Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions published

10/03/2020 - Exclusion of Public and Press and Restriction of Documents ref: 426    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 10/03/2020 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 22/05/2020

Effective from: 10/03/2020

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That, under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item as it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of the Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended from time to time), namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

(b)  That, all documents and reports relating to the item be confirmed as “Not for Publication”.

 


29/05/2020 - Car parks and public toilets opening ref: 441    Recommendations Approved

To commence charging in certain car parks and to reopen certain public conveniences.

This decision is urgent as the latest government announcements have relaxed lockdown measures from 11th May and so the area can expect to now see more traffic movements and potentially more visitors from outside the area. Concern has been expressed about the fact that providing free car parking may encourage more people to use the beaches and parks and there are also concerns that if people are using these facilities more, public health issues could arise if public toilets are not open.

Car Park surveys have not shown an increase in usage although another survey is being carried out on Saturday 16th May.

The decision is to commence charging in coastal car parks from the 23rd May and also to re-open coastal toilets and those serving parks from the same date if possible.


Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 29/05/2020

Decision:

To commence charging in certain car parks and to reopen certain public conveniences.

On balance, and after consulting with Group Leaders, I am of the view that coastal car parks should not become chargeable and that toilets serving these areas should now open, provided the relevant safety measures can be taken to protect the public and the staff.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


24/03/2020 - Car parking and Toilets ref: 440    Recommendations Approved

This decision is urgent as it reflects the current crises. The decision is being made to ensure that social distancing measures are implemented and also to protect staff from collecting cash and cleaning potentially infected areas.
There is a significant financial implication in not charging in car parks. This is around £260k per month. However, most Councils are either not charging or not enforcing.

Even if we carried on charging, income would be down as shops are shut and people are isolating.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 24/03/2020

Decision:

Cease charging on Council car parks and close public toilets

Lead officer: Ken Miles


27/03/2020 - Fees for Temporary Event Notices (TENs). ref: 439    Recommendations Approved

Queries have arisen as to whether persons having given notice of a Temporary Event are
able to receive a refund if their event is cancelled due to the impact of Covid-19. Some other
local authorities have processed refunds in this way.

The fee for a TEN fee is prescribed under the Licensing Act 2003 (£21). It is suggested
that it would not be appropriate to refund applicants this fee, and moreover the legality
surrounding refunds of fees under the Licensing Act 2003 is questioned.

The Council has never paid out in this manner previously when an event has been cancelled.
In light of the fact that the administration of the TEN costs more than the fee imposed,
the suggestion is that the Council solely allow the withdrawal of the notice to avoid TEN
numbers being taken up, and request a new application for a future date if the event is
postponed.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 27/03/2020

Decision:

Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to make policy decisions via the Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place, it is believed that the most appropriate way forward is for an urgent decision to be made.


Lead officer: Ken Miles


27/03/2020 - Refund of fees for hackney carriage vehicles, drivers and operators due to the impact of Covid-19. ref: 438    Recommendations Approved

Queries have arisen in terms of fees for hackney carriage vehicles, drivers and
operators, and whether if licences are surrendered (due to implications of Covid-19)
the Council will refund fees.

Fees in this instance are locally set, and are substantial in terms of their cost. The proposal is that if an individual wishes to surrender a licence until its expiry, due to concerns over transporting passengers etc., and then they re-apply, the Council allow them the pro-rata fee (according to the licence period remaining) off a future licence application (for the same licence), if made in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 27/03/2020

Decision:

Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to implement policy changes via Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place.

There is likely to be an impact on the taxi and private hire licensing budget, however due to the fact that the number of drivers wishing to surrender their licences or their vehicle or operator licences is unknown, it is not at this point possible to provide full detail in terms of the financial impact of this decision.

In light of the fact that it is not proposed to make any immediate refunds, there will be no impact until such time as any subsequent application is made to the Council, (when a reduced fee will be received).

Lead officer: Ken Miles


27/03/2020 - Badges and Plates for Licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles. ref: 437    Recommendations Approved

Whilst at this present time a system is being maintained to issue plates and badges for licensed taxi and private hire vehicles, and their drivers, there is concern that with the impact of Covid-19 the Council may reach a position whereby it is not be possible to issue a plate or drivers badge due to staff absenteeism.

The Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy references the issue of plates and badges, and the requirements surrounding their display. If badge and plate make up is compromised, it is suggested that the Council issue a temporary licence by way of email, and a letter to the driver or proprietor concerned that they can present this to clients using their vehicles.


Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 27/03/2020

Decision:

Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to implement policy changes via Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


01/04/2020 - Licensing of new or replacement hackney carriage and private-hire vehicles when social distancing measures due to Covid-19 are in place. ref: 436    Recommendations Approved

When a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle is licensed, checks are ordinarily made by officers in respect of the operation of the top light; condition of body work, and interior; presence of fire extinguisher; first aid kit, etc.

