PUBLIC PROTECTION LICENSING COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 10th May, 2016.
Present: Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillor H.C. Hamilton (Vice-Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, K. Hatton, Mrs. A. Moore, Mrs. A.J. Preston and J.W. Thomas.
1076 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -
These were received from Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, C.P.J. Elmore, E. Hacker and Ms. R.F. Probert.
1077 MINUTES -
RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th April, 2016 be approved as a correct record.
1078 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
1079 REQUEST TO CONSIDER EXEMPTION FROM VALE OF GLAMORGAN PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE CONDITIONS - CONDITION 9 (DEH) -
The Committee received a report to consider a request by Mr. Walter Standen to allow his vehicle, licensed Private Hire PH077, MF16 XHN, to be exempt from the Vale of Glamorgan Council's condition 9 in relation to Private Hire Vehicle identification door stickers. Mr. Standen was in attendance in support of his request.
Condition 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles states:
The proprietor and/or driver shall at all times ensure that there shall be clearly displayed on the centre or upper part of each front door of the vehicle, the adhesive private hire identification sticker supplied by the Licensing Authority . The stickers must be permanently fixed to each door with the identification sticker's adhesive backing.
In 2003 and 2009 the former Licensing Committee approved requests by Mr. Standen for an exemption from the condition requiring permanently affixed door stickers to be used on his previous Private Hire vehicles.
Mr. Standen was carrying out work for Atal y Fro, previously known as Vale of Glamorgan Women's Aid. Mr. Standen requested permission to use magnetic door stickers that could be removed when fulfilling these contracts. His requests were supported by letters from Women's Aid.
The request for exemption was approved because of the sensitive nature of the work Mr. Standen carried out for Atal y Fro and because of the possible threat to the safety of driver and passengers. However, each time the exemption only applied to the vehicle in question and was not transferable.
Mr. Standen had recently replaced his vehicle and was requesting that the exemption apply in relation to licensed private hire vehicle PH077, MF16 XHN, licence expiry date 31st March, 2017.
On 23rd March, 2016 an email was received from Linda Greenfield of Atal y Fro in relation to the use of magnetic door stickers on the vehicle. On 30th March, 2016 a letter was received from Mr. Standen requesting the use of magnetic door stickers. A copy of these letters was attached to the report at Appendices A and B respectively.
A Member queried whether Mr. Standen could be exempted from using door stickers at all times as the magnetic stickers could potentially be removed by individuals and used on non-licensed vehicles. The Operational Manager for Neighbourhood Services advised that other Licensing Authorities used magnetic stickers and they relied on the drivers to be fit and proper persons in regard to the use of these stickers. It was confirmed that the Private Hire Vehicle licence plate would be on the vehicle at all times, and only the magnetic stickers could be removed.
The Chairman asked Mr. Standen whether he had experienced any issues in the past with the magnetic door stickers being removed by other individuals. Mr. Standen advised that this had not occurred since he had been using the magnetic stickers, and felt that the stickers worked very well. He reiterated that in the years since he had used them they had not been stolen from the vehicle, and confirmed that they were only on the vehicle whilst he was driving it. Furthermore, he advised that if they had been stolen he would be required to report this.
A Member queried as to whether there was a way of ensuring that the process for these types of requests could be improved so as to ensure that there was no break in the service provided or the drivers’ livelihoods when they changed their vehicles. The Operational Manager advised that this request had been dealt with as soon as it had been received, and that the Licensing Team could look into this matter with a view to advising drivers that they would need to inform the Authority as soon as they knew they would be replacing their cars in order that any request such as this could be processed quickly. He also advised that the Licensing Team was currently undertaking some work which would provide further guidance to drivers and hopefully make the process smoother, and a report would be brought to a future Committee meeting.
Following consideration of the report, the attached letters, representations made by Mr. Standen and discussion at the meeting, it was
RESOLVED - T H A T Mr. Standen’s request for an exemption from Condition 9 in relation to Private Hire Vehicle identification door stickers to allow magnetic door stickers in respect of Private Hire Vehicle PH077, MF16 XHN, be granted.
Reason for decision
To allow Mr Standen to continue to use magnetic doors stickers due to the sensitive nature of the work carried out for Atal y Fro.