Agenda and minutes
Contact: Alan Garside / Ian Smith Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Fahmy, Grimston, Smith and Walford.
As Councillor Fahmy had given apologies, Councillor Dychton chaired the meeting.
Disclosure of interests
There were no disclosures of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2019 to be submitted and signed.
The minutes of the meeting held on the 11 March 2019 were submitted and signed.
Report of Business Compliance Officer.
The report asks the committee to consider the interim report and options contained within prior to formal consultation.
The Business Compliance Officer introduced the report. He outlined the background leading to the development of the revised vehicle licensing policy for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles. He advised that members were asked to consider the interim report and options contained within which would be put forward for formal consultation.
He discussed the consultation that had already been conducted between November 2018 and March 2019, including the provision of a questionnaire that asked the public and trade representatives for responses on a wide range of transport, taxi and private hire specific questions. There had been 76 responses; 32 from the public and 44 from those within the trade - these had been carefully studied and a number of proposals had been included in the draft policy as a result.
The Business Compliance Officer explained that two drop in consultation sessions had been held at the Watford Town Hall on 3 and 4 July 2019 and had been attended by 44 people. During these sessions, surveys were provided (with 13 responses received to date). Over the two days, attendees were presented with details of the proposed policy changes, information on current licence conditions for comparison purposes and background information on the development of the trade and transport in general.
The revised policy was intended to reflect developments in vehicle licensing matters and would be current for the next five years.
In response to questions from members, the Business Compliance Officer:
· Advised that the draft proposals and questionnaire had been available on the council’s website and had been publicised through the council’s social media. It was intended that officers would carry out additional visits to cab ranks and speak direct to the trade and provide further surveys. There was also an effective text messaging system to drivers. Furthermore, the drivers association had a web page and would assist to promulgate information.
· Clarified that there had been some misunderstanding as to whether the carrying of first aid kits was mandatory or compulsory - and that the equipment was to enable drivers to provide first aid to themselves where necessary. He advised that as businesses, the drivers had a responsibility under health and safety regulations to provide suitable first aid equipment; the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was the enforcement authority. The HSE was also the authority that could require the carrying of an associated reporting book.
· Explained that further study would be carried out on whether a tyre tread condition should be included in the policy.
· Advised that vehicles which had assistive technology features could be utilised but only to the extent of providing assistance to driving and not driving themselves.
· Informed the committee that some drivers were in favour of using card machines for the payment of fares and some were not. Whilst there was some concern as to the associated charges the overall benefit seemed to be in favour of the drivers.
· Agreed that the next consultation period (commencing on 25 July 2019) should be extended to conclude on 1 ... view the full minutes text for item 4.