Agenda item

Agenda items for 16th June 2022





Ben Thomson – Head of Public Protection – Chair

Cllr. Sandra Walmsley – Cllr. & Chair of Licensing and Safety Panel

Michael Bridge – License Unit Manager

Andy Vernon – GMP Partnership Sergeant

Khalid Hussain – Chairman of Bury Hackney Association

Habib Ur-Rehman – GMB NW Rep for Private Hire

Matthew Freckleton – Cities Lead for Uber

Nazmul Islam – Business Engagement Officer

David Lawrie – Director of NPHTA

Charles Oakes – Hackney Carriage Drivers Association

Muhammed Warraich - Private Hire Drivers Association

Sham Raja – NPHTA


Minutes: Maureen Foden






Cllr. Charlotte Morris, Laura Swann, Laura Jones




Adoption of Terms of Reference



At the last meeting it was agreed to produce Terms of Reference for the group, which was actioned, and they were circulated for comment.


There have been a number of minor alterations which Ben Thomson went through with the group.


The document will be published on the Council’s website on the Trade Liaison webpage for full trade access.




Matters arising Agree minutes of previous meeting 8/4/2022



BT went through the actions from the last meeting, they will also be published along with the minutes which were signed off on the Council’s website on the Trade Liaison webpage for full trade access. An e-mail will be circulated advising the trade that the page is now live and they will be able to view all relevant documentation.


Recommendations for reporting was welcomed and it was reiterated that drivers must report any incidents as it is vital to get the incident log numbers to get a true picture and this can only be done by having the correct figures.


MOTs and compliance certificates were discussed in detail, and the key things were:


·         Why do drivers have to have their vehicles tested twice which is costly not only in financial terms but time wise, one solution could be that they pay an extra £10 to have both.

·         In terms of those areas in GM that provide the additional service it is at the full cost to the drivers.

·         BT spoke to both testing stations who advised that MOT and Compliance Tests cannot be done at the same time as they both have different standards.

·         The trade questioned this as they stated that both tests can be done at the same time, 75% of councils already do this and the trade in Bury want this to happen. BT advised that Bury are undertake compliance tests in line with the majority of GM Authorities.

·         There are also concern over the incidences where a vehicle may pass the MOT but fail the Compliance test which has higher standards in some areas. 

·         It was confirmed that the DVLA sets the MOT standards, and the compliance certificate test operates from the vehicle inspection manual which breaks down every element of the test.

BT advised the Council are looking at doing further work around this, in terms of the costs further updates will be provided at future Trade Liaison Meetings.


ACTION 1:  BT to feedback on engagement with the Government                        regarding MOTs and compliance test certificates


ACTION 2:  MF to keep MOTs & Compliance Test Certificates on the                        agenda for next meeting




GMP Update



Bury is one of the better places in GM with a relatively low crime rate however it is crucial that drivers report all incidents that happen with the police as this is the only way to measure how bad the situation is.


The police computer system shows that since the 16th May there have been no crime reported by taxi drivers, and the ‘WhatsApp’ group reflects this.


It is also important that if there are any incidences the police need to respond in an efficient and serious manner to gain the drivers confidence. The CPS also need to support this by prosecuting these crimes, drivers are not seeing enough punishment. It is hoped that pressure from the different associations and organisations will start to have an impact.


There is a new grading policy in GMP which has resulted in an improvement in response times, and the grades are dictated by the information given.  Drivers must get across to the force call operators that they are at risk to ensure that the incident is graded correctly.


It is vital that the force call operator staff are trained properly, and there is a lot of combined work needed around training. There is a recruitment drive going on at the moment for the Force Contact Centre and training is an important part of this.


Praise was given for the fantastic service given at the Park Life festival by the police, licensing and LA.


AV suggested that to improve relations and confidence in the police and reporting he will add to the briefing document that police staff on foot patrol in Bury town centre should call into taxi booking offices to show a presence.


