Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Crispin Raikes, Jeny Snell and Andy Soughton.


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), 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.



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.



Members noted that the applicant for Item 8 – Permission to apply for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence would address the Committee at the time the item was discussed.


There were no other members of the public present at the meeting.


Date of Next Meeting

Members are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the Licensing Committee will be held on Tuesday 7th September 2021 commencing at 10.00am.



Members noted that the next meeting of the Licensing Committee would be held on Tuesday 7th September 2021 at 10.00am.


Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 332 KB

Additional documents:


The Lead Specialist – Environment introduced the report and explained that the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy had been refreshed to ensure all current legislation, guidance and best practice was incorporated.  In addition, the policy had been restructured to allow for easier reading.


The Specialist – Licensing referred to the statutory guidance and explained that there was an expectation that the recommendations were incorporated and implemented unless there was a compelling reason not to do so.  She highlighted the key statutory guidance changes to the policy which included:


·         An introduction for safeguarding training

·         Language proficiency test

·         A new requirement for licensed drivers to undertake DBS checks every six months and action taken if not carried out

·         A requirement for existing licensed holders to notify of any arrest, release or charge for certain convictions with a time limit of 48 hours

·         A national register to record refusals and revocations

·         A basic disclosure for all hackney carriage and private hire vehicle applicants that were not South Somerset District Council licensed drivers

·         A requirement for private hire operators and licensed holders to provide an annual basic disclosure where they were not already licensed drivers.


The Specialist – Licensing referred to the other changes in the policy which included:

·         Companies would be informed of any occasions where licenses may be suspended or revoked

·         All new applicants would have a three year licence

·         Adopted the Institute of Licensing Guidance on determining the suitability of applicant and licensees and would replace the current Criminal and Convictions Policy

·         If an existing driver reached seven penalty points on their DVLA licence the matter would be referred to the Licensing Committee or Licensing Sub Committee 

·         All new licensed vehicles to be compliant with the current European Emission Standard

·         Vehicles that are under 5 years old would have one vehicle check and vehicles over five years would have a test at the point the licence was renewed and around the mid-point of the licence period

·         As recommended by the report produced by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, the new policy recommended a mixed fleet to accommodate the needs of all disabled passengers and that at least 25% of vehicles should be wheelchair accessible

·         Changes to the policy where licences may be suspended or revoked and the penalty point system


During the discussion, Members raised a number of comments and questions. In response, the Lead Specialist – Environment and Specialist – Licensing advised members of the following:


·         The Licensing Committee was being asked to agree for the draft policy to go out to consultation to various stakeholders including all drivers and operators and the Police.  The Policy would then be presented to District Executive for approval and be formally adopted as South Somerset District Council’s Policy.  If there were significant comments made during the consultation process these could be brought back to the Licensing Committee.

·         Sometimes information was received from the Police about incidences involving taxi drivers and the information had been acted upon particularly where there could be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Appointment of Licensing Sub-Committee Chairmen pdf icon PDF 218 KB


Members considered the report and recommended members to be appointed as Licensing Sub Committee Chairmen.



That the Licensing Committee recommend that the Director – Support Services and Strategy appoint the following members as Licensing Sub Committee Chairmen: Councillors Jason Baker, Tony Lock, Crispin Raikes, Wes Read, David Recardo, Linda Vijeh and Martin Wale.



Exclusion of the Press and Public pdf icon PDF 208 KB



That Agenda Item 8 be considered in Closed Session by virtue of the Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A under paragraph 1: “Information relating to any individual for, or recipient or form recipient of any service provided by the authority.”  It is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption from the Access to Information Rules outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.



Permission to Apply for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence (Confidential)


This item was considered in closed session.


The Committee was addressed by the applicant who explained the reasons for his request.


Members unanimously approved the request to allow the licensed driver to apply for a hackney carriage vehicle licence for a car which is more than 5 years old.



That the Licensing Committee recommend that the Director – Support Services and Strategy approves the request for the licensed driver to apply for a hackney carriage vehicle licence for a car which is more than 5 years old.


(Voting: unanimous in favour)