Agreed changes to conditions - November 2015

On 4 November 2015, the Regulatory and Appeals Committees approved the following condition changes.

The conditions listed below and summarised for your ease of reference, come into force on 1 January 2016.

Please note:

Items 8 (a) and (b) relate to Private Hire Operators and Hackney Carriage Proprietors.

Item 8 (c) relates to all Licensed personnel.

Item 9 relates to Hackney Carriage Proprietors.

Item 11 relates to Private Hire Operators.

If you require further information, please contact your trade representative or check the what’s new section of our site.

(1) Abusive Language, Threats Of Violence

Violence and abusive behaviour which would include any attempted, threatened, or actual conduct that endangers or is likely to endanger the health or safety of Enforcement Officers carrying out their duty will likely result in a suspension or in the most extreme cases revocation of license.

The licensing service is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all, any form of violence or abusive behaviour committed by or against any member of staff is not acceptable.

(2) Suitability Of An Applicant

The resolution is to adopt the definition of what is a fit and proper person. Although this is not set out in law, the generally accepted test is:

“Would you allow your son daughter, mother, spouse or other person you care about get into this vehicle with this person alone?"

The overriding consideration is to prevent licences being given to or used by those who would be by definition, ‘not suitable’

(3) Past Licensing History

When assessing an application for licence the Licensing Service shall take into account all past history in relation to offending and conduct. Each application will be decided on its merits.

Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles are by their very nature more likely than other methods of transport to be used by people who for one reason or another are vulnerable. Therefore, it is important to place public safety at the forefront of our decision-making.

(4) New Applicants

All new applicants will be required to give full and frank disclosure of all criminal convictions spent or otherwise failure to provide accurate information will normally result in a refusal of licence

It is an offence for any person knowingly or recklessly to make a false declaration or to omit any material particular in giving information required by the application for a licence. Where an applicant has been found to have made a false statement or a false declaration with the intention to deceive on their application for the grant or renewal of a licence, the licence will be refused.

(5) Drugs History

An applicant’s previous drug history will be taken into consideration when determining the issue of a licence. This is to ensure that every step as been considered before the granting of a licence.

Applicants with a drug history can be asked to provide official documentation to prove that they are ‘drug free’. This would normally be via the applicants own doctor, a recognised drug-testing specialist or the Council's own Occupational Health Doctor. It will be a condition of licence that a re-test can be asked to be undertaken at any time.

(6) Child Sexual Exploitation

A CSE condition is being introduced which requires mandatory attendance at CSE training. CSE training will be included within existing training modules and will be approved by Bradford’s Safe Guarding unit. This will assist in giving new and existing drivers the confidence to recognise and report child sexual exploitation.

(7) Disclosure and Barring Service

The service intends to move all DBS applications online. At present DBS checks are processed manually using a paper system. The move to electronic submissions enables applicants to view their current DBS online. The Licensing Service can check the status of DBS certificates without having to renew DBS checks.

Once an electronic submission has been done and the report received by the applicant it will be a mandatory requirement that all drivers and operators subscribe within 19 days to the DBS Up-Date Service. This will allow officers to check an applicant’s current online DBS status to ensure that the certificate is up to date.

(8) Electronic Communication (Implementation date will be sent separately)

(a) The Licensing Service recognises the importance that Operators and Proprietors keep up to date with current information. In order to do this more effectively it will be a requirement that you maintain a valid email address. Key licensing matters, including changes to policy and renewal reminders etc, will be sent to the email address. Failure to maintain a valid email address could result in important information being missed and may lead to a suspension of licence.

(b) It is essential that all Operators (PHV) play an active role in the running of their business.

To facilitate this, the Licensing Service will arrange Operator Business Meetings, which will take place every three months or as service needs, may require. Each meeting necessitates

the attendance of the Licensed Operator or the Operator’s designated representative. The designated representative of the Operator shall have the authority to make decisions in this area. To facilitate this, an application form should be completed and approval given by the Service. However, it is noted that each Licensed Operator will be required to attend at least one Business Meeting in person. There is a mandatory requirement of 75% attendance overall.

(C)All licensed personnel are required to visit the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire website on a monthly basis to read the ‘what’s new’ segment where the latest current and relevant information can be found.

(9) Intended Use Policy

Applicants who do not intend to ply for hire within the Bradford District shall not be granted a Hackney Carriage Licence.

(10) E-Cigarettes

The use of e-cigarettes in Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles is not permitted.

In coming to this decision we have not only taken into consideration health and safety concerns but also feedback from drivers who state that a blanket ban will serve to clear up any confusion regarding smoking be allowed in licensed vehicles.

(11) Private Hire Decals

The option to choose either magnetic or permanent Decals has been removed.

Only tamper proof permanent Decals shall be fitted to private hire vehicles. This brings the Licensing Service into line with policy changes proposed by the Combined Authority working group regarding the standardisation of Decals across Districts. (Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees, Rossendale, York)

The Service does not have a preferred supplier of permanent tamperproof decals. It is the responsibility of each operator to source the required decals.