Agenda and minutes

Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Joint Working Group
Tuesday 21st June, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle L20 3NJ

Contact: Mark Toohey  Tele: 0151 934 2274

Items
No. Item

131.

Apologies for Absence

Paul McLaughlin

Mark Sanders

Minutes:

Chris Snelgrove - South Sefton Hackney Carriage Drivers Association

Paul McLaughlin – Delta

Mark Sanders – Delta Garages

Terry Wood – Environmental Health and Licensing Manager

 

132.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on *

Minutes:

Minutes of last meeting discussed and were agreed as a true record.

 

133.

Matters Arising from the Minutes

Minutes:

It was agreed that the following was still on-going:

 

·         One Stop Shop costing

·         Signage and Phone numbers used by Operators.

134.

Feedback from new L & R Committee pdf icon PDF 122 KB

L & R Committee Meeting, 20th June – Bootle Town Hall, 6:30pm

 

Taxi Licensing performance report attached. Items include;

 

a)    Licence Applications

b)    Licence Appeals

c)    Vehicle Checks

d)    Prosecutions

e)    Knowledge Test Statistics

f)     OSS appointments

Additional documents:

Minutes:

MT – Went over the points that were discussed at the meeting. He said that because it was a new committee, there was not much to feedback on. 

 

MT – Went through the number of vehicles inspected and faults reported.

 

JJ - Mentioned the stats on appointments at the One Stop Shop and asked that because the number of appointments booked and those that were actually kept (approx. 50% not attending), could the drop-in times be altered to 9am-4pm?

 

MT – To make enquiries with the One Stop Shop.

 

RJ – Mentioned the DBS annual check and do we need to publicise this service?

 

MT – Stated he has been liaising with the One Stop Shop and the service has been given the all clear in May 2016.

 

MT – Referred to the “drop in” new driver applicants figures and said he would keep an eye on them.

 

RJ – Said he was asked to raise the question regarding reliability of vehicles especially E7 and MPV’s.

 

MT – Said he has been asked about this and would take this into consideration when making amendments to the Testing Stations Review.

 

135.

Knowledge Test pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Standing item to discuss current knowledge test.

Minutes:

MT – Stated that the number of new applicants taking the knowledge test has dropped dramatically since the new test was introduced.

 

MT – Has not received any suggestions for improvements on the current Knowledge Test from other members of the Group. 

 

MT –Mentioned L&R Committee wants to retain the Knowledge Test.

 

JJ – Gave out a copy of a proposed new test* for group consideration.  He also stated that if we need to have a knowledge test it should be relevant to the job.  It should not be just a route finding test.  It should have places of interest and JJ went through some of the examples.  He also gave examples of questions relating to conditions of license, currency and made a suggestion that new applicants should be able to understand and follow an A-Z.

 

*NB – the proposed test submitted by Joe Johnson is attached to the end of these minutes.

 

RJ – Stated that enough time has been spent on the knowledge test and that current test has been agreed and we should only be discussing that test and not others.

 

MD – Disagreed and said that the reason we attend these meetings is so that we can, and should, be able to discuss all aspects of the Knowledge Test and be able to make amendments and alterations as and when necessary. So we can compete with other neighbouring Authorities.

 

MT – Said he will send out copies of JJ test to all attendees and will also send a copy of the new current knowledge test to all.

 

JJ – Also stated that if we don’t move with the times and compete with other Authorities we won’t be having these meeting in 12 months’ time.  As we won’t have any new applicants coming through.

 

NG – stated that we should have a knowledge test that is a relevant assessment for the job that they do.  A knowledge Test should be “fit for purpose”.

 

 

 

136.

Testing Stations pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Chair to provide update on testing station review and suggestions from work carried out.

 

Testing station data for 2016 attached.

 

The testing station review will include reviewing the 8 & 11 year vehicle conditions & standards currently in place

Minutes:

MT – Stated he does not have much to report on regarding an update on the Testing Stations Review. He went through the figures on Agenda Item 6 and stated that he has meetings and in the background things were moving forward.

 

JJ – Wants all Testing Stations to tighten up on practices.  To all have the same standards.  All Stations should be able to follow the same guidelines.  He stated that the current number of Testing Stations is too big and should be reduced to a more manageable number.  So that enforcement can ensure that they are all following the correct procedures and guidelines.

 

MT – Said the whole purpose for the Testing Station Review was that all Stations follow the same guidelines and procedures.  To have manageable, set rules to follow for all testers and enforcement officers.  So that everyone knows where they stand.

 

MT – To give a full report on the Testing Stations Review.  To make a draft report and set costings.

 

MD – Proposed an awaiting list for new Testing Station applicants wanting to apply as a Testing Station.

 

137.

TRO's

Item raised by Richard Jarman.

 

Recent Ormskirk Road closure (10th June)– no consultation took place – TROs not published. It is NOT satisfactory that there is no consultation; ANY consultation received by SMBC officers MUST result in full trade involvement.

 

Minutes:

RJ – Stated he wants appropriate notice in advance for any TRO following the recent Ormskirk Road closure to which no consultation took place.