Additionally a meter test is undertaken to ensure that the taximeter is calibrated effectively, and there is no risk of over-charging members of the public.

In light of the impact of Covid-19, it is not proposed to enter vehicles at this time to undertake these checks or complete a meter test (which entails an accompanied drive over a measured half mile), and therefore a derogation from the current procedure and Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016 is proposed as follows:

Officers will ask for photographs to evidence vehicle condition inside and out; presence of meter; top light (on and off); fire-extinguisher; and first aid kit.

Plates will be sent out in the post.

No meter test will be undertaken, and meters will remain unsealed.

NOTE: The plate on a vehicle deemed of paramount importance in terms of public confidence and enforcement of the licensing regime, and as such the above derogation is only proposed in circumstances where vehicle plates can continue to be made up by Customer Services/Licensing staff.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 01/04/2020

Decision:

Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to implement policy changes via Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place.

Background paper used: North Devon Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


27/03/2020 - Proposed derogation to the Council's Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016 converning maximum age of hackney carriage vehicles. ref: 435    Recommendations Approved

The Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016 cites:

‘Officers are not empowered to refuse an application for a licence. Accordingly where an application for the grant of a hackney carriage licence is made when the vehicle in question is more than 5 years old, the application must be referred to the Licensing Sub-Committee for consideration.
The presumption is that licences will not be granted for vehicles over 5 years old, but each application will be considered on its own merits. Factors such as the condition of the vehicle, and the mileage will be relevant.’

Vehicle proprietors have requested to surrender vehicle licences in light of lack of trade due to Covid-19, however are concerned by the above and whether they will be able to licence their hackney carriage vehicles again if they are in excess of 5 years old.

In terms of a derogation it is suggested that the Council should provide assurance to vehicle proprietors that if a licence is surrendered, and provided an application is received for a further grant of the same vehicle in 2020/21, then this Policy requirement will be waived.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 27/03/2020

Decision:

Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to implement policy changes via Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place.

Background paper used: North Devon Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


27/03/2020 - Medical Examinations for Taxi and Private Hire Drivers. ref: 434    Recommendations Approved

The Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy cites:

A medical certificate is required before a licence may be granted, irrespective of the age of the applicant. A DVLA Group 2 standard of medical fitness for professional drivers is required. Certificates must be completed by an applicant’s registered GP, or a GP from their registered practice, who has access to an applicant’s medical records.

Drivers must produce to the District Council at the Licensing Office a new medical certificate within seven days of the date of the expiry of a previous certificate.

Any applicant or licence holder must be medically examined every 5 years, whilst individuals of 65 years and over, must be examined annually.

Licence holders must immediately advise the Council of any deterioration of their
Health that may affect their driving capabilities and which may negate their ability to
pass a Group 2 medical standard examination. Examples include high blood pressure, angina, diabetes, vision disorder, fainting, blackouts, drug taking or alcoholism. Where there is any doubt as to the medical fitness of the applicant, the Council may require the applicant to undergo and pay for a further medical examination by a Doctor appointed by the Council. The Doctor’s recommendation will be final.

In light of the pressures on GP surgeries, compliance with the above is problematic due to non-availability of medical certification. Many authorities have taken the stance to temporarily suspend the medical requirements contained in their policies, and some have introduced a self-declaration (something similar is currently used for diabetic drivers).
Moreover, from the 17 April 2020 The Department for Transport has relaxed the requirement surrounding medicals for lorry drivers, and under a new scheme lorry drivers will be able to receive a temporary one year licence, providing they do not have any medical conditions that affect their driving and their current licence expires in 2020.

It is proposed that a Group 2 Medical Self Declaration form is introduced for drivers wishing to make renewal applications, which will then be followed up by the Council’s Occupational Health Advisor in the case of any queries. This proposed policy derogation is suggested as temporary measure, to be utilised only if a GP from the applicant’s medical practice is unable to perform a Group 2 medical.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 27/03/2020

Decision:

Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to implement policy changes via Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place.

Background papers: North Devon Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


27/03/2020 - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire MOTs and Garage Tests. Temporary derogation to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016, due to implications of Covid-19. ref: 433    Recommendations Approved

