Agenda item

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy Review


The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and the policy consultation process be noted.


The Regulatory Services Manager presented a report which set out the draft revised Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and the proposed consultation methodology. The Council published a new policy every three years and the current policy would expire on 30 April 2020. The main changes being proposed to the policy were due to the introduction of new national standards in early in 2020 which, amongst other things, had raised the standards in relation to what constituted a fit and proper person and this had also resulted in a level national playing field. Members’ attention was drawn to the table in Appendix 2 of the report which also proposed that the review period changed from 3 to 5 years with interim reviews if necessary.

The Committee was advised that to had previously been mandatory to have CCTV in all Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles and this was now discretionary. Advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office had stated that a licensing authority which mandates the installation of CCTV systems in taxis and private hire vehicles, as the Council has done since 2009, would be responsible for the data and would therefore need to register and act as the data controller. This was considered too unwieldy from a resource point of view and therefore unachievable. However, because CCTV by driver as a deterrent it was it was likely to be retained.

The officer noted that, in support of the Council’s carbon neutral commitment, it was proposed to further strengthen licensed vehicle emissions by removing the option to licence vehicles meeting the Euro 6 standards. It was acknowledged that the Council could do more in relation to encouraging a change to electric vehicles but the charging infrastructure was not in place to permit this.

Mandatory disability awareness training for all new applicants and all existing drivers within a set timeframe was also recommended. This was not an onerous requirement as the training was available online, required the ID of the user and cost £12. In addition, the training would drive up standards in the Borough in relation to disability issues.

The Chair emphasised that the proposed policy and the consultation method were set out in the report and asked Member to confine their comments to the consultation process and save their views on the policy for submission during the consultation process.

It was noted that hackney carriage and Private hire drivers were subject to blanket rules but Uber drivers were not and other areas required drivers to fit CCTV. Following a questions on whether CCTV would be made compulsory, the Regulatory Services Manager explained that the Borough Council did not issue Uber licenses which in the part of England were usually issued by Transport for London which also gave Uber drivers the right to roam. The officer also reiterated that The Council had made CCTV in licensed vehicles discretionary because of the advice received from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Chair added that a Zoom meeting which would include the Regulatory Services Manager and himself could be offered to any Members who had questions.

Resolved that, subject to the inclusion of amendments and suggestions set out above, the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and the policy consultation process be noted.

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