Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Other Licensing Committee Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017
Time:
10:00 am
Place:
Council Chamber, High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AJ - Special
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Paul Kirton (Chairman), Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Ken Dixon, , Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Julia Whitehill, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn
Officers:
M.Waggott, N.Hart, S.Mills (DCE); J.Nertney (DHRL&C).
In Attendance:
T.Ali, M.Khan, J.Morris, M.Vaines, M.Farooq, S.Ahmed, N.Ahmed (Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Trade); J.Allan (Mind My Pet); J.Moiser (Pooches), S.Nicholson (The Barking Lot), L.Wood (Fetch to Play).
Apologies for absence:
Cllrs Hampton, Johnson, Perry and Woodhead.
Item Description Decision
Public
OLC
43/17
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
OLC
44/17
PRIVATE HIRE & HACKNEY CARRIAGE LICENSING POLICY JANUARY 2016 - CONSULTATION
RESOLVED that the following revisions to the Privvate Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy be recommended to Cabinet/Council for approval:-

i) The introduction of an Age Restriction Policy for vehicles ( no older than 5 years from the date of firstv registration for new vehicles and a maximum age limit of 12 years for vehicles already licensed) be introduced from 1st January 2020;

ii) The implementation of the Disclosure and Barring Update Service be approved and introduced with effect from 1st June 2018;

iii) The introduction of an Age Restriction Policy for wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV's) (No older than 5 years from the date of first registration of new vehicles and a maximum age limit of 15 years for vehicles already licensed) be introduced with effect from 1st January 2020.

iv) The proposed amendment of the approval of advertisements for vehicles be introduced from 1st June 2018;

v) The proposed introduction of the requirement to have vehicle roof identification numbers for licensed vehicles be no longer pursued.
OLC
45/17
HOME BOARDING DOGS AND CATS CONDITIONS CONSULTATION
RESOLVED that the proposed new conditions suggested in respect of Home Boarding Dogs and Cats Model Conditions, following consultation with the Council's Veterinary Surgeon and members of the trade, be approved.
10.00am-12.30pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
OLC
43/17
There were no Declarations of Interest recorded.
OLC
44/17
Consideration was given to an update on the Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Policy consultation.

Members of the trade had taken the opportunity to respond to either the on-line survey or submit written comments and details of the comments received were submitted. A taxi trade meeting with officers had also been held in July providing a further opportunity for comment; and members of the trade were present at this meeting also to confirm their position.

The main amendments to the current policy and comments of the trade could be summarised as follows:-

i) Age Restriction and European Standards - adoption of age related policy.

In order to raise standards of vehicle licensed, it was proposed to adopt an age related policy to the effect that new vehicles coming onto the fleet were required to be no older than 3 years old from the date of first registration and have a maximum age limit of 8 years from the date of first registration.

Two of the larger Private Hire Operators had agreed to this proposed change to policy, whilst a number of smaller companies had express concerns regarding the cost of moving their fleet to within the proposed age parameters. During the trade meeting it had also been suggested that this policy change be delayed to allow economic upturn from developments such as the Globe and the Hampton by Hilton Hotel. The trade also requested that the requested changes to the vehicle age range for new vehicles be changed to 5 years and renewals allowed up until 12 years.

This proposed amendment to the revised policy was therefore put forward to the Committee for consideration with a suggested implementation date of 1st January 2020.

ii) Disclosure and Barring Service Checks (DBS)

It was a requirement of current policy for all applicants to undertake a DBS check with the Council at the time of first application and every 3 years thereafter. In order to better protect and safeguard the public, it was proposed to implement the DBS update service which new applicants and drivers would have to subscribe to allowing officers to carry out online status checks annually. The estimated cost to the drivers was 13 per annum.

The majority of respondents to the consultation on this proposal were in agreement, which was proposed to come into effect from 1st June 2018.

iii) Accessibility/Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV's)

It had been proposed that an age related policy for WAV's be introduced to the effect that new vehicles be no older than 5 years at the date of initial application and that the maximum age limit for WAV's be 12 years before being removed from the fleet.

