Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Council House, Plymouth

Contact: Helen Rickman  Email: helen.rickman@plymouth.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

85.

Declarations of Interest

Members will be asked to make any declarations of interest in respect of items on this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made by Members in accordance with the code of conduct.

86.

Minutes (to follow)

Minutes:

Members were advised that the minutes of the 13 December 2018 Taxi Licensing Committee would be attached to a future agenda for approval.

87.

Chair's Urgent Business

To receive reports on business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be brought forward for urgent consideration.

Minutes:

Under this item Members were advised that there was a request from Licensing Officers to move the 21 February 2019 Taxi Licensing Committee to 28 February 2019.

 

Members agreed to the change of date of the February Taxi Licensing Committee from 21 February to 28 February 2019.

88.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licence Fees pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Minutes:

Rachael Hind (Licensing Service Manager) and Helen Foote (Finance Business Partner) presented the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licence Fees report.

 

The key points highlighted to Members included the following:

 

(a)

in 2015 the Taxi Licensing Committee was advised that the increased time spent on Hackney Carriages resulted in a 50:50 enforcement split for staff salaries between the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire accounts; on reviewing the fees this year it was discovered that the split had not been proportioned correctly and was instead done on a 70:30 split; this had resulted in the Hackney Carriage budget being in greater deficit that previously envisaged therefore adjustments were required;

 

(b)

the fee levels in the report had been set to ensure the Hackney Carriage accounts come into an acceptable level of balance by 2024 and that the Private Hire accounts remain in balance;

 

(c)

within the fee structure presented it was proposed that the Hackney Carriage licence fees were increased for drivers and vehicles and the amount of increase had been calculated by reviewing the costs involved with each licence; drivers could pay for a one year or a three year licence;

 

(d)

with the fee structure presented it was proposed that the private hire licence fees for drivers were increased to ensure they reflect actual costs involved; the costs had been calculated for the one year and three year licence;

 

(e)

the Knowledge of Plymouth Test was due to be increased to £72 following a reduction in the number of tests being undertaken;

 

(f)

the new driver application fee is to be increased to £85 to reflect the increase in the number of new driver applications that had to be referred to the Taxi Licensing Committee for decision on whether they were “fit and proper”.

 

In response to questions raised from Members it was reported that -

 

(g)

an error had occurred regarding the administration of the split in enforcement fees between the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire accounts; this error was discovered and remedial action taken;

 

(h)

the council requested costs for all appeals that went to court as a result of a decision made at Taxi Licensing Committee; costs were not always awarded by the court, this depended upon their discretion and the person’s ability to pay. The number of appeals that went to court and figures relating to the costs awarded would be supplied to the Taxi Licensing Committee in an annual report;

 

(i)

the licensing department had made efforts to transfer some of the required driver/ vehicle forms onto online applications in an effort to reduce administrative costs; there was currently an issue with databases working together effectively which was preventing all forms moving onto an online system. Management were aware of the current issues and were working to find a resolution. All registered drivers were sent letters advising them of the transfer of some forms to the online system;

 

(j)

officers would provide details, in an annual report, of the numbers of appeals  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

Appeal Cases

The Committee will be provided with the results of the judgement on appeal cases that went to Court.

Minutes:

Members did not discuss this item; an update on appeal cases would be provided at the next Taxi licensing Committee.