Agenda and minutes

Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Joint Working Group
Tuesday 3rd March, 2015 10.00 am

Venue: Southport Town Hall

Contact: Mark Toohey  Tele: 0151 934 2274

Items
No. Item

50.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Mike Denning – Aintree Garage

 

Joe Johnson – Berry Street Garage

 

Joseph Bridson – North West Taxi Association

51.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on *

Minutes:

Agreed as a true record

52.

Matters Arising from the Minutes

Minutes:

None raised.

53.

Handbook pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Suggested amendments already discussed at the spokespersons meeting are attached. 

 

The group is asked to consider further amendments.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Handbook amendments that have already been considered and agreed were endorsed by all members present.

 

Matters outstanding were then discussed in turn and are listed below.

 

1 – Statement on hours worked by drivers to be finalised and included. It will be a brief statement on hours worked in General.  Paul to supply copy of the wording Delta use to the Chair

 

2 – Additional licensed driver disqualification following on from a DVLA ban in relation to ‘totting up’ offences. Members and the chair agreed that the licensed driver ban should be the same length as the DVLA and will run consecutively after the DVLA ban has expired.

 

3 – Current list of fees may be included with the handbook. Due to fees becoming out of date this may change to just a link to the website for the current fees.

 

4 – Reference/link to the council website for all up to date information is to be included.

 

5 – Updated list of ALL testing stations to be included.

 

6 – Updated list of all trade association to be included, this is to include websites and contact email addresses – not telephone numbers. A discussion was then held about how non attending group members should be dealt with. PM suggested a new group constitution on membership should be considered. No objections to this idea were made.

 

7 – Details where to locate VRQ providers are to be included

 

8 – Guide/Assistance dogs. The requirement for drivers to carry these dogs was discussed. This requirement can only be set aside should a driver hold a valid medical exemption certificate.  New annex will be in the handbook.

 

9 – PM suggested that a link to the latest version of the handbook should be included, as well as private hire companies and trade associations providing links to the handbook on their websites.

 

 

54.

Meters pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Following some enquiries concerning the use of ‘taximeters’ the attached reminder will hopefully clarify the Council’s view to all owners and operators of the current requirements. 

 

 

Minutes:

PM queries the use of GPS devices being used to calculate prices in PHV’s instead of simply a distance with a price being calculated via a rate card. The Chair explained that taxi meters that calculate price require pattern approval and verification, but GPS devices that merely record distance travelled may not. PM stated that he would like SMBC officers to conduct test purchasing in order to establish compliance in the Borough.

55.

Enforcement

Enforcement statistics to follow (will be provided at the meeting).

Minutes:

No significant update since the last meeting – full update to be provided in June meeting

56.

Uber pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Information from Richard Jarman for consideration by the group.

Minutes:

The group considered RJ’s submission. This matter will be considered in due course if/when Uber have a presence within Sefton.

57.

Cross Border Enforcement

Item raised by Paul McLaughlin.

 

“Delta requests that the existing concordat allowing officers from each Merseyside authority to enforce against all vehicles and drivers licensed by the five areas be UPDATED AND RENEWED.  We are led to believe that some local authorities may have held off authorising new officers from neighbouring districts because of concerns they may not hold the relevant qualifications.  Delta therefore seeks for all five Merseyside authorities to LIASE WITH EACH OTHER in order to agree a MERSEYSIDE OFFICER STANDARD (such as a universally accepted NVQ in taxi licensing) and have EVERY licensing officer who meets this standard be newly authorised and approved by all five authorities to enforce across the whole of Merseyside.”

 

Minutes:

All group members voiced opinion that they wished for all taxi licensing enforcement staff on Merseyside to be standardised across the County. This is so that any enforcement taken within Merseyside is both uniform and consistent. The Chair advised that Sefton are ready to standardise procedures across the county but that the process has stalled due to other reasons. PM requested that Sefton push all 5 authorities to discuss the matter between them.

 

In light of the imminent deregulation bill, PM has requested an urgent update on cross border enforcement. He then stated that he believed that there should be national standards for taxi licensing enforcement as there is a national standard for drivers.

58.

Cross Border Liasions

Item raised by Paul McLaughlin.

