Venue: Guildhall, Abingdon
Notification of substitutes and apologies for absence
To record the attendance of substitute members, if any, who have been authorised to attend in accordance with the provisions of standing order 17(1) with notification having been given to the proper officer before the start of the meeting and to receive apologies for absence.
The attendance of substitute members who had been authorised to attend in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order 17(1) was recorded as referred to above, with apologies for absence having been received from Councillors Terry Fraser, Gareth Jennings, John Morgan, Alison Rooke, Val Shaw and Richard Webber.
To adopt and sign as a correct record the minutes of the committee meeting held on 10 July 2009 (previously circulated).
The minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 10 July 2009 were adopted and signed as a correct record.
Declarations of interest
To receive any declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.
Any councillor with a personal interest or a personal and prejudicial interest in accordance with the provisions of the code of conduct, in any matter to be considered at a meeting, must declare the existence and nature of that interest as soon as the interest becomes apparent in accordance with the provisions of the code.
When a councillor declares a personal and prejudicial interest he shall also state if he has a dispensation from the Standards Committee entitling him/her to speak, or speak and vote on the matter concerned.
Where any councillor has declared a personal and prejudicial interest he shall withdraw from the room while the matter is under consideration unless
(a) his/her disability to speak, or speak and vote on the matter has been removed by a dispensation granted by the Standards Committee, or
(b) members of the public are allowed to make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter by statutory right or otherwise. If that is the case, the councillor can also attend the meeting for that purpose. However, the councillor must immediately leave the room once he/she has finished; or when the meeting decides he/she has finished whichever is the earlier and in any event the Member must leave the room for the duration of the debate on the item in which he/she has a personal and prejudicial interest.
Urgent business and chair's announcements
To receive notification of any matters, which the chair determines, should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances, which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chair.
Statements, petitions and questions from the public relating to matters affecting the general licensing committee.
Any statements, petitions and questions from the public under standing order 32 will be made or presented at the meeting.
To receive and consider report 56/09 of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.
The committee received and considered report 56/09 of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services. The report gave feedback from the taxi and private hire trade on the proposed revision to the hackney carriage and private hire driver, vehicle and operator’s policy. The trade’s comments were set out in the report and the committee was asked to consider these before deciding whether the policy should be further amended before being recommendation to the council on 28 October.
The committee carefully considered each submission and made the following comments:
· Side loading of disabled passengers – the committee considered that the policy should be amended to allow for side-loading of disabled passengers only, instead of rear loading. However, where existing licenced vehicles allowed rear loading this was permissible so long as the licence did not lapse and was not transferred to another person.
· The committee considered removing the option to have magnetic licence plates and magnetic door stickers and noted comments from members of the trade that magnetic stickers might cause paint to fade on the vehicle. The committee noted that adhesive stickers would be no different and in the interests of safety and for the prevention of misuse, the committee accepted the recommendation from the officers to remove magnetic licence plates and stickers in the interests of safety and for the prevention of misuse.
· The committee considered identification stickers for private hire vehicles exempted from displaying the licence plate and again noted comments from members of the trade. One respondent commented that this policy should be made compulsory as all passengers should be aware that they were in a licensed vehicle. The committee accepted the proposal that discreet identification stickers must be displayed in exempted private hire vehicles.
· The committee considered the council’s definition of a low emission vehicle. Previously a low emission vehicle was defined as one in a tax band of A or B. The committee approved the definition of a low emission vehicle as one with CO2 emissions of 120g/km or lower.
· The committee considered the policy of vehicles not needing to display signage while being used for weddings. The committee accepted the recommendation to remove this provision from the draft policy, reverting to the current position where both identification stickers and roof signs should be displayed throughout the period a vehicle was licensed, even when used for weddings.
· The committee examined the introduction of disability awareness training for hackney carriage and private drivers. A number of comments were received from members of the trade, namely that the policy should not be introduced for all drivers but just for those drivers who operated vehicles that had been adapted for disabled drivers. However the committee considered that all drivers should be trained. The committee approved the proposal for compulsory disability awareness training to be undertaken by drivers within the first six months of licensing for new applications (after the date of the introduction of the new policy) and for ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
Exempt information under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972