Agenda and draft minutes

Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Joint Working Group
Tuesday 14th March, 2017 10.30 am

Venue: Bootle Town Hall

Contact: Mark Toohey  Tele: 0151 934 2274

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

Neil McGonigle


Frank McLachlan - Southport Station Hackney Carriage Association

Mark Sanders – Delta Garages

Thomas Robinson – Sefton Fleet Association

Terry Wood – Environmental Health and Licensing Officer



Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 13/12/16


The minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record.



Matters Arising from the Minutes


MT explained that the DBS Fees will be going up from £44 to £49 and this has been agreed.


MT also mentioned that the Council will be introducing a charge for the Transfer of Plates.  At the moment we do not currently charge for this but this service is taking up 10% of the OSS time.  A charge of £19 per transaction/change is suggested.  This is considered to be reasonable compared to what other authorities charge.




Enforcement & Complaints pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Inspection statistics attached along with a summary of complaint data for Sept 2016 to Feb 2017

Additional documents:


MT- Went through the statics and explained figures to the group.


JJ – Asked about vehicle lights and what was classed as a Stop Notice and what was classed as a defect.  He asked if there was uniformity in the Team of Enforcement Officers.  Are they all doing the same?


MF – Said Sefton Officers follow the same procedure contained in the policy but other authorities may have slightly different rules.


PR – Asked if The Council could ring the Operators back and give them feedback on complaints that they have referred.  So they could be kept in the loop.


MT- Agreed.



Aintree Grand National Arrangements

Mike Foulkes to provide update


MT – Mentioned the Tariff increase and said it has been agreed without objections. Hackney Carriages that service the rank at the Aintree Grand National Meeting can charge tariff two.


PMcL- Wanted to know when the next meeting will be held so he can draft a letter and send on Delta’s behalf.


MT – Said to draft letter ASAP.  Meeting is to be held soon.


MF – Agreed to pass letter on.


NMc – Ask for the detailed plans for Aintree as the company is still relatively new to the arrangements.


MT - To pass on details.


MF – Said he has received two replies from Private Hire Operators regarding suggestions for pick up arrangements for Aintree.


PMcL - Asked if it was possible for Gareth to meet with MF to discuss Aintree ideas and wants contact details of person who is in charge at Aintree.


MF – Agreed



New Licensing Fees pdf icon PDF 70 KB

New fees list coming into effect on 3 April 2017 attached.


MT- Stated that the new fees and charges for Taxis and Private Hire will come into effect from 3rd April as agreed.



Testing Station Review

Chair to provide update on progress and update on tie-in with regional officer meetings.


Item raised by Joe Johnson;


“Suggestion for the spare wheel to be removed from the testing items. It is not a safety related item and most new vehicles are now manufactured and sold without a spare wheel or a place to store a spare wheel.  How can this be classed as a safety item when if the driver has a puncture the passengers just get out and get another taxi and the driver sorts the vehicle out. surely a space saver is more of a safety related issue but we allow them.”



MT- gave update and said that he will send out consultation document later this year for everyone to look at and make comments.  This will then be put on the agenda for future meeting and will be open for discussions and ideas.


PMcL – Asked about joint authorisations.  And where was this up to?


MT – No agreements have been made between the Authorities as yet.


MT – To push on vehicle uniformity between neighbouring Councils and stated that the neighbouring Councils all have similar standards with regards to vehicle inspections.


JJ – Wants standards to be raised.  All testing stations should be the same.  This review has taken too long and we need to get “our” Sefton Council in order and move forward, rather than relying and waiting on other Authorities.  This is a Testing Station review and it shouldn’t be held back by Cross Border Enforcement issues. 


JJ - Also suggested a meeting should be held for all Testing Stations to discuss the Review.


MT – Agreed.



JJ – Raised point of spare wheel rule and said it was out of date and should be removed from the Handbook due to new vehicles not being manufactured with one. 


MT – Stated this will be one of the items considered in the Review.


PMcL - Made the following points that:

·         The Testing Station Review should be High Priority

·          Uniformity should be the key aspect for all Testing Stations

·         There should be agreed safety standards throughout Authorities

·          Cross Border Enforcement should be in place.


MT – Agreed will be done by end of the year.



Enforcement Team

Item raised by Joe Johnson;


“Due to the recent passing of Luke, can you update us on the current staffing structure and plans to replace Luke. As previously discussed in recent years the role is funded solely by the taxi trade and therefore should not and does not fall under the normal council policy in terms of recruitment freeze. This was discussed in a previous trade meeting with councillors and we as a trade deserve the best candidate for true post not just any person that may become available following a redeployment. The trade runs fences money pay for the staff and as such should have a say in the type of qualifications required to fulfill that role. It is only fair that we look for and recruit someone already qualified from outside the council therefore saving us more money in the future having to train that person up once in post. This item should be discussed again and auctioned.”



JJ – Raised issue of staffing issue and said that the Council should fill the role ASAP.


