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Apologies For Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Arnott and Councillor Garry.
Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair
There were no items of urgent business received.
Declarations of Interest
To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest received.
Public Question Time
To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
The following question was received from Mr AR Khayal:
“I would like to asked questions on behalf of my memberships that Oldham council should recommend mixed fleets not black cabs because our affordability is very poor thanks”.
The Chair responded that she thanked Mr Khayal for his question. A thorough consultation on the Greater Manchester minimum licensing standards took place in 2020. Members of Council had, to date, received the findings of the consultation and would in the coming weeks be determining future policy. The views of all respondents would be considered at this time and a balanced decision made by this Committee.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 8th June 2021 are attached for approval.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 8th June 2021 be approved as a correct record.
The Committee gave consideration to a report of the Trading Standards and Licensing Manager which sought their approval to the recommendations set out in the report with regards to the Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards for Private Hire and Hackney drivers, operators and local authority standards.
Members were informed that the recommendations had been proposed by the Greater Manchester Licensing Network, following their consultation on Greater Manchester’s Minimum Licensing Standards which had closed in December 2020.
The Committee noted that Minimum Licensing Standards (MLS) for all GM local authorities represented a means of achieving a range of shared goals, including:
· improving public safety;
· helping deliver clean air and reducing carbon emissions;
· supporting the locally licensed hackney and private hire trades; and
· complying with the Governments statutory guidance on safeguarding.
Overall, the GM approach looked to provide:
· the public with safe, visible and high-quality hackney and private hire services
· the hackney and private hire trades with clarity over what the required standards will be over the long term, and through the GM Clean Air Plan, with unprecedented investment to help renew the fleet, and
· local authorities with the continued regulatory role in relation to driver, vehicle and operator licensing whilst retaining scope to exceed the MLS as agreed locally by elected members.
The proposed minimum licensing standards covered four main areas:
Drivers: Common standards of DBS checks, medicals, local knowledge, English language proficiency, driver training and dress code.
Vehicles: Vehicle emission standards of Euro IV for petrol engines and Euro VI for diesel from 2021 with an ambition to zero emission capable vehicles. Age and colour policies, hackney carriages to be all wheelchair accessible. Common livery, CCTV in vehicles and other design and licensing requirements.
Operators: Private hire operators and base staff to have basic DBS checks. Updated conditions and record keeping requirements.
Local authorities: Common timescales for submitting applications and receiving granted ones. A common enforcement approach and a framework to which fees will be set.
Members were informed that securing these ambitions would require a rolling, progressive programme of reform, with several elements to be designed, developed, agreed and implemented over time.
The Committee considered the recommendations set out in the report.
· The impact of GPs ceasing private medical examinations during the pandemic – a third party provider had been used. A number of drivers had been found to be unfit and their licences had been suspended. Some of them had previously been declared fit by their GP.
· Who should be doing the examinations – the Council may wish to consider who was best placed when GPs were able to offer the service again. The third party provider did not have access to full medical records and used a summary. The situation would be monitored and brought back to the Committee at a later date.
· Qualified ... view the full minutes text for item 6.