10.1 Councillor Xhaferaj had declared an interest in this item and so was not present during its discussion.
10.2 Mr Burrows reported that the draft Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Policy had been published and following the consultation held, 144 responses had been received by the Council. Of these, 143 responses had been concerning the emissions standards for vehicles and 1 response had been with regards to the enforcement of these standards. The five possible options detailed in the report had therefore been put before the Committee for consideration.
10.3 Ms Lovell, Operations Manager for Public Protection, confirmed that the Council would aim to be consistent with neighbouring authorities however due to the significant impact on air quality within Ipswich, action would be required sooner to meet the standards required.
10.4 Ms Lovell explained that the consultation had been opened to the public which was why there had been more responses received than the number of vehicles which would be affected.
10.5 In response to a question asked, Ms Lovell confirmed that officers had spoken to the bus companies about how air quality could be addressed, and it had been suggested that support could be provided to them with regards to possible grant applications.
10.6 A discussion took place on option 1, age limit on vehicles, and Ms Lovell confirmed that if an age limit of vehicles was introduced, this would minimise any confusion as to whether a vehicle met the requirement or not and also meant that the policy would not require amendments when the Euro 7 category was added to the emission standards. Ms Lovell advised that if it was agreed that the age limit of vehicles be set to under 15 years old by 2020, 6 drivers would be affected, whilst if the vehicle age limit was set at 10 years old by 2020, 41 drivers would be affected.
10.7 Mr Burrows confirmed that the licensing policy would be applied to both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles.
That the Licensing and Regulatory Committee authorises the Operations Manager – Public Protection to undertake the consultation process relating to the revised draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy attached at Appendix 1.