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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: 5th February 2013

 

Report of the Director Development Services

 

The Licensing of Horse Drawn Carriages and Carriage Drivers

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek the approval for an application process, Conditions and Fees to allow the Licensing of Horse Drawn Carriages and Carriage Drivers. 

Recommendations

1.             THAT the proposed licence conditions in Appendix A for Horse Drawn Carriages and Carriage Drivers are adopted.

2.             THAT the schedule of fees in Appendix B be approved.

3.             THAT the proposed varied tariffs be advertised and a consultation undertaken with all stakeholders.

4.             THAT a further report be submitted to Licensing Committee to consider the proposed tariff variation.

Reasons for the Recommendations

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.

Background

2.             The Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 govern the licensing of Hackney Carriage Vehicles and Drivers for Hire and Reward.

3.             The application process, conditions and fees relating to the Licensing of Hackney Carriages and Drivers in the Vale of Glamorgan at present only provide for the Licensing of motorised vehicles.

4.             Licensing Officers have recently, and on previous occasions, received enquiries from people interested in offering trips in Horse Drawn Vehicles within the authority area.

5.             The British Driving Society is a national organisation that provides recognised training in order to preserve and promote harness horse driving skills, knowledge, safety and horse welfare. 

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             The proposed application process falls into two categories, the licensing of Carriages and Horses and the licensing of Carriage Drivers.

7.             Before a Carriage and Horse/Horses can be licensed the applicant will need to present the following documentation to the Licensing Authority;

  • A certificate of inspection confirming the safety and suitability of the Carriage issued by an inspector accredited by the British Driving Society.  The certificate should be no more than one calendar month old on the day that the Hackney Carriage Licence application is granted. The certificate should specify how many passengers the carriage is suitable to carry.
  • A certificate of Public Liability insurance.
  • A certificate of insurance covering the carriage for Public Hire and Reward.
  • Evidence of a Veterinary examination of the horse/horses, including identification, to be used to pull the carriage.  The inspection should cover fitness and suitability of the animals and the condition of any harness or tack to be used.  The certificate should be no more that one calendar month old on the day that the Carriage Licence application is granted.

8.             Applicants for a Horse Drawn Carriage Driver Licence will be required to make application to the Licensing Authority, including an application for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate, and present the following documentation;

  • A group 2 Medical Certificate completed by their own General Practitioner.
  • A Road Driving Certificate indicating that they have undertaken a Road Driving Assessment conducted by an accredited representative of the British Driving Society or the Heavy Horse Training Committee.

9.          All licences granted for Horse Drawn Carriages would be subject to the Vale of Glamorgan's conditions.  The proposed conditions for these licences can be found at Appendix A to this report.

10.        A table of proposed Application Fees is attached at Appendix B to this Report.  The proposed fees have been set out in line with the current taxi licence fees.  The vehicle fee takes into account that there is no inspection of the vehicle at the Vale's testing depot.

11.        A list of fees charged by other Local Authorities for similar licences is attached at Appendix C to this Report for comparison.

12.        Should an application be received for the grant of a Horse Drawn Carriage Licence it will be necessary to vary the Vale of Glamorgan's Hackney Carriage Tariffs to add a table of fares for Horse Drawn Carriages.  

13.        Hackney Carriage fares, set by a Local Authority, are a maximum, and can be negotiated downwards by the hirer. When determining the level of fares consideration will be given to what it is reasonable to expect the travelling public to pay as well as the need to give the proprietors an incentive to provide a service.

14.        Should the Licensing Committee be minded to approve the proposals contained within this Report, the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 requires that the variation of the tariffs be advertised and consulted upon before they can be adopted.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

15.        All resources directed to the administration and enforcement of Horse Drawn Carriage Licensing function may be recovered through Horse Drawn Carriage Licensing Fees and Charges.

16.        There will be no additional cost to the Authority should the proposal be implemented as applicants would be expected to pay for their own Road Driving Assessment, Carriage Inspection and Veterinary Examination costs. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.        None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

(1)  A district council may attach to the grant of a licence for 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 the magistrates' court.

19.        Section 53(1) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of the Public Health Act 1875 and the Town Police Clauses Act 1889, every licence granted by a district council under the provisions of the Act of 1847 to any person to drive a hackney carriage shall remain in force for three years from the date of such licence or for such lesser period as they may specify in such licence.

 

20.        Section 53(2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

Notwithstanding the provisions of the Act of 1847, a district council may demand and recover for the grant to any person of a licence to drive a hackney carriage, or a private hire vehicle, as the case may be, such a fee as they consider reasonable with a view to recovering the costs of issue and administration and may remit the whole or the part of the fee in respect of a private hire vehicle in any case in which they think it appropriate to do so.

 

21.        Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:

  • A district council may fix the rates of fares within the district as well for time and distance, and all other charges in connection with the hire of a vehicle or with arrangements for the hire of a vehicle; to be paid in respect of the hire of hackney carriages by means of a table (hereafter in this section referred to as a "table of fares") made or varied in accordance with the provisions of this section.
  • When a district council make or vary a table of fares they shall publish in at least one newspaper circulating in the district a notice setting out the table of fares or the variation thereof and specifying the period, which shall not be less than fourteen days from the date of the first publication of the notice, within which and the manner in which objections to the table of fares or variations can be made.
  • A copy of the notice referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall for the period of fourteen days from the date of the first publication thereof be deposited at the offices of the council which published the notice, and shall at all reasonable times be open to public inspection without payment.
  • If no objection to a table or variation is duly made within the period specified in the notice referred to in subsection (2) of this section, or if all objections so made are withdrawn, the table of fares or variation shall come into operation on the date of the expiration of the period specified in the notice or the date of withdrawal of the objection or, if more than one, of the last objection, whichever is the later.
  • If objection is duly made as aforesaid and is not withdrawn, the district council shall set a further date, not later than two months after the first specified date, on which the table of fares shall come into force with or without modifications as decided by them after consideration of the objections.
  • A table of fares made or varied under this section shall effect for the purposes of the Act of 1847 as if it were included in the hackney carriage byelaws thereunder.
  • On the coming into operation of a table of fares made by a council under this section for the district, any hackney carriage byelaws fixing the rates and fares or any table of fares previously made under this section for the district, as the case may be, shall cease to have effect.
  • Section 236(8) (except the words "when confirmed") and section 238 of the Local Government Act 1972 (except paragraphs (c) and (d) of that section) shall extend and apply to a table of fares made or varied under this section as they apply to byelaws made by a district council.

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.        Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Council has a statutory duty to consider crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour implications whilst regulating licensing activities.  There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this Report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

25.        This is a matter for Licensing Committee decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

26.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Amanda Ewington. Licensing Team Leader 01446 709782

Officers Consulted

Richard Price, Lawyer, Legal Services 01446 709409

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director Development Services.

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