Connect to us on social media and join in the conversation
Agenda and minutes
Venue: Sirhowy Room - Sirhowy Room, Penallta House, Tredomen, Ystrad Mynach. View directions
Contact: Rebecca Barrett
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J. Bevan, P.J. Bevan, D. Cushing and Mrs D. Price.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest received at the commencement or during the course of the meeting.
The Licensing Manager presented the report, which provided information in respect of Welsh Government’s (WG) White Paper “Improving Public Transport”, and sought Members’ views on a draft consultation response in respect of Part 2 of the White Paper (taxis and private hire vehicles).
Members were advised that following commencement of the relevant provisions of the Wales Act 2017, licensing of taxis and private hire vehicles will be a matter within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales. WG carried out a consultation exercise with stake holders in September 2017, with the intention of replacing the existing legislative framework with new primary legislation for Wales. Following on from this consultation, a White Paper has now been published on proposals to legislate for reforming local bus services (part 1) and licensing of taxis and private hire vehicles (part 2). The report therefore sought the Committee’s views on a draft CCBC response to the consultation in relation to part 2.
It was explained that Part 2 of the White Paper sets out 4 proposals, namely:-
1. National Standards - Welsh Government is proposing to set national standards for taxi and private hire vehicle licensing ensuring that these standards would have to be met in order to obtain a licence.
2. Enforcement - Welsh Government is proposing to allow a licensing authority to take enforcement action against any vehicle operating in its area.
3. Information Sharing - Welsh Government is proposing to allow the creation of a mechanism by which relevant information can be shared, for the purposes of safeguarding.
4. Joint Transport Authority - Welsh Government is proposing to redirect all of the
existing taxi and private hire licensing functions away from the Local Authority and into
a national licensing authority (a Joint Transport Authority).
A draft response to Part 2 of the White Paper has been developed by a working group on behalf of the All Wales Licensing Expert Panel, and it was explained that the draft response from CCBC (appended to the report) closely mirrors that of the Panel. The Committee were asked to note that CCBC is generally in support of the majority of the proposals, except for the transfer of “taxi” licensing functions to the Joint Transport Authority (JTA). At this stage there is no detail in the White Paper as to how the JTA would undertake the licensing function, and additional information is required to make an informed comment. The Committee were also advised of comments on the draft response received internally from Cabinet Members. In respect of National Standards, Cabinet Members had expressed a view that there should be independent testing facilities for taxi/private hire vehicle MOT’s / Compliance Tests, that furthermore there should be an age restriction on vehicles first plating, and finally that the take up of Electric Vehicles should be encouraged by the licensed trade.
During the course of the ensuing debate, the Committee expressed concerns around the proposal to establish a Joint Transport Authority and remove the taxi and private hire ... view the full minutes text for item 3.