SWT Licensing Committee
Monday, 21st March, 2022 6.15 pm
Venue: The John Meikle Room - The Deane House. View directions
Contact: Clare Rendell Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Webcast: View the webcast
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors C Palmer, A Trollope-Bellew and L Whetlor.
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee.
(Minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 20 December 2021 circulated with the agenda)
Resolved that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 20 December 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive and note any declarations of disclosable pecuniary or prejudicial or personal interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.
(The personal interests of Councillors and Clerks of Somerset County Council, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes.)
Members present at the meeting declared the following personal interests in their capacity as a Councillor or Clerk of a County, Town or Parish Council or any other Local Authority:-
The Chair to advise the Committee of any items on which members of the public have requested to speak and advise those members of the public present of the details of the Council’s public participation scheme.
For those members of the public who have submitted any questions or statements, please note, a three minute time limit applies to each speaker and you will be asked to speak before Councillors debate the issue.
We are now live webcasting most of our committee meetings and you are welcome to view and listen to the discussion. The link to each webcast will be available on the meeting webpage, but you can also access them on the Somerset West and Taunton webcasting website.
No members of the public had requested to speak on any item on the agenda.
Members are asked to consider a proposed amendment/addition to the existing local taxi policies, to allow for motor tricycles to be licensed as private hire vehicles.
During the discussion, the following points were raised:-
· Councillors queried whether the age and height restrictions had been used by another council.
The Licensing Officer advised that the height restriction was guidance given by the manufacturer due to the design of the vehicle and for safety reasons. Age restrictions had been used by another council and it was based on the understanding that the use of the vehicle would need a level of responsibility as they had to undertake a safety debrief and understand the importance of wearing safety clothing.
· Councillor K Wheatley proposed an additional recommendation which was duly seconded by Councillor M Lithgow and approved by the Committee:-
- Agreed to amend the age and height restrictions as follows:
If a customer was under 14 years of age but was over 165cm in height, they would be permitted to travel if accompanied by an adult (who was over 165cm in height)
· Concern was raised that the vehicles would not be accessible for different types of users.
· Councillors queried whether the vehicles could be adapted so that they were accessible.
The Licensing Officer would investigate into what options might be available for adaptations.
· Concern was raised on the safety of the vehicles whilst driving along rural roads.
The licensing Officer advised that the vehicle was built for road use, so it should adhere to road safety regulations.
· Councillors queried what the maximum speed would be for the vehicles.
The Licensing Officer advised that they needed to adhere to the speed limits on the roads as per other road users.
· Councillors queried whether the operators would have safety gear in various sizes as per their guidance.
The Licensing Officer advised that it was for the operator to ensure that they had safety gear available for all their users, as it was part of their responsibility and if users did not wear any safety gear, it would be a breach of their licence.
· Councillors queried how many licences the officer anticipated to receive.
The Licensing Officer advised that there was no limit at this stage as it was a trial scheme.
· Councillors requested clarification that the tricycle operator would be dealt with in the same manner as taxi drivers, which meant that if they had any previous offences, that they would be take to a sub-committee hearing.
Resolved that the Licensing Committee:-
2.1Considered the observations of officers and the appropriateness of proposed additions to the policy, as well as proposed conditions, measured against the legal requirements of Section 48 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and determined if the proposed amendments should be applied, thereby allowing motor tricycles to be licensed as private hire vehicles in our area.
2.2Considered and approved the addition of the proposed wording attached as Appendix 5 to existing local taxi policies, both for the former West Somerset area and the former Taunton Deane area.
2.3Agreed to amend the age and height restrictions as follows:
- If a customer was under 14 ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
This report updates members of the committee on work of note, progress on any projects, changes in legislation and looks ahead to any significant events on the horizon.
Resolved that the Update Report was noted.
The Licensing Manager has begun reviewing the Council’s policies on street trading and it is felt that the formation of a Working Group would enhance the review.
Resolved that the Licensing Committee agreed to defer the item until the next meeting of the Licensing Committee as the report author was not present.