Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722006, 722005, 722085 

Items
No. Item

34.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

35.

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:

None.

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Of the meeting held on 10th December 2018 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 10th December 2018 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Minute 28 – Worcester City Taxi Working Group – Vehicle Livery and Branding

 

Members requested an update on this item which had been discussed at the last meeting.  The Senior Licensing Practitioner stated that he was yet to progress a meeting with Members but did have a meeting with the Chairman of the Worcester Taxi Association scheduled.

 

It was suggested by Members that a press release could be issued to the Taxi Trade to keep them informed about progress.  There were concerns that not all drivers were fully aware of the facts and were receiving mixed messages.

 

 

37.

Licensing Fees and Charges 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

That Members note the contents of the report and recommend that the licensing fees and charges for the financial year 2019/20 as shown at Appendix 1 be included in the Council’s 2019/2020 budget plan for approval by Full Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Licensing Fees and Charges for 2019/20.

 

As part of the legal agreement established with the formation of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, Licensing remained a reserved matter. As a reserved matter all policy decisions, income and fee setting remained the responsibility of Worcester City Council.

 

It was the role of the City Council to review and set its licensing fees and charges on an annual basis. This had now taken place by the Licensing Manager, the Head of Community Services and the Council’s Finance Department. A copy of the proposed fees and charges for 2019/20 for the Council’s Regulatory Services  were attached as Appendix 1 to the report, for the benefit of Members the increases were highlighted in yellow. In the majority of cases the decision had been made to increase them by 2%.

 

Members were informed that there had been a need to increase the hackney carriage and private hire driver licence renewal fee, in order to accurately reflect the cost of this service the decision had been made to increase the cost by 5%.

 

Taxi Licensing fees and charges remained broadly cost neutral and the proposed fees reflect this from the financial details of the income generated.

 

The preferred option was for Members to note the proposed fees and charges for 2019/20 and recommend them to full Council for inclusion in the City Council’s budget plan for 2019/20.

 

Officers responded to questions from Members on various aspects of the fees and charges schedule. 

 

Particular reference had been made to the proposed increase in Street Trading licence fees.  It was highlighted by Members that this matter had been raised at the Income Generation Sub-Committee who had been informed that the increase was to fund enforcement.

 

Written representations had been made to the Sub-Committee about the proposed increase by one of the traders.  It was asked by Members if it was correct and that the increase was to fund enforcement?  The Senior Licensing Practitioner confirmed that this would be due to enforcement as a number of complaints had been received over the year over non-compliance and are having to fund the extra activity over the summer months.

 

Members noted that there had been a number of complaints where no enforcement had taken place and in response to this the Senior Licensing Practitioner stated that more was to take place in the coming year and discussions were being held with Heads of Service to look at other styles/techniques of enforcement which will be reflected in the increase of the fees. 


Members referred to the written representation of one of the traders who had listed a number of violations that allegedly had not been followed through and asked that he be referred to the minutes of this meeting to seek assurances that this matter was being dealt with.

 

It was asked by Members if any consultation had taken place with street traders on what was being proposed with regard to the increase in fees and charges and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

Task and Finish Group (Air Quality) - Review of Measures to Improve Air Quality pdf icon PDF 3 MB

1.      Members note the contents of the report from the Task and Finish Group;

 

2.      Members agree to the recommendations in 4.2 of the report; and

3.      Members agree to request WRS Officers to include the considerations of the Task and Finish Group, the recommendations within the report and the decision of this Committee as progress with the measures within the City Council’s Air Quality Action Plan update for submission to Defra.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report from the Task and Finish Group on a review of the measures to improve air quality.

 

The Technical Services Manager in presenting the report drew the Committee’s attention to each of the six appendices attached to the report.

 

At the September 2017 meeting of the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee, a Task and Finish Group was recommended.  The group had met on four occasions between January and August 2018 with technical presentations and discussions on air quality measures selected by the group as highlighted in paragraph 2.7 of the report.  These options were selected for further discussion, based on the potential for them to contribute to the resolution of Worcester’s air quality concerns.

 

The preferred option at paragraph 4.1 set out where the Task and Finish Group had identified a number of measures it believed should be considered by the appropriate Council service area in terms of viability and recommends that the Committee instruct the service area to lead on the investigation into the viability of each measure and report back. 

 

It was recognised that a number of measures would require the co-operation and active involvement of more than one service area and logistics, resource and cost would have an impact on the viability of each measure.  The measures were grouped by lead service area rather than priority as shown in table 1 attached to the back of the report.

 

The Committee’s attention was drawn to paragraph 4.2 of the report which identified the recommendations which Members were being asked to consider together with the recommendation at 1.3 of the report.

 

The Technical Services Manager responded to questions from Members on the various air quality measures outlined in the report.

 

Members commended the Task and Finish Group, and those Officers who had been involved, for a very valuable report.  Members saw recommendation 1 at 4.2 of the report as the most important in terms of health and well being.  The Committee’s attention was also drawn to paragraph 6.7 of the report which identified the health and safety implications and the public health issues that needed to be addressed.

 

In response to a question from Members the Technical Services Manager stated that if approved by the Committee then each recommendation would be passed to the relevant Corporate Director who would report to Worcestershire Regulatory Services on progress on the action plan.  A report to this Committee and potentially other Committee’s would follow where appropriate in due course.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.      note the contents of the report from the Task and Finish Group;

 

2.      agree to the recommendations in 4.2 of the report; and

3.      agree to request WRS Officers to include the considerations of the Task and Finish Group, the recommendations listed in the report and the decision of this Committee as progress with the measures within the City Council’s Air Quality Action Plan update for submission to Defra.

 

39.

Any Other Business

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

Minutes:

The Vice-Chairman of the Committee asked to raise an item under Any Other Business which the Chairman of the Committee had not been made aware of, but did allow on this occasion.

 

The Vice-Chairman proposed a budget addition of £50k to be ring fenced for enforcement in licensing.  Worcestershire Regulatory Services needed additional funding in order to resolve problems in the City Centre regarding taxis and street traders. 

 

The Chairman stated that this request needed a report to Committee to be able to give the proposal full consideration.

 

The Legal Representative informed the Committee that items raised under Any Other Business should be of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.  It was suggested that Committee note the request with a view to report back to Committee for consideration.

 

The Vice Chairman responded by saying there was not enough time to go through that process as the budget would be considered by full Council in February.  Other Committee Members commented on the proposal.

 

The Vice-Chairman stated he was prepared to raise this matter at Policy and Resources, but thought it right to raise at this Committee as it was a licensing matter.

 

The Legal Representative stated that officers would no doubt like the opportunity to discuss this matter as more information would be needed before a decision could be made.

 

The Corporate Director – Homes and Communities informed the Committee that in terms of the service provided by Worcestershire Regulatory Services, he wanted to raise this matter and whether resources can  be reallocated.  A conversation was already taking place on this issue.