Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room 1, Blackburn Town Hall

Items
No. Item

23.

Welcome & Apologies

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

Apologies were received from Denise Andrews (Licensing Manager), Councillors J Casey and T Fazal

24.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED - The Minutes of the previous meeting held on Tuesday 18th July 2023 were approved as a correct record

25.

Declaration of Interest

Minutes:

No Declaration of Interests

26.

Review of HC/PH fees and charges pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members discussed a report which presented the review of discretionary fee level for private hire and hackney carriage drivers, vehicles and operators. The purpose of the report was for members to consider the review of the fees and agree the level of discretionary fees to be charged from 1st January 2024.

 

The Committee were informed that the fees were last comprehensively reviewed in 2015 and there had been a number of local authority pay awards and service restructures since that time which had all impacted on the costs to the authority of providing the taxi licensing service.

 

In addition to this the service were required to incorporate a number of changes to driver and vehicle requirements as required by new legislation and the introduction of the Government’s Statutory Standards for Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing. Officers had also considered the proposals against the fees charged by licensing authorities in east Lancashire and found them to be broadly consistent for driver and vehicle licences.

 

Members were reminded, that these licence fees were required to be set at a level that reflects the actual costs to the council, and that other local authorities may resource their licensing service differently and have different application processes.

 

HC/PH Dual Driver Licences

 

The Committee were informed that there were currently around twelve hundred valid driver licences in circulation. The service did encourage drivers to apply for three year licences, however there was still a proportion of drivers who had opted for a one year licence each year. This had impacted directly on resources as the service was currently processing around 25% more drivers applications each year than it would need to if the one year option was removed. It was also noted that the fees currently paid by drivers opting for three one year licences amounted to £60 more than the cost of a three year licence.

 

The Principle Licensing Officer had therefore recommended the Committee that the current option for drivers to apply for a one year HC/PHV (Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Vehicle) dual driver’s licences be withdrawn, subject to officers retaining the discretion to issue a one year licence on a case by case basis, as they think appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

 

Members were also advised that the fee for the driver training session had been increased to reflect the threefold increase in new applicants booking onto these sessions, which now necessitates two officers being in attendance and increased venue costs. As the demand for driver training was so high, each session was now being delivered to around thirty candidates, and so completely separate sessions were necessary for those candidates needing to re-sit the exam. This had resulted in a much higher increase in fees for resits. In addition to this the assessments were provided free of charge by adult learning for residents of the Borough and the licensing service was currently covering the cost for out of Borough applicants.

 

However, members were advised that a £25 cost was included  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Update on the work of the Public Protection Service pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on the work of the Council’s Public

Protection and Environmental Health Services (PPS) where there was a

connection with businesses and persons who required a licence from the

Council. It also provided an update for Members on national policy changes and proposals affecting licencing work.

 

The Committee were informed that since the last Licensing Committee 1 appeal against the decision of the General Licensing Sub-Committees to revoke or refuse to grant driver licences had been concluded and the

Magistrates Court upheld the council’s decision, and the appeal was dismissed.

 

 

RESOLVED - The update be noted

28.

Minutes of Licensing Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the proceedings of the following Sub Committees:

 

General Licensing Sub Committee held on Tuesday 16th May 2023

General Licensing Sub Committee held on Tuesday 11th July 2023

General Licensing Sub Committee held on Tuesday 15th August 2023

General Licensing Sub Committee held on Tuesday 12th September 2023

 

 

RESOLVED – That the proceedings of the Sub Committees as outlined above

were approved as a correct record, however it was noted that there was an error in the name on minutes for the General Licensing Sub Committee held on Tuesday 16th May 2023 which would be corrected following the meeting. The minutes were duly signed by the Chair.