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To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 January and 7 February 2022 (to follow).
RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the last two meetings of the Committee, held on 17 January 2022 and 7 February 2022.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.
Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)
Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.
If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised.
Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items
To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.
RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the Agenda.
Any member of the public who wishes to ask a question, make representations or present a deputation or petition at this meeting should apply to do so by no later than 0:01am (one minute past midnight) two working days before the meeting. Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.
(1) Questions and Representations
To receive any questions or representations which have been received from members of the public.
(2) Deputations and Petitions
To receive any deputations or petitions which have been received from members of the public.
Mrs Sarah Ibbetson addressed the Committee with regard to Agenda Item No.6 - Review of Hackney Carriage Fares representing the local Taxi Association.
Mrs Ibbetson’s first request was that regular fare reviews would occur in the new Authority, and she suggested reinstating working groups between Members and Taxi Drivers.
Mrs Ibbetson discussed the use of card machines in Taxis which carried a charge of anything from 2% to 5%. These costs were incurred by Taxi Drivers and negated the fare increase proposed at the last meeting.
Mrs Ibbetson suggested no one could have predicted the rise in fuel costs since the last meeting, which she declared had been 40p per litre at least. She suggested that since the last fare increase cumulative inflation had been 20% at least, leaving Taxi Drivers 20% poorer.
Mrs Ibbetson went on to say that the meter fares were often not set at the maximum chargeable rate, as competition was key to keeping prices lower. She reiterated it had been eight years since the last fare increase and there had been a lot of inflation since then.
Mrs Ibbetson finished by referring to two petitions she had gathered that had called for an increase to £4.50 for the first mile and £3.50 per mile thereafter. She was also concerned that Uber were entering the local market and were able to charge double what Hackney Carriage Drivers were.
Mr Andrzej Jedynak addressed the Committee with regard to Agenda Item No.6 - Review of Hackney Carriage Fares representing Ace Taxis.
Mr Jedynak said that every business could increase prices but Taxi Drivers could not as they relied on the Committee. He further reiterated the impact of inflation and asked the Committee kindly to consider the Taxi Drivers proposal.
Further to the meeting of the Licensing Regulatory Committee on 17 January 2022 and the proposed increase by 5.4% of the South Lakeland Hackney Carriage maximum fare tariff, to consider representations received.
The Licensing Specialist presented the report and began by stating that on 17 January 2022 the South Lakeland Hackney Carriage maximum fare tariff was increased by 5.4% by the Licensing Regulatory Committee. The last actual increase having been in April 2014.
Two representations had been received from members of the trade. Contained in one representation had been a petition. And one representation from a member of the public had supported the percentage increase. Another representation had requested a 25% increase, increasing a tariff 1 fare to £8.00 for the first two miles.
The Licensing Specialist recommended that Committee Members:
(1) Considered the representations received by the Licensing Authority to the proposed fare tariff of 5.4%.
(2) Considered whether to: i) Modify the proposed table of fares further, taking into account representation(s), or; ii) Make no further modification to the proposed table of fares agreed by Members of the Licensing Regulatory Committee on 17 January 2022.
(3) Approved 9 April 2022 as the date upon which the modifications to the maximum fares would take effect.
Members were made aware of point 5.4 in the Hackney Carriage policy, which described the criteria to be utilised when considering any revision to be made:
· Reasonable and fair to all stakeholders
· Proportionate with the locality
· Benchmarked with other local authorities
· Simple, and easily calculated
· Designed with a view to practicality
· In line with published best practice guidance
· Mathematically correct and capable of being entered onto a meter
· Structurally the same for vehicles of different seating capacity
· Designed where possible to avoid either deliberate or accidental over charging
The Licensing Specialist advised that South Lakeland Licensing Authority had started the process of revising the Hackney Carriage tariff of maximum fares on 3 November 2021 by surveying the Hackney trade via an email consultation. Members had been presented with a report on 17 January 2022, which had set out the requests of the trade, fare table comparison charts and a national comparison league table with neighbouring authorities. The Licensing Specialist went on to remind Members of the main results of these comparisons.
At the 17 January 2022 Committee meeting Members had opted for a two-mile fare, at tariff 1 to be increased by 5.4%.
The Licensing Specialist reported that as per the Authority’s legal obligation a notice had been placed in The Westmorland Gazette which began a consultation period of fourteen days from 27 January 2022 to midnight on 10 February 2022. In addition to this, the same public notice had been placed on the SLDC website with a further one placed on the Hackney Rank in Ulverston. As representations had been received, the schedule of changes could not take effect until the Licensing Regulatory Committee had considered the representations which had been received.
The Licensing Specialist finished by reminding Members that any movement in Hackney Carriage Fares was at their discretion. Fares could have been increased, decreased or frozen.
Discussion began between Members and the Licensing Specialist regarding the rounding used in calculating the fare ... view the full minutes text for item LR/22