Agenda item - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire, Drivers, Vehicles and Operators Blue Book Review – 5th Edition

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Agenda item

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire, Drivers, Vehicles and Operators Blue Book Review – 5th Edition

Report of the Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing (copy attached)

Decision:

RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee approves the handbook 5th edition of the handbook as set out in Appendix A to the report.

Minutes:

16.1    The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing detailing the review which had taken place in preparing the fifth edition of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire, Drivers, Vehicles and Operators Handbook. The Committee were requested to approve the content of the handbook as set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

16.2    It was noted that the handbook was designed to combine the existing bye-laws, conditions advice and information for hackney carriage and private hire drivers, vehicles and operators previously in various separate forms in one place. This had first been approved by the Committee in February 2007. All changes previously agreed by Members since November 2015 had been included in this new and updated version of the Blue Book which also included updated guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licensees following suggested guidance issued by the Institute of Licensing.

 

16.3    It was explained that it had been intended to include amendments to CCTV requirements following intervention from the ICO and the Council becoming Data Controller, however, it had become clear that further consultation and clarification from the ICO would be necessary prior to implementation and in consequence a further report on CCTV would come forward to the Committee at a later date. It was intended that the handbook would be produced in a booklet format and would be made available for all hackney carriage and private hire drivers, proprietors and operators and would also be available on the Council’s website. The proposed changes had been highlighted for Members’ benefit.

 

16.4    Councillor Hyde asked whether consultation had taken place with representatives of the trade in respect proposed changes. It was confirmed that it had and that the Unions had also been involved in the process. The amendments had also been discussed at a recent meeting of the Taxi Forum and were fully supported.

 

16.5    Councillor Cattell referred to the references to the behaviours expected when carrying anyone who was inebriated. She was concerned that there were particular sensitivities to be when dealing with young people, girls in particular, who could be especially vulnerable if drunk. It was explained that these issues were dealt with as part of the driver training programme.

 

16.6    Councillor Page expressed concern that in his view some of the amended wording appeared to been diluted in relation to potentially serious offences than had previously been the case. It was explained that whilst at instances where an offence, criminal or otherwise had occurred there was sufficient flexibility and discretion for each incident to be judged on its individual merit and a proportionate approach adopted. If serious, the sanction(s) invoked would always be robust with details of the action(s) taken included in the Enforcement and Monitoring report (a standing agenda item) at a subsequent meeting of the Committee.

 

16.7    RESOLVED - That the Committee approves the 5th edition of the Blue Book handbook as set out in Appendix A to the report.

Supporting documents:

 


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