Agenda and minutes
Venue: Main Committee Room, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil. View directions
Contact: Jo Morris, Democratic Services Officer 01935 462055 e-mail: email@example.com
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 7th June 2016
The minutes of the meeting held on 7th June 2016, copies of which had been circulated, were taken as read, and having been approved were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the proceedings.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dave Bulmer, Val Keitch and Tony Lock.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (adopted July 2012), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting. A DPI is defined in The Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012 No. 1464) and Appendix 3 of the Council’s Code of Conduct. A personal interest is defined in paragraph 2.8 of the Code and a prejudicial interest is defined in paragraph 2.9. In the interests of complete transparency, Members of the County Council, who are not also members of this committee, are encouraged to declare any interests they may have in any matters being discussed even though they may not be under any obligation to do so under any relevant code of conduct.
There were no declarations of interest.
Public Participation at Committees
a) Questions/comments from members of the public
This is a chance for members of the public and representatives of Parish/Town Councils to participate in the meeting by asking questions, making comments and raising matters of concern.
No questions or comments were raised by members of the public.
The Licensing Manager advised that Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) had emerged as an issue across the country and highlighted that a key issue was that much of CSE takes place around the “Night Time Economy” and involves the use of taxis for the transportation of the children involved.
He explained that the Somerset Licensing Officers Group had sought to address concerns in relation to CSE by asking Taunton Deane Borough Council in conjunction with Avon & Somerset Police to devise a training programme. A meeting to discuss training was held on 7th October. There were a number of training options that could be explored including the use of the Barnardo’s online training package. It had been suggested that the Crime and Police Commissioner be approached for funding towards delivery of the training.
As well as providing awareness training, the Licensing Manager advised that a brief booklet had been produced to raise the issue and was particularly aimed at taxis drivers. He was proposing to send it out accompanied by a letter to all taxi drivers in South Somerset. He highlighted that taxi drivers were a key and vital part of intelligence in this area. Members of the Committee were in support of the Licensing Manager agreeing the contents of the letter with the Chairman of the Licensing Committee.
In response to a member question, the Licensing Manager advised that the change in legislation was imminent and would require a small change to the Council’s Taxi Licensing Policy to ensure that drivers undertake the CSE awareness training.
During discussion on the item members felt that the training should be made compulsory for all taxi drivers and that it would also be useful for Licensing Committee members to receive some training on the issue.
The Licensing Manager confirmed that he would bring a report detailing how the CSE awareness training can be delivered in South Somerset including the financial implications to the December meeting of the Licensing Committee.
At the conclusion of the debate, Members were content to agree the recommendations of the report.
The Licensing Manager advised the Committee of the proposed changes for both Taxi Licensing and the Licensing Act 2003, contained within the Immigration Act 2016 and the Policing and Crime Bill. He noted that the changes would require working more closely with the Home Office Boarder Agency, although this had long been carried out the proposed changes formalised that procedure. The main change was around not giving taxi licences to people who are not legally able to work in the country.
In response to a member question, the Licensing Manager confirmed that there were already provisions for the proposed changes in the Council’s Taxi Licensing Policy.
Members were content to note the report.
Members noted that the next meeting of the Licensing Committee would be held on Tuesday 13th December 2016 at 10.00am at Brympton Way, Yeovil.