Decision Maker: Licensing Regulatory Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The revised Hackney Carriage and Private Hire
Licensing Policy 2018 (known as the Taxi policy), which has been
reviewed in line with national changes to the DVSA driving standard
test, changes to taxi ranks (as introduced by Cumbria County
Council) and changes to mandatory training of drivers on
safeguarding of vulnerable individuals.
The Principal Environmental Protection Officer presented a report which outlined the changes to South Lakeland District Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy. He informed Members that the Policy had been adopted by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) in December 2015. However, since that date there had been significant changes in the way agencies and organisations delivered the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) taxi driver standards test and, following a number of high profile cases in the North West, there was now an emphasis on the safeguarding of vulnerable individuals. He explained that, as a result of the DVSA’s decision to no longer deliver the taxi driver standards test, SLDC had been working with an external agency to develop an approved test which would be delivered to all new applicants. It was proposed that drivers would be required to undertake mandatory safeguarding training, by attending an in-house training course or via the knowledge test. In addition, on 3 September 2018, SLDC had received a letter from Cumbria County Council which advised that there had been changes to parking and taxi ranks in Kendal. The letter from Cumbria County Council had been included at Appendix 2 to the report, and SLDC’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy had been amended to reflect the changes.
The Principal Environmental Protection Officer brought Members’ attention to the sections of the Policy which had been amended to reflect the changes and he also proposed a number of further amendments to the Policy which included:-
1) Page 29 - ‘Drivers should’ – to be replaced with ‘Drivers shall’;
2) Page 32 - Appendix F: Testing of Applicants – (2.0) Local Geography - the following sentence to be added ‘The Local Authority will also include some questions on safeguarding’; and
3) Page 33 - (8.0) General – the following sentence to be added ‘If any safeguarding questions are failed, irrespective of overall pass rate, the test result will be a fail’.
The Principal Environmental Protection Officer answered questions from Members and provided further clarity regarding the report and the proposed revisions to the Policy. In response to a query on how the Council would control those who come into the area to operate, the Principal Environmental Protection Officer undertook to provide a written response.
RESOLVED - That
(1) the report be noted; and
(2) subject to the amendments raised at the meeting and outlined above, the revised Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, at Appendix 1 to the report, be adopted.
Report author: Hardeep Burnley
Publication date: 27/11/2018
Date of decision: 05/11/2018
Decided at meeting: 05/11/2018 - Licensing Regulatory Committee