Agenda and minutes

Licensing and Community Safety Committee - Tuesday, 13th October, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual - Online meeting. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253


No. Item


Virtual meetings procedure - briefing and etiquette

Chair to report.


The Corporate and Community Services Officer confirmed who was in attendance and outlined the virtual meeting procedure and etiquette to the Committee and attendees.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bulled, Hunt and Orange.


To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2020 pdf icon PDF 208 KB



RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2020 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed  by the Chair.


Declarations of Interests


There were no declarations of interest made.


Community Safety work during Covid-19 pandemic

Community Safety Partnership Officer to report.


The Committee received a presentation from the Community Protection Officer regarding the Community Safety Work during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The following summary of the work carried out by the Community Safety Partnership was given:

·         The Safer Summer Scheme, was funded by the Police Crime Commissioners Office and Devon County Council

·         It had been in operation in Croyde and Woolacombe ensuring visitors were as safe as possible over the summer months

·         The Beach Marshalls employed from a Security Firm based in South Molton were providing safety guidance on Covid-19 matters as well as being a visible presence on the beaches reassuring the public

·         The two Marshalls were employed for 49 hours a week, were first aid trained and able to dissipate anti-social behaviour

·         The scheme ran from the end of July 2020 to the end of September 2020

·         The beaches were privately owned so access to the beaches had to be sought from the owners.  Park Dean owners of Croyde beach were very receptive to the scheme

·         Daily meetings with the Police, North Devon Council Officer, beach rangers and Parish Clerk attended to discuss issues arising and share information

·         Issues with street traders, in particular a henna tattooist raised concerns over Covid-19 safety and was addressed quickly

·         A lessons learnt and findings report was being drafted for the Crime Commissioners Office.  The biggest frustration found was the limitations of power that the Marshalls had. 

·         This was highlighted by the gridlocking of Woolacombe due to high numbers of visitors.  Locals were distressed by parking issues and the Marshalls were powerless to help. 

·         Being in a high vis vest meant the public expectation was that the Marshalls were there to act on the requests for action from locals

·         Devon County Council had not provided the assistance necessary to alleviate the parking issue

·         Overall the scheme worked very well and the collaboration with the private sector had been successful

·         If the funding were available it would be good to run a similar scheme next summer, albeit not necessarily related to Covid-19 secure safety measures

·         Praise from the public had  been received in relation to the helpful Marshalls working on the beaches

·         A new anti-social behaviour working group had been formed and met for the first time.  This was a multi-agency group that had been created due to the rising numbers of homeless or street attached people drinking on the streets in Barnstaple

·         Representatives from the charities Encompass and the Freedom Centre were helping

·         If any members wished to be involved were invited to contact the Community Protection Officer

·         The Community Safety Partnership had received funding from the Police Crime Commissioners Office through the Safer Town Scheme to help tackle issues with homelessness and in particular street begging

·         The £5000 received was to be used to install pay points where members of the public could donate cash using a debit card as an alternative to giving cash to people on the street

·         It was hoped three machines would be installed at three locations in Barnstaple;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy - The Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards pdf icon PDF 328 KB

Report by Licensing Service Lead, (attached)

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report from the Service Lead Licensing Officer (circulated previously) regarding the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy – The Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards.


The Committee heard the following:

·         Appendix C of the agenda was an assessment of how North Devon Council were currently performing against the statutory standards

·         A progress report would be sent to the Department for Transport as well as the publication of North Devon Council’s recommendations of the adopted standards

·         Standards new to the Council included reviewing all existing driver licences against the new standards, as well as mandatory safeguarding and county lines training.  It would be mandatory for all new drivers to sign up to the enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which notified the authority of any changes to a licence so appropriate action could be taken

·         It was hoped to run an eight week consultation on 18 items before the end of January 2021 and report back to committee with the results


The Service Lead Licensing Officer gave the following responses to questions raised:

·         Meeting with members of the trade would need to be carefully planned so that views expressed were properly representative of the drivers and operators

·         The cost of the enhanced DBS checks would be incurred by the driver

·         The mandatory safeguarding training options would be explored if this was to be provided in-house it would keep costs down but would put extra pressure on officer time.  There was an external training provider who specifically focussed on vulnerable children and adult safeguarding as well as county lines awareness and they would also run refresher sessions.  The costs of these options would be investigated

·         The DBS checks were carried out through an external company and there would be a cost to the Council in staff undertaking checks.  There were over 250 drivers to be checked every six months but it was an easier way to access up-to-date driver information.

·         The cost of the mandatory training might have to be passed onto the driver, but the Police Crime Commissioner may offer a set number of free places on courses.  As North Devon and Torridge District Council were the last two authorities yet to start mandatory training any funding available may already have been spent

·         It was not possible to work jointly with another authority to share these costs as every authority had its own policy in place unlike, for example, the Gambling policy which was set as a national template adopted by all authorities

·         Six-weekly meetings do take place with all Devon authorities to discuss issues.  There is the possibility of another authority authorising our Officers so they are delegated to take enforcement action against drivers operating in our area holding a licence from another authority area

·         The register of refused drivers was a costly item this may be an area we could look to work jointly with another authority, to share costs




(a)  The report be noted,

(b)  Consultation process be carried out on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.