Agenda and minutes

General Licensing Committee - Thursday, 4 October 2012 2.00 pm

Venue: Abbey House, Abingdon

Contact: Steve Culliford, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Notification of substitutes and apologies for absence

To record the attendance of substitute councillors, 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. 


Councillors Mohinder Kainth, Aidan Melville, and Janet Shelley had sent their apologies for absence.  



To adopt and sign as correct records the minutes of the committee meetings held on 12 March and 16 May 2012 (previously published). 


RESOLVED: To adopt as correct records the minutes of the committee meetings held on 12 March and 16 May 2012 and agree that the chairman signs them. 


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable prejudicial interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 


Councillor Bob Johnston declared that he knew both members of the public, speaking at the meeting. 


Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters, which the chairman determines, should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances, which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 




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. 


Two members of the public addressed the committee. 


Mr Tony Garrard spoke on behalf of Oxfordshire Unlimited.  He supported the proposed policy but urged the council to do all it could to encourage taxi proprietors to provide more taxis with disabled access.  He also urged the council to ensure that taxi drivers were trained in how to assist disabled passengers. 


Mr Jason Atherton of Vale Auto Taxis spoke against the retention of the tariff that controlled prices for taxi journeys.  He preferred to run his own tariff and provide a better service with a higher standard of vehicle.  He also believed the council’s test fees were too high.  He reported that he did not know about this meeting until recently. 


Adjournment of meeting


RESOLVED: To adjourn the meeting to allow the committee to discuss the draft licensing policy for hackney carriage and private hire and accompanying report in conjunction with South Oxfordshire District Council’s General Licensing Committee, and appoint Councillor Melinda Tilley to facilitate those discussions, before reconvening to consider this committee’s recommendations. 


Note: Appended to these minutes are the notes of the informal joint meeting with South Oxfordshire District Councillors. 


Joint licensing policy for hackney carriage and private hire pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic services. 

Additional documents:


On reconvening, the committee considered the report of the head of legal and democratic services.  This set out consultation responses to the draft policy for hackney carriages and private hire, options for various elements of the policy, and a draft policy.  The committee was asked to recommend Council to adopt the policy. 


The committee supported the proposed policy, including the retention of a maximum tariff for hackney carriages.  However, the committee considered that the council should review the tariff and consider whether to remove the tariff system in the future.  This review should commence shortly and include a public consultation exercise. 


The committee thanked the officers for carrying out the policy review. 


Finally, the officers were asked to investigate potential breaches of the existing policy in Abingdon Market Place. 




(a)               confirm agreement to the recommended action detailed in the options paper set out in the report;


(b)               authorise the head of legal of democratic services to incorporate the agreed actions within the joint licensing policy for hackney carriage and private hire for recommendation to Council;


(c)               request the officers to review the hackney carriage tariff, and as part of that review, consider whether the tariff should be removed in the future;




(c)        adopt the licensing policy for hackney carriage and private hire to come into force on 1 January 2013; and


(d)       authorise the head of legal and democratic services in consultation with the chairmen of the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils’ General Licensing Committees to make minor administrative amendments to the policy where necessary. 

Exempt information under section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972