Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722027, 722006, 722085 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

2.

Public Representations

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, with each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

Mohammed Sajad, a member of the Worcester Taxi Drivers’ Association, addressed the Committee expressing his concerns over the lack of enforcement action being taken with taxi drivers in Worcester City.  He felt that driver’s were ignorant of the law and many should not hold a licence.

 

He gave examples of over ranking in the City Centre and indicated that taxi drivers from Wychavon were plying for hire in Worcester and that there were more drivers applying for a licence in Wychavon in the pipeline.

 

Mr Sajad expressed concern that drivers whose licences had been revoked in Worcester but then had been able to apply for a licence in Wychavon.  He asked why the stringent criteria is not being applied in Wychavon when Worcestershire Regulatory Services was one body and standards should be the same across all local authorities.

 

Mr Sajad also informed the Committee that  traffic issues in the City Centre were getting worse and the City was often gridlocked.  He had suggested that Committee members should go out at the weekend to look at these problems as there were safety issues.  He felt that there was no enforcement taking place in the City

 

The Chairman thanked Mr Sajad for raising the issues with the Committee and would ensure that a written response would be sent to him on these matters.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Of the meeting held on 11th March 2019 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 11th March 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

Licensing Act 2003 - Review of Statement of Licensing Policy (SLP) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

That the Committee:

 

1.      Notes the responses received during the consultation on the revised Statement of Licensing Policy;

 

2.      Recommends to Council that the revised Statement of Licensing Policy 2019–2024 attached at Appendix 1 be approved and published; and

 

3.      Notes that the cumulative impact zone, within the Statement of Licensing Policy, is currently under review and authorises officers, in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee, to undertake a cumulative impact assessment supported by a period of statutory consultation with a view to a further report being presented to the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee for decision.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered  a report on the Licensing Act 2003 – review of Statement of Licensing Policy (SLP).

 

On 11th March 2019 the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee approved a draft revised Statement of Licensing Policy for the purpose of consultation with relevant parties.  During the consultation period a total of three responses were received by the Council.  A summary of the responses received were highlighted in Appendix 2 attached to the report.  Paragraphs 4.4 to 4.11 highlighted the Officers responses to these and had been amended/updated accordingly.

 

The draft policy contained a number of amendments and additional sections that have been made to reflect changes to legislation and guidance that have taken effect since the last Statement of Licensing Policy took effect.  Paragraphs 2.5-2.9 of the report highlighted the changes.

 

Members of the Committee were being asked to consider the responses received during the consultation period and recommend to Full Council that the revised Statement of Licensing Policy 2019-2024 attached as Appendix 1 to the report be approved and published.  Members were informed that the results of the Cumulative Impact Policy review will be brought back to the next Committee for consideration.

 

It was brought to the Committee’s attention that the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership would be known as Worcestershire Children First with effect from  1st October 2019.  The Senior Practitioner – Licensing agreed to make this amendment within the policy document.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.      note the responses received during the consultation on the revised Statement of Licensing Policy;

 

2.      recommends to Council that the revised Statement of Licensing Policy 2019–2024 attached at “Appendix 1” be approved and published; and

 

3.      note that the cumulative impact zone, within the Statement of Licensing Policy, is currently under review and authorises officers, in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee, to undertake a cumulative impact assessment supported by a period of statutory consultation with a view to a further report being presented to the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee for decision.

 

5.

Environmental Health - Annual Report 2019 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

That the contents of the WRS Environmental Health Report for activity carried out on behalf of Worcester City Council 2018-19 be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Environmental Health annual report for 2019.

 

The Senior Practitioner presented the report and drew the Committee’s attention to Appendix A within the report which outlined the Activity Data for Worcester City as presented to the Worcester Regulatory Services Board at it’s June meeting.

 

The Senior Practitioner responded to questions from Members primarily around Food Safety.

 

The Chairman gave thanks to the Senior Practitioner and the Environmental Health team.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the contents of the Worcestershire Regulatory Services Environmental Health Report for activity carried out on behalf of Worcester City Council 2018-19.

6.

Licensing - Annual Report 2019 pdf icon PDF 119 KB

That the Licensing Annual Report 2019 be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Licensing Annual Report for 2019.

