Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

86.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

87.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

88.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To note the Part I Minutes of the meeting held on 10 February 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the last meeting be approved. This was proposed by Councillor Haseler and seconded by Councillor Cannon.

89.

MINUTES OF THE LICENSING AND PUBLIC SPACE PROTECTION ORDER SUB COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To note the minutes of the last Licensing and Public Space Protection Order Sub Committee held on 9 March 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the last Licensing and Public Space Protection Order Sub Committee were an accurate record. This was proposed by Councillor Brar and seconded by Councillor Haseler.

90.

ADOPTING STATUTORY TAXI & PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE STANDARDS pdf icon PDF 264 KB

The Licensing Panel to consider the report and:

 

i)          Agrees that the current RBWM Hackney Carriage Driver and Vehicle Policy & Conditions, the RBWM Private Hire Driver and Vehicle Policy & Condtions and the RBWM Private Hire Operator Policy & Conditions (“RBWM policies”) be amended to meet the new Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards, as set out in this report.

 

ii)        Agrees that a consultation with the trade should be carried out before the proposed changes to the RBWM policies are formally adopted.

 

iii)       Agrees that, once that consultation process has been completed, the final decision on implementing the changes is delegated to the Head of Communities, in consultation with the Licensing Panel Chair and the Lead Member for Public Protection, unless the consultation process provides results which would best be considered by the full Licensing Panel.

 

iv)       Approves minor amendments to RBWM policies to reflect changes in personnel and job titles in Licensing.

 

Minutes:

Greg Nelson, Trading Standards & Licensing Manager, introduced the report. The Panel were being asked to agree the recommendations set out in the report.

 

The Chairman invited Mr Sabir, Mr Yasin and Mr Pazir to address the Panel:

 

Mr Sabir informed the Panel that Covid had had a major impact on taxi drivers. The total lockdown had stopped fares and had caused him to lost and confused as he could not support his family and all pre bookings were being cancelled. It had been very difficult to sustain the vehicles in the trade. With no travelling and airports being closed and no work commute, business had almost stopped. Many taxi drivers were trying to find other jobs to support their families. He was very concerned about the bleak future. Mr Sabir pointed out that RBWM should follow the same process as Wokingham Borough Council, where the drivers were handing back their licenses, the council had decided to extend their life of taxi vehicles without a maximum number of years and to reduce their licence fees. The drivers understood that RBWM had given extensions to the licenses and had not charged a fee which all drivers were grateful for. This was only till September 2020. Any drivers that had licenses to be renewed after September were given no privileges as the ones before September. Drivers were finding it extremely difficult to carry on their trade and support their families and could not afford the fees and insurance going forwards. Mr Sabir suggested that a cap be put on vehicles so that no more were issued and to get rid of the Windsor Marshal at Victoria Street, that they were paying towards along with the council. Mr Sabir was aware that the Windsor Marshal had been in and out of post since the lockdown. The premium that was paid for the Hackney Carriage plate licence needed to be reduced since the service was no longer required. With these implementations, both the drivers and the council could save money as no nightclubs were open and no night time economy.

 

Mr Sabir informed the Panel that the drivers had no problems with the recommendations in the report. However, some drivers would be treated unfairly. The council would need to be more open and transparent in dealing with cases so the livelihood of drivers was not affected further. Mr Sabir suggested that the council have a conviction policy as regards to criminal records and to what extent a driver could be regarded as a risk. This detailed information would assist all drivers to understand and therefore comply.

 

The third point that Mr Sabir raised was that the drivers were happy that the policies for recommendation and the CCTV policy would be going to consultation but they were all concerned that with all the fees they were paying, in these unusual times, the recommended policies would incur further costs to the drivers which would be unfair and not right.

 

Mr Yasin informed the Panel that he agreed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Councillor Baldwin's Amendment Amendment Rejected
Recommendations in the report Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 91.

    DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

    The date of the next Licensing Panel is 2 February 2021.

    Minutes:

    Members noted the next meeting of the Licensing Panel would be 2 February 2021.

     

    If an additional meeting was required after the consultation, the clerk would be advised by Licensing and would arrange.