Another issue that was highlighted was that drivers are kept on the 101 line, for unacceptable lengths of to time. The 101 line is being addressed as part of the improvement plan which is being undertaken. Drivers can if appropriate report online and this will be picked up quite quickly. Or drivers can log the lower-level cases with the booking office, and they can pass it onto the officers.


This year there were no serious issues at Parklife, it was emphasised that not having taxi ranks in the centre of Heaton Park helped enormously and licensing having visibility there also made a difference. 


Figures for Parklife are:



·         GMP 160 logs reported - mostly due to parking, street cleansing, traffic management

·         NWAS 284 medical incidents - 4 taken to hospital – one slightly serious

·         GMP - 26 arrests were made

·         TfGM – 20,000 egresses via Metrolink



·         GMP 159 logs reported – 21 related to noise 

·         NWAS 231 medical incidents

·         GMP - 30 arrests were made

·         TfGM – 20,000 egresses via


This is the biggest operation annually in GM.


AV acknowledged comments of appreciation that it all went well.


Educating drivers to report is something that will be worked on going forward, the operators are key to this especially concerning training. There is a meeting taking place regarding training.


The police understand the drivers’ frustrations, but things can only improve if they are receiving the reports.


The organisation called Tell Mama was mentioned, this is a 3rd party reporting agency. They keep logs, follow up on reports and will submit annual report logs to government with a view to increasing the levels of actions taken. This would give drivers an additional point to reach out to. It is a driver focussed portal which drivers can be assured that any reports will be followed up on.


ACTION 3:  AV to investigate Tell Mama and feedback at the next                           meeting


With council support drivers could use the signage and the LA could incorporate links on website.


ACTION 4:  DL to provide the details of Tell Mama to BT and CO


The key point is to get the message across to drivers that they need to have trust in the police and report any crimes. This is an essential part of driver safety, education and operators are essential in making this happen.




Enforcement / Service Issues



a.   Licensing Update

There have been changes to the application process, and the trade representatives were asked to reiterate to the drivers that they can apply eight weeks in advance of the licence expiry. Licensing then has up to five working days to deal with applications therefore it was asked that drivers do not to call until the five days are up as this is causing problems to delivery and lengthening the process. These are the new service standards that Licensing are working to.


It was asked and agreed that amendments to the acknowledgement e-mail sent when applications are submitted will be made that explain the process.


It was questioned if there is a shortage of staff as phones are not being answered. There is not a shortage of staff, drivers need to understand that the taxi trade is not the only segment of work that the department is involved in. There is an answer phone service available, and all calls are responded to. The LA is adopting a digital approach as a priority which is beneficial to drivers as they can apply at their own convenience.


Up to five days needs to be emphasised with the drivers, and if they leave a voice mail, they need to explain why they are ringing.


It was also suggested that operators should be attending these meeting so they can get these messages across to their drivers.


It was confirmed that it is eight weeks to apply for a driver’s licences and vehicle licence plates.


b.   E-mail of Thanks – Parklife

The Hackney Carriage Association have expressed their thanks for all Hackney Carriage trade for the facilitating of the rank for the Bury Hackney carriage taxis during Parklife. They felt more secure and gave a special mention the two officers from the licensing service as well as the officer from trading standards and the marshal. These comments are appreciated




Specific Subjects for Discussion



a.   Bury Driver Safety Project Update

The Licensing Service has been working closely with GMP and their crime reduction team on an initiative that will be solely in Bury. And on feedback from the trade, it is aimed at improving safety of drivers. Before developing this further the opinions and views from drivers on not reporting is important. This includes the following:


·         What are their concerns

·         What are the barriers

·         What help do they need

·         What can be improved

·         What additional protective measures are needed

There will be a consultation and Nazmul Islam will be having face to face discussions with drivers and a questionnaire will be shared.


