Agenda and minutes

Licensing, Environment & Safety Committee
Wednesday, 10th October, 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Carol Hargreaves  (0161 474 3203)

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September and 20 September 2018.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 5 September and the extraordinary meeting held on 20 September 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting. The following interests was declared:-

 

Personal Interest

 

Councillor

Interest

 

 

Chris Gordon

Agenda item 6 ‘Drivers with Hearing Impairment’ as the Chair of the Stockport Disability Forum (see Minute 3 below)

 

3.

Drivers with Impaired Hearing pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration.

 

Stockport Council have received expressions of interests from three gentlemen who wish to apply to be licensed by Stockport Council as private hire drivers. Each of these people are profoundly deaf. The report provides Members with information on the standards required for private hire drivers and information provided by Uber Britannia Ltd, a Stockport licensed private hire operator and their partner agency Lingoing as to the support that would be available to deaf drivers who accept bookings from Uber (Stockport) Private Hire Operator.

 

The Committee is requested to:

 

1)    Note the report.

2)    The Committee is asked to consider the information contained in the report together with additional information presented at the meeting and determine whether in the event of all other elements of the ‘fit and proper’ test being satisfied that the support and assistance provided by Uber and Lingoing (or equivalent measures provided by alternative operators and their partners) could result in a driver who is deaf being able to effectively communicate with their passenger(s) and other parties as required.

3)    If the Committee is satisfied that with relevant assistance an applicant who is deaf could (subject to meeting all other relevant requirements) meet the ‘fit and proper’ test required for licensed drivers, the Committee to request officers to confirm this in a policy statement to be included in the Application pack made available to new driver applicants.  

4)    If the Committee is satisfied as per the paragraph above, the Committee request officers to draft licensing conditions as deemed appropriate to ensure that any licensed driver who is deaf only works as a private hire licensed driver when the relevant support and assistance is provided and is available to ensure effective communication between all relevant parties.

5)    That the Committee formally endorse the provision of an appropriate interpreter to be made available upon request for the taxi driver knowledge test that the interpreter be sourced and paid for by the Council, the cost of which should be recovered through the annual review of licensed driver fees.

6)    If the Committee is not satisfied that the necessary support and assistance is available to applicants who are deaf, to enable them to meet the requirement to effectively communicate with passengers and others (required as the fit and proper test) then the Committee to indicate their concerns and offer all parties the opportunity to address those concerns and bring the matter back to the Committee at a later date.

7)    That the Committee acknowledge that regardless of any information provided in the report or at the Committee meeting, any person can make an application for a private hire driver’s licence and that all applications will be determined on their individual merit.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) reporting to the Committee on representations made to the Council from profoundly deaf residents who were interested in becoming private hire drivers. The report also set out the requirements for Private Hire drivers.

 

Representatives of Uber (private hire operator) and Lingoing (their commercial partner who specialised in support for the deaf and hard of hearing) attended the meeting to make a presentation on how they currently support deaf and hard of hearing drivers through technological solutions, particularly in London. The representatives of Lingoing demonstrated their app and on-demand British Sign Language support.

 

Councillors asked a number of questions relating to the current experience of both Uber and Lingoing in supporting deaf and hard of hearing drivers in those areas where these arrangements were currently in place and sought assurances about the reliability of the technology and software to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

 

(2) That in relation to drivers with impaired hearing, the Committee

 

·         was satisfied that in the event of all other elements of the “fit and proper” test being met, the support and assistance provided by Uber and Lingoing (or equivalent measures provided by alternative operators and their partners) could result in a driver who is deaf being able to effectively communicate with their passenger(s) and other parties as required;

·         was satisfied that with relevant assistance an applicant who is deaf could (subject to meeting all other relevant requirements) meet the “fit and proper” test required for licensed drivers, the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration be requested to confirm this in a policy statement to be included in the Application pack made available to new driver applicants;

·         requests the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration to draft licensing conditions as deemed appropriate to ensure that any licensed driver who was deaf only works as a private hire licenced driver when the relevant support and assistance was provided and was available to ensure effective communication between all relevant parties;

·         endorses the provision of an appropriate interpreter to be made available upon request for the taxi driver knowledge test, and that the interpreter to be sourced and paid for by the Council, the cost of which should be recovered through the annual review of licensed driver fees;

·         acknowledge that regardless of any information provided in the report or at the Committee meeting, any person can make an application for a private hire driver’s licence and that all applications will be determined on their individual merit.

4.

Exclusion of the Public and the Public Interest Test

To consider whether it is in the public interest to exclude the public during the consideration of agenda items 9-14 that are marked "not for publication" by virtue of the paragraph 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), as they contain ‘information relating to an individual’

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Agenda Items 9-14 to prevent the disclosure of information relating to an individual as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), the disclosure of which would not be in the public interest, would not be fair to the applicant and would breach their data protection principles.

5.

Urgent Decisions

To report any urgent action taken under the Constitution since the last meeting of the Committee.

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration reported that the Corporate Director, in consultation with the Chair, had taken urgent action to suspend 48 hire car drivers’ licenses.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Public Question Time

Members of the public are invited to put questions to the Chair and members of the Committee on any matters within the powers and duties of the Committee, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice. (Questions must be submitted prior to the commencement of the meeting on the cards provided.  These are available at the meeting).

Minutes:

No public questions were submitted.

7.

Gambling Policy Review pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place and Regeneration.

 

The report updates the Committee regarding the requirement to review, consult and publish the Gambling Act (2005) Statement of Principles of Licensing 2019-2022.

 

The Committee are requested to note the report.

 

Officer contact: Sarah Tooth on 474 4176 or email: sarah.tooth@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Committee to comment on an updated Gambling Statement of Principles that had been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005. The document was due to be submitted to the Council Meeting in November 2018 for adoption.

