Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Council Chamber - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jennifer Thompson, Committee Services Officer  tel 01865 25275 email  democraticservices@oxford.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair for the Council Year 2019-20

Minutes:

The Committee Services Officer opened the meeting.

 

The Committee elected Councillor Clarkson to be the Chair for the Council Year 2019/20.

 

2.

Election of Vice-Chair for the Council Year 2019-20

Minutes:

The Committee elected Councillor Cook to be the Vice Chair for the Council Year 2019/20

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

4.

Appointment of Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 147 KB

The Head of Law and Governance has submitted a report to establish 4 sub-committees for the 2019-20 Council Year to deal with the casework flowing from the Committee’s own responsibilities.

 

Recommendations: That the General Purposes Licensing Committee resolves to:

 

1.Agree that the casework hearings for taxi, private hire or other driver or vehicle licences, street trading licences and sex  establishment licences should be determined by sub-committees on the basis of the Powers and Duties of GPL Sub-Committees at Appendix 1;

2.Establish 4 politically-balanced sub-committees of 3 members each , and agree the membership, each to undertake the casework of the General Purposes Licensing Committee as follows:

•Sub- Committee A: GPL Chair, Labour Cllr A, Lib Dem Cllr A

•Sub- Committee B: GPL Vice Chair, Labour Cllr B, Lib Dem Cllr B

•Sub- Committee C: GPL Chair, Labour Cllr C, Lib Dem Cllr A

•Sub- Committee D: GPL Vice Chair, Labour Cllr D, Lib Dem Cllr B;

3.Agree that substitution is permitted on each of the 4 sub-committees but that substitutes must be from the General Purposes Licensing Committee and must maintain political proportionality; and

4.Agree the meeting dates and time listed below.

 

Date

Sub-Committee

Date

Sub-Committee

28 May 2019

A

03 Feb 2020

C

08 July 2019

B

16 Mar 2020 

D

19 Aug 2019

C

17 Apr 2020

A

30 Sep 2019 

D

 

 

11 Nov 2019

A

 

 

16 Dec 2019

B

 

 

 

 

All meetings start at 6.00pm

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Law and Governance had submitted a report to establish 4 sub-committees for the 2019-20 Council Year to deal with the casework flowing from the Committee’s own responsibilities.

 

The Committee Officer explained that the proposed  composition of sub-committees as given in the report had  presupposed the same political make up of the Committee as in 2018/9  (ie 8 Labour  and 2 Liberal Democrat )

 

The  position was, however,  now  slightly different (ie 7 Labour,    2 Liberal  Democrat  and 1 Green). The Local Government Housing Act 1989 required this sub-committee to be politically balanced.  The current political balance of the  Committee required that all 3 member sub-committees must consist of two  Labour places and one  Liberal Democrat place.

 

As the Green party only had one seat on the Committee it was not automatically entitled to a seat on a 3 member sub-committee. However it would be possible for the Green member to have a seat on a sub-committee  if the Committee was minded to pass  a unanimous resolution to that effect.

 

After brief discussion a proposal to make such a resolution was put  but in the absence of unanimous support it was not agreed.

 

 

The Committee resolved to:

 

1.     Agree that the casework hearings for taxi, private hire or other driver or vehicle licences, street trading licences and sex  establishment licences should be determined by sub-committees as set out in the Powers and Duties of GPL Sub-Committees at Appendix 1;

 

2.     The report covers data on service volumes, determined applications, enforcement carried out by the Authority, as well as Sub-Committee decisions and prosecutions.

 

•Sub- Committee A: GPL Chair, Labour Cllr A, Lib Dem Cllr A

•Sub- Committee B: GPL Vice Chair, Labour Cllr B, Lib Dem Cllr B

•Sub- Committee C: GPL Chair, Labour Cllr C, Lib Dem Cllr A

•Sub- Committee D: GPL Vice Chair, Labour Cllr D, Lib Dem Cllr B;

 

3.    Agree that substitution is permitted on each of the 4 sub-committees but that substitutes must be from the General Purposes Licensing Committee and must maintain political proportionality;

 

4.    Agree the meeting dates and time listed below; and

 

5.    Agree that the names of members for the 4 sub-committees be agreed outside the meeting.

 

 

 

 

Date

Sub-Committee

Date

Sub-Committee

28 May 2019

A

03 Feb 2020

C

08 July 2019

B

16 Mar 2020 

D

19 Aug 2019

C

17 Apr 2020

A

30 Sep 2019 

D

 

 

11 Nov 2019

A

 

 

16 Dec 2019

B

 

 

 

 

5.

Annual Update on Taxi Licensing Activity 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

The Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety has submitted a report to inform Committee of the progress made by Taxi Licensing during 2018-19.

 

Recommendations: The General Purposes Licensing Committee is recommended to:

 

1.    Note the contents of the report; and

2.    Make any comments and recommendations regarding the future work of the Taxi Licensing Function.

Minutes:

The Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety had submitted a report to inform Committee of the progress made by Taxi Licensing during 2018-19.

 

The Licensing Officer introduced the report whichcovered data on service volumes, determined applications, enforcement carried out by the Authority, as well as Sub-Committee decisions and prosecutions.

