Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee
Thursday, 14th November, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6YB

Contact: Chris Slade  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

No. Item


Attendance and Apologies / Presenoldeb ac Ymddiheuriadau


1.1       The Chair welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting of the Licensing Committee.


1.2       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Glyn Caron and Kathy Evans.


Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o fudd

Presented By: Chair


2.1       The DMO&S reminded Members that any interests should be verbally declared and recorded on the Declarations of Interest register.


2.2       Councillor Steve Evans declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in pages 21, 102, 117, 139, 166, 195 and 221 of the agenda as he was a member of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority.


Minutes of the Licensing Committee / Cofnodion y Pwyllgor Trwyddedu Blaenorol pdf icon PDF 434 KB


3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record.


Workload Update April - September 2019 / Baich Gwaith - Diweddariad Ebrill - Medi 2019 pdf icon PDF 497 KB

Presented By: Licensing Team Leader

Additional documents:


4.1       The LTL read out highlights of the report and after, responded to Members’ questions and comments as follows:-


·         The LTL and her team responded immediately and interviewed taxi drivers following any allegations.  All drivers were given safeguarding training.  On some occasions, the individual had done something in all innocence that could be construed as being part of the grooming process.  In the case referred to within the report, the individual gave a cigarette to a 15 year old girl, but the gentleman knew her.  He was given a written warning in order for it to be kept on file.  Regardless as to whether a customer is known to them, in all cases it was worth having the conversation in order for the drivers to be aware of their obligations and how their actions could be interpreted.

·         Allegations of drug taking were complaints received from customers and other drivers from within the trade.  Following an allegation, the licensing team would invite the individual in to speak to them and following that, any concerns would result in an invitation to take a drug test, which was conducted by an external company.  If the driver refused or didn’t turn up, their licence could be revoked until the test had been carried out.  The first test was free to drivers but if they didn’t turn up then they would have to pay for the next one.  Ultimately, drivers had to pass the test of being a fit and proper person. 

·         In terms of smoking in vehicles, enforcement officers worked in collaboration with the licensing team and so they were able to see whether any individual had been served with a fixed penalty notices.  If any drivers were to refuse to accept that they had been caught, then it could be brought to review.

·         Issues with the collaboration agreement had been reported to Cabinet and it was agreed to revert back


4.2       The Chair thanked the LTL and team for their dedication and hard work.


4.3       The Licensing Committee unanimously agreed to:-

·         Note and comment on the contents of the report, and

·         Note the activity report for April – September.


Approval of Proposed Taxi Licence Fees (2020/21) for Consultation / Cymeradwyo Ffioedd Arfaethedig Trwyddedau Tacsi (2020/21) ar gyfer Ymgynghoriad pdf icon PDF 419 KB

Additional documents:


5.1       The LTL read out highlights of the report and after, responded to Members’ questions and comments as follows:-


·         Although the proposed fees seemed high compared to other local authorities, the charges weren’t the same as they contained different fees.  For example, DBS checks could be charged separately whereas Torfaen included it as part of the licence fee.  The DMO&S commented that another factor could be that other local authorities had not yet reviewed their fees and that Torfaen was very different in terms of its size and how it dealt with their fees.

·         MOT’s were undertaken by two approved garages.  Fees were set by the garages and payments were made upfront so that invoicing was not required.  Licences were not issued until the vehicle had passed its test.

·         There weren’t any electric taxi vehicles in Torfaen and so a reduction in fees would have no impact at present.  The authority was geared up ready in case any came forward.  Members were advised that should these types of vehicle be encouraged, there could be more take up.

·         In terms of electric vehicles, the taxi trade would more than likely look to plug their vehicles in at home or at their base, but other considerations had to be made with regards to whether their destinations would have charging points in order for the journey to be made back home.


5.2       The Licensing Committee unanimously agreed to:-

·         The reduction in fee for disabled vehicles.

·         The reduction in fee for electric vehicles.

·         Approve the proposed taxi licensing fees for consultation, and

·         Indicated as above whether a reduction in the licence fee in respect of disabled access vehicles and/or electric vehicles should be offered.


Policy in espect of requests for information, disclosure of information and use of information as a result of entry on NR3 / Polisi mewn perthynas â cheisiadau am wybodaeth, datgelu gwybodaeth a defnyddio gwybodaeth o ganlyniad i gofnodi ar NR3 pdf icon PDF 373 KB

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6.1       The LTL read out highlights of the report.


6.2       Members asked for clarity regarding the second recommendation, which the LTL responded to accordingly.


6.3       The Licensing Committee unanimously agreed:-

·         Note the proposed timetable, and to

·         Accept the adoption of the policy.


Review of the Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy / Arolwg o Ddeddf Trwyddedu 2003 Datganiad o Bolisi Trwyddedu pdf icon PDF 450 KB

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7.1       The LTL read out highlights of the report and advised that any comments could be sent to the SLO or the licensing team’s generic email inbox.


7.2       The Licensing Committee unanimously agreed to note the report and proposed timetable.


Amendments to the Licensing Parts of the Constitution / Newidiadau i Rannau Trwyddedu'r Cyfansoddiad pdf icon PDF 367 KB

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8.1       The S&DMO introduced her report and clarified that although there would be two committees, they would both take place on the same day with the first meeting starting at 10.00am; similar to the current arrangements with the Licensing Committee.


8.2       The Licensing Committee unanimously agreed to:-

·         Consider the contents of the report and make comments.

·         Recommend to Council that:-

o   The existing Licensing Committee Structure is amended and that two Licensing Committees are set up to be entitled ‘Statutory Licensing Committee’ and ‘General Licensing Committee’.  And that

o   Part 7 and Appendices 10 and 13 (Appendices 2 and 3) of the Constitution are updated and that the Constitution is amended to reflect the proposed review of the arrangements and relevant legislation in force.


Date of Next Meeting - 13/02/20 / Dyddiad y Cyfarfod Nesaf - 13/02/20


9.1       The next meeting was scheduled to take place on Thursday, 13 February 2020.


9.2       The meeting ended at 11.16am.