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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: Tuesday, 13th September, 2011

 

Report of the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services

 

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles Additional Certification Requirements for Modified Vehicles

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             This Report is to obtain the Committees approval for the proposed requirement that vehicle safety certification is provided to the Licensing Authority by proprietors of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles which have been modified or converted following manufacture.

Recommendations

That Members approve the proposal that vehicle safety certification is provided to the Licensing Authority by proprietors of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles which have been modified or converted following manufacture.

Reasons for the Recommendations

To improve compliance with section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

In order for the Licensing Authority to be satisfied that the standard of work undertaken during the modification of the vehicle meets current safety legislation and standards.

 

Background

2.             Proprietors are able to buy vehicles that are suitable for modification prior to licensing them as either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle.

3.             As Members will be aware, any type of vehicle can be considered as suitable for licensing as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle in consultation with the Alps Testing Depot. They must however be compliant with Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

Relevant Issues and Options

Modified Vehicles

4.             To date, vehicles that have been modified and presented to the Licensing Section for licensing have included vehicles with extra seats added or with seats removed.

5.             Some vehicles are also being purchased as a shell with no seats fitted at all and seats are then added at the point of sale or after purchase.

6.             Likewise some vehicles were manufactured as Panel Vans and have been modified at a later stage.

7.             At present the Licensing Section licence 11 such vehicles. A list of those vehicles is attached at Appendix A to this Report.

8.             Where a vehicle has had modifications it is imperative that the Local Authority receives confirmation that the modifications have been carried out to a safe standard prior to issuing a licence for the vehicle.

Certification for New Vehicles

9.             Licensing Officers, in consultation with the Department for Transport (DFT), The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), have introduced additional requirements for those proprietors wishing to licence modified vehicles.

 

10.        In order for the Licensing Authority to be satisfied that the standard of work undertaken during the modification of the vehicle meets current safety legislation and standards, proprietors will be required to submit one of the following documents prior to a licence being issued:

 

i)          EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA)

ii) National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA)

iii) Certificate of conformity (CoC)

iv)        Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA)

v) Single Vehicle Approval (SVA)

 

11.        Where the above certificates are not available due to the modifications being undertaken following the sale of the vehicle, proprietors will be required to undertake a Voluntary Standard Single Vehicle Approval with a VOSA inspector. 

12.        The VOSA inspector, upon inspection, will ensure compliance with construction and use regulations and if satisfied that the modification has been undertaken safely will issue a Letter of Compliance.

13.        The nearest VOSA testing station is at Llantrisant and the cost to the proprietor is currently £190.00 plus VAT.

14.        The vehicle proprietor will then be required to provide a copy of this letter of compliance to the Licensing Authority and this will be held on the vehicles file.

Certification for Existing Vehicles

15.        It is also proposed that where vehicles have been modified and licensed prior to these additional requirements being implemented, proprietors will be required to obtain the letter of compliance referred to in paragraph 4.3 above by their next renewal date.

16.        Proprietors experiencing difficulties in obtaining the letter of compliance will be advised that additional conditions may be attached to their vehicle licence's requiring that the letter is provided by a specific date.

17.        Letters informing all proprietors of these requirements will be sent by the Licensing Section during the month of September.

Inspection Requirements

18.        All vehicles will still be required to undergo the Council’s inspection on a six or in the case of older vehicles a four monthly basis to ensure compliance with the Vale of Glamorgan Council's licensing conditions

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

19.        Should the Committee be minded to implement the proposed actions there will be a cost to the Council in informing existing proprietors of modified vehicles.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

20.        Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states: 

(1) subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a district council may on the receipt of an application from the proprietor of any vehicle for the grant in respect of such vehicle of a licence to use the vehicle as a private hire vehicle, grant in respect thereof a vehicle licence:

 

Provided that a district council shall not grant such a licence unless they are satisfied –

 

that the vehicle is –

 

                   suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle;

                   not of such design and appearance as to lead any person to believe that the vehicle is a hackney carriage;

                   in a suitable mechanical condition;

                   safe; and comfortable;…”

Crime and Disorder Implications

21.        The Council has a statutory duty to regulate licensing activities.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

22.        The Council is obliged to licence all drivers and vehicles on an equitable basis.

Corporate/Service Objectives

23.        To protect the health and safety of the community by ensuring businesses meet legislative requirements, controlling infectious diseases, encouraging responsible dog ownership, controlling pests and regulating animal health and welfare.  To maintain a fair and equitable trading environment.

Policy Framework and Budget

24.        The proposals in this Report are in accordance with the policy on Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

25.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

26.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Kate Thompson, Principal Regulatory Services Officer, 01446 709105

 

Officers Consulted

None

 

Responsible Officer:

Peter H. Evans

Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services

 

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