A temporary amendment is sought to North Devon Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016, due to the impact of Covid-19.
The current policy cites that those persons making an application for a hackney carriage or private hire proprietor’s licence should accompany this with a valid MOT. It is also the positon that a valid MOT must be in place for the duration of a licence.
In addition to an MOT, both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles must be garage tested once a year until they are 6 years old and twice per year thereafter, by an authorised MOT examiner at an MOT station.
Sections 3.1, 3.8, 7.10, 18.1, and 18.2 of the Council’s policy refer to the above, for which a temporary derogation is proposed. The following text is suggested to be placed on the Council’s website:
MOTs for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles
The Department for Transport has released guidance in relation to vehicle MOTs. From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months, and lorries, buses, and trailers for 3 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
You will be aware that the Council does not have a nominated MOT testing station, any authorised MOT station can be used. The Government has not taken a decision to close MOT stations, garages or repair shops due to the risks posed by vehicles continuing to be used. As such, if appropriate testing stations remain open, then taxis and private hire vehicles should remain in possession of a current MOT.
We are mindful that the current situation is unprecedented, and as such if issues arise in gaining tests, we would wish to further note, that vehicles must be in a roadworthy condition for the exemption to be valid. Therefore it is just as important now as it has always been, that drivers ensure that the vehicle they are using is FULLY compliant with the law and that any identifiable defects such as blown bulbs, defective tyres etc. are repaired. If you are not able to have the vehicle repaired so that it is in a roadworthy condition, it must be withdrawn from service.
Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle inspections
The Council’s policy indicates that a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle shall be tested once per year until it is 6 years old, and thereafter twice per year, at six monthly intervals. The test must be carried out by an authorised MOT examiner at an approved MOT testing station, and conducted against the prescribed inspection checklist. This is in addition to an MOT, which for Hackney Carriages is required at 1 year old and thereafter for taxis and at 3 years old and thereafter for private hire vehicles.
Due to fact that garages are not being required to close, the same principles will apply in that if a test can still be undertaken, it should be completed. However if a situation arises whereby garage tests are unable to be undertaken, the same extension of time as for MOT test periods (six months) will also be applied to garage tests

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 27/03/2020

Decision:

The guidance issued by the Department for Transport in respect of MOT tests creates a new situation in respect of MOT periods.
Due to Covid-19; the above extension on MOT periods; and the fact that garages undertaking MOTs and garage tests may be compromised in forthcoming weeks, there needs to be clarity surrounding whether this new extension applies. Also the policy needs to build in flexibility in case of garages closing due to absenteeism.
Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to implement policy changes via Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


15/05/2020 - Community Protection Notice ref: 432    Recommendations Approved

Continued ASB - rat infestation and odour problems from failure to keep residential garden in reasonably clean state - i.e accumulation of rubbish, food waste and dog mess. Reported by local residents and a Housing Association.

Decision Maker: Head of Environmental Health and Housing

Decision published: 20/05/2020

Effective from: 15/05/2020

Decision:

Having tried lower level interventions - in co-operation with the Subject's Housing Association landlord - I decided that it was necessary and proportionate to use a Community Protection Notice under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. All actions arise out of M3 case ref. WK/201908225.

Lead officer: Ronan Flynn


30/04/2020 - Financial Assistance for Parkwood Leisure during the Covid-19 crisis ref: 431    Recommendations Approved

Since central Government ordered the closure of public leisure facilities on 20th March 2020, Parkwood Leisure has received no income from the three leisure facilities it operates on behalf of NDC under the North Devon Leisure Contract and Tarka Tennis Centre Contract. Other than benefiting from the Government furlough scheme, Parkwood (like other leisure operators in the UK) are exempt from most of hte Government's Covid-19 emergency support packages. Despite 97% of their staff being furloughed and utility consumption reduced ot a minimum at the leisure facilities, the North Devon Contract is currently losing between £35, 000 to £40, 000 per month. The current leisure and tennis centre contracts expire on Sunday 3rd May 2020 and without financial assistance from NDC to cover the losses outlined above, Parkwood will not be in a position to enter into the interim contract arrangements (as previously agreed at the March 2020 Strategy

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 18/05/2020

Effective from: 30/04/2020

Decision:

Option one has been agreed on.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


12/05/2020 - Hardship Relief Fund ref: 430    Recommendations Approved

As part of the Covid 19 response and to assist the community, DCC have awarded funding to each District Council to enable them to assist the economically vulnerable within each district area. The total funding provided to North Devon Council will be £120,865. The intention of the policy is to assist individuals and families to cope with immediate financial hardship arising from the Covid-19 crisis. This could include emergency funds to assist with fuel costs, replacement of white goods and provision of food. As part of the policy, it is proposed that grants of £12,000 and £15,000 be awarded to the North Devon Foodbank and the Salvation Army respectively. This will enable those organisations to continue providing vital assistance.

Part of the response that the policy allows for is to provide assistance with travel to essential hospital or medical appointments. To enable that to happen, the Council has agreed with a local taxi firm for them to provide the service with the cost being recharged to the Council.

Given the fact that the purpose of the policy is to provide urgent assistance, it would not be appropriate to have a lengthy process to take decisions. It is therefore proposed that power be delegated to the Customer Services Manager to take decisions as this will provide the most immediate response to someone ringing or attending the Council offices seeking assistance.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 12/05/2020

Effective from: 12/05/2020

Decision:

a. Approval of policy,
b. Approval of grants as set out above,
c. Approval of contract to be entered into with Driving Miss Daisy and
d. Delegation of power to take decisions to provide assistance in accordance with the policy to the Customer Services Manager or in her absence, any officer deputising for her.

Lead officer: Ken Miles