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 item

Public Participation

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 have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at remote meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on Wednesday 23 September 2020.


To register to speak please contact Democratic Services, on the details at the foot of the agenda. You will then be advised on the procedures for dialling into the remote meeting.


Webcasting of Remote Public Meetings


Please note that, subject to available resources, this remote public meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The remote public meeting can be viewed live and 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.




It was reported that there had been five registrations to speak on Agenda Item 4 ‘Taxi Licensing Public Consultation - vehicle

Licences’ at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Bernie Flanagan (private hire driver and York Resident) noted drivers awareness of responsibilities in relation to air quality. He noted that the policy for York missed out on out of town drivers plying for trade in York and noted the need to see this in terms of the COVID-19 crisis and economic crisis. He expressed concern regarding the affordability of suitable lower emission larger vehicles (8-9 seater). He felt that drivers who had invested in Euro 6 vehicles should be given a longer grace period and he added that the low emission taxi scheme did not support drivers.


David Hay (York Resident) noted that the COVID-19 impact would turn into a major economic crisis the following year. He expressed concern that there has been no correspondence from the council regarding the changes to the policy. He suggested that the council should lead by example by having it’s own fleet change to low emission vehicles. He suggested that the questions in the consultation had not been open. He noted the unfair nature of out of town vehicles liecnsed by other authorities being able to operate in York.


Mags Green (Resident, Private Hire Driver, Member of York Private Hire Association (YPHA) the trade hard been hit hard by the pandemic in York and the cost to them as a trade to renew vehicles was a strtch if peoposal agreed the trade would decline, there would be a loss of revenue to the council and this would also be impacted by Wolverhampton licenced vehicles and out of town drivers. She raised concern about wheelchair accessible vehicles were not readily available and she suggested that a grant scheme be made available to help the taxi trade to go green.


Neil Rowley (Resident, Private Hire Driver, Secretary of York Private Hire Association (YPHA) noted the effect of producing electric vehicles and the manufacture of their batteries on global warming. He suggested that the use of electric vehicles penalised drivers taking customers on long distance journeys, and he expressed concern regarding charging infrastructure in the region. He also explained the difficulties that drivers would have in charging their vehicles at home.


The speakers were asked what the impact of the pandemic was on the trade. Mr Flanagan noted that the effect of the pandemic on private hire trade was that business had been decimated. He noted that there were a number of small businesses not eligible for the government support schemes. Mr Rowley was asked and explained that there was a 40-50% loss of business early stages of the pandemic and this was currently 75%.


Ian Clish (York Resident, Private Hire Driver, Member of York Private Hire Association (YPHA) noted that for the foreseeable future there was no stock of 8 seater electric hybrid vehicles to meet the needs of the policy. He noted the mental health and economic effects on drivers because of COVID-19, adding that to introduce changes now would not be practical. He noted that he was in agreement regarding electric and hybrid vehicles and highlighted that Wolverhampton licensed drivers and out of town drivers also impacted York licensed drivers.





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