Agenda and minutes

Licensing Committee - Wednesday, 1st November, 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764838

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2023.


Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2023.


Members noted that there was a contradiction in the wording on minute number 14 which would be amended.




That the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record.



Declarations of Interest

Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting and leave the room without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a Councillor is permitted to remain ad a result of a grant of dispensation.


There were none



Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To consider the draft taxi licensing policy for approval and adoption (report of the Assistant Director – Regulatory enclosed).

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Regulatory which sought approval and adoption of the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy.


The Public Protection Manager introduced the report, and highlighted the following points:


  • The current policy was at end of its cycle and a review had been going on for some time. Most of the policy had remained the same, with changes incorporated from the new Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, which focussed mainly on safeguarding (referred to as the National Standards).
  • The revision of the policy had been delayed due to other legislative changes coming into force following the adoption of the national standards.
  • The new draft policy had been considered earlier in the year and had been out for a 3-month consultation period.
  • A small number of responses had been received to the consultation, but the responses received did represent a large proportion of the industry in the area. The responses covered the following areas:
    • Proposal to extend vehicle age limits to private hire vehicles to the same as those currently in place for hackney carriages.
      • Responders commented that the impact of doing that would present difficulties in maintaining the same size fleet due to additional costs. A reduction in the number of vehicles would also have a negative effect on the number of drivers required.
      • Officers were recommending that an exercise be undertaken before the next review of the policy to work with the trade on this issue and come up with a solution that suited all parties.
    • Proposed English Language test
      • Responders were worried about the financial burden of this test.
      • Officers needed to decide what model would be used to deliver this testing, whether that be providing an in-house test, a test provided by a third party or an online test.
      • It was noted that drivers were not required as part of the National Standards to speak fluent English but needed to demonstrate they could communicate essential information to the customer.
    • Concern raised in relation to the turn around time for applications.
      • Officers noted that the checks required once an application was received did take time. Often, applications are submitted without the full information that is required and therefore took longer to process.


Members made the following comments:


  • Members asked what sorts of costs would be involved in providing the English test in house versus via a third party online.
    • Officer responded that in-house tests would likely be within the range of £15 to £20, while an online test would likely be around £25, however these were estimated costs and would need to be confirmed.
  • Members expressed that an English test was essential for prospective drivers.
  • Members were concerned that the requirement for English would only suit English-speaking customers and did not take into account the many other languages that people within the District spoke.
    • Officers responded that the English requirement had come from the Department for Transport’s National Standards, which the Licensing Committee had already previously agreed to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent.



NOTE:            No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman is of the opinion that the item(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency. 


Members commented that the payment system for any type of licensing application was very difficult to navigate and asked whether anything could be done to improve this.

  • Officers responded that the payment system used was the corporate one and therefore could not be changed. However, work was currently being undertaken to build a new customer portal for online licensing applications which would connect to the Capita system for payments.


The Chairman noted that the next meeting would take place on Wednesday 28th February rather than the scheduled date of Tuesday 20th February.