Venue: Large & Small Committee Room, King George V House, King George V Road, Amersham
Contact: Mat Bloxham 01494 732143; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016 were agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor J Rush advised that he regularly used Chalfont Taxis, but this did not constitute a personal interest under the Code of Conduct.
Councillor C Jones advised that she regularly used A to Z taxis, but this did not constitute a personal interest under the Code of Conduct.
Councillor M Flys advised that he regularly used Gilberts taxis, but this did not constitute a personal interest under the Code of Conduct.
Councillor N Varley advised that he knew one of the members of the audience in his capacity as Town Councillor but not as a close associate/personal friend and therefore this did not constitute a personal interest under the Code of Conduct.
At the meeting held on 28 June 2016, the Committee agreed that the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy be submitted for public consultation.
The consultation concluded on 21 September 2016, and the Committee were asked to consider the responses to the consultation, the proposed changes to the draft Policy in light of the responses that had been received and to consider whether further changes should be made to the draft Policy.
Members noted that 12 formal responses had been received and that formal minutes were also taken at two meetings held with hackney carriage drivers and trade representatives as part of the consultation. The consultation responses had been reviewed and a summary of comments was provided to Members as part of the report. Three main concerns to the proposed policy were raised which related to tinted windows, hackney carriage door stickers and the age of vehicles. Members were asked to consider if any further changes should be made to the draft policy.
The Chairman welcomed the members of the Trade and their representatives and explained the procedure regarding public speaking at this Committee.
In presenting his report, the Licensing Manager amended his recommendations in light of the responses received during the consultation in that there be no change to the current Policy regarding tinted windows and age of vehicles. Regarding hackney carriage door stickers, the Licensing Manager proposed magnetic stickers be used.
The Chairman invited representatives of the Chiltern Taxi Drivers Association to address the Committee.
Masud Ahmed, speaking on behalf of the Chiltern Taxi Drivers Association, made the following key points:
Hackney Carriage Door Stickers: the rationale for having hackney carriage door stickers, in addition to the 4 different types of identification drivers already carried, was not clear. The hackney carriage door stickers were not considered necessary and were not affordable regardless of whether they were magnetic or were made from plastic. They provided no additional benefit to the public or hackney carriage trade. Drivers were also subject to a number of safety checks and hackney carriage door stickers provided no additional safety benefit to passengers. There was a particularly strong negative feeling from hackney carriage drivers regarding this proposal because it suggested that drivers were being put under doubt. It was also felt that this proposal could be considered discriminatory.
Vehicle Age: currently any vehicle 6 years or older was subject to regular compliance checks each year anyway and this was a national standard. Vehicle mileage was considered a more important factor in determining the required vehicle maintenance. Taxi drivers often received a low income and were directly affected by economic and financial pressures. The proposed policy would place greater financial pressure upon drivers.
Umar Raja then spoke on behalf of the Chiltern Taxi Drivers Association, and made the following key points:
Tinted Windows: most drivers purchased used vehicles and it cost over £1000 to replace the windows on a vehicle. Reliable vehicles were expensive to buy and the proposed policy would place an additional ... view the full minutes text for item 13.