Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee
Wednesday, 18th April, 2018 2.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Adrian Hendry (Directorate of Governance)  Tel: 01992 564243 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

12.

Councillor Brian Surtees

Minutes:

The Vice Chairman, Councillor Richard Morgan gave a short tribute to the late Councillor Surtees, the former chairman of this Committee. He reminded members of Councillor Surtees dedication, keenness and excellence in his role as chairman, noting that he would be greatly missed. These thoughts were echoed by the Committee.

13.

Declarations of Interest

(Director of Governance) To declare interests in any item on this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Member Code of Conduct.

 

14.

Minutes of the Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 18 October 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

 

Matters arising from the minutes

 

The Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods (Neighbourhood Services) noting minute item 4 and the second and third resolved points updated the Committee on the feasibility of including the Council logo on the roof signs of licensed vehicles and this was used in other authorities. Asked if the sign would be illuminated he replied that it would be, and it would be wired into the car. However the sign itself would be detachable.

 

Councillor Keska said that he had initially raised this issue as there was the problem of taxis from other authorities plying for trade here. He asked if it would be sensible as an alternative to roof signs to have a sticker on the back window saying ‘Epping Forest Taxi’. The Assistant Director said that size would be a problem as it would have to be bigger than any standard size used and therefore more expensive.

 

Councillor Sartin suggested that no decision should be made now and that the situation should be monitored for the time being. This was agreed by the Committee.

15.

Minutes of the Licensing Sub-Committees

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

Minutes:

That the minutes of the following meetings of the Licensing Sub-Committee be taken as read and signed by their Chairman as a correct record:

 

a)    19th September 2017;

b)    07th November 2017;

c)    20th November 2017;

d)    09th January 2018;

e)    06th February 2018; and

f)     06th March 2018.

16.

Applications Received under the Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

(Director of Neighbourhoods) to consider the attached report.

 

Minutes:

The Committee noted the number of applications received and determinations of those applications from 29 September 2017 to 4 April 2018. It was noted that there was a recent appeal to the magistrates and that this would be reported on later in the agenda.

 

Councillor Sartin asked how the statistics compared with previous years figures. Ms Tuckey the Licensing Manager noted that these varied for different times of the year. For example, summer months had different events and applications to other months, but on the whole there were no big changes.

 

Councillor Sartin asked if it were possible to have annual comparison figures. Officers said that they could supply this.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the report on Licensing applications received by this Council be noted; and

(2)  That annual comparative figures be produced for the previous year go to the next meeting.

17.

Taxi Parking in Epping

RECOMMENDATION:

 

Members are asked to consider what action (if any) can be taken to alleviate the problem highlighted by some residents regarding public hire drivers parking in the side streets of Epping.

 

In recent months Transport for London (TfL) have changed their policy of allowing Lawlors car service exclusive rights to park at Epping Station.  Previously Lawlors have enjoyed the monopoly and other public hire firms have been excluded from the approach road to the station.

 

Since the change in policy public hire vehicles working for Lawlors have been parking in the side streets of Epping waiting to be called to the station to pick up fares.

 

Officers have received a number of calls from residents complaining of disturbance late at night and illegal parking.  Many have asked that the council undertake some form of enforcement action to prevent this, however officers have been unable to do so because no public hire regulations are being broken. 

 

Letters have been sent to the North Essex Parking Partnership regarding the illegal parking problem and to TfL asking that they reconsider their decision, however no answer has been received from either body.

 

Some complainants have requested that this state of affairs be brought to the attention of Members hence this report.

 

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Neighbourhood Services introduced the report asking the Committee their opinions on the problems posed by taxis parking on public roads waiting for calls from Epping Station. In recent months transport for London (TfL) have changed their policy of allowing Lawlors car services exclusive rights to park at Epping Station.

 

Since this change, public hire vehicles working for Lawlors have been parking in the side streets of Epping waiting to be called to the station.

 

Officers had received a number of calls from residents complaining of disturbance late at night and alleged illegal parking. However, as they were not really committing any crimes the Council could not take any action. Letters have now been sent to the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) and TfL regarding this problem.

