Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-Committee - Friday, 3 February 2023 2.30pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Stephen Platt, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


There were none.


Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 11 November 2022.


The record of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 11 November 2022 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.


Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 


There were none. 


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct. Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 4.


Disclosable pecuniary interests


There were none.


Other significant interests (OSIs)


There were none.


Other interests


Councillor McDonald declared that he had been lobbied by Driving Miss Daisy but had not met with them or discussed their application.


Knowledge Test - Exemption from routes and places of interest pdf icon PDF 189 KB

The purpose of this report is to advise Members of the request from a Licensed Operator for drivers wishing to work for them to sit the Private Hire Knowledge Test for ‘restricted’ drivers instead of the full Private Hire Knowledge Test.

Additional documents:



The Sub-Committee considered a report on a request from a Licensed Operator, for drivers wishing to work for them to sit the Private Hire Knowledge Test for restricted drivers instead of the full Private Hire Knowledge Test.

The Licensing Manager advised that the Operator, Driving Miss Daisy, was a franchise organisation specialising in taking people out and about in their communities where extra time, support and companionship was needed. She added that, from the information provided by the company, it was apparent that, irrespective of any additional services provided, the company provided a licensable ‘hire and reward’ service.

The Licensing Manager said that all Medway licensed drivers were required to undertake safeguarding and disability awareness training and stressed the importance of applying fairness and equality to all applicants and existing licensed drivers. In conclusion, she expressed concern that allowing Driving Miss Daisy to only sit and pass the restricted Private Hire Knowledge Test would undermine the justification and requirement for all other Private Hire Drivers to sit and pass the full Knowledge Test, possibly resulting in a challenge from the Private Hire trade and a consequent reduction in local standards.

The CEO of Driving Miss Daisy advised the Sub-Committee that the service the company provided enabled anybody, irrespective of their physical or mental condition, to get out and about. The companionship service generated 60% of the company’s revenue. He further advised that the training and expertise of its companion drivers were way above that of the Private Hire industry and were just short of paramedic level. Currently, the company had 40 operator’s licences around the country, many of which were restricted licenses. Some licensing authorities did not require the company to have a licence as driving was not the primary service provided but was an enabler to allow it to provide a companionship service.

Councillor Price spoke as a witness in support of Diving Miss Daisy’s application, stating that the company worked in partnership with Medway Hospital on patient discharge. The companion drivers did not just provide a transportation service but would check that discharged patients had sufficient food and heating at home. Drivers were recruited primarily for their health and social care skills rather than their driving skills.

Members of the Sub-Committee questioned the applicant. He provided further details of the services provided by companion drivers; for example, they might accompany clients to their hospital appointments and provide feedback to their family. There was one charge for the service provided; transport and companionship were not separate charges. The vehicles had been specifically designed to reduce anxiety levels and provide infection control and operated to ambulance service standards. 

Asked what the impact would be if Driving Miss Daisy drivers were required to undertake the full Knowledge Test, the applicant said that it would be significant and would curtail the company’s ability to provide its services to local people.

In response to a question on the booking procedure, the applicant said that a risk assessment was conducted on all bookings  ...  view the full minutes text for item 589.


Exclusion of press and public pdf icon PDF 129 KB

This report recommends that the Sub-Committee excludes the press and public from the meeting during the Sub-Committee’s deliberations and decision making.




The press and public were excluded from the meeting during the Sub-Committee’s deliberations and decision making in respect of agenda item 5, because consideration of this matter in public would disclosure information falling within paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as specified in agenda item 6 (Exclusion of the Press and Public) and, in all the circumstances of the case, the Sub-Committee considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.