MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
COMMUNITIES, HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
1 JUNE 2021
REPORT OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE HELD ON 15 APRIL 2021
HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE LICENSING POLICY 2021-2026
Issue for Decision
The proposed draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2021-2026 was subject to a public consultation process between 14 January 2021 to 10 March 2021.
The Licensing Committee recommended that the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee approve the draft Busking Guidelines.
That the proposed draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2021-2026, as attached at Appendix A to the report, be approved.
Reasons for Recommendation
A review of the existing policy was carried out which highlighted areas of the policy in need of revision having regard to the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards published in July 2020 to which all Licensing Authorities must have regard to in carrying out their licensing function. Proposals were also put forward supporting the council’s carbon neutral commitment.
Since the consultation took place the Government have announced plans to
introduce mandatory HRMC checks as part of taxi and private hire licence
applications from April 2022. Exact details are not yet known and will be set out
in Regulations in due course, however this will necessitate slight changes being
made to the application procedures. It is recommended therefore that Members
agree for officers to make the necessary minor administrative amendments to
the relevant sections of the Policy to reflect this proactively.
Four responses were received to the public consultation, with each response evaluated by the Senior Licensing Officer. Several Members of the Licensing Committee expressed support for delaying the implementation date of 2023 for carbon neutral vehicles, in part due to the impact of Covid-19 and to prevent greater barriers of entry to the trade.
Alternatives Considered and Why Not Recommended
To continue to rely on the current Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy; however this does not incorporate recent changes in Legislation and the latest National Standards for Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle or the matters required by the climate change and biodiversity action plan.
Appendix A – draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2021-2021.