Last updated: 26-10-2023. From web page: Noticeboard.

Taxi and Private Hire Trade Forum - 7 June 2023

Trade Consultation with Southampton City Council Licensing

10am to 1200 Wednesday 7th June 2023 Conference Room 3, Civic Centre

Chair is Cllr Matthew Bunday

Cllr Bunday has also invited the following people to attend:

Pritesh Gokani - Uber
Ian Loynes - Spectrum Southampton


  1. Introductions/Apologies. Chair
    • Cllr Moulton, Cllr Powell-Vaughan, Cllr Whitbread, Cllr Windle, Ian Loynes
  2. Minutes from Previous Meeting. Chair
  3. Private hire door signage. Licensing
    • Licensing advised those present how, if changes to door sticker policy is adopted, would be managed by the Licensing Department.
    • It was accepted that there are practical issues in enforcing a new policy straight away. On this basis it was agreed that any change of policy would not be enforced to renewing vehicles until 1st July.
    • It was appreciated that drivers would want to change livery as soon as possible. Licensing agreed that they would allow existing vehicle licence holders to change to the new livery without changing their vehicle licences.
    • Licensing will have a supply of new door livery and door numbers to fulfil the expected demand.
  4. Draft Drug Testing Policy. Licensing/AH/SHPHA
    • Licensing circulated the draft policy prior to the meeting. Reps were mostly concerned with drivers testing positive for illegal drugs because of the use of prescribed medication or over the counter medication. Officers stated that they understood this concern and should a driver raise this as a defence, it would be up to Licencing, with the assistance of the testing laboratory to demonstrate the use of illegal substances.
    • Additionally reps asked if drivers would be revoked or suspended on the grounds of a negative screening test. Officers responded that each case would be dealt with on its merits but yes, it is highly likely that this would occur. A sample would also be sent for further analysis on each occasion.
  5. Existing PH drivers applying for HCD badge. Licensing
    • Licensing expressed their concern of a lack of new hackney carriage drivers entering the trade. This year only two new drivers have passed the knowledge test. Officers suggested a change of policy where private hire drivers with three years experience can demonstrate knowledge of the trade and local area because of this experience and therefore we could exempt them from passing the knowledge test of they wished to apply for a hackney carriage drivers licence.
    • The trade largely agreed with this approach and offered Licensing assistance in refreshing the new driver sheet that officers go through with new drivers.
    • There were different suggestions of time in the trade being the qualifying criteria. Phil Bates suggested four years as a driver would have had to go through a renewal process by this time and therefore expressed a desire to stay in the trade.
  6. Hackneys creating “ranks” in and around the night-time economy areas of the city. JR
    • Noted by those present. This will be looked at by both Licensing Enforcement staff and parking enforcement but acknowledged by all that it is difficult to manage.
  7. PHV pick-up & drop-off issues in Above Bar St (near Switch), Central Station and Coach Station. AH
    • This item was rolled into the above topic.
  8. No Right Turn sign at junction (Above Bar St/New Road). AH
    • Noted but this was put in by transport when the restrictions were applied to above bar. There are no plans to change this as the no right turn was put in for public safety.
  9. Hackney Rank for the Boat Show. AH
    • There are no plans for a rank at the boat show. The nearest rank is outside West Quay in Portland Terrace. This is within 100 yards approx. There should be signage for this.
  10. What is the update on second badge? armband (left arm) like security SIA guards or headrest so it’s easy for riders to see? AH
    • Still ongoing. No immediate plans to change at this time but options are being considered.
  11. Anyone appearing in front of a licensing panel meeting for some form of misdemeanour, should be given proper guidance by the council on the individuals rights with an explanation on what to expect in the hearing. SHPHA
    • Licensing do give advice to licence holders and applicants that find themselves in this position but only of what to expect in the hearing. It is up to them to obtain legal advice.
  12. Safeguarding - Because we have to pay £25 for a safeguarding course, we should be able to use other providers than The Blue Lamp Trust. We also want the safeguarding course returned to the classroom. SHPHA
    • There are two providers approved for this training. There are no immediate plans to return it to the classroom. Officers are considering options of other matters to be integrated into this training in future.
  13. Nine points on your driving licence, when do you have to inform the department? The £15 we pay to Davis to check if we have points, how many times in the course of a year, do they check? SHPHA
    • It is a condition that private hire drivers must report convictions to the Licensing Department within 14 days of conviction.
    • DAVIS Licence Check has a risk based checking system. The risk is calculate on driving history and can be set by officers.
    • Low risk drivers are checked annually, medium every six months and high risk every three months.

The following items will be dealt with by written response after the meeting:

  1.  Right to access Toilet/Rest room for Taxi & Private Hire Drivers (basic human rights). AH
    Extract from notes of meeting on 21st June 2022:
    4) Driver Amenities & rest rooms- Gino Piccinino
    Point raised over the lack of facilities available to drivers throughout the city. No toilets available after 1am for drivers to relieve themselves.
    Health also comes into effect as toilets are needed for certain health conditions. Understandably these facilities come at a cost, and we realise this would come from licencing fees.
    Points raised.
    • Cllr Sarah Vaughn- Have had several constituency complains regarding drivers relieving themselves but I no way blame drivers for this. We should be providing toilet facilities for drivers. At this time all and any ideas would be heard.
    • Trade- Previous meeting with Steve Elliot this was mentioned.
    • Phil Bates SCC- Using licencing fees would not happen. Issue is recognised. Will speak to Steve Elliot. Will also speak to network rail regarding being able to gain access to platforms to use the facilities.
    • Trade- Another solution could be approaching a few licenced establishments to see if I driver shows badge can they use the facilities. – Phil Bates has explored this but there was a negative response from the licensed premises canvassed.
    • In the year since this was debated, the Council general fund will go severely into the red in the coming year. There is no SCC money to pay for such facilities. Also there is no duty on SCC to provide them to licensed drivers.
  2. SCC licensing needs to pay more attention to the Regulators Code. SHPHA
    • We are aware of this code and believe that we fully comply with it. We are happy to look at examples of situations where it is believed that we have not.
  3. Dash Cams - Because your department allows Dash Cams in SCC licensed vehicles, if the driver becomes ICO certificated, can we download footage from our CCTV camera's that are a condition of our licence? SHP
    • In short, no. SCC is the data controller of the footage stored on taxi camera systems in Southampton. Registering with the ICO will not make another person the data controller.
  4. MPV's that work out of the docks, as we are well aware, can legally carry up to eight persons. Eight persons have a large amount of luggage and in some instances they could be overloaded? SHPHA
    • The same laws apply to the overloading of licensed vehicles as it does normal vehicles. Police traffic units enforce this and do carry out stop check exercises for overweight vehicles. SCC see no evidence that would require going beyond the checks that are already in place.

Trade Invitees

EF – Elise FEIDER - Bolt
MF – Matthew FRECKELTON - Uber
AH – Ali HAYDOR - GMB Union Rep
PM – Perry MCMILLAN - UNITE Union Rep
GP – Gino PICCANINO - Elected Hackney Rep
JR – Jamilur RAHMAN - Elected Private Hire Trade Rep
AS – Ajmal SUDAN - SHO
AS – Anwar SUMRA - Elected Hackney Rep

SHO – Southampton Hackney Organisation
SHPHA – Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association
STA – Southampton Taxi Association