Local Licensing Consultations: Make Sure Your Voice is Heard

Articles
January 19, 2021
Matt Payne

The new statutory taxi and private hire standards mandates that councils carry out extensive consultation in their localities. Working together with the public and industry representatives is the best way to ensure a safe and effective licensing policy that works for everyone.

As of this month, the new Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards come into effect. This is a major shake-up of licensing protocol and marks the first time comprehensive guidance has been produced for the industry. If you aren’t familiar with this guidance, you can check out our article covering the key points, here.

Before any part of the new statutory guidance can be implemented by licensing authorities, they are required to carry out extensive consultation. This consultation should involved representatives from the industry as well as the public. Some councils finalised their consultations towards the end of 2020 to prepare for the guidance but there are still plenty running consultations.

Why are the consultations important?

There are certain aspects of the new guidance that aren’t mandatory. Licensing authorities have been advised that certain measures outlined in the guidance should only be introduced if necessary based on local circumstances.

For example, the use of CCTV in taxis is a controversial topic. There is not a consensus amongst government bodies, particularly the Information Commissioners Office, as to the correct way to do this. The Department for Transport state that:

“Imposition of a blanket requirement to attach CCTV as a condition to a licence is likely to give rise to concerns about the proportionality of such an approach and will therefore require an appropriately strong justification and must be kept under regular review."

This is why the consultations are necessary. Local authorities need to be able to prove that their licensing process is appropriate in the local area. Driver and operator input is essential as working together is the only way to ensure a process that works for everyone.  

How do I find out about my local consultations?

Finding out about your local consultation is easy. Licensing authorities need input from the industry and the public so the information is very visible if you know what you’re looking for.

There are a few ways you can go about finding this info.

One way is to type into any search engine, “[COUNCIL NAME] taxi licensing consultations.” The resulting search should bring up a list of all the pages relevant. As you can see from the screenshot below, some councils have a specific webpage dedicated to the consultation.

Please note, the image above is for illustrative purposes only.
Wolverhampton City Council have now closed their consultations.

 

Another way to find this would be to go directly to your authorities licensing page. All the relevant info should be available there.  

If you cannot find the necessary information, there should be a contact email on their page for the licensing department. If you contact them directly and ask about ‘consultations regarding the new Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards’ they should be able to provide you with the most up to date information available.

We would recommend checking sooner rather than later as many councils have already closed their consultations! If you want to make sure your voice is heard contact your licensing authority ASAP.

 

For more information about how TaxiPlus' solutions help the industry, you can find out more at taxiplus.co.uk! Or get in touch by email on hello@taxiplus.co.uk

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