Council and democracy > Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Multi-Locational Meeting - Penallta House and Via Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Barrett 

No. Item

Recording, Filming and Voting Arrangements.

The Chair reminded those present that the meeting was being live-streamed and recorded and would be made available following the meeting via the Council’s website – Click Here to View.   Members were advised that voting on decisions would be taken via Microsoft Forms. 



Apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs E.M. Aldworth and Mrs D. Price.



Declarations of Interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at the commencement or during the course of the meeting.



Consultation Results and Future Provision of Licensed Vehicle Testing. pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Additional documents:


            Lee Morgan (Licensing Manager) presented the report, which informed Members of the results of a consultation exercise with the licensing trade on future vehicle testing arrangements of Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles, and also asked the Taxi and General Committee to consider the options for future testing provision, consultation results and views of Licensing and other stakeholders in order to determine future testing requirements.


Members were reminded that in 2021, the Caerphilly County Borough Taxi Driver Association (CCBTDA) requested that requirements for vehicle testing for Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles be changed in order to accept MOT test certificates from any approved MOT testing station rather than the current in-house facility based at the Tir-y-Berth Depot.  The latter currently carries out an MOT check and compliance check on other requirements for licensed vehicles. 


As the CCBTDA does not represent all licensees and licensed vehicle owners, a consultation exercise was carried out with the whole trade to ascertain their views on current service provision and potential future options.  The report outlined the result of that consultation exercise, additional information on testing requirements, views of other stakeholders and implications of potential changes in order for Members to make an informed decision on future testing provision.   It was noted that the consultation survey (attached at Appendix A) was placed on the Council’s website and an email was also sent to over 400 licensed drivers, operators and vehicle licence holders encouraging them to take part in the survey, with the CCBTDA also asked to raise awareness of the survey with their members. 


Overall, only 48 responses to the consultation were received, which were from a mix of driver licence and vehicle proprietor licence holders and one private hire vehicle operator, and which equated to a response rate of 12% of consultees.  A summary of responses was set out at Section 5.7.3 of the report and a full list of comments was included at Appendix B.  It was noted that 20 respondents (42%) were satisfied with the existing testing arrangements for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, with the other 28 respondents (58%) not satisfied with the existing arrangements.


The results of the survey were shared with Fleet Services who provided comments in response which were set out at Section 5.8 of the report.  The report also outlined the demands and pressures on the Fleet Services team, who have been experiencing difficulties in filling vacancies for mechanics and MOT testers across the service area for some time.  It was highlighted in the report that with these ongoing pressures, the service must prioritise maintenance of the Council’s own fleet of vehicles which are essential for service delivery.  The report therefore emphasised the need to require an alternative option for providing the “taxi” MOT licensing function for the authority.        


The Committee were provided with a comparison of the Taxi testing provision across all 22 authorities in Wales in 2019, with it noted that since this time, the numbers in respect of the in-house  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Review of the Council's Licensing Requirements for Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire Vehicles, Drivers and Operators. pdf icon PDF 387 KB

Additional documents:



            Lee Morgan (Licensing Manager) presented the report, which outlined proposed changes to the council’s policy and Licensing Requirements for Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire Vehicles, Drivers and Operators following the publication of the Department for Transport (DfT) Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards and Welsh Government’s Harmonisation Guidance on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing in Wales.  The report also sought Members’ approval of the proposed changes following a period of consultation in respect of Disclosure and Barring Service requirements affecting drivers, vehicle proprietors and Private Hire Vehicle Operators and changes to medical requirements for licensed drivers.


Members were referred to Sections 5.1 to 5.3 of the report which set out the history of the DfT Standards and Welsh Government’s Harmonisation Guidance, with links to both documents included in the report as background papers.  Section 5.4 of the report set out the rationale for adopting the practices advocated in both documents, which mainly relate to increased public safety, consistency of standards across Wales, harmonised enforcement, increased accessibility of vehicles and better standards of customer service.  The Committee were reminded that Licensing have already adopted some of the procedures advocated by these documents, in particular the National Register for Revocations and Refusals (NR3), together with the Institute of Licensing approach to the suitability and fitness criteria of applicants and license holders.  However, Members were asked to note that some of the proposed changes would require the Council’s existing policies to be subject to consultation and amendment.


Members were advised that the DfT and Welsh Government Harmonised Standards had already been circulated to drivers, vehicle proprietors and operators and to the CCBTDA in March and April 2021 to provide an insight into proposals.  A formal 4-week consultation exercise was subsequently undertaken with the trade in relation to matters concerned with changes to Disclosure and Barring Service requirements and changes to Medicals between 11th May 2022 and 11th June 2022.  Details of the subjected matters consulted upon and proposed revisions were summarised at Section 5.7 of the report.  A copy of the consultation document circulated to drivers, vehicle proprietors and Private Hire Operators was attached to the report as Appendix 1.


It was highlighted to Members that one of the significant changes proposed relate to a requirement for 6-monthly Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks for drivers (which is currently undertaken on a 3-yearly cycle), primarily via the DBS Update Service which will require drivers to sign up to the Update Service at next renewal of their licence.  Provision is also catered for drivers who are unable to join the Update service.  In such instances, drivers will have to provide an enhanced DBS check specifically required for the role of a taxi driver every 6 months.   This will mean that the Licensing Department will be able to bring drivers who do obtain a conviction that does not meet the fitness criteria to Sub Committee far more quickly in order to determine suitability   However, it was emphasised that this would not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.