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Note: To begin on the rising of the Special Executive meeting
to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 30 June 2021 and the Licensing Sub-Committee meetings held between 7 January 2021 and 4 August 2021
The minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 30 June 2021 and the Licensing Sub-Committee meetings held during the period 7 January 2021 to 4 August 2021 were all confirmed as a correct record and approved for signage by the Chair.
Declarations of interest
In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable Interests including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;
Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting. There were no declarations made.
Consideration was given to a report that informed Members of a request that had been made to review the Hackney Carriage Fare Tariff. The report advised that, in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Section 65, the Council had the power to set the fares charged within its area by Hackney Carriage (taxi) drivers, and that fares were last reviewed in 2016, coming into effect early in 2017. As it had been some time since the last review, together with the current rises in the cost of living, particularly fuel price increases, it was deemed an appropriate time to review the options open to the Council. However, the report also recognised that too large an increase could adversely impact the ability of vulnerable users to be able to afford this essential service.
Five potential options were outlined in the report, and during discussion, reference was made to:-
(a) The number of electric and hybrid vehicles operating as hackney carriages currently, which was small, with the majority still using diesel.
(b) Most local authorities in Devon were also in the process of reviewing their charges.
(c) It was agreed to thank Totnes Taxis for their comprehensive representation and to ensure that representatives from Totnes Taxis were invited to any future meeting relating to charges.
(d) It was agreed to review the fares again in two years’ time, however it was acknowledged that normally it was the Trade who requested a review of taxi fares.
It was then:
That the Licensing Committee RESOLVES that:
1. Option 2 of the attendant report, that being: a 12.1% rise across the fare table based on the current CPI inflation figure (4.9%), plus the estimated inflationary rise since January 2018 (7.2%) be the preferred Committee option.
2. in the event that the current table of fares were to be modified, the date upon which the modifications to the maximum fares would take effect one month after the end of the fourteen-day minimum statutory consultation period, if no representations are received.
3. the departure, in this instance, from the previously adopted Maximum Chargeable Fare Setting Policy (2016), be approved on the basis that not all of the information required by that policy, for the calculation of the maximum fare, was currently readily available, and instead use the Consumer Price Index inflation rate.