Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday, 22nd September, 2020 4.00 pm

New regulations came into effect on 4 April 2020 to allow Councils to hold meetings remotely via electronic means. As such, Council and Committee meetings will occur with appropriate Councillors participating via a remote video link. Public access to the meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: via Remote Video Link

Contact: Email: committees@midsussex.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Roll Call and Virtual Meetings explanation.

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the meeting and took a roll call of Members in attendance.

The Licensing Solicitor explained the virtual meeting procedure.

2.

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Walker.

3.

To receive Declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.

Minutes:

None.

4.

To confirm the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 17 February 2020. pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 February 2020 were confirmed as a correct record, with 13 votes for and 1 abstention and signed by the Chairman.

 

5.

To consider any items that the Chairman agrees to take as urgent business.

Minutes:

None.

6.

Amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy as a Result of the DFT Statutory Guidance. pdf icon PDF 364 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Michael Bateman, Team Leader for Licensing, Food and Safety introduced the report.   He noted that nothing had been added to the draft guidance had been discussed by the Committee at the meeting in February.   He highlighted the main changes in the draft policy.

 

The Vice-chairman welcomed the report which introduced standards for local authorities licensing policies for hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.  She highlighted that the Council’s Licensing Policy has a strong focus on safety. 

 

Members expressed concern with the cost implications for safeguarding training and the installation of CCTV and the Council as Data Controller.  They noted that most drivers are self-employed and the impact of the pandemic on their income. 

 

The Officer confirmed that currently the cost of renting CCTV equipment  was £20.75 a month for 2 cameras and £29.86 a month for 4 cameras with £39 fitting costs.  Equipment could be bought from £499  to £763 and other systems were available from £350.

 

The Vice-chairman advised that CCTV will safeguard the public and suggested a longer lead in time that suggested in the statutory guidance.

 

Members discussed who should have a duty to report accidents, and whether to include the operator of the licensed vehicle and the driver along with the proprietor.

 

Franca Currall, Licensing Solicitor noted the duty to report all accidents to insurance companies.  Any licensed vehicle there should be an obligation to report accidents to the local authority.  The number of reports received may depend on the level of damage.  She reminded Members that the badges must be displayed in the front of vehicle and any concerned patron should take a photo of licence plate.

 

With regard to the additional costs for licence holders she advised that the Council is charged with public safety and have to use legal and local knowledge to protect the public, CCTV will protect both the public and the drivers.  She noted the two-year lead in period for installation of CCTV and noted that the cost may reduce over that time.   The Council could also look to procure a cheaper system by economies of scale. The mandatory courses on disabled and vulnerable people are to be paid for  by the drivers themselves in addition to the application fee for the licence.  

 

The Officer commented that the proprietor has a duty to report as they have the responsibility for the vehicle and ensuring it is maintained in a roadworthy condition.  They are the responsible  person who must notify the Council. 

 

The Chairman reminded the Committee to report any matters to the Licensing Team for investigation.  Members were reminded that there is an obligation under the Road Traffic Act for the driver to provide their details following an incident.

 

The Solicitor advised that any changes to the wording should be discussed by the Committee, these are national minimum standards.  Legally the owner / proprietor of the licensed vehicle must inform the Licensing Authority. She noted that some proprietors lease out their vehicles

 

Councillor Marsh proposed that the policy be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2 due notice of which has been given.

Minutes:

None.