Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Safety Committee
Thursday, 5 January 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell

Contact: Priya Patel  01344 352233

Items
No. Item

24.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interest in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.

 

Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

25.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2016.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 6 October 2016 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

26.

Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that this was the last Committee meeting that Rob Sexton, Head of Regulatory Services would be attending as he was due to retire. The Chairman thanked Rob for all his work during the 19 years that he worked for the local authority on behalf of the Committee and wished him well for the future.

 

The Chairman also reported that the new arrangements for shared regulatory services were due to commence on 9 January 2017.

27.

Notice of Public Speaking

To note those agenda items which have received an application for public speaking.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that he had been notified of a registered speaker for Item 28: CSE Training for Taxi Drivers, but that the registered speaker had not turned up.

28.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Training for Taxi Drivers pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To inform the Committee of the outcome of the process to find a suitable training package and to seek its approval of implementation of the mandatory condition by supplier C from 1 April 2017 with a cost to attendees of £20.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was reported that the Committee had agreed at their meeting on 7 January 2016 to introduce a licence condition requiring mandatory training for drivers and operators. This was to be introduced once a suitable training package was in place to deliver this requirement.

 

A training provider had now been identified and training would be delivered across West Berkshire, Wokingham and Bracknell Forest to achieve economies of scale. Officers had been working closely with the provider to ensure a satisfactory package was delivered.

 

Drivers and operators would be expected to achieve a minimum of a 80% pass rate to the questionnaire that would be given to them to complete at the end of the training. This would assure a sound level of understanding amongst drivers and operators of the issues and subject area.

 

Drivers and operators would then be expecting to refresh their training every three years.

 

The Taxi trade had been consulted on the provision of this training and two responses had been received as detailed in the agenda papers. In relation to some of the points raised in the submission from the taxi trade, the Head of Regulatory Services made the following points:

 

·         Since the reports around CSE were issued in 2014 in Rotherham and 2015 in Oxford, national policy had been developed and Bracknell Forest responded to this by bringing a report to the Committee in January 2016, there had been no time lag.

·         Within the last five years two licences had been revoked as a result of inappropriate behaviour of drivers. Virtually every local authority was going through the process of training drivers in this area as a result of national policy in this area.

·         The training was designed to protect drivers as well as raise knowledge and awareness of the issues around CSE so that they felt comfortable and able to raise concerns with the appropriate bodies.

·         Three year refresher courses was seen as best practice, this would refresh learning for drivers as well as introduce any new elements that may have arisen during the last three years.

·         It was possible to offer the training course in the evening if there was enough demand for this.

·         The fee for the training to drivers was designed to cover the cost of training and would be kept under review.

 

In response to queries from the Committee, the following points were made:

 

·         New applicants for licences would be expected to complete this training before a licence could be issued to them. It was intended and hoped that there would be at least one course per week available for them to choose from.

·         Officers agreed to consider further how they would tackle drivers that did not achieve a 80% pass rate of the questionnaire and whether drivers could be advised of which areas of the questionnaire they had got wrong and given further guidance. It was confirmed that there was no limit to how many times the questionnaire could be completed in order to achieve a 80% pass rate.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Review of Guidance Notes and Conditions pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To the attention of the Committee the results of the recent consultation on the proposed amendments to the Council’s Guidance Notes and Conditions document (current version at Annex A), and to seek approval to make these revisions to the document. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report that detailed the results of the recent consultation on the proposed amendments to the Council’s Guidance Notes and Conditions document.

 

In response to the Committee’s queries, the following points were made:

 

·         If a contravention by a driver which related to Child Sexual Exploitation was identified, officers would consult with professionals and a decision on what action was to be taken would be based on advice from professionals. It was possible that the issue would be put to a Licensing Panel to consider and if the driver had passed the CSE safeguarding training, this would be taken into account.

 

It was reported that once the town centre was fully opened in September 2017, it was inevitable that there would be an increased level of complaints based on the increased volume of work for the taxi trade. It was reassuring that the Council had a robust set of conditions to tackle any issues that arose.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee:

 

i)              Noted the results of the consultation as set out at Annex B of the agenda papers,

 

ii)             Approved the amendments and additions to the Guidance Notes and Conditions document as set at Annex C of the agenda papers with immediate effect and

 

iii)            Approved the additional amendment as set out at 5.2 of the report in the agenda papers.

30.

Practical Driving Assessments for Licensed Drivers pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To note the information contained in the report.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the information report.