Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.
Contact: Kenna-Victoria Martin, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 4 October 2017.
The minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 4 October 2017 were approved as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business
To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972
There were no items of urgent Business.
Declaration of Interests
There were no interesting declared.
The Principal Licensing Officer presented the report to Members which asked them to support an application scheme for new private hire drivers, by Thurrock Licensed Private Hire Operators, which allows for supported on the job training for new applicants.
He continued to advise Members the Council had set out requirements for applicants to demonstrate their suitability as fit and proper persons to hold a private hire drivers licence, these included:
· be aged 21 or over
· have held a UK or EU licence for at least 3 years
· have no relevant convictions or have been determined by the Licensing Committee
· pass a knowledge test including places of interest in Thurrock
· undertake the Councils Taxi CSE/Safeguarding training
· pass a Passenger Assistant Training Scheme (PATS) course
The Committee heard that to permit Operators to mentor new drivers, it had been proposed that the scheme be open to drivers that were employed by Operators of a sufficient size and capacity to provide daily support. Therefore
Only Operators who complied with the enhanced standards were allowed to mentor drivers up to 10% of the maximum vehicles operated under their Operators Licence.
It was discussed that a mentored driver would be required to meet certain criteria on application for a one-year licence to be processed. Once the applicant had met the necessary criteria their licence would be granted for an initial 6-month period. Within which they would have to pass a knowledge test including places of interest in Thurrock, undertake the Councils Taxi CSE/Safeguarding training and pass a PATS course. All of which would be conditions of the licence.
Members were notified any driver who had not successfully completed the required criteria would not have their licence extended after the 6-month period and would not be eligible for the mentoring scheme again.
The Committee during their discussions enquired the following:
· Whether the scheme was like an apprenticeship for those drivers struggling to complete the required tests to become a taxi driver, in line with the Councils policy. It was sought as to who would effected by the scheme. Officers informed that 10 of the bigger taxi companies had already shown an interest into accessing the scheme.
· How the scheme and those in taking part were to be monitored. It was explained officers where limited in the amount of monitoring they could undertake, however the scheme was under review and annual DVLA checks would be completed along with other checks which were in place.
· As to whether the drivers would be permitted to complete school contract runs. Members heard that all drivers would be CSE trained and the school contracts were the same each day, which meant that less knowledge of the area would be required. It was commented that the drivers who undertook these contracts, would often do so at short notice.
· If there were any restrictions in place, such as working hours. Officers notified the Committee there were none as presented, however they were in discussions with the trade.
It was raised as to how ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
The Chair introduced the report explaining it was a summary of applications received under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005 for the period of the 1 June 2017 to 31 December 2017.
That the Licensing Committee noted the contents of the report.