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Agenda item

Review of Hackney Carriage Tariff

To approve the renewal of the current hackney carriage tariff until 31 July 2019. 

Minutes:

7.1             Attention was drawn to the report of the Environmental Health Manager, circulated at Pages No. 5-9, which asked Members to approve the renewal of the current hackney carriage tariff until 31 July 2019.

7.2             The Chair indicated that there was a typographical error at Page No. 7, Paragraph 5.1 of the report, which stated that all licensed proprietors had been contacted in May 2016 inviting them to make suggestions to amend the current hackney carriage tariff and confirmation was provided that this should read May 2018.  The Environmental Health Manager advised that the hackney carriage tariff was reviewed on an annual basis taking into account the economic climate and any comments received during the consultation with licensed proprietors.  Members were informed that economic conditions were similar to when the tariff was last reviewed in June 2017 - although it was recognised there had been a recent spike in oil prices - and licensed proprietors were of the view that there was no need for an increase at this time.  As such, it was recommended that the current hackney carriage tariff be approved until 31 July 2019.

7.3             With regard to the rising cost of oil, a Member indicated that a similar thing had happened a few years ago and, at that time, Cheltenham Borough Council had introduced an emergency fuel charge which was added to the metre at the start of the journey.  This additional charge had remained in place whilst fuel prices stayed high.  She was concerned that fuel costs had already started to rise and she suggested it might be beneficial to approve a similar emergency fuel charge which could be introduced to ensure hackney carriage drivers in Tewkesbury Borough were not adversely affected.  Another Member was of the view that further research should be undertaken to establish whether rising costs were a problem across the county rather than being isolated to a few individual petrol stations.  The Chair considered that it would be appropriate to revisit this if a problem were to arise and the Legal Adviser confirmed that this could be dealt with at a special Licensing Committee meeting if necessary.  The Head of Community Services indicated that the situation would be monitored over the coming months and, if fuel costs continued to increase, a report could be brought back to the next Licensing Committee meeting.  In the interim, Officers would speak to colleagues at Cheltenham Borough Council about the emergency fuel charge that had previously been introduced.

7.4             A Member drew attention to the current tariff, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and pointed out that Rate 1 should be amended to read: ‘Rate 1 – for hiring between 7am and 11pm (not including Sundays and Public Holidays)’.  In addition, Rate 2 should be amended to read: ‘Rate 2 – for hiring between 11pm and 7am (not including Sundays and Public Holidays)’.  As it stood, the two rates were inconsistent, and Rate 2 could be interpreted as being applicable at any time.  The Environmental Health Manager undertook to consider the rationale behind the different rates and to make any minor changes to the wording in consultation with the Chair.  It was subsequently

RESOLVED          That the renewal of the current hackney carriage tariff until 31 July 2019 be APPROVED, subject to minor amendments to the wording in respect of the rates in consultation with the Chair, if appropriate.

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