Agenda and minutes

Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Joint Working Group
Tuesday 20th September, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Magdalen House

Contact: Mark Toohey  Tele: 0151 934 2274

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Barry Howard – Southport Station Hackney Carriage Association

Thomas Robinson – Sefton Fleet Association

Joe Johnson – Berry Street Garage

Mike Denning – Brookfield Drive Garage

Mark Sanders – Delta Garages

Gary Beesley – Delta Merseyside Ltd

Paula Hodson – Ability Network

Terry Wood – Environmental Health and Licensing Officer



Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on *


The minutes were agreed as a true record.



Matters Arising from the Minutes


RJ raised the issue (140) from the last meeting – Leased Vehicles and wanted some clarification.


MT – Went through in detail and said that this relates to private hire vehicles that are leased from a company and being used for private hire purposes with the possibility of the hire company not knowing this.



L & R Reports pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The full versions of the reports (including attachments) can be found here:



Additional documents:


MT – Gave reference to the report stating that this was the first time the Council has made a summary list of all complaints received in this way, over a 5 month period from April – August 2016.


JM - Asked for clarification on Guide Dog Refusals complaints.


MF - Gave details and explained the exemption process and that all licensed drivers must have an exemption certificate if they cannot medically carry a guide dog.


Points were raised if the exemption certificate applies to both purpose built Hackney Carriage and Hackney Salon Vehicles.


MF – To make enquiries.


TC – Raised the issue of assisting wheel chair uses. TC would like to know if some licensed drivers can refuse to help if they cannot physically aid them. Suggest they use the next available vehicle in the rank?


MT – Mentioned that this issue was raised in the past, and with reference to the Edinburgh Document.  MT can pass on these details for clarification if necessary.  MT stated we have had no complaints regarding this issue.


MT – Mentioned the publication of the South Ribble Borough Council Report regarding its investigation into its taxi licensing functions and Safeguarding Children. 


MT – Asked members to look at the summary table of the high risk issues that were identified in the report and look at Sefton Councils current position on them.


PMcL - Stated that aim of the report and, driver training courses, was to raise awareness of CSE and how to identify and report to the relevant authorities.  PMcL stated will have a positive effect on communities.




Further information to be provided at the meeting.


MT - Gave apologies for not providing the Group with the statistics on Enforcement.  There was nothing unusual to report on.



Update from Merseyside Officers Meeting

Chair to provide update.


PMcL – Asked if there is any strategy behind these meetings?


MT – Explained that the idea behind this group is to achieve some standardisation and uniformity within the 5 licensing authorities.  They will be looking at vehicle conditions, driver conditions, the conviction policy and the ideas behind “fit and proper” persons.


MT - Mentioned that a lot of work has been accomplished and that the conviction policy seems very similar across the board.  It seems that the group are working on what they agree on first and saving the disagreements and differences till last.


RJ – Would like a list on what the 5 authorities don’t agree on.


PMcL – Stated that it is more important to all agree on the safe guarding issues, rather than the minor ones like “the size of door signs” for example.


MT – Said that they were going through everything and working on Best Practice for all 5 Councils.



Joint Authorisations

Chair to provide update on proposed new joint authorisations across Merseyside.


MT – Mentioned the timescales for joint authorisations for cross border enforcement. Liverpool CC should have something in place in the next couple of months, and it is looking like February for Sefton


Knowledge Test

Standing item for discussion.


The current pass rate for Bootle is 35% and 41% for Southport.


MT – Standard item for the Group to discuss. Figures show the pass rates for new applicants has gone up.  Concerns were raised over new driver applicants going to different authorities other than Sefton because of the Knowledge Test.  MT stated no plans have been made to alter or change current test and any recommendations & alterations would be looked into


Testing Station review

Chair to provide update.


MT – Stated that the Test Station Review is nearing a consultation stage.  He said that there may be compulsory training for all testers with a cost implication for testing stations to train and manage their employees.  MT will send the new proposals out when finalised but the work is tried into the work on common vehicle standards across Merseyside which has caused delays.


TJ – Said he would like to meet the new testing person who is working with Liverpool CC.


MT – To arrange contact in due course.



Trade Representatives

Item raised by Richard Jarman.


If a rep is ill, retires, or is otherwise unavailable then other reps in the Borough should be consulted. No Southport rep was on record recently, which resulted in no consultation on an issue of import, South Sefton reps could have stood in.



RJ – Mentioned that all Trade Representatives should be included in decisions when no other Rep is present for that area.  A decision should not be made if a Rep is not present; it should be extended to the wider Group first.


PMcL – Stated that their needs to be a “Rule of Conduct” for Reps.  Reps need to be on the list.  We need to have the right balance of Reps and they should regularly attend meetings and not dip in out and out of meetings, on matters which only suit them.