The majority of respondents to the consultation opposed its introduction due to the costs associated with implementing the proposal. At the meeting with the trade it had therefore been suggested that the upper age limit of WAV's be increased to 15 years given the initial expenditure required to purchase this type of vehicle.

This proposed amendment to the revised policy was therefore put forward to the Committee for consideration with a suggested implementation date of 1st January 2020.

iv) Advertisements, Signs, Notices etc.

It was proposed to allow all Companies/ Operators to submit one application form to approve their livery and contact details for all vehicles. Should they wish to use additional adverts, then a separate application form to approve additional adverts would be required.

Whilst a number of respondents had initially objected, at the subsequent trade meeting it was noted that the proposed changes would actually make the process less onerous for proprietors and operators.

This proposed amendment to the revised policy was therefore put forward to the Committee with a suggested implementation date of 1st June 2018.

v) Vehicle Roof Identification Numbers

In order to be able to help prevent and detect crime for both the licensed trade and members of the public, it was proposed to introduce vehicle roof identification stickers for all licensed vehicles.

The majority of the respondents did not agree with the proposed change as they did not feel it was proportionate and reflective of the crimes it would detect. Cleveland Police had only been able to point to evidence of one recorded case where vehicle roof identification had assisted in detection and conviction and therefore it was proposed that this policy change be no longer pursued.






OLC
45/17
Consideration was given to an update regards the Home Boarding Dogs and Cats Conditions Consultation which followed adoption by this Committee in November 2012 of the Model Conditions for Home Boarding.

Since this time, there had not been any known areas of concern, however, recently some members of the Animal Boarding Trade had expressed practical difficulties when trying to comply with the condition relating to familiarisation. This stated that ' A mandatory, trial (documented) familiarisation session for all dogs prior to stay and where there is a resident dog or cat kept at the household, written consent from the owners of the boarded dog must be gained following a trial familiarisation session.

Trade members had therefore been consulted upon amendments to provide clarification on the interpretation of this condition and a number of responses had been received. One member of the trade had suggested that the conditions should be more stringent, five members had agreed with the proposed amendment, and seven members felt that the condition would be difficult to adhere to and unfair on the customers to implement.

It had therefore been suggested that condition number two regarding number of animals, be amended to:-

'Dogs from different household may be boarded at the same time provided the licensee is able to meet a number of additional requirements/licence conditions as follows:-

-Specific written consent of each household showing confirmation that they are content for their dogs to be boarded with others.

-A mandatory, trial (documented) familiarisation session for all dogs prior to stay. The owner and dog should attended the premise of the home boarder in advance of their stay e.g. not the day of their scheduled stay, to spend approximately 30 minutes familiarising their dog with the home boarders dogs if they have any, or with any other dogs which are scheduled to stay at the boarders home at the same time.

-If the home boarder is unable to comply with the above requirements in terms of familiarisation of other dogs which are scheduled to be staying at the same time, then a documented familiarisation session should still take place prior to their stay with the home boarder's dogs and any other dogs which are present at the time of familiarisation. If there are any concerns about a new dog at the initial familiarisation session the dog should attend a longer visit without its owner prior to the boarding date. If there are any difficulties between the new dog, the home boarder's dog/s or any of the dogs boarding at that time, the booking should be cancelled.

-If there any difficulties between any dogs during their stay then the home boarder must have a protocol in place and facilities to initially separate the dogs. Contact should be made immediately with the owners of the dog or the emergency contact if the owners are out of the country. If the owners or emergency contact cannot collect the dog then the home boarder should look to have the dog boarded with another home boarder or as a last resort have the dog looked after in a dog boarding kennel.

-Customers should made be fully aware of this protocol prior to boarding with any home boarder.

-Separation of dogs from different households in secure areas when left unattended.

-Separate feeding of dogs to minimise the likelihood of dispute and aggression.

The Committee was invited to approve the proposed revision to the conditions as outlined above.

Four members of the trade were present at the meeting to confirm their position.

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction