Agenda and draft minutes

Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Joint Working Group - Tuesday 11th December, 2018 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


Richard Jarman – South Sefton Hackney Carriage Drivers Association

Paul McLaughlin – Delta



Minutes of the meeting held on *


MT- Apologies for no minutes from the last meeting.



Matters Arising from the Minutes


MT – Read through last meeting agenda items.


TC – Said minutes should be sent out as soon as possible after the meeting and not the week before the next meeting.


MT – Agreed.


Open discussion on signage on PHV.


MT – Said he was asked to consider similar signage that Liverpool City Council has on their private hire vehicles (No Booking, No Insurance, No Journey) as part of joint/more Enforcement with Liverpool City Council in an attempt to help reduce plying for hire in the City.


TC – Mentioned signage, stating that new rear plates for hackney carriage vehicles and private hire vehicles are too similar.


MT - Stated no plans to change rear plates.  Discussion is for private hire vehicle door signs.


JJ – Stated it is a Liverpool City problem with plying for hire and out of area private hire drivers “waiting” for fares and Sefton do not need the expense/cost of extra door signs.





Enforcement Team/One Stop Services


JJ – Asked about more enforcement staff.


MT – Gave update on staffing levels.    5 Enforcement Staff.  8 One Stop Shop Posts.  He also stated that, according to informal finance calculations, there may not be enough income in the taxi licensing reserve account to pay for another member of staff but this was before the 2.4% inflation rise on all licenses next year.


TJ – Asked for the breakdown of cost of service, as we have more than 1,000 plus extra drivers than last year figures.


JJ – Agreed and asked does the trade need all the extra staff in the Bootle One Stop Shop?  The trade needs to see the costing to make sure they are getting value for service.  Can the trade have the figures from Finance or does he need to put in a FOI request?


MT – Said he will get costings from finance once the review is complete.


JM – Stated that his members were worried that the service at the One Stop Shop would be affected.  Will it be consolidated into one office and be move from Southport to Bootle, to save costs?


MT – Said there are no plans for this to happen.  He has a meeting with finance to discuss the cost and the 2.4% inflation increase on all licenses.  Also discussed a cost for knowledge test/application fee of around £40 - £50 per application, to cover more Enforcement Staff posts.


JJ – Asked if this was refundable?


MT – Said no.  It was to stop time wasters and 25% of no shows.  MT said that driver licenses were up by 33% and went through figures on sheet.


JJ – Asked again for full break down of costings.  Figures for everything under Avarto and what the cost will be under Sefton Council.  Stating it needs to be managed properly now it has come back under Council control.


MT – Agreed to speak with Finance.  Once Finance have released the figures and we have a summary of the accounts he will share with the Group.


TJ – Asked for a review on Operator Licenses.  As he stated this has not been looked at for some time.  Bigger Operators should pay more for the service based on fleet numbers.



Current Workstreams & Liverpool City Region


MT- Gave an update to the Group regarding outstanding work.


1.     Testing Stations

MT- Apologised for the delay in the Testing Station Review.  But other work demands have meant it has been put back. 


JJ- Has made enquiries into obtaining an approved training course for Test Stations and considering costing involved.


2.     Unmet Demand Survey

MT – stated it is due in Spring 2019.  Currently every 3 years at cost of £12-18,000.

JJ – Can it be reviewed to every 5 years to making savings?


MT – To make enquiries.


3.     Merseyside Officer Group

MT – Stated on-going discussions still taking place to steam-line; minimum standards for drivers, standardising the conviction policy, reviewing complaint reporting and joint authorities enforcement officer’s duties.  Work still in progress.


TY – Stated Uber has seen something regarding complaint reporting.


4.     Constitution

MT – On going


5.     V4 Handbook

MT – On going



Driver Booking System


MT – Gave update as follows:

130 new applicants per week in One Stop Shops.

80 Knowledge Test Bookings per week.

25% of which are no-shows.

Waiting times are down.

Target is aimed at getting an appointment in OSS within 10 working days.



Insurance Prosecutions


JJ – Item raised by JJ for clarification.


MT – Explained to group how the enforcement team manage prosecutions for no insurance.  Will not prosecute for no insurance for out of area Hackney Carriage Drivers who ply for hire but will prosecute private hire drivers for no insurance depending on the wording of their individual insurance policy.  Prosecutions are checked on an individual basis as some are covered and some are not.


JJ – Asked when was the last test purchase operation and are the Enforcement Team planning any more soon?


MT – Stated last test purchase operation was April 2018.  No plans for further operations till after Christmas.



DBS checks


JJ – Raised issue of applicants who cannot provide a valid DBS check, who have not been in the country long enough to have one.  Should we license?


MT – Said we have not had an applicant who has not been able to supply a full DBS for some time.  The Mitigation Panel has not accepted any “good character” or similar reference.  However, he will seek legal advice if the Panel did come across any in the future, as the mitigation policy clearly states, “applicants cannot license without a valid DBS”.



Current Licence Numbers


MT – Went through handout and figures.  Driver licenses up by 33%.




Minutes of Last Meeting


TC – Raised concerns of the minutes of the meeting being send to the group at the last minute.  Can they be sent earlier for comments?



Taylor Review


MT – Stated item raised by RJ but is not here so will discuss fully at a later date.


TY – Said he will send over Uber’s response.  Outcome set for Court - June 2019.



Date of next meeting *

Tuesday 5th March 2019, Bootle Town Hall



Tuesday 5th March 2019, Bootle Town Hall



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.



JM – Raised issue of equality for all aged vehicles.  It should be the same for both Hackney and saloon vehicles.  Not different 8 for saloon and 11 years for Hackney Carriages.


JJ – Agreed.


TJ – Agreed.


MT – Something that can be included the Testing Station and Handbook Review.