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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: 3rd September 2012

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Amendment to Hackney Carriage, Private Hire Vehicle and Private Hire Operator Licence Conditions

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this Report is to seek the approval of The Licensing Committee to make amendments to the Vale of Glamorgan's Conditions for Hackney Carriages, Private Hire Vehicles and Private Hire Operators Licenses in relation to the carriage of assistance dogs.

Recommendations

After careful consideration of the facts of the Report the Committee's instructions are requested in respect of this matter.  Members may wish to consider the following options;

  • THAT the Vale of Glamorgan's conditions for Hackney Carriages, Private Hire Vehicles and Private Hire Operators Licenses are amended as outlined in this report.
  • THAT the Vale of Glamorgan's conditions for Hackney Carriages, Private Hire Vehicles and Private Hire Operators Licenses remain unchanged.

The Officer recommendation in this matter is that the conditions are amended as proposed.

Reason for the Recommendations

To bring the Vale of Glamorgan's conditions into line with the Department for Transport guidance.

 

Background

2.             The current Hackney Carriage, Private Hire Vehicle and Private Hire Operator Licence Conditions were adopted by the Licensing Committee on 29th April 2008.

3.             Condition 46 of the Hackney Carriage Conditions and Condition 41 of the Private Hire Vehicle Conditions state :-

Guide dogs, hearing dogs or other assistance dogs must be carried unless the driver has a medical exemption certificate.

4.             There is no reference to the carriage of Assistance Dogs in the Conditions for Private Hire Operators.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The Department for Transport issues guidance in relation to the legal duties of Operators and Drivers of licensed vehicles with respect to the carriage of assistance dogs. A copy of that guidance is attached to this report at Appendix A.

6.             In addition to the duty of the Driver (who is not medically exempt) to carry the Assistance Dog, the guidance states that they must also allow the dog to remain with the passenger.

7.             In relation to Private Hire Operators the Department for Transport guidance states that the Operator must;

  • accept bookings made by or on behalf of a disabled person who is accompanied by an assistance dog
  • accept bookings made by a person who will be accompanied in a Private Hire Vehicle by such a disabled person
  • not make any additional charge for carrying the assistance dog.

8.             It is proposed that Condition 46 of the Hackney Carriage Conditions and Condition 41 of the Private Hire Vehicle Conditions be amended to read:

Guide dogs, hearing dogs or other assistance dogs must be carried, and allowed to remain with the passenger for the duration of the journey, unless the driver has a medical exemption certificate.

 

9.             It is further proposed that the Private Hire Operators Conditions be amended to add the following;

  • The Operator shall accept bookings made by or on behalf of a disabled person who is accompanied by an assistance dog.
  • The Operator shall accept bookings made by a person who will be accompanied in a Private Hire Vehicle by a disabled person with an assistance dog.
  • The Operator shall ensure that no additional charge for carrying an assistance dog is made.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.        Should the Committee be minded to implement the proposed amendments there will be a cost to the Council in informing existing proprietors of the amendment to the Conditions.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.        None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.        Section 47 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

A district council may attach to the grant of a licence of a hackney carriage under the Act of 1847 such conditions as the district council may consider reasonably necessary.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing subsection, a district council may require any hackney carriage licensed by them under the Act of 1847 to be of such design or appearance or bear such distinguishing marks as shall clearly identify it as a Hackney Carriage.

Any person aggrieved by any conditions attached to such a licence may appeal to a magistrates' court.

13.        In relation to the licensing of Private Hire Vehicles, Section 48 (2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

A district council may attach to the grant of a licence under this section such conditions as they may consider reasonably necessary including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this subsection, conditions requiring or prohibiting the display of signs on or from the vehicle to which the licence relates.

14.        In relation to the licensing of Private Hire Operators; Section 55 (3) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

A district council may attach to the grant of a licence under this section such conditions as they may consider reasonably necessary.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.        Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Council has a statutory duty to consider crime and disorder implications whilst regulating licensing activities.  We must have due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on the need to do all we can reasonably do to prevent crime and disorder in our area.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.        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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

21.        None.

Contact Officer

Kate Thompson, Principal Regulatory Services Officer, 01446 709105

 

Officers Consulted

None.

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

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