Decision Maker: Environment and Communities Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To consider the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.
Kim Evans, Licensing Team Leader attended the Committee and presented the Policy to the Committee, the draft version of policy had been reviewed by this Committee in September 2021, where the resolution to consult had been agreed. Consultation finished in December 2021 and 230 responses were received, significantly more than in previous years. Officers had made some amends to draft policy based on the consultation responses that related to timescales for DBS and vehicle testing that were deemed admin and finance burdens for license holders.
On the 6 June 2022, the Licensing Committee considered the policy, it was supportive of it and recommended to this Committee for final adoption.
There was some discussion by the Committee that included:
· Avoiding the assumption that those who lived in rural areas would be able to afford taxis for trips such as the supermarket;
· The possibility of harmonisation of the three separate taxi zones and difference in fairs. The Licensing Team Leader advised that there were current limits to the number of licenses administered in the Congleton zone and this policy would remove those. The conditions for drivers would be the same but the fare cards would be different. Currently a Hackney Carriage in Congleton cannot ply for hire in either of the other two zones. Any journeys it accepted must be pre-booked;
· The Committee noted that whilst Cheshire East had standards, other local authorities have their own standards too. If fairs were sub-contracted out by drivers, Cheshire East would take the appropriateness of that driver on trust to meet acceptable standards; and
· The possibility of using technology (e.g. QR Codes) to ensure driver suitability.
The Licensing Team Leader advised that the reason to revise the policy had been because of the updated statutory guidance by the Department for Transport (DfT)
RESOLVED (Unanimously): That:
a) the representations received to the consultation undertaken on the
draft policy (Appendix 2) be considered; and
b) the Cheshire East Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy (Appendix 1) be approved for adoption with an effective date of 1st November 2022.
Report author: Tracey Bettaney
Publication date: 11/08/2022
Date of decision: 04/08/2022
Decided at meeting: 04/08/2022 - Environment and Communities Committee
Effective from: 19/08/2022