Representatives at this meeting are asked to inform all drivers and encourage them to participate and complete the questionnaire which will be put on a consultation page of which the link will be widely shared.


Bury are in the final stages of securing additional funding to help with this project as it is a priority area.


This approach was welcomed by the group and will be widely promoted.


b.   Minimum Licensing Standards Update

Stage two of the standards has come in however due to the delay of new livery standards across GM and at Bury some licences had been issued referencing new livery conditions on them. The Licensing Service has contacted all the affected vehicle licence holders and they have been issued with new conditions.


It was questioned why Bury have adopted the Common Minimum Standard and other local areas have not yet approved it. It has impacted on the number of drivers as some are moving to these other areas. The legitimate expectation was that all other areas would also adopt these standards however that has not happened.


It was asked why there is only 35 Hackneys in Bury when there was 126, this is a concern. The view why this has happened is that people are being forced to leave the trade as they cannot afford the rising cost of everything. Assurance was given that this is being looked at and input from Hackney representatives was welcomed as it is a trade that needs to be protected.


It also needs to be noted that 200,000 drivers have left the trade[TB1] , everyone is struggling.



c.    Clean Air / Taxi EV Charge Points Update

The review of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan is ongoing and will be informed by targeted engagement with stakeholder groups representing vehicle owners. Further public consultation will be considered alongside the new plan and timings for this will be outlined in GM’s submission to the Secretary of State in due course. The plans on how the consultation will be run have not yet been released, once this information is available it will be widely shared. It was asked that all drivers engage with the consultation.


It was requested to relax the age restrictions in Bury on hybrid and electric vehicles. These points have been raised and conversations have taken place.


We want to provide an update in relation to our joint project with TFGM to provide Hackney Carriage /Private Hire Vehicle Rapid Charging Hubs to charge electric taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) in Bury.


We had identified proposed sites at Trinity Street car park and Foundry Street car park Bury but asked for your further help to identify what area would be most suitable for the trade as a third site.


The suggestions from the taxi trade were for sites in Whitefield or Prestwich town centre.  Prestwich town centre is currently being redesigned as part of a regeneration scheme and at this time it is difficult to allocate definite longer term parking spaces for charging hubs (although additional EV charging capacity will be an important part of the final Prestwich Town Centre designs).

We are pleased to confirm that Whitefield Metrolink is being progressed as the third site in Bury.


All sites are now in the detailed design stage and construction for sites in GM is due to start late summer / early autumn. The order of site installation across GM is yet to be confirmed so there is no specific information available on operational dates. The trade will be updated as things progress.




Trade Agenda Item



a.    Mr Khalid Hussain Chairman Bury Hackney Association Tail Lifting Wheelchair Assessable Vehicles

Mr Hussain submitted a request for the Council to consider rear loading vehicles, the Fiat Doblo and the Peugeot Premier, to be included within Bury as licensed Hackneys.


After considering all the representations made at a Past Panel meeting, which included the viewing of the vehicle, and representations made at the present meeting by Mr Oakes, the Council’s Licensing Officer and Mrs Lyth, solicitor, on behalf of the Council solicitor, the request from the Hackney Carriage Association to Licence a vehicle as a Hackney Carriage be refused on the following grounds:


·         The Members were not happy about licensing the Fiat Freedom from a safety point of view.  They were concerned about the safety of wheelchair users.  This was because when being unloaded, they would need to be taken out of the cab into the rank at the rear.  This would then involve handling the wheelchair up onto the raised kerb to the footway.  Also, they were concerned about the loading because it would be likely they would have to be brought down the kerb into the road at the pick-up point.


·         The Panel were also concerned about the increased risk of liability to the Council should there be an accident during this process.  The Panel saw this danger as being exacerbated by the perceived lack of space on the ranks in the Town.


·         In addition, although it was said that the licence holders of the vehicles could obtain additional insurance to cover the loading and unloading process, this did not outweigh the Panel’s concern for the safety of the wheelchair user.  Whether they could claim compensation or not if they suffered any injury, would not actually reduce the risk of an accident occurring.


