PUBLIC PROTECTION LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 5th September, 2017.
Present: Councillor A.D. Hampton (Chairman); Councillor M.J.G. Morgan (Vice-Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, R. Crowley, Mrs. P. Drake, O. Griffiths, K.P. Mahoney, Mrs. A. Moore, Mrs. J.M. Norman, Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson and Mrs. M. Wright.
225 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -
These were received from Councillors Mrs. J. Charles, B.T. Gray and J.W. Thomas.
226 MINUTES -
RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 4th July, 2017 be approved as a correct record.
227 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
228 APPLICATION TO WAIVE THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL’S AGE POLICY GUIDELINES FOR THE GRANT OF A HACKNEY CARRIAGE LICENCE - MR. S. HAQUE (DEH) -
The Team Manager - Licensing presented the report the purpose of which was to allow the Committee to consider a request from Mr. S. Haque to waive the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Age Policy Guidelines in respect of a Hackney Carriage Licence application for a BMW 520D Registration No. S444 MMH.
Mr. Haque was not present at the Committee meeting.
In referring to the report, the Team Manager - Licensing advised that the vehicle, Registration No. S444 MMH was previously licensed as a Hackney Carriage Number HC116 until 14th May, 2017.
Mr. Haque surrender the licence voluntarily on 5th April, 2017. The vehicle’s MOT certificate was in force until 14th November, 2017. The vehicle undertook one test at the Alps Garage with no failures or advisory notes issued.
On 3rd August, 2017, Mr. Haque submitted an application for a Hackney Carriage Licence for S444 MMH. The application was accompanied by a letter requesting that the Licensing Committee consider waiving the Age Policy Guidelines in respect of the grant of a licence for this vehicle. A copy of Mr. Haque’s letter was attached at Appendix A.
Mr. Haque also submitted a number of photographs to support his request which were tabled at the meeting.
The Team Manager - Licensing advised that Licensing Officers had delegated authority to waive the Age Policy Guidelines in certain circumstances, but only when an application was made within 5 working days of the expiry or surrender of a previous licence. In this instance, the maximum time period had elapsed.
Having considered the report, the Committee
RESOLVED - T H A T the request to the waive the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Age Policy Guidelines in respect of vehicle Registration No. S444 MMH be granted.
Reason for decision
To take account of the report and Mr. Haque’s letter.
229 REQUEST FOR AN EXEMPTION IN RELATION TO THE DISPLAY OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCED DOOR STICKERS - FORD GALAXY - MV62 LFN (DEH) -
The Team Manager - Licensing presented the report the purpose of which was to allow the Committee to consider a request by Mrs. Nia Lloyd-Knott of Real Wales Tours to be exempt from the requirements to display door stickers on their Private Hire Vehicle.
Condition 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan conditions for Private Hire Vehicles stated that identification door stickers should be fixed to each of the vehicles front doors by an adhesive backing.
The report advised that on 21st July, 2017, Mrs. Lloyd-Knott made an application to renew the Private Hire Vehicle Licence for vehicle MV62 LFN. This was accompanied by a written request to have an exemption from Condition 9. A copy of the request was attached at Appendix A to the report, which outlined that as a Private Hire Operator conducting sightseeing tours, door stickers gave a misleading impression, which often meant that they were approached for use as a taxi firm.
The Team Manager - Licensing stated that current Private Hire legislation did not distinguish between different types of business models and standard conditions relating to displaying door stickers applied to all vehicle licences. This was in order to ensure public safety.
Mrs. Lloyd-Knott, in addressing the Committee, briefly elaborated on the contents of her letter attached to the report. Mrs. Lloyd-Knott stated that removal of the door stickers were necessary because of the difficulties caused from the perception that the vehicle was a taxi ready to hire. Mrs. Lloyd-Knott also stated that she wanted to prevent unwarranted attention that door sticker brought whilst out and about on tours. Mrs. Lloyd-Knott added that stickers would still be displayed inside and on the rear of the vehicle.
A Committee Member stated that as a former taxi driver, he knew how important it was for taxis to be able to be identified properly. The Member asked Mrs. Lloyd-Knott as an example whether she would take a booking from a wedding party of 12 people. In reply, Mrs. Lloyd-Knott stated that her licence was for a six passenger vehicle and that she would not accept a booking for a wedding. The Member added that there was a conflict as Mrs. Lloyd-Knott would be able to pick and choose the type of fares to be carried and he stated that an issue would be how to distinguish between a tour operative and a vehicle for hire. This was something that should have been covered by legislation.
In relation to these points, the Team Manager - Licensing advised that there was nothing within current legislation which identified between different types of business models. So if the Committee was minded to grant the exemption, then as a Private Hire Vehicle, bookings could be taken. The Operational Manager - Licensing also advised that a review of the legislation was currently underway, as this area had been devolved to Welsh Government. Some of these issues were therefore being considered. The Operational Manager stated that if this exemption was granted then there would not be any way to control the types of fares carried. Members were also advised that the Committee was not bound by previous decisions for similar requests, and that each application was considered on the merits of the case presented. Mrs. Lloyd-Knott clarified that her business model was tours and also some airport journeys.
A Committee Member stated that stickers would still be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle and the Member asked why was there a need for stickers to be displayed on the side of vehicles. In reply, the Operational Manager stated that this was common practice because not everyone would be aware that stickers were also displayed on the back of vehicles. Also, many people were not aware of the difference between a Private Hire Vehicle and a Hackney Carriage.
A Committee Member asked what percentage of journeys would be tours. In reply, Mrs. Lloyd-Knott stated that because she had two children, she would only have time for tours. She also stated that she may need to consider the range of fares carried if the business fell on hard times but she offered reassurance that she would be operating mainly as a touring company.
There being no further questions, it was
(1) T H A T Mrs. Lloyd-Knott’s request for an exemption from Condition 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan conditions attached to Private Hire Vehicles, in respect of the requirement to display door stickers on Private Hire Vehicle Licence Ford Galaxy, Registration No. MV62 LFN, be granted.
(2) T H A T the decision to grant the exemption from Condition 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan conditions attached to Private Hire Vehicles, in respect of the requirement to display door stickers, relates specifically to Private Hire Vehicle Licence, Ford Galaxy, Registration No. MV62 LFN, and is therefore non-transferrable to any other vehicle.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To allow Mrs. Lloyd-Knott to be exempt from Condition 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan conditions attached to Private Hire Vehicles, in respect of the requirement to display door stickers.
(2) To ensure that the decision to grant an exemption from Condition 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan conditions attached to Private Hire Vehicles be non transferrable.