Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee
Tuesday, 8th July, 2014 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre

Contact: Jo Maskell, 01279446055, Email: jo.maskell@harlow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairman's Introduction

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed new members to the Committee and explained that Councillors’ training in licensing matters would be arranged shortly, which would enable them to participate in Licensing Sub-Committee hearings.  It was agreed that an evening training session would be preferable.

 

A schedule of Licensing Sub-Committee hearings arranged for 2014/15 was tabled for information.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any matters on the agenda.

Minutes:

None.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2014.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2014 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

(a)       Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 – Implementation of the Act and Scheme of Delegation

            (Minute 42(a) Refers)

 

            It was noted that, based on advice from the Home Office, the administration of the above Act should be treated as an executive function (ie contrary to its current delegation to the Licensing Committee).  In view of this, a report was being submitted to the Cabinet proposing amendments to the Council’s Constitution to revise the delegation of such functions.

 

(b)       Consultation on Fees Under the Licensing Act 2003

(Minute 46 Refers)

 

It was noted that the Council had responded to the consultation in line with the views expressed by this Committee under Minute 46 (11/3/14).

 

The questions listed in this Minute (to which responses were recorded) corresponded to those questions detailed in Appendix 4 of the report.  For clarity, it was agreed to insert a hyperlink on the Council website’s Minute 46 to link the resolution to the questions in Appendix 4 of the appropriate report.

5.

Written Questions and Petitions

Minutes:

None.

6.

Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received its proposed work plan for the current municipal year and requested the addition of a report on the use of bus lanes in Harlow.

 

            RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the Work Plan is noted;

 

(b)       a report on the use of bus lanes is added to the Work Plan for future allocation to a meeting.

7.

Licensing Team Enforcement Activity pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the Licensing team’s enforcement activity during the year ended 31 March 2014.

 

RESOLVED that the Licensing Team’s enforcement activity from April 2013 to 31 March 2014 is noted.

8.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Compliance Test pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report outlining various options for future compliance testing of Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicles.

 

The annual Compliance test to ensure that vehicles are safe, comfortable and suitable in type, size, design and mechanical condition to be licensed, included an MOT test and was based on the MOT testing methodology, adapted as necessary to accommodate requirements.  In Harlow, with support of representatives of the licensed trades, procedure has extended to declining Compliance certificates where items of concern are identified during the MOT test that do not justify the refusal of a test certificate, such that an “Advisory” note is made on the MOT certificate.  This is intended to provide a greater margin of safety for vehicles that carry members of the public and may cover high mileages in a short period.  This is within the discretion provided by the law.  However, it is not a statutory requirement.

 

The Committee questioned the value of this additional requirement, which other Councils in Essex did not include in their compliance testing regime.

 

RESOLVED that the requirement for the Council to deal with ‘advisory’ matters as part of its compliance testing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles, is removed.

9.

Representation Against Private Hire Fees 2014-2015 pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report in response to the representations received regarding the Council’s recently approved increase in private hire licence fees for 2014/15.

 

The Private Hire Trade objected to any increase in the licence fees and, in particular, put the case that they believed the imposition of a drug testing fee solely for private hire drivers was discriminatory.

 

RECOMMENDED to Cabinet that the revised fees as determined at Full Council on 6 February 2014 are confirmed, subject to removal of random drug testing.

10.

Licensing Sub-Committee Decisions pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report summarising the decisions made by its Licensing Sub-Committee during the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.

 

            RESOLVED that

 

            (a)       the report is noted;

 

(b)       the outcome of Licensing Sub-Committees are reported to the Licensing Committee at the commencement of each committee cycle to inform consideration of the Committee’s Work Plan.

11.

References from Other Committees

Any references arising from meetings held after the publication of this agenda will be circulated separately.

Minutes:

None.

12.

Matters of Urgent Business

Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

Minutes:

None.