Report of the Licensing Manager
The Licensing Manager presented a report on the final draft of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy for approval by the Committee.
The draft final version of policy was appended to the agenda reports for consideration by the Committee.
It was reported that a 12-week public consultation had taken place between the 12th March and 27th June 2021 and the responses presented to the Committee on the 26th August 2021.
There were a number of key decisions taken at that meeting which had been incorporated and reflected in the body of the policy and appendices including but not limited to, updated driver, vehicle and operator application procedures and licence conditions.
The Licensing Manager advised the Committee that hackney carriage and private hire vehicle specifications including emission standards and lead time arrangements had been reviewed. Signage and livery details had also been strengthened (including roof-signs requirements for hackney carriages).
The Committee was advised that in response to complaints received regarding the availability of wheelchair accessible vehicles, the licensing of 2 further Hackney Carriages would be permitted, with the requirement for the vehicles to be fully wheelchair accessible and zero emission. Any further applications would be referred to Licensing Committee for decision.
Also included in the policy was a commitment to provide an annual report to members of the Licensing Committee, including analysis of complaints and investigations,inspection and compliance matters. Numbers of licences granted, suspended and revoked would also be included in the report. This would assist members with understanding the complexity of matters the Licensing Service deals with and highlight some of the action taken by the team to protect public safety.
The Committee was advised that the licensing of tuk-tuks/pedicabs was void within the policy, a decision was required regarding the licensing of such vehicles in the District and a set of standard conditions required to reflect any decision taken. The Licensing Manager had liaised with Public Realm over proposals to use the pedestrianised area of Morecambe Promenade as a suitable route for such vehicles, and concerns had been raised over the shared space and the difficulties in policing correct use, with public safety at the forefront of considerations. Therefore, a further report would be before members at the next Licensing Committee and the section updated in due course.
Members asked a number of questions in relation to tuk-tuks and the formatting of the final policy document. The Committee also requested that the timetable of reports to the Committee be shared with members.
The Committee recognised the hard work of the Licensing Team in pulling together the final draft of the policy.
It was moved by Councillor Roger Dennison and seconded by Councillor Mel Guilding that;
“That the final draft of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy is approved by the Committee and referred to Full Council for adoption, with a suggested implementation date of 1st April 2022.”
A vote was taken and unanimously carried.
(1) That the final draft of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy is approved by the Committee and referred to Full Council for adoption, with a suggested implementation date of 1st April 2022.