th March, 2021 6.30 pm

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Contact: Mark O'Callaghan  Scrutiny & Engagement Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

LC28/20

Chairman's Introduction pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Announcement on procedural matters.

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Minutes:

The Chairman opened the meeting, introduced Committee Members and Officers in attendance, and outlined procedural matters of the meeting.

LC29/20

Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 9 KB

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Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Hill.

Councillors Mrs Cobbold and Scholes were not present.

LC30/20

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda.  For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer.

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

LC31/20

Notification of Visiting Members wishing to speak (in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18): pdf icon PDF 9 KB

Members should indicate which item(s) they wish to speak on and the nature of their concern/question/request for clarification.

 

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Minutes:

There were no visiting Members registered to speak.

 

Mr Clayton Berry registered to speak at item LC33/20.

LC32/20

Minutes of the Previous Meeting dated 1 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 168 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED – That that the minutes of the meeting dated 1 December 2020 be approved as a correct record.

LC33/20

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing: Objection to Proposed Licence Fees and Charges 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

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Minutes:

Sharon Degiorgio, Senior Licensing Officer presented her report which outlined the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing: Objection to Proposed Licence Fees and Charges 2021/22. Comments included:

·         The council was required to review licence fees and costs annually to ensure they are either covering all costs or contributing significantly towards the overall costs of providing a service. At it’s meeting on 1 December 2020, members approved the proposed fees (set out at Appendix A, page 23 of the report) for consultation.

·         As a result of the consultation the authority received 10 objections (shown at Appendix B, pages 25-27 of the report). This represented the largest number of objections received for any annual fee review.

·         Members were required to consider the content of the objections and determine whether they approve the fees and charges as set out at Appendix A to be introduced from April 2021. Alternatively, after considering the objections received and the impact of the pandemic on the trade, members may determine to retain the fees and charges level without any increase.

 

Mr Clayton Berry registered to speak, points raised included:

·         Particularly considering the pandemic, fees should not be increased. The fees have gone up and the service has got worse.

·         There was no explanation for the £5 difference in cost between Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicles of £5. 

·         A number of drivers had applied for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) grant (Covid-19 support grant) but had been refused and some drivers had incurred costs in hiring accountants.

·         Other councils are helping their drivers, but TWBC were not.

·         TWBC had not responded to complaints on this matter.

 

Officers responded with the following comments:

·         Hackney Carriage fees were higher as there were additional costs for the upkeep of ranks, road markings and signage.

·         Another round of ARG with different criteria was now available. Eligibility for the ARG was set by the central government.

 

Councillor Fairweather proposed and Councillor Williams seconded that members approve option 2.2 outlined in the report, to retain fees at their current level.

Members took account of the report and raised a number of questions and issues within their discussion. These included:

·         The pandemic had had a negative impact on trade. The impact on the council was low but the impact on drivers would be high and TWBC should be seen to be supportive to taxi drivers.

·         Some drivers this year had been able to diversify, however the pandemic has still had a significant impact on trade.

·         It was hoped that drivers got more relief from ARG stage three. TWBC staff had been exemplary in handing out the successful grants.

·         With reference to section 7B – TWBC were moving the service to a more user based principle, but with the current usage it appeared unsupportive to be increasing the fees and next year TWBC will have more understanding on the level of demand and will be in a better position to determine any increase in fees.

·         A number of parish councils had been supportive so it  ...  view the full minutes text for item LC33/20

LC34/20

Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

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Minutes:

There was no urgent business for consideration.

LC35/20

Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 9 KB

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 15 June 2021.

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Minutes:

The next Licensing Committee meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 15 June 2021.