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LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 5th February, 2013.

 

Present:  Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson (Vice-Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. P. Drake, K.J. Geary, H.C. Hamilton, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mrs. A.J. Moore, N. Moore, Mrs. A.J. Preston, J.W. Thomas and R.P. Thomas.

 

 

797     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors K. Hatton and Ms. R.F. Probert.

 

 

798     MINUTES -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 8th January, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

799     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

Councillor A.G. Powell declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 4 – Application to Waive the Vale of Glamorgan’s Age Policy Guidelines in that the Applicant was a sponsor of a club of which he was a member.  Councillor Powell vacated the room during consideration of the above matter and Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson assumed the Chair for the duration of that item.

 

 

800     APPLICATION TO WAIVE THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN’S AGE POLICY GUIDELINES FOR THE GRANT OF A PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE – RENAULT MASCOT Y754 SND (DDS) –

 

The above request had been received from Mr. Mort of Contract Travel Services Ltd.  Mr. Mort was in attendance at the meeting and spoke on his own behalf.

 

The Head of Public Protection took Members through the report.  In essence the vehicle’s licence had expired by one day when it had been presented for testing at the Alps Depot.  Despite the licence having expired, the vehicle had been tested due to an oversight by the testing depot and had been failed.  Following that failure Mr. Mort had, on the same day, submitted a request that the Age Policy Guidelines be waived in respect of the vehicle.

 

Mr. Mort explained the circumstances which had resulted in the vehicle being tested after the licence had expired.  He also indicated that he understood the vehicle in question to be Prestige Class 3.  The Licensing Officer stated that it was a Prestige Class 2 vehicle and had been plated as such for some years.  The Officer further stated that even if the vehicle was a Prestige 3, it would still have been too old to be granted a licence.  In response to a question, the Licensing Officer confirmed that, should the Committee accede to the request to waive the Age Policy Guidelines, that the Alps Depot could be notified that the vehicle should be reclassified as a Prestige Class 3 vehicle and then tested on that basis if the proprietor indicated in writing that this was his wish.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the application be granted.

 

Reason for decision

 

Members were satisfied that the vehicle meets the requirements of Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

 

(Note: At this juncture, Councillor N. Moore was called away from the meeting and subsequently tendered his apologies for the remainder.)

 

 

801     AMENDMENT TO HACKNEY CARRIAGE, PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE CONDITIONS (DDS) –

 

The amendment referred to above related to the carriage of a spare wheel as required under Condition 20 of the Hackney Carriage Conditions and Condition 14 of the Private Hire Vehicle Conditions.  Members were informed that it was increasingly the case that new vehicles were fitted with the manufacturers’ puncture repair kits or a space saver wheel rather than a spare wheel.  An amendment to the current Conditions of Licence was therefore proposed to address the situation which included reference to the use of “the manufacturers’ recommended puncture repair kit”.

 

A question was asked as whether there were any implications in amending the condition in relation to vehicles converted to gas but officers considered that was unlikely to be the case.  A further point was made regarding the costs of purchasing the manufacturers’ recommended puncture repair kit when compared with those available from alternative sources.

 

Mr. S. Thomas spoke on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan Taxi Association.  He reiterated that the vehicle puncture repair kits from manufacturers were very much more expensive than kits from other retailers which would effect the repair just as efficiently as the manufacturers’ kit.  In response to a concern expressed about the use of space saver wheels, Mr. Thomas confirmed that a taxi driver would use a space saver wheel only in an emergency and the Licensing Officer present at the meeting indicated that, where a space saver wheel was seen to be affixed to a vehicle, an inspection would immediately be carried out to check its suitability.  She added that she had never in her experience inspected a vehicle with a space saver wheel affixed.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Vale of Glamorgan’s conditions for hackney carriages, private hire vehicles and private hire operators’ licences be amended as outlined in the report and at the meeting and that the words “the manufacturers’ recommended puncture repair kit” as proposed be replaced with “a suitable puncture repair kit”.

 

Reason for decision

 

To bring the Vale of Glamorgan’s conditions into line with current vehicle specifications.

 

 

802     THE LICENSING OF HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES AND CARRIAGE DRIVERS (DDS) –

 

Authority was sought to approve an application process, conditions and fees to allow the licensing of horse drawn carriages and carriage drivers since the current application process, conditions and fees provides only for the licensing of motorised vehicles. 

           

Enquiries had been received from people interested in offering trips in horse drawn vehicles within the Authority area and Members were informed that the proposed application process fell into two categories, namely the licensing of Carriages and Horses and the licensing of Carriage Drivers.  Members noted that it was proposed that before a carriage and horse / horses could be licensed the application would need to present certain documentation to the Licensing Authority as shown in paragraph 7 of the report.  Applicants for a Horse Drawn Carriage Licence would be required to make application to the Licensing Authority, including an application for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate (DBS) and present the documentation listed in paragraph 8.  The proposed conditions for Horse Drawn Carriages were appended to the report as was a table of the proposed application fees.

 

Should an application be received for the grant of a Horse Drawn Carriage Licence, it would be necessary to vary the Vale of Glamorgan’s Hackney Carriage Tariffs to add a table of fares for Horse Drawn Carriages.  Attention was drawn to the fact that Hackney Carriage Fares, as set by a Local Authority, were a maximum and could be negotiated downwards by the hirer.  Were Members minded to approve the above proposals, legislation required the variation of the tariffs be advertised and consulted upon before they could be adopted. 

