Members considered a report which proposed consultation on mandatory subscription to the DBS update service for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers. Currently a combination of Enhanced and Basic DBS checks were used to ensure that drivers were fit to hold a licence, with an Enhanced DBS check every 3 years and a Basic DBS check for the subsequent two years, before the three year cycle restarted.
Members noted the four outcomes of a DBS check using the update service as detailed at paragraph 2.5 of the report and acknowledged the benefits of the update service which were detailed at paragraph 2.4 of the report.
Councillor D Andrews sought and was provided with clarification that DBS renewals would still need to be diarised by officers as the update service would not create an automatic renewal notification. The service would however dramatically reduce the time officers spent processing DBS checks and alleviate the need for drivers to attend for a face to face meeting to complete the check.
Councillor B Crystall queried if there were any disadvantages to using the subscription service. The Licensing and Enforcement Officer advised that they did not see any disadvantages and had experience of using the system elsewhere. It was noted that checks would be with driver consent and that the record would be marked to show when and by whom a DBS was checked. The system reduced risk and strengthened the renewal and safeguarding process.
Councillor C Wilson sought and was provided with clarification of the proposed action if an updated certificate detailed unknown information. Drivers would have their licence suspended until a full renewal had been undertaken. In response to concerns that this would cost a driver their livelihood for a period of time, it was noted that drivers were legally obliged to inform the Council of any convictions within 7 days and therefore there should not be any unknown reports arsing. It was noted that any offences would be presented to the Sub-Committee and that drivers also had the opportunity to appeal a suspension.
It was moved by Councillor C Wilson and seconded by Councillor J Jones that a 6 week public and trade consultation take place regarding the mandatory requirement for licensed drivers to maintain a subscription to the DBS Update Service whilst they remain licensed. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared carried.
RESOLVED – that a 6 week public and trade consultation take place regarding the mandatory requirement for licensed drivers to maintain a subscription to the DBS Update Service, whilst they remain licensed, with the results of that consultation to be brought back to Licensing Committee for consideration.