Licensing Consultations

Taxi (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire) Licensing Policy

A public consultation is currently taking place on proposed changes to the current Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

Members of the public, businesses and the hackney carriage and private hire trade are being invited to have their say on the revised licensing policy.

Objectives

The policy objectives are:

  • public safety
  • the protection of the environment
  • ensuring an efficient and effective hackney carriage and private hire provision
  • to provide and maintain a professional and respected hackney carriage and private hire trade by continued monitoring and improvement of standards of service

Proposed amendments

The proposed amendments seek to ensure licensed drivers, vehicles and operators working in North Hertfordshire continue to be of the highest standard.

Following initial discussions with the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Consultative Forum, additions to the policy will focus primarily on customer and driver safety, wheelchair accessibility and making hackney carriages and private hire vehicles more environmentally friendly.

Proposed amendments include, but are not limited to:

  • Introduction of a requirement for all staff in a private hire operator business that have access to sensitive information, for example office managers and call handlers, to provide a basic DBS disclosure
  • Introduction of a requirement for private hire operator management to attend safeguarding training
  • Introducing a no idling requirement for licensed vehicles
  • Consideration of prime location ranks with usage limited to the most environmentally friendly vehicles
  • Setting a date by which the licensed fleet will be restricted to uLEVs or electric vehicles
  • Consideration of whether the current 10% wheelchair accessible requirement for hackney carriages is still appropriate
  • Consideration of whether the wheelchair accessible requirement should be introduced for private hire vehicles
  • Introduction of a requirement for a vehicle to have sufficient boot space to carry passenger luggage and/or a foldable wheelchair
  • Clarification that if a wheelchair accessible vehicle is unable to carry passengers in wheelchairs due to mechanical fault or driver incapacity then the vehicle is automatically suspended until such time as the problem is resolved
  • Clarification of the procedure to be followed by the Council when the wheelchair accessible percentage is met
  • Clarification of the acceptable seating arrangements in multi-passenger vehicles
  • Removal of the requirement to carry a fire extinguisher
  • Clarifying the procedure for licence holders when a vehicle is involved in an accident and introducing a new procedure for temporary replacement vehicles
  • An option to replace the need for printers attached to taximeters with electronic receipts sent by email, text or similar digital smart technology
  • Clarification of the specification for protective screens due to security or medical reasons (such as a pandemic)
  • Amendments to the process used by the licensing manager to make determinations relating to applications, enforcement action or departures from policy
  • Simplification of the penalty point scheme

To assist consultees, proposed amendments to the Policy are highlighted in red text.

Get in touch

The proposed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy is open to public consultation between Monday 1 June and Friday 21 August 2020.

All consultation responses should be sent by email to licensing@north-herts.gov.uk or by post to:

The Licensing Manager
North Hertfordshire District Council
P O Box 10613
Nottingham
NG6 6DW

All consultation responses may be published within a public report.

Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003

Under the Licensing Act 2003, the Council regulates the retail sale of alcohol, the supply of alcohol at club premises, the provision of regulated entertainment, and the sale of hot food and hot drink between 23:00hrs and 05:00hrs.

At least every 5 years, the Council must review and adopt a Statement of Licensing Policy that details how the Council will undertake its licensing functions.  The current Statement of Licensing Policy has been in effect since 7 January 2016, therefore the Council has undertaken a full review. The proposed policy sets out the approach the Council will take when determining applications for new licences, variations and reviews.  It also states the Council’s vision for licensing and how the policy integrates with other statutory functions.

The Council believes that well-managed premises are an integral part of a vibrant night-time economy and are often at the centre of village communities, therefore playing an important role in attracting a wide range of people who want to work, visit or live in North Hertfordshire. The Council are equally aware that licensing decisions must seek to balance the wider community benefit of licensed premises against any unreasonable disturbance to local residents and businesses.

The Statement of Licensing Policy is open to public consultation between Monday 20 July 2020 and Friday 9 October 2020.

To assist with the consultation process, all proposed amendments to existing Policy are highlighted in red text.

All consultation responses should be sent by email to licensing@north-herts.gov.uk or by post to:

The Licensing Manager
North Hertfordshire District Council
P O Box 10613
Nottingham
NG6 6DW

All consultation responses may be published within a public report.