Issue - meetings

Item B

Meeting: 25/02/2016 - Council (Item 789)

789 Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

This report seeks approval to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy for implementation from 1 April 2016.




This report provided details of the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy following consideration by the Licensing and Safety Committee on 27 January 2016.


The report set out the background to the development of the draft Policy noting that a modern, effective policy would ensure that the trade and the public would have a document that fully explained the licensing process and, additionally, the proposed policy would ensure the continuation of the high standards currently offered by the trade.


A Diversity Impact Assessment had been undertaken on the proposed policy, as set out in Appendix C to the report.


The Chairman of the Licensing and Safety Committee, Councillor Mrs Diane Chambers, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty, proposed the recommendation in the report.




The Council approved the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy as set out in Appendix A to the report for implementation from 1 April 2016.

Meeting: 27/01/2016 - Licensing and Safety Committee (Item 706)

706 Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The purpose of this report is to ask the Committee to comment on the draft policy on taxi licencing and make recommendations to Full Council for approval on 25 February 2016.





The Committee considered a report on the draft policy in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing. Members were requested to comment on the draft policy and make recommendations to Full Council on 25 February 2016 at which meeting the policy would be considered for approval.


The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager advised the Committee that in March 2015 the views of the taxi trade and the public had been sought and these, together with existing documentation and processes followed, current legislation, case law and guidance, were used to aid the drafting of the proposed policy.


The consultation process had been undertaken between 12 October 2015 and 8 January 2016 and was advertised in the local press, on the Council’s website, at community hubs and at Gun Wharf reception. In addition, letters or emails containing the web-link to the draft policy were sent to all Ward Councillors and Members of Parliament for Medway, Clerks to Parish Councils, driver and operator licence holders, and Town Centre Managers. A copy of the draft policy was also placed on deposit at Gun Wharf reception for inspection.


The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager drew Members’ attention to the following aspects of the draft policy:


  • The section on stretched limousines had been amended in line with Department of Transport best practice guidelines.
  • At Appendix A on vehicle specifications, the section on tinted windows had been amended following visits to vehicle main dealers and discussions with the Medway Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (MLTDA).
  • At Appendices B and C on vehicle conditions, the wording had been improved and, for hackney carriage vehicles, to remove duplication with the content of the byelaws at Appendix H.
  • At Appendix F on application procedures, the reference to ‘VRQ/NVQ certificate’ should be replaced with ‘any relevant certificates’.
  • At Appendix G on relevance of convictions to applications, the draft policy included both the original and alternative wording for the process to be followed and Members’ preference was sought.
  • At Appendix J on private hire driver licence conditions, the seating arrangements had been amended to be consistent with the wording on tariff cards, as requested by the MLTDA.


Members noted the number of responses to the consultation which referred to vehicles operating within Medway that were licensed by a different Licensing Authority and sought clarification on a number of issues. Members were advised that the driver of a non-Medway taxi (hackney carriage or private hire) picking up a passenger who had hailed the vehicle was committing an offence and should be reported to the Licensing Unit.  However, under case law, a non-Medway hackney carriage vehicle could be used for bookings made with a Medway operator. Operators had advised that they were employing non-Medway drivers to ensure the availability of vehicles at all times. 


On the issue of accessibility set out at section 2.2 of the policy, Members were advised that no complaints had been received about insufficient numbers of wheelchair accessible vehicles but the Licencing Unit would keep the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 706