Minutes of a meeting held on 1st December, 2015.
Present: Councillor H.C. Hamilton (Vice-Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, Mrs. P. Drake, C.P.J. Elmore, E. Hacker, K. Hatton, J.W. Thomas, R.P. Thomas and Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson.
617 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillor A.G. Powell (Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mrs. A. Moore and Mrs. A.J. Preston.
618 MINUTES –
RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 4th November, 2015 be approved as a correct record.
619 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
620 THE GAMBLING ACT 2005 – STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES 2016 – 2019 (DEHS) –
Committee received a report which sought approval for the amendments to the Draft Statement of Principles and which recommended that the amendments be referred for comment to Cabinet on 14th December, 2015 and then to Council for final decision on 16th December, 2015.
Local Authorities had a duty under the Gambling Acct 2005 to prepare a Statement of Principles before each successive period of three years.
The current Statement of Principles was approved by the Council on 5th December, 2012 and was effective for the period 31st January, 2013 to 30th January, 2016.
The Draft Statement of Principles for the period 31st January, 2016 to 30th January, 2019 had been subject to public consultation between 7th September, 2015 and 9th November, 2015.
The Gambling Act 2005 placed a duty on Local Authorities to develop a Statement of Principles that promoted the three licensing objectives:
- Preventing gambling from being a source of crime and disorder, being associated with crime and disorder or being used to support crime
- Ensuring that gambling was conducted in a fair and open way.
- Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited.
The Draft Statement of Principles had been subject to an extensive consultation with members of the trade, responsible authorities, current licence holders and Members. A list of consultees and the way in which they were consulted was attached at Appendix A to the report.
The Draft Statement of Principles was also available on the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website.
The consultation ended on 9th November, 2015 and four responses had been received and responded to in relation to the Draft Statement of Principles.
A list of the amendments to the Draft Statement of Principles and responses to the consultation was attached to the report at Appendix B.
The Statement of Principles 2016 – 2019 would need to take effect on 31st January, 2016. The Statement of Principles would be published and made available on the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website and at Vale of Glamorgan libraries. The Statement of Principles notice will be placed on the Vale of Glamorgan website and public noticeboard. The Statement of Principles and notice will be available a minimum of four weeks in advance of the effective date, which would be 3rd January, 2016.
Having considered the report, it was
(1) T H A T the amendments to the Draft Statement of Principles be approved.
(2) T H A T the replies made to consultees who had responded to the Draft Statement of Principles and shown in Appendix B to the report be endorsed.
(3) T H A T the amended Statement of Principles be referred for comment to Cabinet on 14th December, 2015 and then to Council for decision on 16th December, 2015.
Reason for decisions
(1-3) To ensure a comprehensive and workable Statement of Principles is in place and also to ensure the Vale of Glamorgan Council complies with the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005.
621 REQUEST FOR AN EXEMPTION IN RELATION TO THE DISPLAY OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE LICENCE PLATES AND DOOR STICKERS (DEHS) –
Mr. Justin Lewis was present in support of his application.
Mr. S. Thomas, taxi Federation, was also present.
Committee considered a request by Mr. Justin Lewis to be exempt from the requirement to display a licence plate and door stickers on his Private Hire Vehicle.
Section 48(6) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 requires that a plate be issued in relation to, and displayed on, all licensed Private Hire Vehicles.
Section 75 of the Act contains provision for an exemption to the requirement for the plates to be displayed in certain circumstances. The exemption applies to the following:
- While the vehicle is being used in connection with a funeral
- While the vehicle is being used in connection with a wedding
- When the vehicle is being used under a contract for a period of 24 hours or more
- On any occasion specified in a written notice from the licensing authority given to the proprietor.
Condition number 8 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles requires that the licence plate is permanently affixed to the outer rear of the vehicle’s bodywork or to the rear bumper with the fixing kit supplied.
Condition number 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles states that identification door stickers should be fixed to each of the vehicle’s front doors by their adhesive backing.
Mr. Justin Lewis was the proprietor of Mercedes CLS 250 CDI registration LUW 1S, date of first registration 29th June, 2013. The vehicle was licensed as Private Hire vehicle number PH098.
The vehicle was first licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle on 6th November, 2015.
On 12th November, 2015, having made enquiries regarding the requirement for door stickers and plates to be attached to his vehicle, Mr. Lewis submitted a request to have the matter considered by the Licensing Committee. A copy of the request was attached at Appendix A to the report.
Mr. Lewis then forwarded further information in support of his request to which he would like the Committee to give consideration. The additional information was attached at Appendix B to the report.
Mr. Lewis had advised officers that his business model was to offer an executive hire operation rather than the traditional private hire business where the public would come to expect a liveried vehicle.
Current Private Hire legislation did not distinguish between the different types of business model and the Council had therefore adopted standard conditions relating to displaying a plate and door stickers in order to ensure public safety.
Mr. Lewis was given an opportunity to speak in support of his application.
Mr. Lewis appreciated that his application was without precedent, but he was aiming for the high end of the market.
A number of prestigious tour companies had offered Mr. Lewis work, but the offers had been conditional on the vehicle not displaying door stickers.
It was reported that neighbouring Councils applied different criteria to such requests.
Mr. Thomas, on behalf of the Taxi Federation, requested that all future applications for such exemption be treated equally.
Following discussions on the application, it was
(1) T H A T Mr. Justin Lewis be granted exemption from Conditions 8 and 9 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles i.e. the requirement to fix identification door stickers to each of the vehicles front doors by their adhesive backing and the licence plate to be permanently affixed to the outer rear of the vehicle’s bodywork or to the rear bumper with the fixing kit supplied in respect of Mercedes CLS 250 CDI, registration LUW 1S, Private Hire Vehicle No. PH057.
(2) T H A T a report be brought before a future meeting of the Committee proposing standard conditions for the granting of Private Hire Vehicle Licence for Executive Hire cars.
Committee expressed a wish that such standard conditions could be applied uniformly across the Cardiff, Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan Council areas.
Reasons for decisions
(1) Having regard to the merits of the application.
(2) In the event of similar requests being received.