Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: via video conference

Contact: Elly Cook 

Media

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor G Powell.

2.

Declarations of interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 550 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2021 were agreed as an accurate record.

4.

Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Fees and Charges pdf icon PDF 751 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Rush joined the meeting at 6.40pm

 

The Committee received a report which sought approval for the proposed taxi and private hire licensing fees and charges, as set out in appendix 1 of the report, for consultation purposes and statutory advertising requirements. 

 

At the last meeting on 23 March, the Committee received a report on taxi and private hire licensing fees and charges and subsequently asked that the report be updated with additional information prior to the Committee making a decision on whether to approve the proposed fees and charges for consultation and statutory advertising purposes.  More information to explain how the proposed fees and charges levels had been arrived at was contained in paragraphs 2.15 to 2.20 of the report.

 

As a result of unitarisation, the Licensing Service was going through a service improvement process under the Better Buckinghamshire programme, which would result in the legacy district council area licensing teams being brought together into a single licensing service for Buckinghamshire. A single taxi licensing team would be in place prior to the implementation of the new Buckinghamshire Council Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy, which was currently scheduled for the 6th September 2021. A new single online digital application process for taxi licensing was also in development and would be implemented alongside the new Policy. This would ensure that applicants were able to access and receive the service in the same way across the whole of the Buckinghamshire area and would have their applications processed in a single back office system to consistent service standards. The proposed fees had been costed based on the developing new team structure, processes and digital solutions to ensure that they, as far as possible, reflect the cost of this new harmonised approach.

 

In arriving at the proposed fee levels, officers considered the steps required for each licence type in order to process, validate, review, and grant or refuse a licence including external cross-check requirements such as Disclosure and Barring Service checks, knowledge tests and mechanical vehicle checks.

 

The new Buckinghamshire Council Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy implements the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, which were introduced in July 2020 by the Department for Transport and aim to protect children and vulnerable adults from exploitation. Councils must have regard to these new standards and it was expected that they would be adopted unless there was compelling local reason not to do so. The Standards and Policy introduce a number of new requirements for existing and new drivers including an enhanced check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) every 6 months during the duration of each 3-year licence, English language testing for new and existing drivers, safeguarding training for new drivers and operators and refresher training for existing drivers. In addition, operators must submit annual Basic Disclosure Certificates from the DBS. The proposed fees reflected the additional resource and associated costs that were considered necessary within the licence application processes and during the duration of the licence to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Date of next meeting

Provisional date of next meeting is 30 June 2021 at 6.30pm

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The provisional date of the next meeting is 30 June 2021 at 6.30pm