Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: via video conference

Contact: Elly Cook / Leslie Ashton 

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

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Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor H Wallace.

2.

Declarations of Interest

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 428 KB

The committee is asked to note the minutes of the previous meeting held on 9 September 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2020 were agreed as an accurate record.

4.

Buckinghamshire Council Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 735 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee considered the draft Buckinghamshire Council Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy and were asked to agree the commencement of a public consultation on the new policy.

The Council was committed to adopting a new taxi and private hire vehicle licensing policy to support the alignment of the licensing regimes of the former Districts.  As reported to the Licensing Committee on 1 July 2020, the adoption of a new policy presented an opportunity to ensure Buckinghamshire Council licensed vehicles, drivers and operators were all held to the highest possible standards along with consistency for both drivers and the public. 

Officers from the Licensing Service had drafted a new policy in collaboration with the Council’s policy team. The new policy (see appendix 1) had been benchmarked against existing policies and the new Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards (published July 2020) (see appendix 2). Measures proposed in the new policy would impact on the existing licensed trade to varying degrees depending on the legacy area within which they currently operated and on their own current operational arrangements (e.g. current age and specification of vehicles), with some potentially more significantly affected than others. New entrants to the trade would also be impacted as a result of higher standards required of vehicles, drivers and operators. The policy also considered the application of “grandfather” rights in respect of the existing trade. The more potentially controversial aspects of the new policy were set out in section 2 of the report.

 

Pre-engagement consultation with stakeholders had been carried out including an online survey, which ran from the 7th - 27th September, and the associated communications plan which included targeted communication with the taxi licensing trade. Licensing Committee member workshops were held on 15th and 16th September and the responsible Cabinet Member and the Chairman of the Licensing Committee had also been fully engaged throughout the process.  A progress update paper was presented at the Communities & Localism Select Committee on the 24th September. Feedback received throughout this engagement period had been incorporated into the proposed policy.

 

A key policy issue concerned hackney carriages and the proposal that the five current geographical hackney zones, with their own Byelaws, vehicle specifications and wheelchair accessibility, ranks, limitation policy (in respect of Aylesbury Town), licence fee and fares should be removed and replaced with one single new hackney zone across the Buckinghamshire Council area.

 

Members were invited to ask questions of officers. In response to a question on whether the Euro 5&6 and European whole approval requirements specified for vehicles in the Policy would remain in place following Brexit, officers confirmed that this was the case and that in the short term, the current European standards for approving whole type vehicles would continue to apply.  The standards may be subject to change in 2021 when a new comprehensive Great Britain type approval scheme would be introduced (which was likely to be based on the existing EU approval).  Officers advised that in respect of the wording in the policy,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 11 November at 6.30pm

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting is Wednesday 3 February 2021 at 6.30p.m.