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To sign the Minutes of the meetings held on 1 October and 18 October 2012.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2012, copies of which had been previously circulated, were agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2012, copies of which had been previously circulated, were agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a correct record subject to Minutes 9, 11 and 12 being recommendations, as noted at the 13 November 2012 Council Meeting.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Chiltern Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy Consultation Response
Four members of the Chiltern Taxi Drivers’ Association were welcomed to the meeting. The Association had played an active part in the responses received by the Council in relation to the consultation on the Chiltern Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy Consultation. The members of the Association were invited to address the Committee.
The members of the Chiltern Taxi Drivers’ Association stated that they had submitted written responses that covered the concerns that they had regarding the proposed policy. They stated that they were glad that the policy was being reviewed, but that they had two concerns that they wished to stress to the Committee. The first of these regarded the age of vehicles. The proposed policy stated that a requirement may be brought in that vehicles be no older than 4 years at initial application and no older than 10 years on subsequent renewal. It was stated that this was not possible, and would lead to the drivers living outside of their means. The second concern that the Association wished to stress to the Committee was the points system that was proposed to come into force. This would give the drivers points based on offenses. It was highlighted at a meeting of the Taxi Forum that there was already an effective system and it was not thought that there was a need to change this.
Councillors asked for clarification as to the concerns felt by the Association with regard to the age of vehicle. The Committee were advised that there was a large cost involved in the purchase of the vehicle, and would be a large percentage of their earnings. It would not be practical for a loan to be taken out to cover the purchase as this would be a large financial commitment. The Principal Strategic Environment Officer advised that this would be in line with the requirements of other authorities. Vehicles that were less than 10 years old were safer and also had lower CO2 emissions. Councillors stated that if the Council were to have a policy relating to lower CO2 emissions that CO2 itself should be regulated. One Councillor suggested that the policy should state that vehicles in low emissions bands would be preferred. To have a policy where vehicles must be less than 4 years old would make it difficult for people to enter into the trade. It was also stated that it was possible to buy an older car with low mileage and cars that were less than 4 years old with high mileage.
Councillors stated that they agreed with the principle of using newer cars, as they would become less reliable if they were older. Advances in technology would make newer cars much safer. One Councillor asked whether the Chiltern Taxi Drivers’ Association would be able to describe a typical pattern of work for the drivers. The Committee were advised that there had been attempts to work this out before, but it was important to note that each day was different, and it ... view the full minutes text for item 18.