Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone
Contact: Caroline Matthews 01622 602743
Apologies for Absence
It was noted that apologies were received from Councillor Mrs Grigg.
Notification of Substitute Members
It was noted that Councillor Mrs Wilson was substituting for Councillor Mrs Grigg.
Notification of Visiting Members
There were no Visiting Members.
Disclosures by Members and Officers
There were no disclosures by Members and Officers.
Disclosures of Lobbying
Councillors Garten, Purle, Mrs Joy, McLoughlin, Mrs Robertson, Mrs Springett and Mrs Sams stated that they had been lobbied in relation to Agenda Item 8 – Low Emission Standards for Hackney and Private Hire Vehicles.
RESOLVED: That the items on the agenda be taken in public.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Meeting held on 22 November 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed.
The Committee considered the report of Mr John Littlemore, the Head of Housing and Community Services in which he advised that at the last meeting the Committee had agreed to defer implementation of the Emissions Standards Policy for hackney and private hire vehicles to enable focus groups to take place with trade members.
It was noted that two meetings were held and well attended and it had been clear that the consultation process had been misunderstood as were the implications of specific parts of the policy. This had been distilled down to an issue with the rate at which existing licenced Hackney vehicles would have to be replaced with either hybrid or fully electric vehicles.
Mr Neil Cox, the Hackney Carriage trade representative gave a statement to the Committee and commented as follows:-
The trade request that the current policy of 15
years maximum licensed vehicle life should remain, particularly for
Concern that existing vehicles would need to be
That technology was moving forward but there was
still not the
· That Item 9 on the agenda should not become part of the taxi policy at this point.
In response to questions from Members, Officers responded that:-
The Policy would relate to all private hire and
hackney carriage vehicles. However,
private hire vehicles can currently only be licensed up to six
Officers are proposing to re-run the public
consultation for a further 4 weeks borough wide to clarify parts of
the draft Emission Standards and Suitability for Use of Maidstone
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles with trade members and
public. A report would then be brought
back to the Committee at its first meeting in June and then sent
onto the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee for
approval of the policy.
· That the consultation could include a question to the public and hackney carriage proprietor who are renewing vehicle licences in the 2nd and 3rd phases asking for comment on possible fitting of parking heaters to vehicles in order that vehicles are not kept running in the High Street.
The decision on the draft Emission Standard Policy
be deferred to enable a further 4 week
consultation period on the timing of implementation as it relates
to existing licensed vehicles after the research is carried out on
parking heaters to allow formulation of an appropriate question on
Delegated authority be
given to the Head of Housing and Community Services to consult with
the public and proprietors of hackney carriage vehicles on the
issue of fitting parking heaters to vehicles, subject to them
renewing during phases 2 and 3.
Mrs Lorraine Neale, the Senior Licensing Officer presented her report on the proposed public consultation on the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy which would run for 6 weeks.
Neale highlighted the changes made to procedures and processes
since the Policy was first published.
Taxi Operators must either have their premises or
home address in the borough.
The Council would not grant a licence to an operator
whose premises are located outside the borough of Maidstone unless
they had renewed prior to the adoption of the policy under
‘grandfather rights’ provided that the conditions of
the licence are fully met and the licence is not allowed to
That the driving assessment test replaced the DSA
practical taxi test and wheelchair test or the KCC transport test
and has been developed for Maidstone specifically.
The Committee agree a 6 week consultation on
amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing
Policy which came into effect on 8th December
The draft amended policy along with the results and
feedback from the 6 week consultation be reported to the Committee
at its June meeting.
The Head of Housing and Community Services make
amendments agreed at this Committee in respect of the driving
assessment being Maidstone approved and amending the paragraph on
page 77 to make it clear that a spare tyre is not mandatory and
that delegated authority be given to make any minor amendments to
the Policy in consultation with the Chairman and
Duration of Meeting
6.30 p.m. to 7.15 p.m.