 

The Senior Practitioner – Licensing presented the report and highlighted key points related to taxi licensing enforcement, the review of the Hackney Carriage unmet demand policy and street trading. 

 

Members were also informed that Officers were currently awaiting the new Statutory Guidance for Licensing Authorities on ‘Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing: Protecting Users’ from the Department of Transport and the Local Government Association.  Details of the Statutory Guidance will be presented to Members when published later in the year.

 

The Senior Practitioner – Licensing responded to questions from Members on the contents of the report.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Licensing Annual Report 2019.

7.

Street Collections 2019 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Members are asked to note the details of all street collection applications received by the Council and granted by Officers, to date for 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Street Collections for 2019.

 

The Senior Practitioner – Licensing in presenting the report drew the Committee’s attention to the Street Collection Policy, attached as Appendix 1 to the report.  Details of all the street collection applications received and processed by the Council (to date) for 2019 were outlined in Appendix 2 attached to the report.

 

In response to a question on applying for a street collection permit, the Senior Practitioner – Licensing confirmed that applications should be submitted as soon as possible as they are dealt with on a first come first served basis.  It was also confirmed that there was no charge for charitable street collections.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the details of all street collection applications received by the Council and granted by Officers, to date for 2019.

8.

Worcester City Taxi Forum Meeting Update pdf icon PDF 97 KB

That Members note the items discussed at the Worcester City Taxi Forum.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on matters discussed at the Worcester City Taxi Forum on 22nd May 2019.

 

The Senior Practitioner – Licensing presented the report and outlined the issues raised and discussed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the items discussed at the Worcester City Taxi Forum.

9.

Task and Finish Groups - 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

That Committee notes the decision taken by Environment Committee on 28th May 2019, to implement two Task and Finish Groups to cover the following topics:

a)      Development of a Worcester City Taxi Strategy; and

b)      Review into the Deployment of Enforcement Resources. 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the decision taken by the Environment Committee at their meeting on 28th May 2019 to implement two Task and Finish Groups to cover the development of a Worcester City Taxi Strategy and a review into the development of enforcement resources.

 

The Corporate Director – Homes and Communities in presenting the report, provided Members with background and information related to the proposal.

 

Members raised questions around the terms of reference of the groups and indicated a wish particularly for green issues, such as the encouragement of electric vehicles, to be considered when developing the taxi strategy.  With regard to the review of enforcement issues Members suggested that Worcester BID be involved as they have ideas with regard to enforcement in the City.

 

The Corporate Director – Homes and Communities clarified for Members the reasoning for Members from both Environment Committee and the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee to be involved in the task and finish groups.  Constitutionally there was an overlap between the two Committees. 

 

Some Members felt, however, that the expertise, with regard to taxi licensing in particular, lay within the remit of the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee.  The Chairman emphasised that the reports of these groups would come to this Committee before any decision was made.  Members agreed that it would be useful to know which Members would be on each of the task and finish groups.

 

Reference was made to the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee held on 18th September 2018 whereby the provision of CCTV in Taxis was discussed and it was agreed that a report back to the Committee would be made within the 12 month period.  Concerns were raised by Members that this had not progressed and requested feedback at the next meeting.  The Senior Practitioner – Licensing alluded to the Safeguarding Guidance which would guide the Committee as to the route to be taken and reassured Members that a report would still come to this Committee.  It was agreed that this would be a stand alone item and not form part of the Task and Finish Group. It was also noted that the Cumulative Impact Policy would also be a stand alone item for Members to consider.

 

An information report would be brought back to this Committee to update Members in respect of the agreed project scopes.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the decision taken by the Environment Committee on 28th May 2019, to implement two Task and Finish Groups to cover the following topics:

 

·         Development of a Worcester City Taxi Strategy; and

·         Review into the Deployment of Enforcement Resources.

10.

Forward Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To note the Committee’s Forward Plan 2019/20.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the forward plan for the period to March 2020.  It was agreed that CCTV would be added to this programme with a date to be confirmed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Forward Plan, with the addition of CCTV with a date to be confirmed.

11.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

The Chairman stated that Any Other Business had been a frequent occurrence at the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee in the past and he is trying to avoid this happening in the future.  Members were asked to let Democratic Services and Worcestershire Regulatory Services Officers know in advance of any items so they can be placed on future agendas.