Your Councillors


Licensing Committee

22 November 2018

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?

Yes

 

Emission standards and suitability for use of Maidstone Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles

 

Final Decision-Maker

Licensing Committee

Lead Head of Service

John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Services

Lead Officer/Report Author

Lorraine Neale

Classification

Non-exempt

Wards affected

All

 

 

This report makes the following recommendation:

1.    That the Committee agrees to defer decision on implementation of the Taxi Emissions Policy following the consultation received to enable clarification of certain points with the Hackney and Private Hire Trade.

.

 

 

This report relates to the following Five Year Plan Key Objectives:

·         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Licensing Committee

 

22 November 2018

 



Emission standards and suitability for use of Maidstone Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles

 

 

1.         PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1      Maidstone Borough Council is committed to ensuring the taxi and private hire sector remains integrated in our sustainable transport network and for them to continue to move passengers to destinations safely, whilst contributing to the economy with minimal environmental impact.

 

    The aim is to provide an achievable action plan for the taxi and private hire trade in Maidstone for the next 5 years and beyond and a strategy that will help us understand where we want the taxi system to be in the future and how we are going to get there with the co operation of the Taxi trade.

 

 

 

2.         INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1 At the Licensing Committee on 29 March 2018 Members were asked to consider  a proposed Taxi low emission standards policy Appendix 1 and agree to put the draft policy out to consultation. The report and minutes of that meeting are attached as Appendix 2.

 

2.2 The consultation took place between the 3 August and 7 October 2018. The survey was carried out online and by e-mail to approximately 8000 customers, a total of 674 people responded (including 39 taxi drivers or representatives of taxi businesses). The report on responses is attached at Appendix 3 and demonstrates that there is a lack of understanding from those in the industry who responded about how the phased policy will work, with some assuming that they will need to buy a car in 2021 and then another in 2025.

 

2.3 The low response rate from the trade and lack of understanding shown by those affiliated with the industry suggests that further clarification is required with this group to improve understanding and obtain a more representative sample of responses.  This would be best undertaken face to face with focus groups or public meetings.

 

2.4 The first phase of the Policy was proposed to be in place by the 1st January 2019 but would need to be deferred in order to undertake the further meetings with the trade. Also detailed investigation into the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles currently licensed with Maidstone Borough Council is required in order to establish how many vehicles may be affected by phase 2 of the policy.

 

2.5   It is important  that, any policy that is adopted should have a long term

       aim and should avoid frequent changes that may impact upon the proprietor’s

       financial investment into particular vehicles.

 

2.6 The approach taken in the proposed policy is aimed at working with the trade

      to encourage the take up of low emission vehicles and did suggest an almost

      immediate improvement by preventing the new registration of higher polluting

        vehicles coming into Maidstone from January 2019, however the further work required with the trade will require this date to be deferred.

 

3.     AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1  Note the survey and report and agree to defer phase 1 of the Taxi Emissions Policy in order to undertake clarification with the trade.

 

 

 

 

4.     PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1       To defer Phase 1 in order to undertake the further work and ensure the trade        understand the proposed policy.

 

 

5.        CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

(name of officer and date)

Impact on Corporate Priorities

Unnecessary delay in obtaining clean/green  benefits would not be in keeping with the Council’s adopted

Low Emission Strategy and miss the opportunity to contribute to reducing poor air quality.

[Head of Service or Manager]

Risk Management

No implications have been identified

[Head of Service or Manager]

Finance and other resources

It is necessary for the Council to deliver a balanced budget and cover the costs of providing this service.

[Section 151 Officer & Finance Team]

Staffing

No implications have been identified

[Head of Service]

Legal

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, allows the Local Authority to set conditions that they consider reasonable necessary for the granting of taxi and private hire vehicle licences.

 

There is a legal requirement to improve and maintain air quality standards. Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC13 sets out the obligations for Member States in

terms of assessing ambient air quality and ensuring Limit Values (LV) for

certain pollutants are not exceeded.

Jayne Bolas, Solicitor

Team Leader(Contentious)

 

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

There are no equality issues identified as this policy would apply equally to any proprietor of a Hackney or Private Hire vehicle in similar circumstances.

[Policy & Information Manager]

Environmental/Sustainable Development

No implications have been identified

[Head of Service or Manager]

Community Safety

No implications have been identified

[Head of Service or Manager]

Human Rights Act

No implications have been identified

[Head of Service or Manager]

Procurement

No implications have been identified

[Head of Service & Section 151 Officer]

 

6.         REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

Appendix 1 – Taxi Low Emissions Policy

Appendix 2 – 29 March 2018 Report and Minutes

Appendix 3 - Taxi Emissions Survey Results 2018

 

7.         BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None

Our A-Z

If you cannot find what you are looking for in our search facility, you can use our A-Z index to find the service you require.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z