Agenda item

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy Review


The Committee were presented with the consultation responses received in respect of the draft revised Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy. The report included an evaluation of each response and gave a recommendation as to whether or not to amend the draft revised policy statement and, if so, in what way and to what extent. Member input was sought in finalising the policy statement for publication and implementation.


The Regulatory Services Manager highlighted key points from the review to the Committee; Members noted that there were four notable changes to the draft document that they reviewed in November 2020 arising from the consultation, dual plating was not allowed for Gravesham taxi drivers and the vehicle emissions standards and vehicle inspections would be brought back to the Committee for consideration in the future. 


The Regulatory Services Manager also advised the Committee that, since the consultation, Government have announced plans to introduce mandatory HRMC checks as part of taxi and private hire licence applications from April 2022.  Exact details are not yet known, and will be set out in Regulations in due course, however this will necessitate slight changes being made to the application procedures in order to reflect the legislative requirements.  It was recommended therefore that, in addition to the proposed policy amendments, Members agreed for officers to make the necessary minor administrative amendments to the relevant sections of the Policy to reflect/facilitate this.


The Regulatory Services Manager fielded questions from the Committee and explained that:


  • The private hire vehicle drivers in Gravesham were able to work anywhere in the Country, the same as Uber were able to and there wasn’t any policy decision set by Gravesham which hindered their ability to work elsewhere. Organisations such as Uber used an app-based platform which was popular among users as they could request vehicles from their mobiles whenever and wherever they wanted. Smaller companies were looking at developing similar apps for smaller areas but in no way were any local companies disadvantaged by policy decisions set by Gravesham.
  • When a driver had a DBS check carried out, the certificate was sent back to the individual as it was their own personal data. With their consent, that DBS certificate was then provided to the Council for their hackney carriage/private hire applications.  There was no DBS check data sharing between the Council and KCC, the only data shared in this regard was by the consenting individual to fulfil application requirements/ conditions of their licence
  • Most licence holders had signed up to the DBS update service; the hard copy paper check only related to new certificates. Drivers that already had their certificates from other local authorities were accepted, subject to them being of the same level/standard required and suitably up to date, as it was deemed unfair to make them pay c.£60 to undertake another DBS check.
  • Dual plating referred to a vehicle being licenced by more than one authority; the team had also reached out to TFL and they confirmed that they did not allow dual plating either


Members agreed that following the policy being updated as proposed, the Portfolio Holder for Operational Services would approve the final policy without further need to report back to the Committee.

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