 

Councillor Rolfe noted that there was something similar happening on the High Road. This may yet die down given time and as they were not breaking the law we could not intervene. How many complaints have we received so far? The Licensing manager replied about 4 or 5 from members of the public.

 

Councillor Sartin suggested that the public contacted Lawlors directly to complain; this may cause them to do something about it. It was Lawlors that had a contract with TfL and they should have looked to that to remedy this.

 

Councillor Sunger noted that letters had been sent to TfL and NEPP. Perhaps we should reconsider this when we receive responses. Officers said that they would chase them up.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1)    That the problems of parking on side streets in Epping by Lawlor’s taxi drivers were noted; and

2)    That this would be reconsidered when the council had received responses from TfL and NEPP.

 

18.

Amendment to Public Hire Regulations - Medical Conditions

RECOMMENDATION:

 

Members are asked to approve an amendment to the public hire regulations as outlined below.

 

Following the adoption of our new public hire licensing regulations last year a difference has been identified between the medical conditions relating to Hackney Carriage drivers and Private Hire drivers.

 

For Hackney Carriage drivers a medical examination is required at the initial application stage and then at the ages of 50, 55, 60, 65 and annually thereafter. For private hire drivers a medical examination is required at the initial application stage, at age 45 and subsequently on renewal (every three years) until the age of 65 when these will be required annually.

 

Members are asked to approve an amendment to the regulations so that both licenses require the medical check outlined for hackney carriage drivers above.

 

Minutes:

On consideration of the new public hire licensing regulations, members agreed to bring into line the medical check for both Hackney carriage drivers and for Private Hire drivers.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the medical check for both Hackney Carriage drivers and for Private Hire drivers be brought into line, that is: on initial application and then on the ages of 50, 55, 60 and 65 and annually thereafter.

19.

Amendment to Public Hire Regulations - DVLA Licence Check

RECOMMENDATION:

 

Members are asked to approve an amendment to the public hire regulations as outlined below.

 

Recent changes by the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) have made provision for DVLA licences to be checked online at any time.  In order for officers to be able to do this the driver has to supply an access code obtained from the DVLA.  Members are asked to amend the public hire regulations to make it a requirement for licensed drivers and applicants to supply an access code to licensing officers upon request.

 

Minutes:

Members considered the recent changes made by the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) so that DVLA licences could be checked on line. The Committee noted that in order for officers to do this the driver would have to supply an access code obtained from the DVLA. In order for this to happen the council’s public hire regulations would have to be altered.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That an amendment be approved to the Public Hire Regulations to enable officers to request drivers to supply an access code obtained from the DVLA so that they could check their licenses online.

20.

Review of Licensing Sub-Committee Procedures

To review the proceedings of the Licensing Sub-Committee held during the preceding period and identify any problems of procedure, policy and organisation that have adversely affected the running of the meetings.

Minutes:

There were no matters to be discussed under this item.

21.

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.

Minutes:

The Committee noted that a Licensing Training Course will be held on 14 June 2018, to be taken by Roger Butterfield, an experienced trainer.

 

22.

Matters Arising

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

 

1.            At the Licensing Sub-Committee meeting held on 3 April 2018, the Members asked for a report to go to the next Full Licensing Committee on the how many Taxi driver appeals there have been and what were the outcomes. A verbal report will be given at this meeting on the one and only recent appeal to have been made.

 

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager in response to an enquiry made at a licensing sub-committee meeting, informed the Committee that there was only one taxi driver appeal happening at present and that this would be going to the magistrates court on 3rd July 2018. Officers would report back on the outcome.

 

Members asked that it be published in the Council Bulletin. This was agreed by officers.

23.

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.

Minutes:

The Senior Democratic Services Officer made a plea for two more members to volunteer for the extra licensing-sub committee meeting to be held on 16 May 2018. As a result two members volunteered to sit on the sub-committee.

 

24.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Licensing Committee has been scheduled for 17 October 2018 at 2.30pm in the Council Chamber.

Minutes:

The meeting dates for the coming year was noted by the Committee.