 

Discussion subsequently turned on the conditions for Horse Drawn Hackney Carriages and, specifically to Condition 20 in relation to horses.  Members subsequently agreed that Condition 20, as shown in the Appendix to the report, should be amended to include the requirement to produce a horse passport and to have a microchip number recorded at the time of the veterinary inspection. 

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed licence conditions as appended to the report for Horse Drawn Carriages and Carriage Drivers as amended above be adopted.

 

(2)       T H A T the schedule of fees, also appended to the report, be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T the proposed varied tariffs be advertised and consultation undertaken with all stakeholders.

 

(4)       T H A T a further report be submitted to this Committee to consider the proposed tariff variation.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To enable the granting of licences for Horse Drawn Carriages and Carriage Drivers.

 

(2)       To ensure full costs are recovered from the licensing of Horse Drawn Carriages and Carriage Drivers.

 

(3)       To ensure the proposed tariff changes are adequately consulted upon.

 

(4)       To consider the proposed tariff variations.

 

 

803     VALE OF GLAMORGAN YOUNG PERSONS’ SUBSTANCE MISUSE CONSULTATION REPORT (2011) (DDS) –

 

The Chairman welcomed Sean Maidment, Area Planning Board Locality Engagement Officer, to take Members through the report.  Mr. Maidment commenced his presentation by referring to the Welsh Assembly Government having made available £2.75m. in 2010 to Community Safety Partnerships across Wales in order to tackle substance misuse amongst people under the age of 18.  As a result, the Safer Vale Partnership commissioned Vale Youth Service, in partnership with the Vibe Experience, to carry out a street based survey to assess current trends and perceived gaps within young people’s services.  A copy of the Executive Summary from the resulting report was appended to the report. 

 

11-18 year olds in every electoral ward of the Vale had been targeted resulting in responses from over 650 young people, the highest number of responses coming from Llantwit Major, and the Buttrills, Cadoc and Gibbonsdown Wards. The consultation had used two approaches, namely a street based approach incorporating detached youth workers and local mobile services and also in consultation with youth workers through paper based questionnaires as well as structured interviews.  The views of 50 staff members were also gathered, including Statutory and Voluntary Youth Services as well as housing and community safety workers. Of those surveyed, 79% of young people  claimed to have a good understanding of alcohol and its associated risks – 90% of the young people interviewed had tried alcohol with 25% of that cohort going on to drink once a week or more.  In relation to drugs, cannabis usage was found to the most prevalent and 83% of young people claimed they had a good awareness of drug use and the dangers associated with it. 

 

In 2011/12 a further exercise had been undertaken to feedback the results of the survey to young people, in line with European legislation.  The findings of the report had been used as evidence to inform the commissioning of a Tier 2 Young Person’s Drug and Alcohol Services across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.  Free training had been offered through Public Health Wales in Alcohol Brief Interventions and Communities First in the Vale utilised the information within the report to design a video in relation to alcohol misuse amongst the under 18s.  Members also noted that the Substance Misuse Education and Advice Service was to spread its work into the Vale and that the result of the survey had been shared with Trading Standards and Licensing partners to inform Test Purchasing operations.

 

In response to concerns expressed that 11-18 year olds had indicated that it was easy to obtain alcohol, the Head of Public Protection stated that he had requested a report in relation to under age and proxy sales which would be submitted to the Committee in due course.  As regards the video produced by Communities First and referred to above, the Substance Misuse Co-ordinator undertook to ascertain whether it was available on the internet. 

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To raise Member awareness of the results of the survey and to advise Members how the evidence collated would be used to inform future service delivery.

 

           

804     EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC –

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

 

805     APPLICATION TO GRANT HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE DRIVER’S LICENCES – C. (DDS) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 12, 13 AND 14) –

 

C. was in attendance and, after the Head of Public Protection had taken Members through the report and the Licensing Officer read out the DBS disclosure, spoke on his own behalf.

 

C. had made application for the grant of the above licences in December 2012, a copy of which was appended to the report.  The DBS disclosure, which had been received by the Licensing Section in January, 2013, contained a number of matters not disclosed by C.  Members noted that the said matters had largely occurred some years previously when C. had been much younger and had issues relating to alcohol misuse.  Members also noted that there was one recent conviction.  C. indicated that he no longer had issues regarding alcohol misuse, that he had disclosed and fully explained the circumstances relating to that recent conviction and that he wanted to work in order to provide for his family.

 

Members then deliberated in private.  Upon being recalled, C. was notified that, in the interests of public protection, Members had considered that he should not be granted a licence at the present time given paragraph 4.13 of the Council’s Policy on the Treatment of Convictions, Cautions and Charges which required any applicant for such licences to have been free of conviction for the possession of a controlled drug for a minimum of 5 years.  C. was also informed that he had the right of appeal and that Licensing Officers would further explain that process to him following the meeting.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T C. be not considered a fit and proper person to hold Vale of Glamorgan Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Driver’s Licences and that his application be refused in accordance with paragraph 4.13 of the Vale of Glamorgan’s Policy on the Treatment of Convictions, Cautions and Charges.

 

Reason for decision

 

To have regard to the content of paragraph 4.13 of the aforementioned Policy.

 

(Note: Councillor Mrs. A. J. Preston took no part in the determination of the above matter given that she had not been in attendance throughout the consideration of the same.)

           

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