 

It was reported that the response to the public consultation to date had been limited and raised technical issues with the statement.

 

RESOLVED – That the draft Gambling Statement of Principles be endorsed.

8.

Adoption of Procedures and Fees in relation to the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place and Regeneration.

 

The report provides Members with details of the adoption of new regulations, including the delegation of powers and the determination of licence fees.

 

The Committee is requested to:

 

1.    Note the report

2.    Recommend to Full Council; the adoption of the discretionary powers contained within the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, and delegate decisions in

3.    relation to the determination of licences to the Corporate Director for Place and Regeneration

4.    Recommend that the Corporate Director for Place and Regeneration have the discretion to refer decisions to the Licensing Environment and Safety Committee for their determination (particularly in relation to licence applications were formal objections have been received).

5.    Recommend to Full Council that they approve the proposed fees and charges in relation to animal licensing as of 1st October 2018 (Appendix A).

 

Officer contact: Peter Cooke Tel 474 4851 Email peter.cooke@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) updating the Committee on new regulations covering animal welfare and setting out proposals to change the Council’s Scheme of Delegation to allow the Council to determine applications for licenses covered by the Regulation. The proposals would be submitted to the next Council Meeting for adoption.

 

The Committee considered an amendment to the recommendations contained in the report to also invite the Council Meeting to delegate future fee setting to the Licensing, Environment & Safety Committee in line with other licensing fee setting procedures.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That, in relation to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, the Council Meeting be recommended to:-

 

·         adopt the discretionary powers contained within the 2006 Act and 2018  Regulations;

·         delegate decisions in relation to the determination of licences to the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

·         that the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration have the discretion to refer applications to the Licensing, Environment & Safety Committee for their determination (particularly in relation to licence applications were formal objections have been received).

 

(2) That the Council Meeting be recommended to the proposed fees and charges in relation to animal licensing as of 1st October 2018 (set out in Appendix A of the report) and to delegate future decisions in relation to fees and charges setting to the Licensing, Environment & Safety Committee in line with the arrangements for the setting of other licensing fees and charges.

9.

Case Number P1669

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration.

 

The report informs Members of the conduct of an existing driver.

 

The Committee are requested to consider whether the applicant remains a fit and proper person to hold a hire car vehicle driver’s licence and whether to take any action in relation to their existing private hire licence.

 

Officer contact: Peter Cooke Tel 474 4851 Email peter.cooke@stockport.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That consideration of the item be deferred pending the driver’s attendance at the Committee and that in the even the driver did not attend the next meeting that it be determined in his absence.

10.

Case Number P1685

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration.

 

The report informs Members of a new applicant’s previous convictions.

 

The Committee is requested to consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire driver’s licence.

 

Officer contact: Peter Cooke Tel 474 4851 Email peter.cooke@stockport.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director of Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) requesting the Committee to consider whether the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a hire car vehicle driver’s license in view of the applicant’s conviction.

 

The Committee interviewed the driver in relation to these matters.

 

RESOLVED – That the application be granted.

11.

Case Number P1686

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration.

 

The report informs Members of a new applicant’s previous convictions.

 

The Committee is requested to consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire driver’s licence.

 

Officer contact: Peter Cooke Tel 474 4851 Email peter.cooke@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director of Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) requesting the Committee to consider whether the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire car vehicle driver’s license in view of the applicant’s convictions.

 

The Committee interviewed the applicant in relation to these matters.

 

RESOLVED – That the application be granted.

12.

Case Number P1687

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration.

 

The report informs Members of an existing driver’s new conviction.

 

The Committee is requested to consider whether the driver remains a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire driver’s licence and what action, if any, to take in relation to the driver’s existing licence.

 

Officer contact: Peter Cooke on telephone number 0161 474 4851 or email peter.cooke@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director of Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) requesting the Committee to consider whether the driver remained a fit and proper person to hold a private hire car vehicle driver’s license in view of the applicant’s recent conviction.

 

The Committee interviewed the driver in relation to these matters.

 

RESOLVED – That no further action be taken but that the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration be requested to include a note on the driver’s file.

13.

Case Number P1688

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration.

 

The report informs Members of a new applicant’s previous convictions.

 

The Committee is requested to consider whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a Private Hire driver’s licence.

 

Officer contact: Peter Cooke Tel 474 4851 Email peter.cooke@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director of Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) requesting the Committee to consider whether the applicant was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire car vehicle driver’s license in view of the applicant’s conviction.

 

The Committee interviewed the driver in relation to these matters.

 

RESOLVED – That the application be granted.

14.

Case Number P1689

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration.

 

The report advises Members of a review of a Private Hire Vehicle Licence.

 

The Committee is requested to:

 

1.    Note the report

2.    Having regard to the information contained in the report and any additional information presented at the hearing, the Committee are asked to review the Private Hire Vehicle Licence.

3.    The Committee is asked to determine whether it can be satisfied that the vehicle can be repaired and maintained in a suitable mechanical condition and be safe and comfortable.

4.   The Committee is asked to consider whether there is evidence of non-compliance with legal requirements of the Act (section 60 1 b) and or reasonable cause to take further action against the licence (section 60 1 c) and if so whether to issue a further period of suspension or revocation of the vehicle licence

 

 

 

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director of Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) requesting the Committee to review a private hire vehicle license in view of the failure of the vehicle to pass its inspection.

 

The Committee interviewed the license holder in relation to these matters. The license holder confirmed that it was no longer proposed to use the vehicle in question as a taxi.

 

RESOLVED – That no further action be taken in respect of the private hire vehicle license but that the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration write to the license holder to remind them of their responsibilities under the Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 with respect to vehicle condition and maintenance.