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To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 14 October 2015 and to agree the minutes of the Licensing Panel meetings held on 16 January 2015, 4 February 2015, 18 February 2015, 18 March 2015, 10 June 2015, 12 August 2015, 1 September 2015, 16 September 2015 and 17 December 2015.
The minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 14 October 2015 were agreed as a correct record.
The minutes of the Licensing Panel meetings held on 16 January 2015, 4 February 2015, 18 February 2015, 18 March 2015, 10 June 2015, 12 August 2015, 1 September 2015, 16 September 2015 and 17 December 2015 were all agreed as a correct record.
Declaration of Interests
Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
To answer questions from members of the public – 2 days’ notice of which must have been given in writing or by electronic mail.
The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer submitted a report which sought the Committee to consider in light of current economic circumstances whether the table of fares charged by a hackney carriage should have been changed and to what level. In addition, the Committee were to consider whether the table of fares should have continued to be reviewed on an annual basis or only by request from a hackney carriage proprietor who provided sufficient information/evidence to support a review.
The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer explained the principal features of a hackney carriage and the regulatory function of the Council in relation to the vehicles and setting the table of fares. The table of fares was the fixed rates of fares within the borough that a hackney carriage proprietor could charge for their services.
The Committee noted that the last variation of the table of fares by the Council was on 1 June 2010.
Members were provided with the existing table of fares and a history of changes to the table of fares dating back to 1999.
The Committee considered the response received from a hackney carriage proprietor, requesting that the table of fares be reviewed and proposing that the rates of fares be increased by 10%.
Members compared the Council with the 365 authorities included in the National Fares Table dated February 2016 and tables of fares from all councils in the county.
The Committee noted extracts from the AA Fuel Price Reports of January 2015 and 2016 pertaining to the price of unleaded petrol and diesel fuel.
The report provided to the Committee contained fuel price comparisons between filling stations in the post codes of CA7, CA12, CA13 and CA14 as of 14 January 2015 and 8 February 2016.
Members noted that if the main domestic measure of inflation, the Retail Price Index (RPI), was applied at 10% as per the suggestion of the taxi proprietor in the responses received, the rate for the first mile would have increased from £2.90 to £3.19 and that if the rate of inflation which had increased from 2011 by 8.97% was applied, the rate for the first mile would increase from £2.90 to £3.16.
The Committee considered the changes to the national minimum and living wages that were to take effect from April 2016. Councillor B Pegram asked whether this would affect hackney carriage drivers. The Deputy Monitoring Officer replied that it depended on the company that employed them.
In summary, the Committee considered the following:
· The representation made from the trade
· The current vehicle and drivers licence fees
· Comparisons of tables of fares nationally and locally
· Extracts from fuel price reports
· Fuel price comparisons within postcodes within the borough
· Retail Price Index figures
· Changes to the national minimum and living wages
The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer recommended that:
· The table of fares be retained as existing, based on the information that the price of fuel had reduced, the vehicle test fees remained unchanged and licence fees remaining static. The inflation ... view the full minutes text for item 347.