To report any issues with the information below please email

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber Council Offices Market Street Newbury. View directions

Contact: Moira Fraser 

No. Item

(Councillor Graham Bridgman presented a non-notice procedural motion to allow all those not present to speak, and allow them to make indicative votes so that they could express their preference.

The Chairman seconded, and the procedural motion was approved.

Councillors Adrian Abbs, Jeff Beck and David Marsh were confirmed to be present remotely.)


Minutes pdf icon PDF 264 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of this Committee held on 8 February 2021 and the 4 May 2021.

Additional documents:


Councillor Adrian Abbs raised that his contribution on the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licence Fees Consultation (Agenda Item 11), proposing that no licence fees be raised this year, was not noted. Councillor Graham Bridgman pointed him towards Page 9, where it is noted, and Councillor Abbs withdrew his amendment.

Without amendment, the Minutes of the meetings held on 8 February 2021 and 4 May 2021 were approved as true and correct records and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 304 KB

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.


There were no declarations of interest received.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Purpose: To consider items that will be included on future agendas.


No comments or amendments to the Forward Plan were receieved.


Draft Statement of Gambling Principles (LC4095) pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Purpose: To seek comments from the Licensing Committee on the Draft Statement of Gambling Principles prior to it being consulted on.

Additional documents:


Councillor Tony Linden noted that there are no substantial changes to the draft document. Flo Churchill confirmed this, but asked that standing orders be suspended so that David Lucas could attend and explain the changes that have been made. Councillor Jeff Beck agreed, and congratulated the officers on their work.

(Suspension of standing orders, in order to allow David Lucas to attend the meeting and speak, were approved.)

David Lucas presented the report (Agenda Item 5), seeking comments from the Licensing Committee on the Draft Statement of Gambling prior to be consulted on. Lucas noted that a lot of changes that have been made to the draft are to tidy it up.

Sections 1.1-1.5 were tided up to clearly match the obligations of the document in the Gambling Act 2005. Section 1.5 and 1.6 presents a clearer definition of business interests and interested parties, noting that those who are recognised as a business interest are done so on a case by case basis. In terms of risk assessments (1.9), the report has been cleared to make sure that it is clear to parties what their obligations are. If local authorities wish to have a Local Area Profile, the document clarifies that they should make it a new document for the licencing authorities.

On licence conditions (2.5) there are clear conditions for applying for licences. Sections 2.6-2.12 deal with different types of premises from licensed establishments to casinos, to make it clear what the requirements for each type are. On casinos, the only casinos that can legally exist either precede or are under the 2005 Act, of which only 16 exist, with West Berkshire not being an area in which new ones can exist. On tracks (2.11) any ground in which sports can be held are counted, and are under restrictions such as where children can access, gaming machines, and planning restrictions, information on what is allowed has been provided. Travelling fairs (2.12) are additionally covered.

Concluding, Lucas noted that license reviews have been updated, alcohol licensing has been updated, and updating of the sections on permits. The only section that has been added is on small society lotteries.

Councillor Graham Bridgman noted that the contents section jumps from Part A to Appendix C, the mix of full and ragged justification, and that the footer to the draft policy notes that it has been adopted in 2021, when it has not and will not until 2022. On the dates of adoption, Councillor Bridgman additionally noted that under the Gambling Act 2005, policies run for three years from January 31st up to January 30th and asked that that be the same for this policy. Councillor Bridgman asked that this and other consistency issues be tidied up.

Councillor Bridgman proposed that Recommendation 1 be amended to read as follows:

“That the draft revised Statement of Gambling Principles prepared under Section 349 of the Gambling Act 2005 as appended to this report, and as amended prior to consultation to deal with any  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Review of Hackney Carriage Tariffs pdf icon PDF 405 KB

Purpose: To review the current hackney carriage fare scale, agree options and outline the consultation process that will be undertaken on these options if Members are minded to amend them.

Additional documents:


The Chairman noted that the process had gone on for some time and through numerous iterations, asked that the new tariffs be simpler, and thanked the work of officers.

Councillor Graham Bridgman presented a report (Agenda Item 6) seeking to review the current Hackney Carriage fare scale, agree options and outline the consultation process that will be undertaken on these options if Members were minded to amend them. Councillor Bridgman noted that in 2016, the trade asked for an increase in taxi fares, and when the Committee looked at the tariffs it became apparent that Tariff 2 consisted of different distances and times than the other two for inexplicable reasons. Councillor Bridgman proposed that tariffs be based off one tenth of a mile, instead of the existing one twelfth, which found favour with the trade. It was additionally discussed whether three tariffs were necessary or whether there could be two, and the trade agreed to two (normal days and other). Additionally, that the tariffs be linked by a proportionate formula.

An interactive spreadsheet was distributed to canvass responses from the taxi trade, and three proposals were received for Tariff 1 and 2, with virtually 0%, 5% and 10% increases, of which the trade preferred 5% as the increase was necessary due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Councillor Bridgman proposed consulting on the latter two. The response was for a different distance rate, and much higher tariff increases, which Councillor Bridgman does not support. Councillor Bridgman suggested presenting the two tariffs with an explanation that it was to their understanding what the taxi trade wanted considering the Covid-19 pandemic.

Beth Varcoe noted that the consultation with the taxi trade was not publicly available, to which Councillor Bridgman responded that as the proposal from the consultation is to be effectively rejected, that this be made clear.

Councillor Graham Pask agreed with the need for simplicity, and asks why representatives of the taxi trade are not making proposals, and asks for them to be consistent rather than allow any driver to make suggestions. Councillor Phil Barnett additionally agreed with Councillor Bridgman’s clear and simple approach, and understands his frustration with the additional suggestions that have been made, and that he will support his approach. Councillor Tony Linden noted in response that the licensing trade used to be more representative, but has become more fragmented and that achieving consensus will be difficult.

Councillor Bridgman amended his proposal, and proposed that rather than take both proposals to public consultation that the taxi trade are asked whether they would want a 5% or 10% increase, and that proposal be taken to formal consultation.

Councillor Claire Rowles noted that the two week consultation period is rather tight. Moira Fraser responds that this was set out in statute, and Councillor Bridgman notes that the trade consultation and public consultation are different things.

Councillor Rowles additionally asked whether Recommendation 8 would mean that the maximum would come into effect before consultation. Moira Fraser raised to the Chairman that those dates  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Update following discussions at the Taxi and Private Hire West Berkshire Council Liaison Group (LC4096) pdf icon PDF 391 KB

Purpose: To provide the Committee with an update and raise any issues emanating from the Liaison Group meetings.

Additional documents:


Moira Fraser presented the report, providing the Committee with an update on any issues emanating from the Liaison Group meetings.


1.    The Committee noted the report.