The Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer submitted a report which sought member’s approval to address a number of pre-application requirements. This was following a review of the current policies in line with new guidance published by the Institute of Licensing.
Members asked questions in relation to DBS checks, and the time it takes to obtain the necessary response. Clarification was provided by Senior Licensing and Compliance Officer who explained the procedure of obtaining DBS and that only a basic disclosure is required.
The Legal and Licensing Manager then explained how the fraud database would work in partnership with other departments.
Councillor Lynch moved the motion to accept and approve all the officers’ recommendations; this was seconded by Councillor Wilkinson
A vote was taken on the motion to approve the recommendations, 9 voted in favour, 0 against and 0 abstentions.
Members approved the officer’s recommendations as follows;
Private Hire Operators
a) That the provision of a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, to be no more than 28 days old at grant/renewal of licence; and
b) To provide written details of the Private Hire Operator’s vetting procedures for their staff, to be provided at the grant/renewal of licence and to be notified within the licence duration if changes to the procedure are made
Hackney Carriage /Private Hire Drivers
a) To amend the current requirement for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate in the following terms:
i) An enhanced DBS certificate is required which is no more than 28 days old at grant/renewal of licence which has been carried out for the correct workforce required for taxi driving; and
ii) The applicant/driver must subscribe to the DBS update service throughout the duration of their licence; and
b) Persons who have not been resident within the United Kingdom for the five years prior to submitting an application, will be required to produce a certificate of good character or equivalent document (at their own cost) issued by the relevant Embassy or High Commission. The certificate must be authenticated, translated and sealed by the Embassy or High Commission. In the event that an applicant is not able to obtain a certificate of good character, they may submit a statutory declaration with regard to their conduct, which must be completed in the presence of a practising solicitor. Application must be made to the relevant country or the relevant embassy in the UK.
The Council may contact the relevant Embassy, High Commission, solicitor or other appropriate body to verify any documents provided. Contact details for Embassies and High Commissions can be found from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) on the GOV.UK website; and
c) Applicants who have spent six continuous months or more living outside the United Kingdom, during the period of their licence, will be required to produce a certificate of good character or equivalent document at their own cost. This certificate must be issued by the relevant Embassy or High Commission for the country or countries lived in during this period and meet the requirements as set out above.
d) Check on the National Anti-Fraud Network database on refusals and revocations of hackney carriage and private hire licences (when available);
Review of Previous Conviction Policy
a) To adopt the criteria issued by the Institute of Licensing relating to the suitability for determining whether an individual should be granted or retain a hackney/private hire driver's licence or private hire operator’s licence contained within appendix 1 attached to this report