Agenda and draft minutes

Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Joint Working Group
Tuesday 13th June, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Birkdale Room - Southport Town Hall, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DA. View directions

Contact: Mark Toohey  Tele: 0151 934 2274

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Mike Denning – Aintree Garage

Mark Sanders – Delta Garages

Paul McLaughlin – Delta


Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 14th March 2017


The minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record.



Matters Arising from the Minutes


182 - JJ asked if we could liaise with the Police regarding a defect notice given for etched widows.


MF – To email Police with a copy of our conditions.



186 – JJ asked for an update on the recruitment for the vacant Enforcement Post.


MT – Gave update and said that some staff in the Department has been given their 90 days’ notice.  So the post should get some expression of interest soon.



Performance Report pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Attached is the draft annual performance report intended for to Licensing & regulatory Committee on 19th June 2017.


MT- Went through the statics and explained figures to the group and what will be discussed at L&R on 19th June 2017.



Knowledge Test pdf icon PDF 309 KB

Attached is the draft Knowledge Test report intended for Licensing & regulatory Committee on 19th June 2017.


Item submitted by Richard Jarman:


No further examination of this is appropriate without being undertaken in conjunction with the ‘City Region”


Additional documents:


MT – Asked the Group to look at the draft Knowledge Test report which is intended to be put forward at L&R on the 19th June 2017.  He explained that the idea of the new test is to move away from a Street Test or Topographical Test and focus on what is required as part of Sefton’s Conditions of licence and what is in the Handbook.   He asked the Group to look at the sample questions listed and said that the test will be for all of the trade.


TC – Asked who is pushing for the change in test?


MT – Stated it’s been on the Agenda for some time.


RJ – Stated that the test need beefing up and not watering down.  Not happy with new test and will petition it.  He said that the test should be discussed and agreed on at “Regional Level” and should be in conjunction with the “City Region”.


JJ – Stated that we could have two tests.  The Hackney Trade could keep their test they want and the new test for Private Hire Drivers.


TC – Didn’t agree with the new test.


JM – Said that the two trades are different and the Council has a responsibility to test both.


NMc- Said that the relevance of a Topographical test is not as important for Private Hire Drivers as their jobs are pre-booked. 


JJ – Stated the changes have come about since deregulation and the trade itself now has changed.


TJ – Was concerned about the Safety of the travelling Public.  The new test is making the job worthless.  Drivers should know the area and know where they are going and not rely on Sat-Nav systems.


MT – Stated joint enforcement authorisation is coming for Local Authorities and officers will to be able to check all drivers coming into the Borough.


JJ – Said the test has nothing to do with safety.  DBS checks, Licensing and Enforcement is all about safety.


JM - Wants to keep the route test as well.


RJ – Stated that the trade is inundated with vehicles licensed by other Councils.


MT –Stated that the test should be on our standards and conditions of service.  So anyone with a Sefton Licensed badge knows what is required within our Authority, regardless where they work.


JJ - Said that L&R should be given different options or alternatives for the test and let them decide.  He gave examples of choices:


a.    To have a test or not

b.    To keep the existing test or not

c.    To have the new test

d.    To have different tests for different trades etc.




Chair to provide update on work for the year ahead:


1.    Testing Stations

2.    Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (inc DfT requirements/driver exemptions)

3.    Handbook V4

4.    Constitution


MT- Gave an update to the Group regarding the work planned for the year ahead:

1.    Testing Stations

2.    Wheelchair accessible Vehicles (and driver exemptions)

3.    Handbook V4.

4.    Constitution


MT – Said he would like to arrange a sub-group to discuss plans and put things forward for the Testing Station Review.  He has draft version available to look at, just needs finalising with the sub-group.  Vehicle conditions are also nearly good to go. 


JJ – Agreed to be part of the sub-group and wants better regulations for Testing Stations.


TJ – Agreed to be part of the group.

MT – Stated discussion are taking place on how the Council is going to collate the information needed for the DfT request for a list of wheelchair accessible vehicle and driver exemptions.  The exemption procedure will be similar to the Guide Dog exemption process.  Drivers will have to make a formal request in writing.


MT – Stated that with all the new changes taking place with the Testing Stations Review and vehicle conditions, it only makes sense that the Handbook is updated to reflect this, Version 4 is now a work in progress.


MT- Stated that he will be looking into the Constitution of the Group and what is a requirement.



Predominant Use Policy

Item raised by Richard Jarman:


Newcastle v Berwick 2008] EWHC 2369 (Admin) allows a predominant use requirement which should henceforth be a condition attached to the grant of all new licences whether for HCs or PHVs. Renewals should have the condition attached.

A licenced vehicle will with this proviso be used predominately within the area for which it is licenced; conditions requiring compliance will be attached to operator’s licences.” 



RJ – Raised the issue of making it a requirement of condition that all new licensed vehicles need to be predominately working in the area in which they are licensed.


MT – Stated that the Council will not make a decision on this until they see the outcome from other Authorities.



ECJ Decision on Private Hire Drivers

Item raised by Richard Jarman:


1.   ECJ advocate’s opinion in the UBER case- discus act in support; it’s not a new opinion but shares that expressed at the outset. Comment / action”



RJ – Wanted to discuss the Uber case and get comments from the Group.


MT – Stated that whatever the outcome, either way, it will not normally force the Council into making any changes to its conditions.


NMc – Agreed and stated that the outcome of the case will not affect the Group.  Uber is still a company (whatever it’s labelled as) and will still have to comply with the Licensing Authorities Terms and Conditions.



One Stop Shop Shutdown

Due to essential work on the licensing database, both OSS’s will be unable to process any licensing requests for a 3 day period from 27th to 29th June 2017.


Can you please advise all licence holders to avoid visiting the OSS during this period.


MT – Stated due to essential maintenance being carried out on the licensing database the One Stop Shop will be unable to process any licensing request for a three day period from 27th to 29th June 2017.  Can all in the Group advise their members of this.



Ability Network

Due to Council cuts, the Ability network is being disbanded. Paula has requested the views of the group to stay on as an advisor.


MT – Stated that due to Council cuts Ability Network is being disbanded.


PH  - Asked the Group if she could continue to attend the Trade Meetings as an advisor.


All agreed.



Date of next meeting *

Provisionally 29th August


Tuesday 5th September 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.