Agenda and minutes
Licensing and Appeals Committee - Monday, 24th January, 2022 10.00 am
Venue: Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions
Contact: Ian Hinton-Smith
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2021.
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2021 were submitted for approval.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Licensing and Appeals Committee meeting held on 25 October 2021.
The report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is enclosed.
The Committee considered the content of the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing which concerned the proposed Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards for Taxis and Private Hire. There were 10 Standards within the report, proposing that all the standards recommended to be implemented, are done so with immediate effect (or as soon thereafter where procurement or substantial changes to process are required).
The Licensing Unit Manager informed the Committee that the aim of the work is to harmonise standards across the districts, ensuring GM authorities work collaboratively on policies for these licensing functions that seek to support and not undermine each other, and are the preferred option for residents and visitors. This was due to an absence of a National Policy. The Licensing Unit Manager confirmed the breakdown from feedback, agreements presented to the 10 GM authorities and agreements reached with these authorities.
The Licensing Unit Manager presented the 10 standards to the Committee for consideration.
Standard 1 – Hackney Carriages to be Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs).
The Licensing Unit Manager stated that this standard had been accepted by 3 local authorities that had not previously approved and requested that the Committee consider the proposal for use of side-loading access only or amend to allow the use of rear-loading access also.
During discussions, questions and considerations it was raised that rear-loading WAVs posed problems at Hackney Carriage ranks, requiring extra space at the rear of the vehicle as well as adding a safety risk to any wheelchair users/mobility impaired customers. The Committee had concerns on whether disability groups had been consulted on this issue and felt that feedback should be considered.
The Licensing Unit Manager confirmed that TfGM had carried out consultations in this regard but expressed that there could be a more targeted approach.
In considering that more work could be done in consultation on this issue the Committee felt that the option to amend to allow side-loading vehicles should be revisited in the future.
The Committee agreed to retain the standard that all licensed Hackney Vehicles must to be side loading.
Standard 2 –Vehicle Age
The Licensing Unit Manager confirmed that it was proposed for consultation that all
licensed vehicles are under 5 years old at first licensing and no more than 10 years
old and that views were sought on consideration of a different age policy for electric and wheelchair accessible vehicles (PHV WAV – under 7 years on to fleet and 15 years off and Purpose built HVC – under 7 on to fleet and 15 years off).
During discussions, questions and considerations a concern was raised on whether vehicles over 7 years old could be sold and returned to another fleet. It was confirmed that this would not be allowed and that any vehicles over the age limit would be automatically barred from use.
The Committee agreed the Lead Officer’s recommendation:
To implement the following as the minimum standard: