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Agenda and minutes

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall

Contact: Sarah Royce  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

69.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors T Alan Edwards and Tina Mannering.

70.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Minutes:

Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Article 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting. The following declarations were made:

 

Agenda Items 9 and 11 – Councillor Brian Cameron – Personal and Prejudicial – The driver was known.  The Councillor withdrew from the meeting for this item taking no part in the discussion and voting thereon.

 

71.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 February 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 February 2019 be signed as a correct record.

72.

Variation in order of agenda

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That Agenda Items 7 – 11 be brought forward and taken at this time.

73.

Exclusion of Press and Public

In considering whether to exclude the press and public from the next part of the meeting, Members are asked to consider the following factors when determining the public interest test.

 

Agenda Item 8 – 11:  The Proper Officer has determined in considering this report that Paragraph 12 should apply.  Her view on the public interest test was that to make this information public would disclose personal data relating to an individual in contravention of the principles of the Data Protection Act.  Because of this and since there did not appear to be an overwhelming public interest requiring the disclosure of personal data she felt that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

It is therefore recommended that the press and public be excluded from the Meeting during consideration of the following items as it is likely that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 12 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Minutes:

Agenda Items 8 to 11: Members determined in considering these reports that Paragraph 12 should apply. Their view on the public interest test was that to make this information public would disclose personal data relating to an individual in contravention of the principles of the Data Protection Act. Because of this and since there did not appear to be an overwhelming public interest requiring the disclosure of personal data they felt that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

RESOLVED - That the press and public be excluded from the Meeting during consideration of the following items of business, as it is likely that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 12 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

74.

Private Hire Driver's Licence Application

To consider the report of the Head of Environment and Planning

Minutes:

Members were informed that the application outlined in report HEP/26/19 had been withdrawn.

75.

Appeal following a withdrawal of permission exempting the display of Private Hire plates

To consider the report of the Head of Environment and Planning

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 70 above)

 

The Head of Environment and Planning submitted a report (HEP/30/19) to consider an appeal concerning the withdrawal of permission exempting the display of private hire identification plates.  Members considered the report and the representations of the appellant.

 

RESOLVED – That the appeal as outlined in report HEP/30/19 be refused.

 

76.

Conduct of a Private Hire Driver

To consider the report of the Head of Environment and Planning

Minutes:

The Head of Environment and Planning submitted a report (HEP/29/19) to consider the conduct of a Private Hire Driver.

 

RESOLVED – That consideration of report HEP/29/19 be deferred to the next meeting to enable the Private Hire Driver to be accompanied by a representative.

77.

Conduct of Hackney Carriage Driver

To consider the report of the Head of Environment and Planning

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 70 above)

 

The Head of Environment and Planning submitted a report (HEP/27/19) to consider the conduct of a Hackney Carriage Driver.  Members considered the report and the representations of the Driver.

 

RESOLVED – That the Head of Environment and Planning write to the Hackney Carriage Driver referred to in report HEP/27/19 expressing the concern of the Committee in respect of his recent conduct and to issue a severe warning as to his future conduct.

 

78.

Urgent item of business

Minutes:

Further to consideration of report HEP/30/19 the Committee recommended the following amendment to the wording of the Guidelines for determining dispensations from the display of a private hire licence plate and associated documents in order to ensure that members of the trade did not misunderstand their responsibilities in order to be compliant with the conditions.  Members reiterated that the overriding concern remained public safety, management and enforceability.

 

RESOLVED – That the Guidelines for determining dispensations from the display of a private hire licence plate and associated documents be amended as follows:

 

11. At all time when the vehicle is being used on work covered by the dispensation from the display of the private hire plate, the letter of authority must be carried on the vehicle and produced for inspection if requested.  The driver must also carry his private hire driver’s badge and produce it if requested.  When not engaged on work covered by the dispensation, the vehicle must display the licence plate in accordance with licensing conditions.

79.

Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Press and Public be invited back into the Meeting for the following items of business.

80.

Welsh Government Consultation: Improving Public Transport pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Environment and Planning

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment and Planning submitted a report (HEP/28/19) to consider the draft response to questions 22 to 38 of the Welsh Government consultation, ‘Improving Public Transport’.

 

In considering the proposed response Members expressed their opposition to Proposal 4 which would redirect the licensing functions of the twenty two local authorities in Wales to a single national licensing authority – the Joint Transport Authority.  Members were concerned at the loss of local control and knowledge, the potential impact on public safety and practical difficulties for drivers and operators in contacting and liaising with a body not located in the area.  Furthermore, the need for UK wide national standards to remove inconsistencies and variations in requirements was stressed.

 

Members considered each consultation question in turn and the following amendments to the draft responses were agreed:

 

·         Question 22 – To expand the reference to cross border difficulties and stress the need for national standards to be uniform across the UK.

·         Question 31 – To remove the reference to England and replace with UK as the Committee felt that the national database should not be limited to Wales.  In addition, the Committee stated that the interim National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) online register of taxi and private hire drivers who have been refused or had their licence revoked should not only include the reasons for any refusal or revocation, but also warnings issued by a Local Authority.

 

RESOLVED – That, subject to the aforementioned amendments, the draft consultation response be approved.

81.

The use of dashcams in licensed vehicles - Verbal update

Minutes:

The Trading Standards and Licensing Lead and Specialist Officer (Licensing) provided an update in respect of the use of dashcams in licensed vehicles.  A briefing note was tabled which highlighted the following:

 

·         Many local authorities allowed recording systems in licensed vehicle on a voluntary basis.

·         The provision of CCTV is regulated by the Information Commissioners Office.  Some local authorities with mandatory CCTV conditions had faced enforcement notices.

·         Wrexham Council’s current policy which required any recording system to be verified by a Licensing Officer prior to use and for notices to be clearly displayed in the vehicle.

·         It was recommended to await the outcome of the Welsh Government consultation on Taxi and Private Hire and the Department of Transport consultation on the licensing legislative framework prior to making a decision regarding recording systems.

 

In discussion the following points were raised:

 

·         Concern regarding the risks associated with the control of recorded footage.

·         Potential additional costs for drivers which could result in increased fares.

·         Although mandatory recording in licensed vehicles was desirable this should be kept under review for the time being.

 

AGREED –

 

(i)         That the update be noted.

 

(ii)        That the Licensing Service keep CCTV (internal and external) under review having regard to anticipated change in legislation from the UK Government and / or Welsh Government and to any revised information or guidance from the Information Commissioners Office.