Agenda item - Chair's Communications

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Agenda item

Chair's Communications


22.1    The Chair, Councillor O’Quinn, stated that she wished to place on record her congratulations and those of the Committee to Jo Player on her recent appointment as Head of Communities.


            Taxi Forum Update/Electric Vehicles


22.2  On the 20th December an extraordinary Taxi Forum meeting had been held to discuss the electrification of taxis. This had ended up being a very positive meeting and a way forward had been found as you could be seen from the papers before Committee that day. It had been decided that Euro 4 would be the standard for petrol taxis and Euro 6 for diesels in the foreseeable future. It was observed that the country had a long way to go before there were enough Electrical Charging points, of a suitable standard, were available. As there were only 3% of hackney carriages which were Hybrids at present it is felt that we should aim to increase the number of these in the interim before we could move to largescale electric taxis. There would be more information available at the November Licensing Committee meeting on the subject of Electric Charging points as the government would be reporting on the situation. It had been decided at the Taxi Forum that there would be regular up-dates on this issue to the Licensing Committee.


            WAV’s – Unmet Demand Survey


22.3    The Survey for unmet demand would be starting shortly and would look at numbers of WAVS as we now had approximately 45% WAVS in Hackney cab fleet. Some disabled people found the WAVS very difficult to access so we needed to look at the evidence for whether or not we continue our policy on WAVs.


            Uber Application


22.4    The Chair explained that The Uber Licence Renewal Public Hearing would take place on the 23rd March in the Council Chamber at Hove Town Hall. Officers, lead councillors and herself had worked hard to make this as democratic and fair a hearing as possible. It was an unprecedented hearing for BHCC as normally all taxi renewals were decided by officers. A similar format was being used to that which was used for the Public Hearing in 2015 which granted Uber a Licence.


22.5    Councillor Wares referred to the fact that concerns could be expressed if it was perceived that Uber did not operate WAV’s to the same requirements as other operators as it should be attendant on them to operate in the same way and to be measured against the same benchmarks. The Chair stated that was the case, Members were adamant that the high standards applied via the Blue Book in Brighton and Hove was maintained. Representatives of the trade would undoubtedly be represented at the meeting on 23 and questions would undoubtedly be asked of and information sought from Uber themselves.


22.6    RESOLVED – That the content of the Chair’s Communications be received and noted.


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