Agenda item

Agenda item

Update on Taxi Licensing Activity: April 2018 - July 2018

The Head of Community Services will bring a report to  inform  the Committee of the progress made by the Taxi Licensing team  during the current Council year (April 2018 – July 2018).


Please note, this report will be issued as a supplement.





The Head of Community Services had submitted a report to inform the Committee of the progress made by the Taxi Licensing team during the current Council year  for the period April 2018 – July 2018.


The Licensing Officer introduced the report and drew attention to some of its key elements. 


Attention was drawn to recent amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver and Vehicle criteria  made by the Head of Community Services to ensure that Licensing Authority documents, processes and procedures are kept up to date, offer adequate advice and support to the trade as well as continuing to  set robust and high standards.


Amendments to the Vehicle Application Pack include: the updating of the name of the appointed licensed vehicle testing centre to Oxford Direct Services Testing Centre; amendments to align the Certificate of Compliance (CoC) testing with the new Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency rules for MOT testing; and ensuring that vehicles are presented for CoC no earlier than 28 days prior to expiry.


Amendments to the Driver application pack include: ‘Transporting Disabled Passengers and How to Ensure Safety of Wheelchair Users’; and the new online procedure for checking DVLA Driver Licences for all applicants.


The report drew attention to implementation of the national register of Taxi Licence Refusals and Revocations in the process for determining new and renewal applications for Hackney Carriage and or Private Hire Driver Licences the proposed date of implementation for which was  01 January 2019.


The Authority is reviewing current criteria and processes to encourage the trade to apply for licences with Oxford City Council and so minimise the incentive to be licensed by other authorities in order to tackle cross-border hiring. The Authority proposes to assist drivers currently licensed by other Oxfordshire Authorities by accepting valid documents and offering a discount in fee for every full year the driver has left on their current 3 year Oxfordshire licence.


In response to questions from the Committee the Licensing Officer confirmed that the rate of licence applications was more or less stable and comparable with the previous year.


It was confirmed that safeguarding training for drivers was in relation to both children and adults.


There was close co-operation with other licensing authorities in relation to drivers whose applications had been refused  or in relation to whom there were significant concerns.


The requirements in relation to the contents of first aid kits to be carried on Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles had been in place for several years and were observed to be a little out of date. It was suggested that thought should be given to the adoption of kits meeting British Standard 8599-1. The Licensing Officers agreed to pursue this suggestion.


It was noted that exhortations/requirements to use environmentally friendly vehicles, whilst desirable, were not  the primary objective of vehicle licensing  and were (and would be) pursued by the Council, by other means. The Licensing Authority is committed to support the reduction of air pollution and the implementation of the Council’s Zero Emission Zone in the City of Oxford. Changes to the vehicle licensing criteria  had  been made to ensure that applicants wishing to use such vehicles were not prohibited from doing so.


The Solicitor updated the Committee in relation to the appeals against the General Purposes Licensing Casework Sub-Committee’s decisions. One of the two appellants, appealing to the Crown Court having been dismissed by the Oxford Magistrates’ Court, had since withdrawn his appeal. This left just one appeal awaiting court summons and hearing date.


The Committee resolved to:                                                                                                           1) Note the contents of the report; and                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2) Recommend that consideration be given to requiring  the adoption  of British Standard 8599-1 for first aid kits for Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.





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