Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee - Monday 13 March 2017 10.30 am

Venue: West Wiltshire Room - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Lisa Pullin 

No. Item



To receive any apologies and details of any substitutions.


Apologies were received from Councillors Davis and Green and from Tracy Daszkiewicz (Consultant in Public Health).



To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2016 (copy attached).

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2016 were presented to the Committee.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2016 be approved and signed as a correct record.


Chairman's Announcements


As this was the last meeting of this Council term, the Chairman wished to express her thanks to all Committee members, the Licensing Team and all other staff involved with licensing. 


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.



There were no declarations of interest.


Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Monday 6 March 2017 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on Wednesday 8 March 2017. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.


No questions had been submitted from the public prior to the meeting.  There were two members of the public present and the Committee heard from Mr Adrian Berridge who wished to make a statement in respect of Agenda item 7 – Proposed Changes to Licensing Fees.


Mr Berridge stated that it was already a struggle to recruit new drivers in Wiltshire as there are other costs involved including a medical and these costs could be in the region of £400/£450 as a start up cost.  50% of his drivers were due for retirement and if they all leave then he would struggle to cover the current demand for taxi journeys.  He didn’t feel that there should be an increase in the licensing fees, bearing in mind that admin costs should have come down now that there is not an annual renewal needed.


The Chairman thanked Mr Berridge for his comments.


Minutes of the Licensing Sub-Committees

To receive and sign the minutes of the following Licensing Sub-Committees:


Eastern Area


12/10/16       Application for a Premises Licence

                     Potterne Social Club, Ewarts Croft, Potterne, Devizes


31/10/16       Application for a Variation of a Premises Licence

                     Crown & Anchor, Crowood Lane, Ramsbury, Marlborough


Northern Area


21/09/16       Application for a Variation of a Premises Licence

                     SN15 Leisure Ltd, Station Hill, Chippenham


12/10/16       Application for a Premises Licence

                     Centre News, High Street, Calne


28/11/16       Application for a Variation of a Premises Licence

                     Calne Town Council, Bank House, The Strand, Calne


Southern Area


17/01/17       Application for a Personal Licence


Western Area


04/10/16       Application for a Variation to a Premises Licence

                     Center Parcs, Longleat Forest, Warminster




That the minutes of the meetings detailed above be approved and signed as correct records.


Proposed Changes to Licensing Fees

The report of the Fleet Compliance Team Leader asks the Committee to consider a proposal to increase licensing fees for hackneycarriage and privatehire drivers and private hire operators within the administrative area covered by WiltshireCouncil.




Supporting documents:


Ian Brown (Head of Environment Services) referred to the proposal to increase licensing fees for hackney carriage and private hire drivers and private hire operators within the administrative area covered by Wiltshire Council that was circulated with the Agenda.  He highlighted the following:


·         The current charges as proposed are set at a level which enables the Council to recover its reasonable costs of administering the service and would continue to be reviewed annually to ensure that this is still the case;


·         The proposed 5% increase in charges would see a rise of £3.67 per year for a 3 year Hackney/Private Hire driver licence and £4.40 per year for a 5 year licence;


·         Payment plans were available for anyone claiming hardship;


·         The Immigration Act came into effect in December 2016 and on occasion the Council are required to issue a driver with a licence for a short period of time to correspond with the period covered by their visa.  A monthly fee had been calculated to enable a licence to be granted with would terminate at the same time as the period covered by the visa expires;


·         The proposed fees would be published for public consultation for a period of 28 days and if no significant objections were received then they would then come into effect;


Members raised the following:


·         I understand the Council have a duty to recover costs, but if we approve the increase in fees and if the taxi trade is suffering from a lack of drivers, what will the impact be on our public transport infrastructure?


·         What could we do to head off this problem?


·         What had been the take up of the payment plans?


Out of 1085 drivers, 270 have used the payment plan option.  Out of 103 operators, 25 have used the payment plan option.  Those who have chosen to pay over 5 years won’t see their fees increase until the time that they have to renew.


Cllr Peter Hutton (Portfolio Holder) thanked Mr Berridge for attending the meeting and confirmed that the Taxi Licensing Team liaised well with the trade and that there was constant Officer/Trade dialogue which has greatly improved over the years.  Over 1000 drivers had completed the Safeguarding training.  The Council would continue to review the fees each year as per the Trade’s request and acknowledge the role that they play in providing community transport.  The tariff increase had been well received as that had meant a wage increase for the drivers.  If the changes to fees were to be approved today, then the details would go out to consultation and the trade would be able to make representations.


Members asked if there was anything else that could be done to attract new drivers to join the trade.  It was acknowledged that Wiltshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and that could be a factor in not attracting new recruits.


Officers confirmed that there would be a review of Taxi tariffs in approximately 18 months and that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Update from the Llcensing Service

The Licensing Manager will present an update on the work of the Licensing Team to the Committee.


Supporting documents:


The Committee were referred to the Update on the Licensing Service which had been prepared by Linda Holland, Licensing Manager.  Linda highlighted the following:


·           The Immigration Act 2016 will mean that Immigration Enforcement will become a responsibly authority.  All personal and premises licence holders must have permission to live and work in the UK.  Immigration offences will be relevant offences under the Licensing Act 2003 and Immigration Officers will have the power of entry to investigate immigration offences in licenced premises;


·           The Policing and Crime Act 2017 will amend the meaning of ‘alcohol’ to also include powdered or vaporised alcohol.  Licensing Authorities will now have the authority to consider revoking a personal licence when notified of a conviction for a relevant offence with the list of relevant offences being expanded.  The Government is proposing to amend the Late Night Levy and to place Cumulative Impact Policies on a statutory footing; and


·           The Licensing Team wished to thank all Members for serving on the Licensing Committee and Sub Committee Hearings.


The Vice Chair wished to thank all Officers that supported licensing on behalf of the Committee.




That the Committee note the Licensing Update.


Dates of Future Committee Meetings

Members are asked to note the future meetings of the Licensing Committee, all to commence at 10.30am:


12 June 2017

11 September 2017

11 December 2017

12 March 2018.


Members noted the dates of future meetings of the Licensing Committee as detailed below, all to start at 10.30am:


12 June 2017

11 September 2017

11 December 2017

12 March 2018.


It was planned to hold a general overview licensing training session for all Councillors after May 2017 and then specific Licensing Committee training for Committee members which would be led by Linda Holland.


Urgent Items

Any other items of business, which in the opinion of the Chairman, should be taken as a matter of urgency. Urgent items of a confidential nature may be considered under Part II of this agenda.


There were no urgent items.