Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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- Meeting of Licensing Committee (Non Licensing Act 2003 Functions), Thursday, 14th March, 2019 3.00pm (Item 22.)
EV Taxi Hubs Project Meeting
22.1 The Chair, Councillor O’Quinn explained that on 5 February 2019, the government had awarded more than £6 million to support ultra-low emission taxis right across the country, furthering its ambition for a zero-emission future.This had been announced at the Smart Transport conference by the Future of Mobility Minister, the funding would see almost 300 rapid charge points and 46 fast charge points installed for ultra-low emission taxis in 17 local authorities, including in Greater Manchester, Brighton and Hove, Leicester and the north east.
22.3 Brighton & Hove City Council had been awarded the full amount requested, £468,000. Which equated to 75% of the total cost of the project with an additional 25% being acquired through a concessionaire.
22.4 The Chair stated that she wanted to thank everyone involved in the taxi trade who had helped with surveys, meeting and gathering of telematics data which had helped to secure this funding. This grant would enable us to initially install 4 rapid charging hubs each with 3 rapid chargers for taxis at strategic locations across Brighton & Hove, a key part of the council’s strategy to implement EV charging infrastructure across the city to encourage people to switch over to electric and to meet the varied needs of EV drivers. The Council would continue to engage with the trade as work progressed, initially re the identification of suitable locations for the rapid charging hubs. The following was proposed:
4 off street rapid charging hubs – 6 bays (installation Oct 2020) (plus 200 lamp post by Oct 2019);
To consider – existing grid capacity;
Areas – Racecourse, Amex, Black Rock, Valley Gardens, Lagoon (consultation with trade for other areas);
Enforcement – NSL (not public highway so similar to Preston Park);
Original scope – exclusive taxi but OLEV recommended some public initially while take up is limited;
Action – put options to trade in April for discussion at May Forum.
22.5 The decision to refuse to Uber’s licence had been overturned on appeal on 27 November 2018 – The principle issue had been one of law – it had been ruled that exercising rights to cross border was not relevant to consideration of whether a provider was “fit & proper”.
22.6 OLA had submitted an application for a private hire operator’s licence in December 2018 and officers were in the process of carrying out a number of safety and security checks regarding the company and their directors. Their App catered for both private hire vehicles and hackney carriage vehicles.
Brighton Station Taxi Rank
22.7 This had been discussed at the TaxiForum meeting held in January 2019 where GTR reps had attended and raised a number of points for consideration and a contact. It was noted that GTR were working on infrastructure at the back of the station.
CCTV – DPIA update
22.8 Current thinking was that an initial representation would be made to the ICO arguing for continuous visual and audio recording. The authority’s principle arguments would be around the risk controls in place to limit disclosure. The cctv would be stored on a highly encrypted device and we will limit how and when it could be disclosed. For those purposes it would be explained that the authority would allow/seek disclosure.
Secret Shopper/Test Purchasing
Flipping – Private hire vehicle taking passengers that had not been not pre-booked through an operator;
HC Refusing to take passengers based on the journey not being lucrative – i.e. short journeys / multi seater;
22.10 It was noted that the licensing authority was working through the list of those who either have had a licence in the past or had applied for a licence. Six licences mostly home dog boarding.A number of businesses had not been able to comply with the new conditions or requirements and had subsequently stopped offering their services since the regulations were introduced. In common with other local authorities once the list had been worked through officers would start tackling those who were trading without a licence. Officers Were aware of a number of ‘on-line’ companies who used third party hosts to board dogs. These national companies were discussing the need for licenses with DEFRA and the licensing authority was of the view that the majority if not all of the hosts would need to be licensed.