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The minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Committee held on 31 March 2022 were confirmed as a correct record.
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.
The Officer gave an update to the report explaining that Objection 4 (as set out in the published agenda papers) was incorrect. The previous meeting tariff had not been disclosed by any councillor, and specifically not Cllr Rowe. The decision had been reached in a public meeting therefore the information was available to all through attendance or viewing online both in real time and following the meeting. Cllr Rowe confirmed that she had not spoken to the BBC in any shape or form.
Following the approved proposed amendment to the South Hams Hackney Carriage Fare Tariff at the previous Committee meeting on 31st March 2022, the proposed amendment had been sent out for public consultation. Following this consultation exercise, objections had been received to the proposal, requiring the amendment to return to Committee for further review.
The four options, as outlined in the attendant report, were presented to Committee. Following questions from the Committee, it was clarified that:
· Many drivers had requested fares to be rounded up to avoid having to carry lots of small change in their vehicles;
· Although many cabs had card readers, the rural nature of the District meant that these could not always be relied upon as a payment method;
· The additional 10p charge, which could be added when fuel reached a particular level outlined in the AA (Automobile Association) monthly report on fuel costs, was only 10p per journey, not per mile.
The Committee was attended by a representative of Totnes Taxis Ltd, who was invited to speak by the Chairman. Mr Routledge, one of the directors of Totnes Taxis, explained that he had spoken to around 50 of the 130 drivers operating in South Hams, and the majority were asking for an increase of 20% as opposed to 12%.
Following discussions with the representative, the meeting was adjourned for 5 minutes to enable the officers to work out a fifth option for consideration.
Upon reconvening the meeting, the Committee was presented with option 5, as outlined below:
A proposal by Totnes Taxis Ltd, with the flag rate set at £3.20 (a 14.2% raise on the current flag rate), and the subsequent distance reduced from 170yds to 150yds (20p per 150yds as opposed to 20p per 170yds as existing), leading to a 31.5% rise on the 2 mile fare.
It was then:
That the Licensing Committee RESOLVES that
1. the table of maximum fares approved for consultation on 31 March 2022 be modified, as a result of the consultation responses received;
2. the option chosen was option 5 as outlined above;
3. the modifications to the maximum fares take effect on 21 June 2022.