Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee
Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020 9.30 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Virtual address. View directions

Contact: Lori Hughes 

Note: Watch this meeting at https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200608/meetings/1940/live_council_meetings_online 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Moores and Councillor Cosgrove.

2.

Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business received.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

4.

Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

Two public questions had been received from Mr. A. Khayal:

Question 1 –  “We have major problems to obtain medical certificates from practising doctors surgeries in Oldham because many surgeries don’t carry out such tests, they recommend some surgeries in Middleton and in Manchester.  Taxi drivers have to take medical records.  Copies from his own doctor to them, sometimes they do it straight away, sometimes they don’t.  Why not licensing provide the list of surgeries who carried out such medical reports to taxi drivers with minimum cost in Oldham area.  Then taxi driver provides his medical reports from his own doctor and they check it, then examined the taxi drivers condition which meeting the licensing requirement.”

The Chair provided the following response: 

“Changes have already been made to the Council’s use of the Group 2 medical standard by allowing for another Doctor, other than the drivers own GP, who has full access to the medical history of the individual to undertake an examination and complete a report.  It is not the Council’s intention to source doctors who can do this.”

Question 2 – “I was looking for the records of the Council’s Moorhey Street MOT test failure classified as follows Rear Lamps fire extinguisher.  These are two minor faults inspectors should tell the driver do it and bring back for rechecks without any cost to drivers.  June 2019 failure figures were 36% which is high.  As Bolton Council ignored at least 16 minor. As you know minor faults cost driver £20 which is not fair as the same licensing office worker time is wasted too.  Please help the situation thanks”.

The Chair read the following response:

 

“The Council needs to recover its costs from undertaking any additional checks on vehicles, this includes the tester inspecting the vehicle, to inputting the subsequent pass on the database and issuing a pass certificate to the admin team recording the pass on the licensing database.  Whenever a review next takes place your comments will be taken into account.”

 

Members commented on minor faults and MOTs being used as a means of servicing vehicles. Drivers should be expected to keep vehicles in a roadworthy condition.  Fire extinguishers was not a minor fault. 

 

Members asked about the next review and the possibility of meeting with the trade.  Members were informed that the next meeting with the trade had been delayed but were still being contacted via email and phone.  Licensing policies were still moving forward at Greater Manchester level but had been delayed.   The Trading Standards and Licensing Manager would discuss issues with the trade and report back.

 

RESOLVED that the public questions and responses provided be noted.

 

NOTE:  The meeting was adjourned from 9.35 am to 9.45 am due to live streaming issues.

 

5.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 234 KB

The Minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 5th November 2019 are attached for approval.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 5th November 2019 be approved as a correct record.

 

6.

Licensing Annual Report pdf icon PDF 333 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to a report of the Trading Standards and Licensing Manager which provided information on the activities undertaken to discharge the Council’s Licensing function during the period 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020.

 

There were two strategic objectives that related to Licensing which were:

 

1.            To work with businesses to ensure they were licensed and compliant.

 

2.            To ensure safe passenger journeys, in safe licensed vehicles with safe licensed drivers.

 

The Licensing Act 2003 was governed by four licensing objectives:

·         Prevention of crime and disorder

·         Prevention of public nuisance

·         Public Safety

·         Protection of Children from Harm

 

Members were informed about the number of licensed premises under the Act, the number of applications considered by the Licensing Premises Panel and the number of complaints related to licensed premises.  Members were also informed about the number of permissions under the Gambling Act 200 and an update on age restricted sales.

 

Members were informed that officers continued to work with the private hire and hackney trade to ensure effective communication and consultation took place.  The Committee were provided an update on the details of applicants and drivers brought before the Licensing Drivers Panel over the last twelve months.  It as noted that as the Licensing Office had closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, decisions on applicants and reviews had been dealt with by the Trading Standards and Licensing Manager under delegated powers.  Members were also provided vehicle testing data.

 

The Star Rating Scheme was currently under review in line with proposals to be issued related to the Greater Manchester Minimum Standards Project.  The Committee will be updated at a future meeting.

 

The Committee were providing information on the implications of COVID-19.  The pandemic had hit all sectors of trade and business.  The Council has continued to support businesses in different ways.  Some work had been delayed due to the current situation.  The current projects underway or due to start included:

·         Refreshing the Licensing Act policy for alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment;

·         Updating the Street Trading Policy;

·         Reviewing the Star Rating Scheme for Taxi/Private hire Licensing;

·         Undertaking an unmet demand survey for hackney carriages; and

·         Consultation on the Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards alongside the Clean Air Plan.

 

Members were asked to note that a number of taxi companies had merged, the star rating under review; the GM proposal related to the age of vehicles; and top 3 noted failures.  The vehicle testing pass rate was highlighted to members as an area of concern.

 

Members were informed about the impact of the pandemic on the service.  The service has agreed delayed payments and instalment plans.  There were delays in MOT testing but it was planned to open one bay week commencing 8 June 2020 and then others would be phased in.  The service was making use of technology to support applicants and enquiries.

 

Members asked about the present situation with the Null and Void Bar and the safety of the premises.  Members were informed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Composition of Panels 2020 2021 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Minutes:

The Committee were informed about the composition of Licensing Driver Panel and the Licensing Panels scheduled throughout the 2020/2021 Municipal Year.

 

RESOLVED that the composition of Panels for the 2020/2021 Municipal year be agreed and the dates of future meetings be noted.