Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: The Snow Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G035). View directions
Contact: Angela Bielby Democracy Officer
At this point in the meeting, Members and co-opted 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. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.
An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.
[Please see attached sheet for further guidance for Members]
Members were asked to declare at this point in the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on the agenda if they had not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. None were declared.
To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 8 August 2023.
Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 August 2023 be approved and then signed by the Chair as a correct record.
Public Participation (5:36pm)
At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.
Please note that our registration deadlines are set as 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on Monday 9 October 2023.
To register to speak please visit www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill in an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact Democratic Services. Contact details can be found at the foot of this agenda.
Webcasting of Public Meetings
Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The meeting can be viewed live and on demand at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.
During coronavirus, we made some changes to how we ran council meetings, including facilitating remote participation by public speakers. See our updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.
It was reported that there had been four registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.
Flick Williams spoke on wheelchair accessible taxis and noted that the number of accessible taxis had been reduced, and that there was a need for taxi operators to be educated to address attitudes towards disability awareness.
William Swords mentioned he had experience of driving taxis in York, and questioned the costs attributed to Annex 1 of the report. He mentioned that the infrastructure required for electric taxis in York was not in place, and that there were internal combustion engine vehicles which were acceptable for taxi vehicles.
Gwen Swinburn spoke on general governance matters. She noted that there had been previous licensing sub-committee panels consisting of one political party and she raised the issue of members not being able to sit on licensing sub-committee panels for applications in the ward they represented.
Peter Monk-Steele spoke on accessible taxis. He questioned the existence of a knowledge test needed for taxi drivers in York. He also noted the suggestion of pre-bookable accessible taxis, and noted that as most taxi use was spontaneous, it would be difficult to pre-book taxis as a general rule.
This report provides statistical information regarding decisions delegated to officers in the taxi licensing team under the Council’s constitution from 1st January 2022 to 1st September 2023.
The Taxi Licensing Manager presented the report and highlighted a correction within Table 5 on page 11 – He noted that in total, there was one appeal withdrawn, and three were ongoing, not 4 ongoing appeals as stated in the report.
In response to questions from members, it was explained that:
· There was a timescale for drivers to re-submit medical forms, and that a reminder was sent to drivers before their current one had expired. This was a statutory requirement and drivers who did not comply could have their licence suspended.
· Local Authorities had a duty to liaise with neighbouring authorities when information was learned about a driver registered outside the authority’s area.
· When a complaint had been made against a driver, they could be asked to re-take the knowledge test.
· The free knowledge training was funded due to a shortage of drivers in York’s night-time economy.
Resolved: That Members noted the information in the report.
Reason: For the Committee to be updated on decisions delegated to officers in the Council’s taxi licensing team.
This report updates Members of the current situation in relation to the new Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence allocations, and invites members to instruct officers on an approach to meet the unmet demand for hackney carriage vehicles.
The Taxi Licensing Manager presented the report.
In response to issues raised during public participation, the Taxi Licensing Manager noted that the prices included in Annex 1 of the report were provided by the Institute for Licensing and the Energy Saving Trust.
The Head of Public Protection stated that option 2 in the report’s recommendations would allow licenses to be sent out to those who wanted to drive a Hackney Carriage for business, rather than to be used to sell on – as this was the best option for people to seek a return on the cost.
The Taxi Licensing Manager confirmed that around 15-20 of those on the waiting list had been contacted about license allocations prior to the meeting.
In response to questions from members, it was noted that:
· The Council had published a list of all public accessible vehicles on their website.
· All Hackney Carriage drivers were classed as self-employed and there was no obligation to do specific jobs. The licensing team was working with operators around accessibility bookings.
Resolved: Members instructed officers to progress the issuing of ten new hackney carriage vehicle licences in accordance with Option 2.
Reason: To have enabled officers to make swifter progress in ensuring new vehicles were placed on the roads and meet the unmet demand for hackney carriage vehicles.
Members are asked to consider the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.
Members considered the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.
Resolved: That the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year be noted.
Reason: To keep the Committee’s work plan updated.