Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee - Wednesday, 17th November, 2021 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Charles Casey, Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01423 500600 Email: democraticservices@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

7.

Apologies for Absence:

Minutes:

07/21 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors John Ennis, John Mann, Stuart Martin and Norman Waller.

 

(5.31 pm)

8.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

08/21 – DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: Councillor Nigel Simms declared a personal interest in Minute 12/21 but as this was not a pecuniary interest he remained in the meeting and took part in the debate and vote on the item.

 

(5.31 pm)

9.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Of the meeting of the Committee held on the 9 June 2021.

Minutes:

09/21 – MINUTES:  The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 9 June 2021 were unanimously approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(5.31 pm)

10.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.

Minutes:

10/21 – EXEMPT INFORMATION: There were no exempt information items.

 

(5.32 pm)

11.

Public Arrangements - Questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.

Minutes:

11/21 – PUBLIC ARRANGEMENTS – QUESTIONS: There were no questions to consider under Standing Order 27.

(5.32 pm)

12.

Review of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Fees and Charges for 2022/23; The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 ("The Act"): pdf icon PDF 257 KB

The Food, Licensing and Occupational Safety Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

MATTERS DEALT WITH UNDER DELEGATED POWERS

 

12/21 REVIEW OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE LICENSING FEES AND CHARGES FOR 2022/23 – THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1976 (“THE ACT”):The Food, Licensing and Occupational Safety Manager (FLOSM) submitted a written report on the setting of fees and charges for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licences for 2021/22. Appendix A to the report set out the budget for 2021/22 and draft budget for 2022/23 of the hackney carriage service and Appendix B detailed proposed fees and charges for 2022/23.  The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 provided that the Council should set charges which met but did not exceed the costs incurred in providing the service.  The budget consisted of three cost centres: Dual Drivers, Hackney Carriage Vehicles and Private Hire Vehicles and Operators and the Council could not cross subsidise between accounts.

 

In introducing the report the FLOSM advised that the Private Hire and Operators budget was down on income this year due to post-covid recovery.  Up to 50 private hire vehicles were no longer operating and bringing in licence fee income, leading to a shortfall in the budget, although there were early signs of recovery.  For 2021-22 it had been agreed that the budget be supported by reduced internal charges and for 2022-23 use of reserves could be required if the shortfall continued.  The change in policy in June in relation to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles could also result in a reduction in private hire vehicles as they became hackney carriages, although this could also mean there would be no requirement to undertake the unmet demand survey, which would lead to a saving.  It was confirmed that the budgets for the other two cost centres balanced and the recommendation was that there be no increase in fees.

 

In response to Members’ questions the FLOSM explained that in producing the budget officers had to predict future patterns in order to produce a balanced and sustainable budget and the budget was predicated on a return to higher numbers of private hire vehicles.  Should there be no recovery in vehicle numbers different decisions may be needed for the 2023-24 budget.

 

RECOMMENDED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That there be no increase in the fees for all Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licences for 2022/23.

 

(Councillor Nigel Simms advised that in respect of Minute 12/21 he had an interest in that his sister owned a private hire and taxi business. As this did not constitute a disclosable pecuniary interest he therefore remained in the room for the discussion and vote on the item.)

 

(5.32 pm – 5.42 pm)

 

(D)

13.

Review of Charges for Safer Communities Licences, Permits & Registrations 2022/23 Including The High Hedge Complaints Fee: pdf icon PDF 249 KB

The Food, Licensing and Occupational Safety Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13/21 – REVIEW OF CHARGES FOR SAFER COMMUNITIES LICENCES, PERMITS & REGISTRATIONS 2022/23 INCLUDING THE HIGH HEDGE COMPLAINTS FEE: The Food, Licensing and Occupational Safety Manager (FLOSM) submitted a written report in relation to the review of Safer Communities discretionary charges for 2022/23 and the fee for dealing with the high hedge complaints that fell under the terms of reference of the Licensing Committee. The proposed fees and charges detailed in Appendices A and B included an increase of no less than 2.5% in line with the Medium Term Financial Strategy that was approved by Cabinet on 18 August 2021. All recommended fees were rounded to the nearest £1 for simplicity. The exceptions to any increase were where the current charge for the service was already the maximum permitted by law and this was currently the case for gambling licences.  The proposed fees and charges for high hedge complaints also included an increase of 2.5%. The Licensing Committee had the authority to set the high hedge complaints fee although the administrative function sat with the Place Shaping service. 

 

The law required that the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities set fees in relation to scrap metal licences, which were also shown in Appendix A.  In response to a question on how many scrap metal dealer licences had been issued the FLOSM advised that there were five scrap metal sites and around 30 dealers in the district.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That   (1) the revised licence fees be approved for 2022/23 as detailed in Appendices A and B;

 

(2) the Licensing Committee recommends to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities that the proposed fees in relation to scrap metal licences be approved; and

 

(3) the fee for high hedge complaints be increased to £416.

 

(5.42 pm – 5.47 pm)

 

(D)