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Agenda Item No

 

MATTER WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAS DECIDED IS URGENT BY REASON OF:

 

Mr Slimings is unable to operate his brand new Hyundai as a licensed Private Hire vehicle until his application is determined.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee 8 July 2014

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Application to Waive the Vale of Glamorgan's Policy Guidelines for the Grant of a Private Hire Vehicle Licence

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To consider a request by Mr Steve Slimings of Bramble Cottage Boverton Park, Boverton, Vale of Glamorgan CF61 1UE to waive the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Policy Guidelines in respect of a Private Hire Vehicle Licence.

Recommendations

1.         It is recommended that Members give careful consideration to the following issues prior to determining the request to waive the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Policy Guidelines in respect of a white Hyundai i800 registration CA14 EXB for a Private Hire Vehicle Licence.

  • Whether they are satisfied that the Hyundai i800 vehicle is suitable in type, size and design in accordance with Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to be licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle.
  • Whether the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Policy Guidelines in respect of Private     Hire Vehicle Licence application can be waived. 
  • Any factors Mr Slimings wishes to have considered.

If Members are satisfied that this vehicle meets the requirements of Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 they may resolve to waive the Vale of Glamorgan’s Policy Guidelines for Private Hire Vehicle Licence 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 Policy Guidelines is granted.

Reason for the Recommendation

To outline options for Licensing Committee to consider in relation to the granting of a Private Hire Licence to this type of vehicle.

 

Background

2.         Mr Slimings became a licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver, Number 1186, in the Vale of Glamorgan on 12 October 2004.

3.         Mr Slimings became the operator of Cardiff Airport Taxis / Bay Cars on 17 March 2006.

4.         Mr Slimings wishes that the Licensing Committee waive Private Hire Vehicle Condition number 4, to allow him to licence his white Hyundai i800 vehicle within the Vale of Glamorgan at the earliest opportunity.

Private Hire Vehicle Condition Number 4.

The Vehicle Shall not be white with a black bonnet. Any vehicle with a licence granted from January 2009 shall not be white, with the exception of a mini bus type vehicle, which may be white.

5.         The basis of the Condition is so that members of the public do not confuse a Private Hire vehicle with a Hackney Carriage vehicle.

6.         Mr Slimings had arranged to purchase a new white Hyundai i800 vehicle registration CA14 EXB to be used as a Private Hire Vehicle on the 30th June 2014.

7.         He attended at the licensing section counter on the 30th June 2014 and made a successful application to licence the vehicle as a Private Hire Taxi. The vehicle was given the licence number of PH207 and the examination was arranged at the Alps garage for 13:00 hrs on 1st July 2014.

8.         Mr Slimings returned to the Hyundai dealership and confirmed the purchase of the car and arranged for it to be collected at lunchtime on the 1st July 2014.

9.         When Mr Slimings picked up the vehicle he to took it directly to the Alps Garage and presented it for examination which it duly passed. He then attended at the Civic Offices in Barry with the vehicle to collect the necessary documentation and his licence plate.

10.      It was during this process that officers noted that the vehicle colour was white and therefore cannot be licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle within the Vale of Glamorgan.

11.      Mr Slimings informed the officers that under the current Vale of Glamorgan’s Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles (section 4) a minibus type vehicle was exempt from the colour white condition.

12.      Officers accepted this was the case; however the Hyundai model i800 was classed by the DVLA on the vehicles V5 body type as a Multi Passenger Vehicle (MPV).

13.      Due to the newness of Mr Slimings Hyundai a V5 for his vehicle CE14 EXB has not been issued yet, however enquiries with a Hyundai dealership revealed that on a similar model vehicle the classification is of an MPV.

Relevant Issues and Options

14.      The Licensing Committee must be satisfied that the white Hyundai i800 cannot be confused with a Hackney Carriage Vehicle.

15.      The definition of a "minibus" as stated in the Construction and Use Regulations 1986 is 'a motor vehicle which is constructed or adapted to carry, more than 8 but not more than 16 seated passengers in addition to the driver'.

16.      The Hyundai i800 has the ability to seat 8 persons within the vehicle including the driver.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

17.      Resources directed to the administration and enforcement of the Taxi Licensing function may be recovered through Taxi Licensing Fees and Charges

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

18.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

19.      Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states:-

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a district council may on the 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;

(b)that there is in force in relation to the use of the vehicle a policy of insurance or such security as complies with the requirements of [F2Part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1988],

and shall not refuse such a licence for the purpose of limiting the number of vehicles in respect of which such licences are granted by the council.

 

(2)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.

 

(5)Where a district council grant under this section a vehicle licence in respect of a private hire vehicle they shall issue a plate or disc identifying that vehicle as a private hire vehicle in respect of which a vehicle licence has been granted.

 

(7)Any person aggrieved by the refusal of a district council to grant a vehicle licence under this section, or by any conditions specified in such a licence, may appeal to a magistrates’ court.

 

Crime and Disorder Implications

20.      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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

22.      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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

24.      None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

25.      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:

D R Thomas, Director of Development Services