Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Snow Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G035). View directions

Contact: Angela Bielby  Democracy Officer

Items
No. Item

86.

Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests.

 

 

Minutes:

A Member asked for an update on York Cars. The Chair informed Members that a statement on this would be made after the three agenda items of business.

 

[Cllr Warters left the meeting at 5.35pm]

 

Cllr Looker declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 4 [Hackney Carriage Licences] with regard to accessibility and the need to maintain a fleet accessible other than to wheelchair users. Cllr Norman also declared a personal interest in that item due to his employment in wheelchair services and working with people with wheelchair interests.

 

Members were invited to declare any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, any prejudicial interests, or any disclosable pecuniary interests that they might have in respect of business on the agenda. Cllr Melly declared an interest in agenda item 4 Licensing Act 2003 – Statement of Licensing Policy and Cumulative Impact Assessment and undertook to withdraw from the meeting for that item. There were no further declarations of interest.

 

87.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2022.

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2022 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

 

88.

Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings. The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on Wednesday 1 June 2022. Members of the public can speak on agenda items or matters within the remit of the committee.

 

To register to speak please visit

www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill out an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting please contact the Democracy Officer for the meeting whose details can be found at the foot of the agenda.

Webcasting of Public Meetings Please note that, subject to available resources, this public meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission.

 

The public meeting can be viewed on demand at

www.york.gov.uk/webcasts. During coronavirus, we've made some

changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.

 

Minutes:

It was reported that there had been two registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme. One registration had been withdrawn.

 

Flick Williams spoke on Agenda Item 4 [Hackney Carriage Licences] and welcomed the report and recommendations. She expressed concern that there was no overall increase in the number of wheelchair accessible cars and she gave a number of examples when these vehicles would be needed. She referred to the exclusion  of blue badge holders for taxis. The Chair advised that her comments had been noted.

 

The Chair made the following statement regarding York Cars:

 

“I have taken advice from the Monitoring Officer on this issue.

 

The outcome of the York Cars appeal is not on the agenda. It is a matter of public record that the appeal was allowed on the basis of a consent order which bound the operator to conditions about the operator being “fit and proper”.  Because considerations taken into account in settling the proceedings are subject to legal professional privilege and discussion in the public domain about ongoing compliance with licence conditions may prejudice future legal action, the matter is not suitable for discussion in the public domain.

 

The outcome of the same appeal does not fall within the definition of urgent business as set out in S100B(4) Local Government Act 1972, as amended, namely “where by reason of special circumstances which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered as a matter of urgency and cannot be deferred to the next meeting.” There is no decision to be taken which can properly be classified as urgent as the case has concluded.

 

Members of the Licensing Committee will be invited to receive a private briefing on the outcome of the appeal and developments since the member decision to revoke the operator licence in November 2020 was made. This could also form a case study in forthcoming Licensing training for members if so requested.

 

In addition Members are invited to express their views to the Chair/Monitoring Officer on when and how they would like to be kept informed of Licensing matters which become the subject of litigation and whether it would be useful to receive a regular report akin to those presented to Planning and Joint Standards Committees on the progress on appeals and complaints.”

 

89.

Hackney Carriage Licences pdf icon PDF 436 KB

This report advises Members of the findings of the ‘unmet demand’ survey which has been undertaken with regards to hackney carriage vehicles.  It asks Members to make a recommendation to Executive and subsequently the Council on:

i)     the number of new hackney carriage vehicle licences to be issued, and

ii)    the type of vehicle they should be issued to.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report that advised them of the findings of the ‘unmet demand’ survey that has been undertaken with regards to hackney carriage vehicles.  The report asked Members to make a recommendation to Executive and subsequently the Council on:

i)             the number of new hackney carriage vehicle licences to be issued, and

ii)            the type of vehicle they should be issued to.

 

The Head of Public Protection outlined the report. The report author of the LVSA York Hackney Carriage Unmet Demand Survey report (at Annex 1 of the report) detailed the aim, scope, methodology and findings of the survey. In response to Member questions the Head of Public Protection, Licensing Manager, Public Protection Manager and the LVSA author of the unmet demand survey and officers explained:

·        That regarding driver availability at peak times, the assumption was that drivers would follow the same pattern of working.

·        How the proposal to  make available 9 new hackney carriage vehicle licences had been reached.

·        If the no of hackney carriage licences issued was restricted then the unmet demand survey would have to be undertaken at least every three years.

·        The Chair noted that if the calculated threshold was reduced, the new values must be re-established in three years to see if the level of unmet demand had changed.

·        That concerning the options around vehicle specification, it was recommended that the additional licences included wheelchair accessible vehicles. Of the 183 licenced vehicles, 45 had to be wheelchair accessible and a specification of every vehicle was that the big enough to carry a wheelchair.

·        The definition of a wheelchair accessible vehicle was not being changed. The move was to electric vehicles which could be converted to a wheelchair accessible vehicle. It was noted that there wasn’t one type of vehicle suitable for all types of wheelchair. An explanation of the vehicle specifications was given.

·        The recommendation for hybrid electric vehicles was to improve air quality by having lower emissions.

·        Annex 2 included information on the existing taxi fleet and currently there was no age limit on vehicles and there was a significant number of older vehicles being used.

·        There was still a limited range of vehicles and the vehicles listed met both specifications of being wheelchair accessible and electric plug in.

·        It was unlikely that some hybrid vehicles would run just petrol given the expensive vehicle.

·        The £3000 taxi grants were available to existing licence holders.

·        The aim to rid of all diesel vehicles.

·        There wasn’t a policy change regarding existing licenses. A London taxi cost £60,000 new and £40,000 second hand and taxis could also be rented. The fares in York were at the hiher end of the spectrum.

·        The second hand taxi scheme offered up to £3,000 off the vehicle and there were other incentives available.

·        Regarding trends changing and reductions in the number of drivers in the future, if there was an unmet demand and licences were surrendered, this could be considered by the committee.

·        There were other circumstances for licenses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

 

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