Venue: Council Chamber, Kilmory, Lochgilphead
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gordon Blair, Mary Jean Devon and George Freeman.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982: APPLICATION FOR GRANT OF TAXI OPERATOR'S LICENCE (T SIMPSON, TIGHNABRUAICH)
The Chair invited the Committee and all parties present to introduce themselves.
Mr Reppke advised that 2 late objections had been received and that the applicant had received prior notification of these. He advised that the Committee should hear from the objection as to why these objections had been late.
Susan Gauld advised that Mr Tucker believed that he had sent his objection in on time, that it had been faxed from the Council’s Hill Street Office and also sent in the mail. Mr Forrester advised that he had a date stamped copy in front of him which had been received in the mail and had been received later than the deadline. He advised that he was not aware of a faxed copy. Mr Reppke asked Mr Forrester to check with the Licensing office regarding the faxed copy.
Norma Birtles advised that she had also been under the impression that her objection had been submitted on time, she advised that she had posted the letter on 16 August 2012 but had not been sure of the exact deadline for submission. Mr Reppke explained that there had been some confusion over Mrs Birtles objection; he explained that the objection had been received on time but that it had contained no signature on one page and no name and address on the other page. He advised that these details were required in terms of the regulations and by the time these details had been added, the deadline for submissions had passed. Councillor Kinniburgh enquired as to when the deadline had been and was told by Mr Reppke that it was 3 September 2012. Mrs Birtles confirmed that when she sent the objection in only one page had been received, the page that had not contained the name and address, the second page, that had contained her address had not been received and she had not been told on the telephone when she was asked to add the name and address to the submission to make it valid that the deadline had passed. She advised that it had been a misunderstanding.
After receiving confirmation from Mr Forrester, Mr Reppke advised the Committee that a fax had been received with Mr Tucker’s objection on 4 September 2012. He advised that the deadline had been 3 September 2012 and therefore the objection had been late.
Mr Simpson was invited to speak. He advised that in his view these were not reasonable excuses for late submissions as both objectors had been taxi operators for a long time and were well aware of the procedures. He asked the Committee to reject the late objections.
After debate the Committee agreed not to take into consideration the late objections.
Mr Simpson was invited to speak in support of his application.
Mr Simpson advised that his application had been based on safety. He advised that private hire cars do not have signs and it is not clear to customers if the cars are in fact taxis. He advised that there had been two public hire operators in the Tighnabruiach area which now ceased to operate and advised that Mrs Birtles operated from Innellan and worked in Dunoon. He advised that if he was awarded a public hire licence then this would replace one of two vacancies in the Tighnabruiach area and there would still be an opportunity for one more public hire. Mr Simpson advised again that his application was from a safety aspect, that he would be paying £400 for the sign for the roof of his taxi and that he would not be using the fact that he would be public hire to stop in the street and pick up customers; he would continue to operate as he had been as a private hire, taking jobs by telephone. Mr Simpson advised that his main business came from Portavadie Marina and mainly from staff. He advised that he spent a lot of time outside the marina waiting on people to come out because they do not recognise that the car is a taxi. He added that most of the time he would need to go inside the establishment to let customers know that he was there. He advised that a sign would make this clearer to customers. Mr Simpson highlighted that he had no intention to work in Dunoon from the taxi rank, that he would continue to work from Tighnabruiach area and no where else. He advised that there was a need for taxis in the Tighnabruiach area as folk should be able to choose when they travel and not have to wait around on bus services. He advised that his local knowledge was a great advantage as he could take visitors to places they wished to visit and did not know how to get to. He added that operators from Dunoon did not have this advantage. Mr Simpson told the Committee about two bus hire services available in the area and that sometimes folk preferred a personal approach a taxi gave to them. He added that no objections had been received from either bus service. Mr Simpson concluded by saying that the main reason for his application was for safety and highlighted that usually folk would not approach a car if they weren’t completely sure that it was a taxi, that it was not obvious to customers if the taxi did not have a sign on it. He asked that the Committee grant his application.
Mr Darroch was given the opportunity to ask Mr Simpson any questions relevant to his statement. Mr Darroch advised that he had no questions. Mr Darroch was invited to speak to his objection.
Mr Darroch advised that the basis of the objection from the taxi drivers association was related to a review of taxi operators which had shown there was no demand in the Dunoon area for additional public hire taxi operators. He advised that it was hard to make a living from a taxi business working only standard hours and from ... view the full minutes text for item 3.