 

In response to questions he explained that cases where complaints had been made to the licensing authority but no further action taken were the consequence of  not being able to substantiate the complaint for one reason or another.

 

It was observed that the current  sanctions available to sub-committees for dealing with  some transgressions were, arguably, too lenient. The legal adviser said  proposals to update the national guidance about  these matters were nearing completion; they would  expand the range of matters to be taken into consideration and, in some cases, increase the severity of the penalty.

 

The General Purposes Licensing Committee resolved to:

 

Note the contents of the report

 

6.

Policy on Hackney Carriage Quantity Control - Unmet Demand Survey pdf icon PDF 3 MB

The Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety has submitted a report to consider the recommendations in the “Unmet Demand Survey” report (2018) and agree the Policy on Hackney Carriage Quantity Control.

 

Recommendations: The General Purposes Licensing Committee is recommended to:

 

1.    Agree to accept the recommendations of the Hackney Carriage “Unmet Demand survey” report prepared by Licensed Vehicle Surveys and Assessment (LVSA) indicating that there is currently no significant unmet demand for Hackney Carriage Vehicles in Oxford;

2.    Recommend to Council that there is currently no significant unmet demand for the services of Hackney Carriage Vehicles and therefore to resolve to maintain the Council’s Policy of Hackney Carriage Quantity Control and the current quota of 107 Hackney Carriage Vehicle licences; and

3.    Recommend to Council that a further “Unmet Demand survey” be commissioned in 2021, subject to any changes to relevant legislation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Officer  introduced the report The recommendation to implement an official Policy on Hackney Carriage Quantity Control  was agreed by Council in June 2008, including imposing a requirement that periodic reviews of the Policy were carried out.

 

A Hackney Carriage Quantity Control Policy is in force locally and has the effect of limiting the number of Hackney Carriage Vehicle licences granted by the Authority to a level that meets but does not exceed demand for the services of Hackney Carriage Vehicles. The current quota is set at 107 Hackney Carriage Vehicle licences.

 

The Licensing Authority reviews the specified limit by carrying out “Unmet

Demand Surveys” every three years, which is following government best

practice advice. The Policy itself forms part of the Council’s Policy Framework

and changes need to be agreed by the Council.

 

Following a Council tendering process, CTS Traffic and Transportation trading as Licensed Vehicle Surveys and Assessment (LVSA), was appointed to

undertake the “Unmet Demand Survey” in 2018. He then invited Ian Millership of LVSA to present the outcome of the Unmet Demand Survey, a copy of which is attached to these minutes.

 

The key conclusions of the survey included the desirability of better advertising of taxi ranks; the need to ensure that vehicle numbers are not reduced by the encouragement of environmental improvements; the absence of any evidence that unmet demand is significant; and a view that the current limit (107 Hackney Carriages) should therefore  be retained at the current level.

 

In response to questions Mr Millership noted the relative ease with which ranks coud be clearly marked, citing the example of the practice in Newcastle.

 

Mr Millership was thanked for his presentation.  The Committee then resolved to:

 

1.    Agree to accept the recommendations of the Hackney Carriage “Unmet Demand survey” report prepared by Licensed Vehicle Surveys and Assessment (LVSA) indicating that there is currently no significant unmet demand for Hackney Carriage Vehicles in Oxford;

2.    Recommend to Council that there is currently no significant unmet demand for the services of Hackney Carriage Vehicles and therefore to resolve to maintain the Council’s Policy of Hackney Carriage Quantity Control and the current quota of 107 Hackney Carriage Vehicle licences; and

3.    Recommend to Council that a further “Unmet Demand survey” be commissioned in 2021, subject to any changes to relevant legislation.

 

 

 

7.

Review of the Street Trading Policy 2019 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

The Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety has submitted a report to seek approval from the Committee to consult on the draft Street Trading Policy.

 

Recommendations: The General Purposes Licensing Committee is recommended to:

 

1.    Note the content of the report and approve the draft Street Trading Policy; and

2.    Authorise the Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety to undertake a public consultation on the draft Street Trading Policy.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety had submitted a report to seek approval from the Committee to consult on the draft Street Trading Policy.

 

The Business Regulation Team Manager introduced the report. In discussion it was noted that the proposed revisions were based on best practice. The new provisions relating to the suitability of applicants were not out of alignment with the policy in relation to taxi licensing.  In relation to the proposals for limiting the sales of drinks with high sugar content and energy drinks it was noted that neither was an outright ban and the latter was  just limited to children below the age of 16. It would be made clear that “animal fur” did not include wool.

 

It was noted that this was Lesley Rennie’s last meeting with the Committee before leaving the Council in a few days’ time. The Committee thanked her for all her work over the years and wished her well.

 

The General Purposes Licensing Committee resolved to:

 

1.    Note the content of the report and approve the draft Street Trading Policy; and

2.    Authorise the Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety to undertake a public consultation on the draft Street Trading Policy.

 

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 298 KB

 

Recommendation: That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2019 be APPROVED as a true and accurate record.

 

Minutes:

The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2019 as a true and accurate record.

 

9.

Dates of Future Meetings

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to be held on:

 

18 September 2019.

 

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to be held on:

 

18 September 2019.