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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

16.

Announcements

Minutes:

16.1          The Chair advised that the meeting was being held under the emergency provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and, specifically, the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.  The meeting was being broadcast live via the internet, it was not being recorded by the Council but, under the usual transparency rules, it may be being recorded by others. 

17.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

17.1          The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

17.2          There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.

18.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2020.

Minutes:

18.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2020, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record.  

19.

Licensing Update pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To receive an update on the impact of COVID-19 on the licensing service, to approve an extension to the current hackney carriage tariff and to approve the project plan which details proposals for a full service review.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1          The report of the Head of Community Services, circulated at Pages No. 5-13, advised Members of the impact of COVID-19 on the licensing service, the need to extend the current hackney carriage tariff and the proposed detailed service review. The Committee was asked to note the impacts of COVID-19; approve an extension to the current Hackney Carriage Tariff until the end of this financial year; and to approve the project plan, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, which detailed proposals for a full service review.

19.2          In terms of COVID-19, the licensing service had been seriously impacted due to significant and long-term sickness within the team which had affected both Officers. Temporary support had been provided by the Environmental Health team but that team was also extremely busy with duties associated with the pandemic, so additional COVID-19 funding had been secured to provide support in the form of two temporary Licensing Officers who would be in post until the end of the current financial year. There had been no applications for new private hire drivers processed during the initial lockdown period, but that service had recommenced in August when a facility was provided to safely interview applicants within the Council Offices. The number of service requests and applications had dramatically reduced when compared to the same period last year which it was felt had helped the service manage despite being under resourced.

19.3          Referring to the Licensing review, the Interim Environmental Health Manager explained that the consultation period for street trading applications had been reduced to five working days in order to assist businesses; that decision had been made in consultation with the Licensing Chair and Vice-Chair and now needed to be revisited which it was intended would be done as part of the wider service review. The licensing service was required to be compliant with the Provision of Services Regulations 2009 to ensure their residents were able to apply for licences and make payments online. Currently, online payments were available on the Council’s website but no applications could be made online - the service review planned to implement online applications within the next 6 to 12 months and, as they were rolled out, the capacity required to deliver services would be reviewed. To date, the service had been responsive, largely due to a lack of resources, and the time taken to process paper applications significantly impacted on delivery of the wider service so moving to online applications would be a big step forward in getting the service in shape and fit for purpose.

19.4          The project plan, which was attached to the report at Appendix 1, set out the proposals for a full service review, including the transition to a greater online offering, policy refresh and renewal and the examination of locally set fees to be implemented in the financial year 2021/22. The review would also look at staffing requirements, new policy requirements and the enforcement role. Also included, was the review of the Hackney  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.