Agenda Item No. 6
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Licensing Committee: 5th March 2013
Report of the Director of Development Services
Request to Consider Permitting the Display of Signage on a Private Hire Vehicle
Purpose of the Report
1. To consider a request from Mr C. Mort of C.J. Contract Travel Services Ltd for permission to display 'self drive' advertising signage on Private Hire vehicles licensed by the Vale of Glamorgan.
It is recommended that the request for permission to display 'self drive' advertising signage on Private Hire vehicles licensed by the Vale of Glamorgan be refused.
Reason for the Recommendation
To prevent misleading advertisements being displayed on licensed vehicles.
2. The Vale of Glamorgan Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle conditions were adopted by Members on the 29th April 2008, following an 8 week consultation with the trade.
3. The conditions came into force for all vehicles with Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licences granted or renewed from 5th January 2009.
4. The Vale of Glamorgan's Conditions for Private Hire vehicle state;
· No signs, notices or advertisements shall be displayed in, on or from the vehicle unless first approved in writing by the Licensing Authority.
· Only approved company logos may be used.
· The approved logo together with the company telephone number(s) may only be displayed on the rear passenger doors of the vehicle. An additional logo may be fitted to the bonnet of the vehicle provided it is painted or firmly affixed to the bonnet (but cannot be used alone).
· Any commercial advertising shall not be offensive or untruthful and shall comply with the Advertising Standards Code of Practice.
· No application for commercial advertising shall be considered by the officer unless a detailed drawing of the advert is submitted.
· Any permitted commercial advertising shall only be displayed on the area behind the rear passenger doors but not on any window of the vehicle.
Relevant Issues and Options
5. On 24th January 2013 the Licensing Section received information that a Private Hire vehicle operated by C.J. Contract Travel was displaying advertising for 'self drive'.
6. A Licensing Officer contacted Mr Mort and informed him that he was in breach of condition because the signage on the vehicle had not been authorised by the Licensing Authority.
7. On 25th January 2013 a letter was received from Mr Mort requesting permission to display Self Drive advertising on a Renault Master Minibus licensed as Private Hire 124. A copy of the letter is attached at Appendix A to this Report.
8. Mr Mort accompanied the letter with a number of photographs of the vehicle. The photographs are attached at Appendix B.
9. Licensing Officers are delegated the authority to approve licensed vehicle signage that complies with the Vale of Glamorgan Private Hire Conditions. In this case, however, there is concern that the signage does not comply and that it may be misleading to the public.
10. Licensing Officers consulted the Trading Standards Department on this point. The response of the Principal Officer, Trading Standards is attached to this report at Appendix C.
11. The following options have been considered in relation to the request from Mr Mort for permission to advertise 'self drive' on Private Hire vehicles;
· Grant the permission for advertising of self drive hire on the vehicles as shown in the photographs attached at Appendix B to this Report; or
· Recommend amendments to the signage and the position of the signage in line with the Private Hire Vehicle Conditions that would make them acceptable, giving full specifications, and grant permission for the signage, or
· Refuse to grant the permission, giving full reasons for this decision.
It is proposed that the request be refused.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
12. All resources directed to the administration and enforcement of the Taxi Licensing function must be recovered through Taxi Licensing Fees and Charges.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
14. 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
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 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)
16. The Council is obliged to apply its licensing conditions on an equitable basis in the case of all applications.
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. Principal Officer, Trading Standards.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
20. Housing and Public Protection
Amanda Ewington. Licensing Team Leader 01446 709782
Richard Price, Lawyer, Legal Services 01446 709409
Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services.