PMcL – Stated it should be filled now rather than later.


JJ – Asked for a Job Spec for the Enforcement Role and stated that the Role should be for someone who is suitable for the task and shouldn’t be for person who if available.


MT – Explained the situation the Council faces with job cuts within the Department and restrictions with redeployment from within.  If no-one is suitable he maybe able to recruit from outside the Council but the post is subject to the same rules.



Equality Act - Designated WAV List pdf icon PDF 179 KB

A report has gone to committee for consideration on 20 March 2017 following DfT guidance to introduce a designated list. It is proposed to introduce the list around 1 September 2017.


Item submitted by Richard Jarman;


Equality Act Commencement Order 2017 No. 107 (C. 10), Transport Act 1985 s12;


a.    S165 (4)(e) mobility assistance – what is it? Lifting or manoeuvring a person is not a part of training …


b.    S165(6)(b) otherwise be lawful for the driver to refuse to carry the person. Can this be defined?

c.    S166: exemption applies;

(a)on medical grounds, or

(b)on the ground that the person's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to comply with those duties.

Note: SMBC should not consider afresh adopting these sections until these provisions are in place?


d.    S167.2 of the EA: (b) it (the vehicle) conforms to such accessibility requirements as the licensing authority thinks fit- what are they”



MT – Stated a report on this was going to Committee for around September 2017.  It will be similar to the Guide Dog guidelines and exemptions will be available to those who apply.



Knowledge Test pdf icon PDF 64 KB

As indicated at the annual spokespersons meeting on 7 February 2017 – the Council will be conducting a review of the current knowledge test for the June committee meeting. Input from all is encouraged.


Item submitted by Paul McLaughlin (attached).


MT- Asked the Trade for suggestions and ideas to be forward to him ASAP so he can have some proposals at the June meeting.  He knows that some are against a Test and some are in favour and want to keep it.  He needs to know what people want.  Suggestions for a separate Test for each Trade are possible if this is the way forward.


CS – Stated his members would still like a topographical test.  Landmarks should be included.


PMcL – Does not agree


CS – Stated the two trades are different.


PMcL – Suggested then that there should be two different tests, maybe?


RJ - Said there should be a common solution.


PMcL – Said deregulation has stopped this.


JJ – Said he has put forward a suggestion in previous meeting for the Group to discuss.  An assessment Test rather than Knowledge Test. 


PMcL – Suggested scrap the Knowledge Test and just keep the VRQ.


CS – Stated drivers should be tested on where they are going.  It’s in the driver’s interest to know the area.  The test should have value and purpose.


JJ – Doesn’t want the test to be scrapped.  He doesn’t want the OSS to be flooded with applicants.


JM – Stated that he would like to retain a knowledge test of some sort and have   one test for all.


PMcL – Said we should learn from Knowsley Council over run. 



Knowsley PHV Consultation pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Item submitted by Richard Jarman;


Knowsley PHV consultation and its (awaited?) result:


PHVs licenced by Knowsley working predominately or entirely outside Knowsley should not be licensed by that borough


SMBC should adopt such a policy in respect of SMBC licensed vehicles”


Additional documents:


MT – Stated will not make any comments on this.  Will wait and see what happens with Knowsley Council before any comments are made.



Combined Authority pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Item submitted by Richard Jarman;


Joe Anderson’s proposal to the Combined Authority to be supported – namely that a Regional PHV licence be agreed (common terms etc) –which includes proper ‘knowledge’




Transcript attached.”



MT – Stated that he doesn’t know what is going to happen and will leave this on as a standard item till more information becomes available.



Stops on Drivers via Operators

Item raised by Joe Johnson;


“Due to recent complaints to Liverpool Council it is my belief that the council are incorrect in seeking operators to STOP drivers from working.  The local government act and local conditions do not allow for this and I believe officers are over stepping their authority by doing so. Furthermore they are victimising certain drivers by taking this action as I understand that only Delta carry out this service therefore wrongly punishing the drivers who work for Delta than drivers who work for other operators, this cannot be fair. The local government act only allows for officers to issue a stop notice in writing, nothing more. I believe action should therefore cease immediately.”



JJ – Can the Council stop drivers from working via operators?  Operators will not switch drivers back on if they have not had clearance from the Enforcement Officer.  This is a problem at weekends and late evening.  Is the Council over stepping the mark?  Can Testing Stations lift Stop Notices with Operators?  Wants the Council to show more trust.  Drivers who are placed on a Stop should not be stopped with Operators.


MF - Stated Sefton Enforcement Officers do not do this.  Stop notice issued will always have the officers mobile on for the driver to make contact.



OSS Downtime

Both OSS’s will be unavailable to process licensing functions during the morning of 29th March due to an essential upgrade.


Both OSS’s will be unavailable to process licensing functions during the morning of 29th March due to an essential upgrade.



Date of next meeting *

6 June 2017


Tuesday 6th June 2017



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.