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Agenda Item No. 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: 3rd September 2013

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Delegation of Powers to Waive Age Policy Guidelines

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek delegated authority for licensing officers, in relation to the power to waive the Vale of Glamorgan's Age Policy Guidelines for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle licences in certain circumstances.

Recommendation

That the Director of Development Services be provided with delegated authority to designate suitably qualified and experienced Licensing Officers to waive the Vale of Glamorgan Councils Age Policy Guidelines for the renewal of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle licences in the circumstances outlined within this Report.

Reason for the Recommendation

The cost involved in bringing such matters before the Licensing Committee.

 

Background

2.             At the Licensing Committee meeting of 1st June 2011 new Age Policy Guidelines were approved.  The Age Policy Guidelines are in Section 12 of the Information Pack for Committee Members.    

3.             Applications for waiver of the Age Policy Guidelines are brought before the Committee on a fairly regular basis and are usually approved.

4.             Many of these cases involve a vehicle that has previously been licensed and through some oversight or error the proprietor has failed to renew the licence on time.  Consequently the licence has expired.

5.             At the meeting held on 9th July 2013 the Licensing Committee asked that a report be submitted to the next meeting regarding amendments to officers existing delegated authority to deal with applications for waiving the Council's Age Policy Guidelines in instances where officers were recommending that an application be granted.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             It is proposed that authority to waive the Age Policy Guidelines in relation to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles is delegated to Licensing Officers where the following apply;

·         The vehicle has previously been licensed as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle and the proprietor has failed to renew the licence in time.

·         An application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle has been made within five working days of the expiry of the last licence.

7.             In all other cases, or if Licensing Officers have any concerns about the circumstances in which the licence was allowed to expire, the matter will be referred for consideration by the Licensing Committee.

8.             Should the Committee be minded to support the proposal contained within this report, all relevant information available to applicants will be amended to reflect the changes.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

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

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.        None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.        Section 47(1) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states;

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

12.        Section 48(1) of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states: -

Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a district council may on 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-

(a) that the vehicle is-

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

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

(iii) in a suitable mechanical condition;

(iv) safe; and

(v) comfortable

 

13.        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.        Hyndburn Borough Council ex p Abdul Rauf, ex p Halim Kasim. The High Court held that it was possible, under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, to impose the condition on the grant of a licence that no licence would be granted to a vehicle that was over a specified age.

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 apply its Licensing conditions on an equitable basis in the case of all applications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.        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

18.        This is a matter for decision by the Licensing Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        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 of Development Services.