Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021 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 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Roll Call and Virtual Meetings explanation.

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the meeting and the Vice-Chairman 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 Councillors Allen, Marsh and 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 22 September 2020. pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 22 September 2020 were confirmed as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.

5.

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

Minutes:

None.

6.

Consideration of the Responses to the Public Consultation Regarding Amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy as a Result of the DFT Statutory Guidance. pdf icon PDF 359 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jon Bryant, Senior Licensing Officer introduced the report which seeks the Committee’s consideration of the responses received during the public consultation of the draft policy changes to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy. It was proposed that following this consideration the revised policy would be approved by the Cabinet Member for Community for implementation on the 1st May 2021.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer also requested a steer from the Committee on how the Council would consider the phasing out of fossil fuelled cars from the taxi and private hire fleet in line with current government proposals to stop the sale of these vehicles in 2030 and to establish a timeline for these vehicles to be totally removed from the licensed fleet.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer noted that a total of 20 responses were received from various parties, with further details in Appendices 2 and 3.

 

The Chairman noted that several options were put forward in the recommendations and agreed to take separate votes on each section as the meeting progressed.

 

The Vice-chairman welcomed the report and was impressed by the number of responses in such challenging times and requested that Members consider extending the deadline for licensed diesel vehicles to comply with Euro 6 emissions standards in relation to recommendation 2.1 in the report.

 

A Member acknowledged the economic impact on taxi drivers but emphasised that the Council had a strong obligation to public health, referencing recent news reports of the death of a girl in London due to air pollution. The Member supported the suggestion to change it from 2022 to the year 2023, which she believed would provide more leeway for taxi drivers but maintain the Council’s obligation to public health. This proposal was seconded by another Member.

 

Another Member cited the impact of pollution, as even a top floor window left open could result in pollution gaining access to a property. Whilst he did not wish to penalise drivers, he believed the Council has an obligation to the public to maintain high standards.

 

The Chairman asked if figures concerning the scale of loss of income for taxi drivers in the area were available. The Senior Licensing Officer replied that there was anecdotal evidence of a significant loss in income for drivers, in addition to the evident reduction in traffic and taxi usage.

 

Several Members agreed that the deadline should go to 2025, citing the ongoing unpredictability of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer noted that many drivers were preparing for the introduction of white livery and had already purchased cars. He added that all newly licensed vehicles would have to agree with the standard.

 

A Member concurred that the extension would provide time for drivers to recover revenue, but not reduce the Council's commitment to the environment.

 

Another Member was pleased with the number of responses from taxi companies and unions, as well as the report on guide dogs, as they protect the interest of disabled passengers. It was also noted that Mid Sussex  ...  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.