Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee - Tuesday 26th March 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: T Larsen (Democratic Services)  Tel: 01992 564243 Email:

No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

1.              This meeting is to be webcast and Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking.


2.              The Chairman will read the following announcement:


 “I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being made available for those that request it.


By being present at this meeting, it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in your image becoming part of the broadcast.


You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.”





The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on this agenda.


There were no declarations of interest made by the Councillors present pursuant to the Council’s Member Code of Conduct


Any Other Business

Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, together with paragraphs (6) and (24) of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution require that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.


In accordance with Operational Standing Order (6) (non-executive bodies), any item raised by a non-member shall require the support of a member of the Committee concerned and the Chairman of that Committee. Two weeks notice of non-urgent items is required.


·         Cllr Keska asked Mr King, the Licensing Manager, to explain how the Out of Hours Noise Service phone line being discontinued will affect Licencing?       

Mr King confirmed the Out of Hours phone line will no longer be available as from 3rd April 2024, and explained that complainants will be contacted and asked to keep a diary of the noise. The nuisance will then be assessed monitored and a resource allocated where necessary.

Cllr Keska was concerned that ward Cllrs will be contacted more than they currently are.



Minutes of the Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 26 October 2023 (attached).



That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2023 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Minutes of the Licensing Sub-Committees

The minutes from the Sub-Committee’s meetings will be available for the relevant Chairmen to sign off.


T Larsen, Democratic Services, informed the Committee that minutes from previous meetings of Licensing Sub-Committees would not requiring signing at this meeting.


Taxi Licence Tariff Update 2024 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To consider the attached report on Taxi Licencing Tariff Update 2024.


Mr King (Licensing Team Manager) updated the committee on the Taxi Licence Tariff Update 2024.


In response to questions from the committee, Mr King explained that:

·         There were some drivers with old meters that could not implement the software update. This meant an additional cost of about £200 for the drivers in addition to the £20 cost for the software update, and therefore a small number of drivers were reluctant. They have been given guidance on how to update the meters in the next months.

·         Going forward fees will be reviewed annually to stop tariffs falling behind compared to other areas.

·         It is too early to tell if the change in tariff has any impact on number of hackney carriages.

·         Hackney Carriage Licensing policy is due to be reviewed to be in line with air quality and sustainable transport policies. Safeguarding, emissions, and other EFDC policies will also be considered when the Hackney Carriage Taxi Licence policy is reviewed.

·         Technology for Smart meters is not available yet but will be considered when it is.

·         The upgrades were done over 3 days. 15% of vehicles were road-tested and came back with the correct measured mile.

Going forward the updates it will be done over 2 days, and anyone else can go to Oakwood Garage where they can have their meters re- calibrated and re-sealed.

·         Mr King advised that he did not have information to hand regarding the percentage of the taxi fleet being electric or hybrid but would report back to Committee with this information. In terms of barriers preventing the switch to greener vehicles; the lack of charging infrastructure is a barrier, and the previous low taxi tariff made the switch financially difficult.

·         Mr King advised that colleagues in EFDC are looking into potential Government Grants to increase a greener fleet.


Levelling Up white paper pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To consider the attched report on the Levelling Up white paper.


Mr King (Licensing Team Manager) summarised the Levelling up white paper for the committee.

Mr King explained that if the result for the Consultation from Department for Transport comes back before the next Licensing Committee meeting in October, there may be a special meeting to consider the report and the proposal, as early as the summer.




Review of Licensing Sub-Committee Procedures

To review the proceedings of the Licensing Sub-Committee held during the preceding period and consider any issues of procedure, policy or organisation that have adversely affected the operation or management of meetings.


The Committee felt that the current training was satisfactory. D King advised the Committee that the Licensing Training would be available online in Litmos.


In response to questions from the Committee;


·         D King explained that annual statistics will be brought to the October meeting as statistics are produced at the end of the financial year in line with Home Office requirements. Anecdotally there has been fewer applications this year, however two applications have attracted the highest amounts of representations. The report in October will break down the number of applications and how they are dealt with.

·         Committee reports and templates are being looked at to consolidate information where possible.


Review of Current and Future Training Needs for the Committee

To highlight any further training considered necessary for the members tasked with discharging the Council’s Licensing function.


The Committee felt that the current training was satisfactory for Committee members, however, would like for Parish and Town Councillors to get further training in order to understand how Licensing Legislation is different to Planning Legislation.


D King suggested he will add guidance to the next Licensing Committee agenda. And the guidance can be circulated to Town and Parish Councils.


D King advised the Committee that the Licensing Training would be available online in Litmos.



Matters Arising

To consider any further matters arising in respect of the Council’s Licensing function, not covered elsewhere on the agenda.


No matters arising.


Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Licensing Committee has been scheduled for 10 October 2024 at 7.00pm in the Council Chamber.


The Committee noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 10 October 2024.