Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee - Thursday, 8th December, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room, First Floor, BCP Civic Centre Annex, St Stephen's Rd, Bournemouth BH2 6LL. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

39.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs N Decent, M Howell, D Brown and K Wilson.

40.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications.

 

Minutes:

Cllr A Filer substituted for Cllr N Decent for this meeting.

41.

Urgent Business - Election of Vice-Chair 2022-23

Following the receipt of written notice to the Chief Executive from Cllr David Kelsey of his intention to resign from the office of Vice-Chair of the Committee, the Chair, Councillor Judes Butt, has requested that an item of urgent business be added to the agenda in accordance with the Constitution.

The Committee are requested to elect a Vice-Chair of the Licensing Committee for the remainder of the 2022/23 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the Committee that a resignation from the position of Vice-Chairman had very recently been received from Cllr D Kelsey due to personal reasons. The Chairman had therefor taken the decision to add the Election of Vice-Chair for 2022-23 to the agenda for this meeting as an urgent items of business in accordance with the constitution.

 

The reasons for adding this as an urgent item were that there needed to be a Vice-Chair in place at all times for the purpose of licensing sub-committees which needed to be chaired by either the Chairman of Licensing, the Vice-Chair or an experienced Licensing committee member. With the number of hearings scheduled over the next few weeks and also the need to be available at short notice for TENS or emergency taxi hearings the Chairman did not feel that the election of a Vice-Chairman could wait until the next Committee meeting in January, particularly as there was only a small number of Committee members who were considered experienced in Licensing for this purpose. The Chairman did not feel that it was acceptable to risk the democratic process being impaired due to the absence of a Vice-Chair.

 

A Councillor questioned how would electing a new Vice-Chair today effect the number of people available to Chair a Sub-Committee. It was noted that from an administrative point of view electing a Vice-Chair at this meeting would enable the allocation of members to the scheduled Sub-Committees and increase the availability of someone to Chair these meetings.

Nominations were received and seconded for both Cllr D Brown and Cllr T Johnson. A secret ballot was then conducted.

 

RESOLVED: That Cllr Johnson be appointed Vice-Chair for the remainder of the 2022/23 municipal year.

 

42.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

43.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 15 September 2022 and the minutes of Licensing Sub Committee meetings held on 31 August, 14 and 29 September, 12 October and 9 November 2022.

 

Note: The full exempt versions of the minutes of the Sub Committees held on 14 and 29 September 2022 are also appended as restricted documents. At each of these meetings the Sub Committee resolved to exclude the press and public for the reasons set out in the public and exempt versions of the minutes.

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 15 September 2022 and the Licensing Sub Committees held on 31 August, 14 and 29 September and 9 November were approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.

44.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

 

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

 

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a public statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no public issues.

45.

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles - Taxi and Private Hire pdf icon PDF 140 KB

BCP Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and since then our policies have reflected our commitment to reducing harmful emissions. The Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Policy 2021 was amended in 2022 and at that time the members of the Licensing Committee requested that officers propose additional wording to be included within the policy relating to hybrid and electrical vehicles.

Minutes:

The Interim Head of Safer Communities introduced the report a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. The Committee was advised that, since the Council declared a climate emergency, policies have reflected the aim to reduce harmful emissions. When the Taxi and Private Hire Policy was recently amended the Licensing Committee had requested that additional wording be included within the policy to recognise the use of electric and hybrid vehicles within the licenced fleet and prepare for the review of the policy to be completed by 2025. It was noted that the Licensing Service had met with the trade in November and raised this issue which would continue to be an item of interest for future liaison meetings with the trade. The Committee was asked to consider the following proposed wording for the current Policy and approve it, approve it with amendments or to not accept the wording:

 

“We propose (wish) to encourage the take up (use) of low emission vehicles while discouraging high emission fossil fuelled vehicles in our fleet. This may include introducing differing vehicle licensing fees for hybrid electric and ultra-low emission vehicles and high emission vehicles. We will seek to examine the feasibility of this by working with the taxi trade, to examine options that are available, with a view to differentiating the licence fees paid by vehicle type when the policy is fully reviewed in 2025.”

 

The Committee raised a number of points during its consideration of this issue which were responded to by Officers, and which included:

 

·       Whether there was any opposition from drivers to convert to electric or hybrid vehicles. It was noted that the choice of vehicle was up to the drivers and they would need to make a decision in terms of both purchase and running costs.

·       At present there was only one fully electric vehicle in the fleet. It was unknown if any other drivers intended to purchase them. Comments were made that it would be good to see a greater take up of electric vehicles and it was welcomed that the trade was consulting with drivers and stakeholders.

·       Committee members asked about reducing idling of vehicles on ranks. However, Officers explained that as the ranks were not parking spaces but areas for vehicles to wait for a fare this would be difficult. It could be encouraged at quieter times with some messaging to the trade or with vehicles which were fitted with the appropriate technology. The Committee asked if officers could take this forward with the trade.

·       It was suggested that there was a need to be careful with wording around reducing fees, to ensure that there weren’t any adverse impacts. The Committee was advised that this was an incentive which some authorities were using, and the fees were top loaded to vehicles with higher admissions.  It was noted that this wouldn’t be looked at until the development of the new  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 348 KB

To consider, update as required and agree the Committee’s Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The Chairman outlined the current items on the Committee’s Forward Plan. The Interim Head of Safer Communities advised that an item on taxi vehicle and operators’ fees for the January meeting should state that there would be a period of consultation with drivers and the trade on any changes to fees.

 

It was noted that the item on Wheelchair accessible vehicles would be moved to the May meeting date and a task and finish group to look at this issue would meet prior to the May meeting.