Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Enforcement Committee
Tuesday, 21st March 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester

Contact: Sonia Tucker  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

33.

Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.

Minutes:

Councillor Williams declared a personal interest in agenda item 7 (Safeguarding training) as Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Lead for Safeguarding.

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2016.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th December 2016 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

35.

Minutes of Licensing Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To receive the minutes of the following meetings of the Licensing Sub-Committee:-

 

29th November 2016            Daily Field

24th January 2017                Sedoos Stop

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Sub–Committee meetings held on 29th November 2016 and 24th January 2017 were received.

36.

Public Question Time

To receive any questions from members of the public provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

37.

Petitions and Deputations

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations.

38.

To attach as a condition safeguarding awareness training for all existing and new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Public Protection which invites Members to consider a proposal to attach as a mandatory condition that all existing and new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers undertake safeguarding awareness training.

Minutes:

Councillor Williams had declared a personal interest in this item as Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Lead for Safeguarding.

 

The Senior Licensing and Markets Officer presented his report which invited the Committee to consider a proposal to attach, as a mandatory condition, that all existing and new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers undertake safeguarding awareness training.

 

He noted that Members may be aware that safeguarding awareness had become an issue with the Government following high profile cases such as those in Rotherham and Derby. He anticipated that the Government may require local authorities to undertake safeguarding awareness training.

 

He advised that Cheltenham Borough and Stroud District Councils had recently introduced conditions requiring all of their licensed drivers to undertake safeguarding awareness training and the other local authorities in the County were also taking steps to deliver training.

 

He noted that training was available free of charge from Gloucestershire Safeguarding Board and Gloucester Constabulary until 31st December 2017 and was expected to last no more than three hours.

 

Should the Committee decide to proceed with the proposal, the Council will consult Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers and operators for a period of six weeks.

 

Council Lugg was advised that it was anticipated that all licensed drivers could receive the training before the end of December and it would be delivered to groups of forty or fifty and each session was expected to take 2½ to 3 hours.

 

Councillor Tracey suggested that Officers should ensure that the drivers were told that the training would help them to safeguard themselves.

 

Councillor Pullen asked if any discussions had taken place with the Trade. The Senior Licensing and Markets Officer advised that the two Trade members he had spoken to were in favour and the other Districts in Gloucestershire were considering introducing a similar requirement.

 

The Chair questioned the period of validity of the training and was advised that the Secretary of State may provide guidance.

 

The Vice-Chair questioned the training requirements for those drivers who undertook school contracts for the County Council and he was advised that the training envisaged was in greater depth than the County Council’s current requirement.

 

RESOLVED that the proposal to attach a mandatory condition that all existing and new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers undertake safeguarding training be approved for consultation for a six week period.

 

 

39.

To set up a new Licensing and Enforcement Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the rep[ort of the Head of Public Protection which recommends that Members set up a new Licensing and Enforcement Sub-Committee to determine reports on individual vehicle applications which are outside of the Council’s agreed policy criteria rather than the matter being considered by the full Licensing and Enforcement Committee.

Minutes:

The Solicitor suggested that the determination of reports on individual vehicles that are outside the Council’s agreed policy criteria be delegated to the Licensing Enforcement Sub-Committee.

 

RESOLVED that the Licensing Enforcement Sub-Committee be authorised to determine all matters relating to individual vehicles with the exception of types of vehicle to be licensed as hackney carriages.

40.

Members Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 280 KB

To receive the report of the Corporate Director which outlined key licensing activities carried out in the last quarter (October to December 2016), including applications and service requests received, details of any enforcement work, progress updates on the work plan and any changes in licensing law.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

THE Food, Licensing and Markets Manager presented the report which detailed key licensing activities carried out in the last quarter (October – December 2016), including applications and service requests received, details of enforcement work, progress updates on the work plan and changes in licensing law.

 

She referred to paragraph 6.2, Late Night Levy and advised that this matter had been deferred to Council on 24th July 2017 when the outcome of the ballot on a potential Business Improvement District would be known. She noted that the Late Night Levy in Cheltenham would cease  from 1st April 2017 in favour of the town’s business improvement district.

 

She advised that the Police and Crime 2017 had received Royal Assent.

 

She noted that the implementation of Sections 165 and 167 of the Equalities Act 2010 may require amendments to the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policies.

 

Councillor Pullen referred to paragraph 3.1 and asked if that level of staffing would be maintained following the introduction of the Together Gloucester initiative.

 

The Head of Public Protection advised that Officers would not have specific designations but there would be a larger pool of Officers to react to Council priorities at any particular time. She anticipated there would be 7 or 8 Officers available for the City Centre and a similar number working the other communities.

 

Councillor Pullen observed that some things would no longer be done and other things would be done differently. The Head of Public Protection responded that Managers and Team Leaders would be tasked with working with elected Members to achieve this.

 

Councillor Tracey referred to radio and television reports that the City Council Licensing Team had been helping Cheltenham colleagues during the Cheltenham Festival race meeting and asked if this was a reciprocal arrangement.

 

The Senior Licensing and Markets Officer confirmed that the arrangement had operated for at least the last three years. County colleagues had assisted with test purchase and plying for hire initiatives. He explained that drivers could recognise Officers of the City Licensing Team but would not recognise Enforcement Officers from other districts.  

 

The Chair asked about outstanding taxi and private hire driving assessment and was advised that 25 hackney carriage drivers and 40 private hire drivers out of a total of around 400 had received suspension notices.

 

Councillor Gravells thanked Officers for the enforcement work undertaken in the vicinity of the Quays and he noted that some years ago Enforcement Officers from Liverpool had been deployed successfully.

 

The Senior Licensing and Markets Officer confirmed that Officers and Police Officers on joint operations wore plain clothes with the exception of Police Officers pulling over vehicles who were required to wear high visibility jackets.

 

Councillor Gravells asked if Uber were operating in Gloucester. The Food, Licensing and Markets Manager advised that they were operating in South Gloucestershire but no application had been received for operations in the City.

 

The Chair noted that Uber had been running a recruitment drive on local radio.

 

Councillor Brown asked if  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

To resolve that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the following items of business on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public are present during consideration of this item there will be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the following items of business on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public are present during consideration of this item there will be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

 

42.

Exempt Minutes of the Licensing and Enforcement Sub-Committee

To receive the exempt minutes of the following meetings of the Licensing and Enforcement Sub-Committee:-

 

20th December 2016            Mr SS

12th January 2017                Mr KH

1st February 2017                 Mr CG

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the Licensing Enforcement Sub-Committee held on 20th December 2016, 12th January and 1st February 2017 were received.

43.

`Date of next meeting

Tuesday, 13th June 2017 at 6.30 p.m.

Minutes:

Tuesday, 13th June 2017 at 6.30pm.