Fiat Freedom – November 2009


Delegated decision:


The details of the concerns of the Panel relating to the safety of the use of the Fiat Freedom as a hackney carriage for disabled people have been extensively and openly debated at this and at the previous Panel meeting.


Those concerns were outlined by the Chair as having been succinctly described by Mr Oakes, the applicant himself in his letter in support of the application to today's Panel meeting, at Annex 6 of the report, namely "On the grounds of bumping passengers off the kerb, rear loader, Council's liability and rank space." These were, broadly speaking, the concerns described in the delegated decision to refuse the application in the minutes of the last Panel meeting and those were attached to the report at Annex 1.


On this occasion, as is recorded, Mr Oakes presented his case with the additional support of, and information from, Mr Simon Gideat from Cabs Direct, the manufacturers of the Fiat Freedom, who convert the vehicle when received from Fiat.  Safety aspects of the Fiat Freedom as expressed by Cabs Direct were considered, including the security of the wheelchair user once in the vehicle. In particular, the benefits of having an electronic winch as standard on every model used as a hackney carriage were discussed.


The Panel considered all the points put forward by Mr Oakes and Mr Gideat in favour of the Fiat Freedom, and the points put by the Licensing Unit Manager but decided to refuse the application.  There was considerable concern about the fact that in the event of a rear shunt, the wheelchair user would be trapped and therefore even with the use of the winch, there was not enough evidence to dispel the Panel's concerns about safety.


Peugeot Premier – October 2010


That the Members of the Licensing and Safety Committee refuse the licensing of the Peugeot Premier vehicle and delegate further decisions on the licensing of rear loading vehicles as hackney carriages, to the Head of Commercial and Licensing and/or the Licensing Unit Manager.


The reason the request was made is because the drivers find the rear loading vehicles easier to use with regards to wheelchairs, and they are less likely to injure themselves and the cars are more affordable.  A problem with side loading vehicles is that the pavements are not wide enough to facilitate loading as there is not enough room to manoeuvre the wheelchair, rear loading vehicles have electric hoists which are safe. If they are not allowed it does need to be considered that all ambulances, school contract providers and social care providers as they all have rear loading vehicles. Also, it needs to be understood that insurance is not an issue.


It was requested that this be taken back to the panel on a generic basis, are rear wheelchair vehicles allowed or not.


ACTION 5:  BT to review the points raised today and will examine                          previous considerations and findings and the justification                    for these





a.    Trade reps to share examples of issues related to lack of MOT for Licensed Vehicles

There was no time to go round the group for AOB however MB provided the following.


Operator Conditions


6.3        The Operator must ensure that all individuals (non-drivers) working in any capacity and have access to booking records (paid or unpaid) have obtained a basic DBS Certificate from the Disclosure and Baring Service before commencing employment. The DBS certificate must be dated within one month before the commencement of employment. 


6.4        The Operator must ensure that DBS checks are carried out for all existing relevant staff (as per condition 6.3) within one month of the commencement of these conditions. 


6.5        The employee should be registered with the DBS Update Service to enable the Operator to conduct regular checks (six monthly as a minimum) of the individual’s DBS status.  – This has already been picked up by GM Licensing Network and being looked at due to not being able to do basic disclosures on

the update service. but 6.5 was a mis-type so it is acknowledged this cannot apply


7.2    All advertisements by the Operator should first be approved by the Council to ensure they comply with conditions and do not breach the Codes of Practice of the Advertising Standards Authority or those of the Portman Group relating to alcohol advertising. – Checked with GM Licensing Network would be advertisements in its widest sense – any material, online, leaflets etc where the company advertise their business.




Date and Time of next meeting


Next meeting to be held on 14th September 5pm-7pm Town Hall Meeting Room A&B



 [TB1]Who said this?

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