Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722006, 722005, 722085 

Items
No. Item

25.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

26.

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:

Rajah Hussain, Chairman of the Worcester Taxi Drivers’ Association and Mohammed Sajad, a member of the Worcester Taxi Drivers’ Association, addressed the Committee expressing general concerns over the differing standards between the district councils related to taxis which they believe were not being held to the same high safety standards as those in Worcester City.  There were also concerns over taxis from other areas in the Country plying for trade in the City.

 

There were also concerns expressed over enforcement issues in the City and that there was not enough being carried out. 

 

Mr Hussain referred to Agenda Item 6 – Vehicle Livery and Branding and informed the Committee that the trade were concerned over the cost implications of the proposal and the effect it would have on the drivers.

 

 

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

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

Minutes:

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

28.

Worcester City Taxi Working Group - Vehicle Livery and Branding pdf icon PDF 124 KB

That Members:

 

1.      Note the work which has been undertaken by the Taxi Working Group and the progress made in relation to hackney carriage vehicle livery and branding; and

 

2.      Recommend that officers proceed with the work regarding vehicle livery and/or branding for all hackney carriage vehicles licensed by Worcester City Council, with a view to an updated report being presented to the next committee.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the update of the Worcester City Taxi Working Group and the progress being made in relation to hackney carriage vehicle livery and branding.  The report was presented by the Senior Licensing Practitioner.

 

At the September meeting of the Committee Members received an updated report from  the group on the work which had taken place in relation to vehicle livery and branding.  Since that time the group had met on a further occasion in November and in doing so made progress on the concept of the introduction of vehicle livery and branding for hackney carriage vehicles.

 

Paragraph 2.6 of the report identified proposals for the Committee’s consideration which would come back to a future meeting for a decision on whether these were still worth pursuing.

 

The benefits and disadvantages were discussed by the group and these were highlighted at paragraphs 2.7 and 2.8 of the report.

 

Other matters of importance which had not formed part of the groups discussions, but needed to be considered as part of the policy change, was the impact that the introduction of vehicle livery and branding would have on the Council’s current private hire policy, the Council’s temporary vehicle replacement policy and the conditions of licence related to advertising, which were attached to vehicle licences.

 

The Senior Licensing Practitioner highlighted that there had been initial Taxi Trade engagement with the Taxi Forum who had voiced concerns and were not in favour of the introduction of vehicle livery and branding, cost being the key element.

 

The preferred option being put forward by the Taxi Working Group was for the work to continue with regards to a policy change.

 

The Legal Services representative stated that this had been a considerable piece of work which had an impact on other policies and it was for the Committee to make a decision as to whether Officers progressed with this.

 

Members noted that neighbouring local authorities operated in different ways and had different standards to that of Worcester City who have striven to set standards higher.  There were also the issues of cross border working which created its own problems.

 

Generally Members felt that vehicle and livery branding was of benefit but the cost to the driver would be an issue.  Taxis were seen as a crucial part of the transport system in the City.  There was a suggestion that the City Council could pay as part of a budget bid.  Officers stated that through consultation all issues/options could be considered.  Officers responded to questions from Members.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.      note the work which had been undertaken by the Taxi Working Group and the progress being made in relation to hackney carriage vehicle livery and branding; and

 

2.      recommend that Officers proceed with the work regarding vehicle livery and/or branding for all hackney carriage vehicles licensed by Worcester City Council, with a view to an updated report being presented to a future meeting of the Committee.

29.

Worcester City Taxi Forum Update pdf icon PDF 90 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 meeting on 28th November 2018.

 

In response to a question about over ranking in Foregate Street the Senior Licensing Practitioner stated that Licensing Officers continued to work with Enforcement Officers and taxi drivers over this matter and asked that members of the trade, who were present in the public gallery, to avoid parking there at all costs and asked for their support.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the report.

30.

Reports of Meetings of Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To note decisions taken by the various Licensing Sub-Committees.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the decisions taken at the meetings of the various Licensing Sub-Committees in the period August-November 2018.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the report.

31.

Local Air Quality Management pdf icon PDF 95 KB

The Committee is recommended to declare Option 4 as an AQMA and to revoke all existing AQMA’s located within the City (see Appendix 4).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on Local Air Quality Management.  The report was presented by the Technical Services Manager.

 

The purpose of the report was to report back on the public consultation of the proposed declaration of Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), option 4 (appendix 1 attached to the report referred) and subsequent revocation of the existing Air Quality Management Areas of St Johns, Dolday, Lowesmoor/Rainbow Hill. 

 

The public consultation exercise was undertaken for 3 months following the decision taken by the Committee on the 8th January 2018. At the end of the public consultation on 12th April, 2 replies had been received from Highways England and Worcestershire County Council, appendix 2 attached to the report referred.  Responses to their questions were attached to the report at appendix 3.

 

Officers responded to questions from Members.  In  particular clarification was sought on the map attached to the Air Quality Management Order at appendix 4 and whether it incorporated the whole of the district within the political boundary of Worcester City.  A clear and defined plan identifying the political boundary would be included as part of the Order.

 

The Technical Services Manager updated the Committee on the work of the Task and Finish Group who had put together a series of air quality measures and would be producing an action plan to identify how to deal with them.  It was hoped that a report would have been available for the Committee at it’s meeting today, but this was yet to be finalised and would be brought forward to the next meeting.

 

On being proposed and seconded and put to the vote the proposal was unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee declare Option 4 as an Air Quality Management Area and revoke all existing Air Quality Management Area’s located within the City as outlined in Appendix 4.

32.

Forward Plan 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To note the Committee’s Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the forward plan for the period to June 2019.

33.

Any Other Business

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

Minutes:

The Head of Community Services informed the Members of the Committee that a report on the Licensing Fees and Charges 2019-20 should have been made available for this meeting and apologised to Members for this not being the case.

 

Members were informed that a 2% increase across the board was being recommended and after some discussion on how Members would consider the detail of the report and its recommendation it was agreed that a meeting be scheduled in January 2019 to enable the Committee to consider and make their decision for inclusion in the Council’s budget to be considered by Full Council in February 2019.