Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Appeals Committee - Monday, 23rd November, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




An apology for absence was received from Councillor T Adams.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To approve as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing and Appeals Committee held on 20 January 2020 and of meetings of the Licensing Sub-Committee held on 29 January, 25 February, 25 March, 6 May, 17 June and 5 August 2020.

Additional documents:


The Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 20 January 2020 and of meetings of the Licensing Sub-Committee held on 29 January, 25 February, 25 March, 6 May, 17 June and 5 August 2020 were approved as correct records.



To determine any other items of business which the Chairman decides should be considered as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.





Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that they may have in any of the following items on the agenda.  The Code of Conduct for Members requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


The Chairman and Councillors A Yiasimi, Mrs P Grove-Jones and Mrs E Spagnola stated that they were acquainted with Mr Heels of the North Norfolk Taxi and Private Hire Association.



To give an oral update on licensing issues.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer stated that most applications were being submitted online and business was continuing to operate as usual.


Public Protection & Commercial - Licensing Update - Taxi Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 223 KB



The report presents information to the Committee regarding the review of the Taxi Policy and Handbook and the consultation process.







1. That Members note and agree the review.


Cabinet Member(s)

Councillor Nigel Lloyd – Portfolio Holder

Councillor Dr Pierre Bütikofer -

Chair of the Licensing Committee 


Ward(s) affected - All



Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Lara Clare 01263 516252



Additional documents:


The Licensing Enforcement Officer was unable to make a presentation of her report due to technical issues. 


The Chairman thanked the Licensing Team and Task and Finish Group for their work on the Taxi Policy and Handbook.  He invited Mr S Heels of the North Norfolk Taxi and Private Hire Association to present his comments to the Committee.


Mr Heels referred to a report that had been submitted by the Association, which had made suggested amendments that would allow the Council to continue to put public safety first whilst not adding additional financial burden to the trade, which was already suffering due to the pandemic. Most long distance bookings had been cancelled and there had been a reduction in daytime trade, with no signs of recovery in the near future.  He considered that the timing of the release of the new handbook showed a lack of empathy towards the trade.


Mr Heels raised concerns that promised discussions with the trade had not taken place, and questioned the benefit of the email consultation given the low rate of response.  He considered that some people would not have received the consultation due to the lack of technology or out of date email addresses.


Mr Heels stated that the Association’s report had highlighted 27 changes that had not been included on the feedback form, which he considered was misleading and did not allow for an accurate consultation response.  He considered that it was difficult to see what had changed, but the handbook had been increased from 34 pages to 58 pages and omitted the procedure for hackney carriage fare increases.  He considered that fewer rules and fewer pages would make it easier to retain the information.


Mr Heels referred to best practice guidance 2010 (8), which stated that the duty of a council was to put policies in place that safeguarded the general public, but should not be so onerous or cost prohibitive as to lessen the number of taxis available thus putting the general public at greater risk.  He stated that the Association was aware of drivers and operators who had already stopped driving or trading and this was likely to increase.  He accepted the need to update the current handbook, but pointed out that some of the changes would add to drivers’ and operators’ expenses, with additional takings of £200 being needed to cover the £76 cost of the additional taxi test.  He considered that some sections and rules needed clarity to avoid errors by drivers or operators. 


Mr Heels requested that the Committee defer approval of the handbook so that discussions could take place between Councillors, Officers and the Association to address the issues that had been raised by the Association.


Councillor Mrs G Perry-Warnes considered that it would be reasonable and in the interests of transparency to hold discussions as requested by Mr Heels, and that it was important to do so if there were doubts about the consultation.


Councillor Mrs E Spagnola agreed with Councillor Mrs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.