19.1. The Officer reported that a second round of consultation had been undertaken on the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy following the previous Licensing & Regulatory Committee meeting where it was agreed that from 2020 vehicles had to be less than 15 years old, and from 2025 less than 10 years old. Varying responses had been received following the consultation but on the whole the trade had been supportive of the age limits. Two drivers had requested exemptions to their vehicles, as detailed in the report, but it was advised that any potential exemptions would need careful consideration. Other changes to the policy included an amendment to the dress code so that it was gender neutral.
19.2. Discussion took place around what the possible exemptions, if appropriate, could be and it was agreed that the policy should be amended to include a statement that says ‘the Licensing & Regulatory Committee reserves the right to make exemptions for vehicles however, any exemptions would be heard and considered by the Committee’. It was also agreed that a set of criteria for potential exemptions be discussed at the next Licensing & Regulatory Committee meeting.
Action: That the Committee consider a list of criteria for possible exemptions to the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy at the next meeting.
19.3. The Officer confirmed that the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association had made some comments and it was agreed that a statement be included in the policy at section 11 to state that the Licensing & Regulatory Committee was committed to robustly enforcing the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
19.4. Discussion took place around the number of passengers and guide dogs which could be transported in a saloon vehicle at the same time and it was confirmed that the agreed acceptable amount was two passengers and two guide dogs. Information about this had been included previously in the Taxi Times newsletters however, this could be publicised again.
that the revised draft Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy, with the amendments as per the above and attached as Appendix 1, be submitted to the Council for consideration and adoption.