Lost Property pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Item raised by Paul McLaughlin.




MT – Opened the discussion regarding lost property agreeing that what is in the Handbook is outdated and needs reviewing.  MT added that Merseyside Police are no longer receiving all lost property items but may accept items of high value.


NG - To send the Group a copy of letter he has received from Merseyside Police regarding lost property.


PMcL – Asked if there would be any objections for Operators to draft their own policy on Lost Property items and forward it to the Council for their consideration?


MT – Agreed


NG – Agreed to draft a policy from Uber.


RJ – Stated that it will be different for Hackney Carriage vehicles.


CS – Stated that couldn’t the drivers have a sign that says something similar to that: “any items left is down to owners responsibilities” for example.


MT – Stated he couldn’t see why not


Licence Numbers & Implications pdf icon PDF 719 KB

Item raised by Paul McLaughlin.


PMcL – Mentioned his email to MT regarding his three questions raised regarding the loss in the number of Sefton licensed badge holders and possible implications of this.


MT – Stated he has looked at the figures but will need to make further investigations to check their accuracy before he can put answers to the questions.  He also added that he will be attending a meeting with the Finance Department hopefully in October 2016 to discuss the figures and possible outcomes.


JM – Asked for MT to provide information on ring-fenced money and what is left, if any, as he has missed meetings and needs some clarification.


MT – To send JM figures and link from previous meetings, including information from the Financial Review.



Taxi Quality Partnership pdf icon PDF 389 KB

The latest Taxi Quality Partnership meeting took place on 7th September.


The draft charter and forward plan are attached for comment.


Further item raised by Richard Jarman.


·        To consider and support the TQP reports on the future of the trades regionally

The forward plan is attached; this has been considered by the TQP but not in detail and is the basis on which Merseytravel will proceed in its remit by the City Region to report on Regional Transport.


·         To consider the draft Charter put forward by the TQP:

This is a draft; for a regulator at the TQP to say the Charter should be an enforceable bye – law, or condition, flies in the face of common sense a Charter is a trade wide agreement over and above compulsion.


Regulators must realise that agreement and policy does not automatically equate with compulsion or ‘control’.”


Additional documents:


RJ – Invited members of the Group again to attend meetings and get involved.


MT –Mentioned the attached draft charter and forward plan that the TQP have raised and asked the Group for comments.  Stating that this will be something that the Group can discuss for the next meeting.  The TQP is set to meet again in December 2016.



Request to adopt TfL proposals pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Item raised by Richard Jarman.




RJ – Raised the issue to the group to consider adopting the idea of incorporating the Modern TfL standing in relation to English Language Testing for new applicants.


MT – Stated we will wait for the outcome, before a decision will be made to incorporate this.


NG – Stated that it will be good to adopt from a customer service point of view, as the travelling public will be able to communicate better with the Drivers.



Use of the word 'Taxi' pdf icon PDF 32 KB

Item raised by Richard Jarman.


To consider the recent taxi trade booklet from HMG (2016) and to adopt its policy in relation to nomenclature:


Page 4: Thus, for the purposes of this paper, and in line with the Law Commission’s recommendation, the term ‘taxi’ is used to refer to what are currently defined in legislation as ‘hackney carriages’.


Henceforth “taxi” is a Hackney Carriage, PHVs should cease use of the term.”



MT – Briefly mentioned to the Group, the word “Taxi” is not classed as a “controlled” word in relation to adverts and until it is he has no power to enforce anyone to stop using the word to advertise a company.



Sub contracting of private hire bookings

Item raised by Richard Jarman.


To require a report on the mechanics and enforcement of agency work and agency bookings by PHV operators. Bookings must be contracted to the operator first contacted before any agency arrangement is in place. Arrangements by ‘apps’ are not included in this requirement according to SMBC”



RJ – Asked if any progress has been made as to whether, Tap the App, follows the correct procedures.


MT – Said he has looked into how the Operators work their systems and has no issues with Tap the App and sub-contracting.  Operators are working within the guidelines.


PMcL – Assured the Group that all journey records are properly kept.



Labour Party Conference pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Message from Liverpool Licensing.


MT - Pointed out to the Group, Agenda Item 17, and to take note as to where the designated taxi ranks will be for the event.



Date of next meeting *



Churchtown Room, Southport Town Hall at 10am.


Tuesday 13th December 2016


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.



CS – Mentioned the lack Enforcement at the last Aintree Meeting.  Stating that the trade noticed that no-one from the Enforcement Team was present.


MT – Agreed and said there were issues regarding the last meeting that prevented the Enforcement Team attending.  There will be Enforcement at the next Aintree Meeting in October 2016.


PMcL – Also mentioned that he has previously asked if he could attend the Aintree Meetings and would like to be on the Attendee list.