Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber Council Offices Market Street Newbury
Contact: Moira Fraser
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.
Purpose: To review the current hackney carriage fare scale in light of the recent non-statutory consultation undertaken with the Taxi Trade, recommend an option for the Head of Public Protection to agree to be consulted on, if required, and consider the consultation process that will be undertaken, if needed.
The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 3) on the review of the current Hackney Carriage fare scale in light of the recent non-statutory consultation undertaken with the Taxi Trade. Members were asked to consider the outcome of that consultation and then if appropriate agree on a set of fares to consult on as part of the statutory consultation process.
Moira Fraser explained that that the Hackney Carriage fair scale had not changed since 2013. Due to the impact of the pandemic on the trade and in light of the very recentnon-statutory consultation with thetrade and several years of complex discussions, it was requested that the Committee consider f it would be appropriate to consult on amending the fares. If Members were minded to do so they were also asked to consider the mechanisms and timescales for undertaking the statutory consultation. Councillor Graham Bridgman explained that he had previously put forward proposals for a more logical set of fees. However, during the consultation and in discussions with the people who calibrated the meters, it had come to light that the proposals, whilst logical, could not be accommodated on the meters. For example the trade wished to working around numbers of around ten pence or twenty penceto prevent taxi drivers from having to carry around loads of small change. It was this that subsequently led to the revised proposals as set out in the agenda.
The non-statutory consultation had shown mixed views around raising the fares, with some members of the trade stating that they would like to see a 10% increase, others supported a 5% increase and some stating that they would not like to see the fares increased at all. The five percent rise was a compromise between the ranges of opinions.
Councillor Adrian Abbs added that the rise would not be mandatory and that the fare would be the maximum that the taxi operators could charge. He supported the proposal from Councillor Bridgman for a consultation on a 5% increase..
Moira Fraser asked the Committee Members to consider the timescales for the consultation and to approve the Officers recommendations for the end of the consultation process on 14 October; as this would ensure that adverts would appear in local newspapers, on the Council website and further letters could be written to the trade. While this timescale would exceed the statutory provisions it was felt that it would be appropriate to extend the timescales on this occasion. If objections were received and not withdrawn the matter would come back to the Licensing Committee in November and a recommendation could then be taken to the Executive on 18 November 2021 for determination.
It was noted that, in accordance with the Constitution, authority was delegated to the Service Director (Development and Regulation) to signoff the decision to go out to consultation.
RESOLVED that the Licensing Committee Noted the existing tariffs after considering the outcome of the recent non-statutory consultation undertaken with the Taxi Trade as set out ... view the full minutes text for item 10.