 

MT – to find out who is responsible now for implementing them.

 

138.

Cross Border Enforcement

Item raised by Richard Jarman.

 

a)    Update requested on inter-borough cooperation and feedback from licensing officer meetings.

b)    Enforcement on out of borough vehicles & use of local ranks

Minutes:

RJ – Raised concerns over unauthorised officers issuing tickets/warnings/cautions etc. to licensed Sefton Drivers from other neighbouring Authorities.

 

MT – Advised that Sefton Licensed Drivers should ask other Enforcement Authorities if they are Authorised before accepting any warning notifications.

 

JJ – Added that an Enforcement Officer cannot stop a vehicle without a Police Officer present.

 

RJ – Stated for the record that Liverpool Authority issue summons to Drivers too late to raise objections.  The deadline has already passed.

 

JJ – Raised concerns about the possible cost implication of Cross Border Enforcement and what impact it may have on the current service.  Would it be extra work for the current Enforcement Team?

 

MF – To look into officer authorisation for other Authorities.

 

JJ – Mentioned over-ranking on the strand.

 

RJ – Wants it enforcing.

 

MT – To pass on comments to Parking Services.

 

139.

Private Hire Bookings

Item raised by Richard Jarman

 

Bookings by phone to PHVs to must be at the office of the advertised telephone number and recorded as such before being sent elsewhere to agents. Responsibility lies with the principal firm to comply with conditions of licence in the principals' licensed area. Such conditions to be amended to require drivers expected on a daily basis to work within SMBC to have tested typographical knowledge (to comply with SMBC policy). This should apply forthwith, in any event, where the operator is one also licensed by SMBC; or is subsidiary or parent company thereof and or there are linked directors / shareholders.

(a) There is no reason why a condition should not be imposed on the arrangements for agency bookings

(b) SMBC is also asked to report how the correct booking procedure is monitored.

 

Minutes:

RJ – Raised concerns over telephone bookings from PHV.  He wants to ensure that the correct procedures are adhered to and all bookings are accountable for.  Especially those who are being passed onto a non-Sefton licensed vehicles.  Is the system complying with conditions of service or not?

 

MT – Stated that enforcement could request to look at journey records to ensure this.

 

NG – Stated this does not refer to Uber as they use “Tap the App” system which complies with conditions and legislation.

 

140.

Leased Vehicles

Item raised by Joe Johnson

 

Issue of leased vehicles and authority by owner of vehicle to allow the lesser to use that vehicle for private hire use. It is apparent that certain fleet owners are now using lease vehicles at cheaper rates and they do not have the necessary permission under law for that use.  This would invalidate their insurance leaving the council in a difficult position in the event of an accident and claim.  I would suggest that in future any person wanting to license a vehicle should present at least a photo copy of the v5 log book and then if that log book is held in another name then official written authority from that named owner should be required.  Those licensing without a bill of sale should have the necessary documents as above.  I note that chase up letters are only requested occasionally, this should be a matter of concern and remember should be sent and if the required documents as above are not provided then the license should be suspended. 

Minutes:

JJ – Raised concerns over the growing number of Lease Hire vehicles being used as PHV.  He wants to ensure that the lease companies are fully aware that their vehicles are being used Taxi purposes. 

 

JJ - Asked what, if any, is the Council doing regarding checking log books etc. with known lease vehicles?

 

MT – Said he will ask One Stop Shop for details and feedback, especially for insurance purposes.

 

RJ – Stated that they must provide separate evidence such as copy of the lease agreement and make sure paperwork is right.

 

MT – Said he will send out information on Hire Agreements and PCN’s for others to look at.

141.

Drop Off Facility

Item raised by Joe Johnson

 

As discussed a review of the one stop shop and costings is still ongoing. Update of recent income and the reduction in numbers. Confirmation of actual cost to drop off service and why this is extra funding as we already pay for the staff who complete this task. If we are already paying for the staff and they complete all the tasks within those hours then why are we paying extra money?  What is the take up on the extra service?

Minutes:

JJ – Has raised the question as to why the trade is paying for the drop off facility if it a permanent fixture?  Is permanent?  Is there a separate charge for this service?  Is it on the accounts as part of the One Stop Shop contract/service?  Or are we still being billed for it separately?  Where is the money going?

 

MT – To look into costing and seek advice from Finance Department.

 

142.

Taxi Quality Partnership pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Update on the work of the TQP. Taxi Strategy attached

 

Item raised by Richard Jarman

 

The TQP is seeking the trades’ vision on the future of the industry for fresh Merseytravel plans for the Combined Authority in view of the stated policy of achieving consistent licensing policies. “Transport” is to be a devolved function. Merseytravel also seeks a customer charter.

 

Minutes:

RJ – Has asked members to get involved with the Taxi Quality Partnership meetings. The group is seeking the trades’ opinions regarding future plans for a Combined Authority.  Next meeting to be held on the 7th September 2016. 

 

143.

Date of next meeting *

Minutes:

TBC

144.

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.