Agenda and minutes

General Purposes Committee - Thursday, 12th November, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Broadcast from Castle House, Great North Road, Newark, Notts. NG24 1BY

Contact: Helen Brandham  Email: 01636 655248


No. Item

Remote Meeting Legislation

The meeting was held remotely, in accordance with the Local Authorities and Police & Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police & Crime Panel Meetings) (England & Wales) Regulations 2020.


Declarations of Interests from Members and Officers


NOTED       that no Member or Officer declared any interest pursuant to any statutory requirement in any matter discussed or voted upon at the meeting.


Declaration of any Intention to Record the Meeting


The Chairman advised that the proceedings were being recorded by the Council and that the meeting was being livestreamed and broadcast from the Civic Suite, Castle House.


Minutes of the Meeting Held on 3 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 253 KB


AGREED      that the Minutes of the meeting held 3 September 2020 were a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Forward Plan (November 2020 to October 2021) pdf icon PDF 231 KB


AGREED      that the Forward Plan for the period 1 November 2020- 31 October 2021 be noted.


Order of Business


With the agreement of the Committee, the Chairman changed the order of business.  Agenda Item 7 was taken after Item 4.  The agenda resumed its stated order thereafter.


Progress of the 2020 Annual Canvass pdf icon PDF 244 KB


The Electoral Services Manager presented a report which updated Members on progress on the Annual Canvass since their last meeting on 3 September.  The total number of responses was 51,154 from 57, 778, representing an 88.54% return rate. Further reminder forms were dispatched on 16 October 2020.  The new Register of Electors would be published on 1 December 2020.


The Electoral Services Manager explained that, with regard to university students in the District, information was sought from a single point of contact on campus, however, it was noted that many students chose to remain registered at their home address and use a postal vote.


AGREED      the progress of the 2020 Annual Canvass be noted.




National Statutory Standards for Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Vehicle Passengers pdf icon PDF 272 KB


The Business Manager - Public Protection presented a report reviewing new statutory guidance relating to hackney carriage and private hire vehicle passengers and to highlight the changes required to the Councils’ Taxi Policy to comply with the guidance.  The specific amendments required were detailed in the report but were minimal as the Policy was very much in line with the requirements in the guidance.  The amended policy would be brought to the Committee for formal adoption.


In considering the report, Members discussed private hire vehicles licensed in other local authority areas operating in the District.  The Business Manager - Public Protection noted that it was recommended when using a private hire vehicle, to ask where the license had been issued.  The license issued by the Council did include the Newark & Sherwood District Council logo, however implementing a uniform colour or design would be difficult for business due to cost implications and the reduction in the night-time economy as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Members agreed that a national standard for licensed vehicles would be beneficial to improve safety and standards.


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)          the detail of new statutory guidance relating to taxis and private hire vehicles and the implications for the Council’s current policy be noted;


(b)          Members endorse that the elements of the policy set out in paragraph 4.2 should be amended; and


(c)          the amended policy be included on the Forward Plan and brought back to Committee for approval.


Update on Performance and Enforcement Matters (July to September 2020) pdf icon PDF 248 KB


The Committee considered the report presented by the Senior Licensing Officer in relation to the activity and performance of the Licensing Team which included details of current ongoing enforcement issues.


Information contained in the report related to the number of applications for grants and renewals of licences for Hackney Carriage; Private Hire; and Ambulance Drivers together with those for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles. A note of ongoing enforcement activity was also listed with information as to what action had been taken to-date.


With regard to street and house to house collections, Members noted that most of the charities listed were not based in the District and not specifically collecting for the charities within the District.


AGREED      (unanimously) that the report be noted.