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Agenda item

Taxi Licensing Policy - Proposed Amendments

This report seeks Members approval to formally consult on proposed amendments to the Taxi Licensing Policy, and an adequate timeframe for the duration of the consultation.

 

Minutes:

Members considered a report which sought their approval to formally consult on proposed amendments to the Taxi Licensing Policy, and an adequate timeframe for the duration of the consultation.

 

The Licensing Manager gave an overview of the report detailing the information contained in the annexes. She explained the background to the proposed amendments and the resulting joint working with West Yorkshire and York Combined Authority.

 

It was reported that in agreement with the Licensing Chairs, the  Licensing Managers of the six authorities in the West Yorkshire and York Combined Authority determined a number of areas that needed to be addressed - cross-border enforcement, training for new driver applicants and licensed drivers, determining the suitability of applicants and licensed drivers in relation to convictions, CCTV in licensed vehicles, vehicle specification; and Information sharing between authorities. An update on the progress in those areas was given and it was explained that the  proposed policy (Annex 3) had been produced in line with guidance issued by the Institute of Licensing in partnership with LGA (Local Government Association), LLG (Lawyers in Local Government) and NALEO (National Association of Licensing and Enforcement Officers). 

 

During the course of the project NAFN (National Anti-Fraud Network) had produced a national register for Taxi and Private Hire Driver Refusals and Revocations of which York and the five West Yorkshire authorities were all registered with NAFN to use that service.  As there had been differences between the authorities concerning  vehicle specification, it was determined that this needed further consideration.  To bring City of York in line with the West Yorkshire authorities, the proposed changes to the policy related to introducing new requirements that licensed vehicles displayed a licence disc in the windscreen, that York hackney carriage vehicles be black, that the requirements for displaying licensed plates and door signage be updated and that the requirements for a minimum engine size be removed and that an internal sign be displayed.  

 

The Licensing Manager outlined the options to Members and in relation to their questions clarified:

The policy in relation to tinted windows on licensed vehicles would be considered by the West Yorkshire and York Combined Authority following consultation.

 

Regarding the proposal for all hackney carriages to be black, all hackney carriages would be licensed from June 2019 and would not need to change colour until the vehicle was changed.

 

The proposed licence disc to be displayed on licensed vehicles windscreens would be a similar size to a bank card. The disc would be renewed on an annual basis.

 

Possible exemptions to the English language test would be addressed following the outcome of the consultation.

 

The convictions policy was consistent across the West Yorkshire and York Combined Authority.

 

The consideration of serious offences resulting in the refusal of a licence application would be taken on a case by case basis.

 

Following debate it was:

 

Resolved: That Members approve Option 1 – to authorise Officers to consult on the proposed amendments to the taxi licensing policy and agree the consultation period of eight weeks with the possibility of an extension to take into account the Christmas and New Year period.

 

Reason:     This will allow the Council to formally consult on amendments to the Taxi Licensing Policy to bring Policy requirements in line with the five West Yorkshire Authorities.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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