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Agenda item

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers' Policy

Report of the Chief Licensing Officer



The Chief Licensing Officer submitted a report referring to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers' Policy, attaching, as appendices, a list of comments received from individuals and organisations received as part of the consultation on the draft document, together with a copy of the draft Policy.




The report indicated that the Licensing Service was currently in the process of streamlining the current policies in relation to the Licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade, and were creating three policies - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers' Policy, Private Hire Vehicle and Operators’ Policy and Hackney Carriage Vehicle Policy.  The three policies would replace the existing policies, of which there were over 25, and this report sought the approval of the final draft of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers' Policy. 




The report contained details of what the new Policy would mean to the people of Sheffield, details of what the Policy dealt with, details of what the Policy delivered in terms of the Council’s priorities and details regarding the consultation process.




Mohammed Yasin, GMB, commented on the report, expressing his thanks and appreciation to the Licensing Service and the Committee in respect of the work undertaken in connection with the drafting of the Policy, particularly with regard to the consultation, and indicated that he hoped that the Council could work with the trades in a similar manner in the future.




HafeasRehman, STTA, reiterated the comments made by Mohammed Yasin.




In responses to questions raised by Members of the Committee, it was stated that the Policy had not been updated following comments received from Sheffield Futures on the basis that the Licensing Service already undertook a considerable level of work and training in respect of child sexual exploitation and general safeguarding issues. The Service worked closely with Julie Hague, Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board, who provided an excellent level of advice and expertise in this area.  In terms of the comments received from UBER, officers did not consider that removing the two requirements in terms of applying for a Private Hire Drivers’ Licence, as suggested, was possible.  With regard to the comments received from GMB, it was accepted that there may be a need to review the powers delegated to the Chief Licensing Officer in the future, but it was not considered necessary to make any changes at the present time, specifically with regard to this Policy.  It was not considered that removing ID badges in licensed vehicles would bring about any benefits as, although there could be circumstances where people will use such badges incorrectly, this was very rare, and having such badges had more benefits, such as providing identity and security for passengers.  




Mohammed Yasin stated that the GMB would like to see more powers delegated to the Chief Licensing Officer simply to save Members’ time in terms of decision-making.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)       notes the contents of the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers’ Policy, as set out in the report now submitted, together with the comments now made and the responses to the questions raised;




(b)       expresses its thanks and appreciation to officers in the Licensing Service for the excellent work undertaken in drafting the Policy, specifically regarding the consultation on the draft Policy; and




(c)        approves the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers' Policy, as attached at Appendix ‘B’ to the report now submitted,  to come into force on 1st April 2016.



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