Agenda and draft minutes

Licensing Committee
Thursday, 2nd July 2020 2.00 p.m.

Venue: THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING

Contact: Liz Bateson, Democratic Services - telephone (01524) 582047 or email  ebateson@lancaster.gov.uk 

Note: THIS IS A VIRTUAL TEAMS LIVE MEETING. YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE ACCESS TO MICROSOFT TEAMS TO VIEW THE MEETING . PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING LINK TO YOUR BROWSER TO ACCESS THE MEETING: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MjdlNGQ1M2MtMDQwYi00MTc5LTk5YWUtZTllYjA2OThhMTFi%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2261b49b28-22c1-4c9b-8830-70288744880e%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22dd57637d-970d-498c-8b2c-86d36963754e%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d  

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes

Minutes of meeting held on 4 June, 2020 (previously circulated). 

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 4 June 2020 were agreed as a correct record.  The Chair confirmed that the minute book would be signed when it became available.

 

13.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chair

Minutes:

At this point the Chair requested that the Licensing Manager outline the precautions that were being undertaken with regard to guidance, regulatory control and public safety prior to the opening of a number of licensed premises on 4 July. It was noted that Licensing and Environmental Health officers were working with the Police and would be in regular contact with each other throughout the weekend.

14.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Councillors of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Councillors are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Councillors should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Councillors are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

15.

Proposal for the introduction of a fast track driver (hackney carriage/private hire) application process pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Report of the Licensing Manager

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager presented a report which sought the Committee’s approval for the introduction of a ‘fast track’ new driver application for persons whose Lancaster City Council private hire/hackney carriage drivers licence had expired within 2 years of submission of a completed new hackney carriage/private hire drivers application.

 

It was recognised that the impact of the pandemic on the taxi trade had been huge. The night-time economy had effectively been closed down for 4 months and many vulnerable/ elderly persons who might have normally relied on taxi services to take them to the doctors, hairdressers, and shopping had been forced to shield at home. A large percentage of licensed drivers had not worked during this time and might decide not to re-enter the taxi trade until circumstances returned to similar to pre-pandemic. The proposal allowed licenced drivers not to renew their hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence at expiry but to apply at a later date (within 2 years of expiry) as a fast track new applicant.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Greenall and seconded by Councillor Guilding:

 

“That the recommendation, as set out in the report, be approved.”

 

There was no dissent to the proposal and the Chair declared the proposal clearly carried.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)             That approval be given with immediate effect to the introduction of a “fast track” new application procedure for drivers whose previous Lancaster City Council hackney carriage/ private hire drivers licence has expired within two years of the completed submission of their new application.

 

 

 

16.

Update on Licensing Workplan 2020 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Report of the Licensing Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Manager presented a report to update the Committee in respect of progress regarding the Licensing 2020 work plan approved by the Committee at its’ meeting 28 November 2019.  It was noted that whilst there had been some progress with the workplan, it had been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and reduced staff resources during January/February 2020 as day to day activities took priority over planned reviews and developments. The report also provided an outline of the key licensing issues arising during the pandemic.

 

The Licensing Manager confirmed that it was intended that a further update on the work plan would be provided to the Committee in November 2020 or in January 2021.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)         That the report be noted.

17.

Exempt Item

The Committee is recommended to pass the following recommendation in relation to the following item: 

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the ground that it could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of that Act.” 

 

Councillors are reminded that, whilst the following item has been marked as exempt, it is for the Committee to decide whether or not to consider it in private or in public.  In making the decision, Councillors should consider the relevant paragraph of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and also whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  In considering their discretion, Councillors should also be mindful of the advice of Council officers. 

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair advised Members that it had been recommended to exclude the press and public from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information.

 

It was moved by Councillor Dennison and seconded by Councillor Greenall:

 

“That, in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information, as defined in Paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of that Act.”

 

No dissent was indicated to the proposal to exclude the press and public.

 

 

Resolved:

 

That, in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business, on the grounds that they could involve the possible disclosure of exempt information, as defined in Paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A of that Act.  

The Chair concluded the ‘live teams meeting’ at this point and adjourned the meeting.  The meeting reconvened in a private teams meeting.

18.

Determination of a renewal application in respect of a private hire driver licence

Report of the Licensing Enforcement Officer

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Licensing Manager for the purpose of determining the suitability of the applicant for the renewal of a private hire driver’s licence.

 

Details of the individual case and the Chair’s summary of the decision are set out in Exempt Minute No. 18, in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Decision of the Committee:

 

That, based on the Licensing Manager’s report and the applicant’s representation, the Committee resolves that the applicant remained a fit and proper person to be granted a private hire driver’s licence.