 

“An increasing number of companies now operate from multiple neighbouring authorities.  ACORN and ALPHA are both for example licensed by Knowsley AND Liverpool.  Delta is licensed by Liverpool AND Sefton.  As competition heats up between operators for securing the services of drivers licensed further afield than their main operating base, multi-licence operators look set to increase.  Add to that the likelihood of sub-contracting amendments being with us in due course, it would seem more appropriate now than ever before for Merseyside’s five authorities to have more joined up thinking and freer discourse.  Delta believes that all local authorities should try and work towards common standards in respect of licensing conditions and enforcement standard operating procedures.  Is this something Sefton would welcome and if so how can we start the ball rolling?”

 

Minutes:

Further to the statement on the agenda as provided by PM, he advised the group that Liverpool was gaining more drivers due to it being perceived to be easier to gain a Liverpool PHV drivers badge than a Sefton drivers badge. He also noted that convictions are treated differently in different authorities across Merseyside.

 

IS queried why the knowledge test cannot be a Merseyside wide knowledge test?

 

PM then re-iterated his stance as in agenda item 8, in that he is keen for all 5 Merseyside authorities to look at these issues urgently as more joined up thinking on taxi licensing is badly needed.

 

RJ then stated that in his opinion transport should not be a local authority issue and that taxi licensing would fit a lot better under the control of Merseytravel.

 

The Chair to update on cross border matters at the next meeting.

59.

Full Livery on Saloon Vehicles

The Council has received a request from Seaforth Radio Cars to reconsider the current condition and allow all hackney carriages to have full livery advertisements instead of only ‘purpose built’ vehicles.

 

It is recognised that this matter has previously been discussed but the current views of the group are requested.

 

 

Minutes:

Views of the members are that no further information has been provided on this issue and their previous stance is unchanged.

 

RJ reminded the group of the previous petition that was presented and agreed to L & R.

 

Chair to request further information on the matter.

60.

Grand National Arrangements pdf icon PDF 355 KB

Details of the arrangements affecting all types of licensed vehicles during the whole festival are attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Arrangements provided to all members for circulation.

61.

Update on ULEV pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Information received from John Smith, Merseytravel, regarding upcoming events at their office – 1 Mann Island, Liverpool.

 

“The Energy Savings Trust are undertaking to look at electric taxi charging infrastructure across the city region they have set up a series of meetings on the 4th and 5th March to speak to a number of various partners as part of this study. The dates for the trade are as follows:-

 

PHV trade reps – 3pm to 4pm and 4pm to 5pm on Wednesday 4th March.

 

Local Taxi Licensing Officers - 10am to 11am and 11am to noon on Thursday 5th March

 

Hackney trade reps – 2pm to 3pm and 3pm to 4pm on Thursday 5th March

 

I would be grateful if you could pass on these details to your trade reps both Hackney and PHV and ask them to let me know directly which session they would like to attend.

 

I would also be grateful if you could please advise me which slot you would like to speak to EST”

 

Further information is attached

Minutes:

Information provided by John Smith of Merseytravel circulated to the group.

62.

Tuk Tuks

Update on recent meeting with City Tuk Tuks.

Minutes:

The proprietor in question holds a PSV license issued by the Traffic Commissioners. The Chair advised that enquiries have been conducted relating to allegations of activity in Sefton. The company has volunteered information about its workings and there has been no evidence of any illegal activity.

63.

VRQ

Update on current situation concerning the deadline for completing the VRQ (or NVQ).

Minutes:

The issue of all drivers requiring the VRQ by the close of 2015 is ongoing throughout the year. Delta are actively contacting all drivers who do not hold the qualification and offering their training services.

64.

Date of next meeting *

2nd June 2015, Bootle Town Hall

Minutes:

The next Trade meetings will be held at Bootle Town Hall on 2 June 2015 at the following times:

 

9.30 to 10.30

Hackney Carriage Working Group

(Subject to receipt of sufficient /relevant Agenda Items).

 

10.30 to 12.30

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Joint Working Group.

 

65.

Any Other Business

In accordance with Minute No. 37 (iii) of the meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee of 24 February 2003, other business may only be considered if agreed by the Chair and a majority of the trade and if it is of an urgent nature. i.e. requires consideration prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Joint Trade Working Group.

 

Minutes:

PM queried the fact that Delta now has over 2000 vehicles registered on their system. Their Operators licence to his knowledge states ‘up to 2,000 vehicles’. PM enquired as to how this can be amended and any cost implications.

 

Chair advised that he would clarify why the licence said that as the biggest current operator licence should say it is actually for 100 plus vehicles for £175 and not be limited to a maximum number.