Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing and Enforcement Committee
Wednesday, 16th October, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House, Honiton

Contact: Christopher Lane  01395 517544

Media

Items
No. Item

16.

Public Speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no questions raised by members of the public.

17.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Licensing & Enforcement Committee held on 18 September 2019 were confirmed and signed as a true record.

18.

Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest

 

Minutes:

Minute 22 Seaton Taxi rank: Jack Rowland Seaton Town Councillor and member of Seaton Seafront enhancement Scheme. Personal interest.

 

19.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no matters of urgency raised at the meeting.

20.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the press) have been excluded. There is one itemwhich officersrecommendshould be dealtwithin thisway.

 

PART A MATTERS FOR DECISION

 

Minutes:

There was one confidential item to be considered.

21.

Committee Update -Licensing Act 2003, Gambling Act 2005, Taxis & General (Street Trading) Licensing pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager presented his report to the committee.  It provided an update on the activities of the Licensing Service under the Licensing Act 2003, Gambling Act 2005, taxi legislation and general licensing, including street trading.

 

The Licensing Manager highlighted that the licensing team covered many things across East Devon.  This included:

·       All alcohol related matters.

·       Taxis and private hire work.

·       Gambling (excluding online betting).

·       Street trading.

·       Charitable collections.

·       Cemeteries and burial bookings.

 

It was noted that the district received more Temporary Event Notices (TENs) than other Devon authorities due to higher numbers of outdoor events happening in East Devon and during summer months work increased considerably for the licensing team with officers conducting compliance visits to many outdoor festivals including Sidmouth Folk week, Beautiful Days and other large outdoor events.

 

The licensing team also continued to offer mediation meetings when representations had been made against new licensing applications to ascertain whether objectors and applicants could reach an agreed position. Mediation was often successful and reduced the number of contested hearings that need to go before a licensing sub-committee.

 

Members noted that changes at the Gambling Commission had seen the withdrawal of the Commission regional officer from undertaking compliance work with officers in the region. This was a positive working arrangement and although licensing officers are suitably trained and knowledgeable regarding gambling legislation, the opportunity for staff from both organisations to undertake joint inspections had been effective in maintaining compliance. It was noted that East Devon had completed a premises inspection rate of 50 to 74% which was above average compared to other licensing authorities. Some of whom had not completed any inspections at all.

 

A Licensing & Enforcement Sub Committee meeting was held on 18 September to consider a new private hire vehicle application for a zero emission vehicle. Being a hybrid electric vehicle without an internal combustion engine it fell outside the criteria set in the Taxi Policy for the minimum of 1000cc engine. A separate report was made to the Committee to allow the current policy to be revised to allow the licensing of electric vehicles without a combustion engine.

 

It was noted that the number of taxi/private hire drivers was reducing year on year. There is a requirement for licensed drivers to maintain a higher level of medical fitness than general drivers undergoing medical assessments upon first being licensed and upon key anniversary ages to ensure they are fit to carry the public. Activities and strategies were being considered that can support the continued wellbeing of licensed taxi drivers and engagement by the Licensing Manager with management of Leisure East Devon has identified an opportunity to arrange corporate membership at gyms across the district for licensed drivers.

 

Officers also met with the Council’s Public Health Project Officer to consider other options such as using One Small Step and promoting the Stoptober Campaign that encourages smokers to quit.

 

It was noted that the taxi trade in East Devon should be encouraged to provide more wheelchair accessible vehicles. Howwever,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Seaton Taxi Rank pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager’s report updated the Committee on Seaton Town Council’s request to remove the taxi rank in Marine Place and to relocate it on Castle Hill, Seaton. It was noted that the Town Council had made this request which would require a series of legal steps to be taken before adopting the change. It was noted that the local taxi drivers who regularly use the rank in Seaton had been consulted and two responses received which were considered by the Committee.

 

It was noted that Seaton Town Council were funding the first part of the seafront enhancement scheme and that the cost of the overall scheme would be over £4M.

 

RESOLVED

that the Committee considered the responses for relocating the Hackney Carriage rank from Marine Place to Castle Hill, Seaton and approve the following, namely;

1.      To exercise the Council’s powers under Section 63 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to appoint the rank in Castle Hill, Seaton.

2.     That the requisite public notice be given of the proposed appointment as required by Section 63(2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

3.     That if no written objection or representation is received relating to the notice given under Section 63(2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 within the 28 day period following the publication of that notice the rank subject of this recommendation will be deemed appointed.

4.     That following the appointment of the taxi rank Devon County Council Highways Authority be requested to put in place the appropriate legal provisions and to mark out the rank

23.

Taxi Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager’s report asked the Licensing and Enforcement Committee to consider a proposed revision to the current taxi policy in line with recent developments and green priorities to remove the minimum engine capacity requirement for Ultra Low and Zero Emission Vehicles.

 

 

RECOMMENDED that the Council meeting on 23 October 2019 adopt the revised Taxi Policy following approval by Committee on 16 October 2019.

24.

Exclusion of the Public

The Vice Chairman to move the following:

that under Section 100(A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public

(including the press) be excluded from the meeting as exempt information,

of the description set out on the agenda, is likely to be disclosed and on

balance the public interest is in discussing this item in private session (Part

B)”.

Part B Matters for Decision

Minutes:

RESOLVED

that under Section 100(A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public

(including the press) be excluded from the meeting as exempt information,

of the description set out on the agenda, is likely to be disclosed and on

balance the public interest is in discussing this item in private session (Part

B).

 

25.

Hackney Carriage Driver Licences suspended under powers delegated to Strategic Lead for Governance and Licensing

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager’s report provided the Licensing and Enforcement Committee with an update regarding suspended Hackney Carriage Driver Licences.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.