17 Feb 2011

Amended Licensing Laws

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There are elements within the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 that have been amended in the Criminal Justice and Licensing Act 2010. These affect the licensed taxi trade.

Alterations to the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 as contained within the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

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There are elements within the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 that have been amended in the Criminal Justice and Licensing Act 2010. These affect the licensed taxi trade as follows:

Section 13 has been amended to clarify that a licensing authority is unable to grant a licence to drive a taxi or private hire car unless the applicant has held a suitable driving licence for a continuous period of 12 months immediately prior to the application being lodged. This will affect first time applicants who have not held a full licence for 12 months and also those whose licence may have been suspended in the 12 months prior to the application.

Section 17 has been amended to clarify that licensing authorities must fix scales for fares and other charges and that the process must be completed within 18 months from the date the previous fare scales came into effect. In addition it details the procedures for consultation and notification of the LA’s proposals and requires the LA to have regard to any representations received. The LA will be also be required to give notice of the effect of the fare scales to all operators of taxis within their area as well as those consulted in the review process. The period for notification is extended from 5 to 7 days.

The right of appeal against a decision of the LA in regard to fixing fare scales is extended to representative groups or bodies of taxi operators as well as to individual operators. The amendments of the provisions attached cover sections 10 to 23.

There have also been amendments to Schedule1of the ‘82 Act, which affect such as applications for licences an extract is also attached.

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There is now a requirement for dates of birth to be included in application forms but since this is mainly for LA’s it is not too much of a concern.

Schedule 1 amendments:

In paragraph 3 (1) (e) of the first schedule the period for objections to an application is extended from 21 days to 28 days.

In paragraph 4 (2) the applicant and any objectors to the application will have the dates to be heard extended from 7 days to 14 days.

In paragraph 8 a new section 5(a) is added. This allows a LA to accept that an application for the renewal of a licence, which is made up to 28 days after the expiry of the licence, to be an application made before the expiry date, provided that the applicant is able to show good cause why this should be given such consideration. This is not to be interpreted that all will be ok if you forget to apply to renew on time, as it will be difficult to convince councils that you have good cause for not renewing before the expiry date.

In paragraph 11(8) the notice of a hearing is reduced from 21 days to 14 days. Finally:

In paragraph 17 (2) the timescale for a LA to respond to a request for a statement of reasons is reduced from 28 days to 21 days.

Please note: the aforementioned amendments were originally scheduled to commence in March 2011, but have now been put back till October 2011. However, since there is an election-taking place in May 2011, it could be that a new administration may decide to implement these earlier or later than the dates mentioned.

Bill McIntosh.
General Secretary.

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