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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: 8th January 2013

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Application to waive the Vale of Glamorgan's Age Policy Guidelines for the Grant of Hackney Carriage Licences - Mercedes Vito S60 AYL

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To consider a request by Mr Sohail Ahmed to waive the Vale of Glamorgan's Age Policy Guidelines in respect of a Hackney Carriage Licence application.

Recommendations

It is recommended that Members give careful consideration to the following issues prior to determining the request to waive the Vale of Glamorgan's Age Policy Guidelines in respect of vehicle S60 AYL:-

  • Whether they are satisfied that this vehicle is suitable in type, size and design in accordance with Section 47 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to be licensed as a Hackney Carriage.
  • Any factors Mr Ahmed wishes to have considered.

If Members are satisfied that this vehicle meets the requirements of Section 47 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 they may resolve to waive the Age Policy Guidelines in respect of this Hackney Carriage application.

Or

If Members are minded to refuse the application, give reasons for this decision.

The Officer recommendation in this matter is that the application to waive the Age Policy Guidelines be refused.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  • The reason for this recommendation is that the vehicle is one and a half years beyond the age limit set out in the Council’s Age Policy Guidelines for the grant of a licence for a vehicle of this type.
  • And; Officers cannot be satisfied that the standard of work undertaken during any modification of the vehicle meets current safety legislation and standards and this cannot be determined until such time as the vehicle registration document has been amended and produced to the Licensing Section.

Background

2.             Prestige 2 is one of three classes of vehicles used in the Vale of Glamorgan in conjunction with the Age Policy Guidelines.  The Age Policy Guidelines are in Section 12 of the Information Pack for Committee Members. Prestige 2 vehicles must be under 5 years old to have a licence granted. The date of first registration for vehicle registration S60 AYL was 23rd June 2006.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             The vehicle, which was previously registered DA06 OKF, now registration number S60 AYL, was licensed as Hackney Carriage number HC112, from 5th September 2008 to 6th March 2009, from 24th April 2009 to 23rd October 2010 and from 17th December 2010 to 16th December 2011.

4.             During this period the vehicle was owned by Mr Ahmed for the periods September 2008 to October 2009 and April 2010 to March 2011.  In the periods October 2009 to April 2010 and from March 2011 the vehicle was registered to other keepers including Mr Ahmed's brother Shahid Ahmed.

5.             In April 2011 the Licensing Section wrote to Mr Shahid Ahmed advising him that the registration document for the vehicle indicated that the vehicle was manufactured as a van with side windows. A copy of this letter and the registration document are attached to this Report at Appendix A and Appendix B.

6.             The letter further advised Mr Shahid Ahmed that the DVLA must be notified of the changes made to the vehicle so that the modifications would be tested and deemed fit as a minibus, a new registration document would then be issued to reflect the true character of the vehicle.

7.             On 13th June 2011 an application for the renewal of the vehicle licence was made in the name of 1st Line Taxis Ltd, at this time the registration document had not been amended, as the vehicle had changed hands, Officers allowed the application to renew the licence and attached a condition to the licence, advising that the registration document must be produced to the Licensing Section within 2 months. A copy of that Licence containing the condition is attached to this Report at Appendix C.

8.             The amended registration document was never produced.

9.             The vehicle licence expired on 16th December 2011.

10.        On 13th December 2012, Mr Sohail Ahmed made an application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage licence for the Mercedes Vito S60 AYL.  A copy of the application form is attached at Appendix D to this Report.

11.        At the time of application Mr Ahmed did not produce the vehicle registration document.

12.        Mr Ahmed accompanied the application with a letter requesting exemption from the Age Policy Guidelines for this vehicle. A copy of the letter is attached at Appendix E to this Report.   

13.        If the Members are minded to approve the waiver of Age Policy Guidelines in respect of this vehicle, the vehicle will be presented for testing at the Alps Depot, and if appropriate, a licence will be issued from the date of the test pass certificate.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.        Resources directed to the administration and determination of Taxi Licences may be recovered through Taxi Licensing Fees and Charges.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.        None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Council has a statutory duty to consider crime and disorder implications whilst regulating licensable 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)

18.        The Council is obliged to apply its licensing conditions on an equitable basis in the case of all applications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        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

20.        The proposals in this report are in accordance with the policy on Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Alun Billinghurst, Head of Public Protection. Tel: 01446 709105

 

Officers Consulted

Richard Price - Legal

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services.

 

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