Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chorley

Contact: Nina Neisser  Email: nina.neisser@chorley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

17.LPS.69

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 1 February 2017 of Licensing and Public Safety Committee pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Licensing and Public Safety Committee held on 1 February 2017 be confirmed as a correct record for signature by the Chair.

17.LPS.70

Declarations of Any Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.

 

If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.

Minutes:

Councillor Ralph Snape declared a personal interest on both items (5 and 7) on the agenda and he subsequently left the room and did not take part in the remainder of meeting.

 

17.LPS.71

Minutes of the General Licensing Sub Committees

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the General Licensing Sub Committee held on 25 January 2017 and 8 February 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.

17.LPS.71a

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 25 January 2017 of General Licensing Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 219 KB

17.LPS.71b

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 8 February 2017 of General Licensing Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 254 KB

17.LPS.72

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Condition and Testing Requirements pdf icon PDF 481 KB

Report of the Director of Early Intervention and Support.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Early Intervention and Support submitted a report to the Licensing and Public Safety Committee to seek Members approval of a new Taxi Licensing Policy.

 

The Council’s Lead Licensing and Enforcement Officer provided a verbal update at the meeting to amend recommendation (2b) in the report which would ensure that the consultation would not commence until the draft policy had been approved by the Director, Chair and Vice-Chair and the Executive Member for Licensing.

 

This report was presented in light of the Licensing and Public Safety Committee decision on 1 February 2017 to consolidate the existing Taxi Licensing Policies and at the same time adopt new conditions.

 

Members recalled making a decision at the meeting of the Licensing and Public Safety Committee on 1 February 2017, to consolidate a number of existing policies that dealt with the Licensing of Hackney Carriage Drivers, Vehicles and Operators. At the meeting, Members also determined to adopt a policy that dealt with the issue where licensed vehicles were persistently being presented with numerous advisory notes that were identified during the MOT part of the Council’s Taxi Test. The specific requirement intended to address the concerns of the Members from the policy stated; ‘the Council do not permit the vehicles to pass the Council’s Taxi Test where there are Advisory Notes on the MOT carried out as part of the test. These must be resolved in the same way as failure issues must be rectified before that garage can mark the vehicle as passing the Taxi Test’.

 

Officers received representation from Parry Welch Lacey LLP Solicitors on behalf of Chorley Autocare Limited by way of a proposed claim for a Judicial Review towards that decision specifically and in relation only to that part of the policy that determined that vehicles were not able to pass the Council’s Taxi Test where Advisory notes existed. The claim included other matters that were not part of the policy which were considered in the second report.

 

To address the proposed Judicial Review claim, Members were asked to remove the aforementioned criterion of application and renewal of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles. Removing the criterion would assist in addressing the substantive claim contained in the representation received and reduce the justification to apply for the judicial review. The Council acknowledged that whilst the policy was introduced for very sound motives to protect the travelling public, there were ambiguities arising from the policy and the mode of its implementation may not be clearly understood.

 

Members were made aware that should they remove the relevant requirement, it would be appropriate for Members to approve the proposed Taxi Licensing Policy, which remained the same as the present policy with the removal of the highlighted requirement. Officers reminded Members that should the relevant criterion be removed and proposed Taxi Licensing Policy be adopted it would be in the absence of any consultation.

 

Following discussion, it was reiterated to Members that the MOT was the lowest required standard; however there was nothing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.LPS.72

17.LPS.73

Exclusion of Public and Press

To consider the exclusion of the press and public for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

By Virtue of Paragraph 5: Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

Condition:

Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Information is not exempt if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

17.LPS.74

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Testing Requirements that are Subject to a Proposed Claim for Judicial Review

Report of the Director or Early Intervention and Support.

Minutes:

The Director of Early Intervention and Support submitted report to inform Members of the representations received towards the Council’s Taxi Licensing Policy and pre-action protocol letter relating to a proposed Judicial Review.

 

On 21 February 2017, officers visited the Council’s approved Testing Garages to advise them of the new requirement. The Policy was generally well received by the testing stations, with the notable exception of Chorley Autocare Ltd who expressed objections to the policy.

 

On 14 March 2017, officers received a Proposed Claim for Judicial Review from Parry Welch Lacey LLP Solicitors on behalf of Chorley Autocare Ltd.

 

In light of the matters raised in the claim, the Licensing Officer consulted with the Executive Member for Licensing and took the view that to defend the claim was not in the public interest due to a number of factors included in the report. Members noted that removing the substantive reason for the Judicial Review (the requirement to resolve advisory notes as previously described) would largely neutralise the proposed Judicial Review claim, although there remained contentious issues.

 

Following discussion, Members were informed that Chorley Autocare had been reinstated as one of the Council’s testing centres. Members were reassured that there were a number of options for action available to the council which would be considered for the drafting of policy for consultation.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Adrian Lowe, seconded by Councillor Hasina Khan, and subsequently RESOLVED (unanimously); that the report be noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.LPS.75

Any urgent business previously agreed with the Chair