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Taxi/private hire licensing policy

 Review of Taxi Licensing Policy - 2018

The Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy applies to all drivers, vehicles and operators. The Policy is intended to ensure that both the trade and the public have a document that fully explains our licensing requirements in context for all parties in a clear and transparent manner.

We are currently conducting a consultation to review proposals to amend our current Taxi Licensing Policy document. This will ensure that it complies with the Government’s best practice guidance, and will continue to provide protection for the public using the service.

The current Policy was first introduced in February 2009 and although a major review has not been carried out since then, several amendments over the last 9 years have been made to keep it up-to-date with national changes.

In 2016 a preliminary consultation on some of the proposals was carried out with the trade and service users.  Some of the suggestions and recommendations received were taken into account to make sure that the current Policy was capable of being complied with in practical terms.  At the same time the Council has ensured that any changes to the requirements remain reasonable, fair, proportionate and enforceable, and without any risk to public safety.

The latest Draft Policy document is now out for consultation, and  although some areas remain unchanged it is recommended that the Draft Policy document is read as a whole, and treated as a new, rather than revised Policy.

The proposed Draft Policy can be viewed here [PDF 3.45 MB]  and the existing Policy can be viewed here [PDF 3.87 MB] for comparison purposes.

If you have any problems viewing or downloading the document please contact us and a paper copy can be posted out to you.

The proposed revisions, updates and amendments to the Policy focus on areas that reflect national guidance and changes, such as longer licence periods for drivers and operators, and the change in immigration laws relating to right to work in the UK; the introduction of a points system for dealing with breaches of the Taxi Licensing Policy and the Laws relating to Taxi and Private Hire licensing; the introduction of an intended use policy; a more robust system for testing a driver licence applicant’s knowledge; and more formal training requirements in respect of safeguarding, child sexual exploitation, and equalities awareness.

Various administrative changes have been necessary to take account of improved technology since the Policy was first introduced; for example updating application procedures and processes, including moving to renewals by email and on-line payments and applications etc.

The document is in two parts: in the first part, (pages 4-19) set out the Council’s expectations, intentions and guiding principles in general terms. In the second part of the document (pages 20-79) the Appendices provide more specific information about the application procedures and conditions to be attached to vehicle, driver and operator licences (including vehicle specifications).

In December 2017, every taxi/private hire driver and private hire operator licensed by Derbyshire Dales District Council was sent a copy of the Draft Taxi Licensing Policy after it had been considered by the Council’s Licensing and Appeals Committee. All drivers have been encouraged to comment on the proposed changes and have been sent a reminder to submit before the deadline.

Feedback from anyone using taxis/private hire vehicle services is also encouraged. All comments will be considered as part of this review and in preparation of the final policy document which will be presented back to the Licensing and Appeals Committee for further consideration at the end of March 2018. The intention is to present a final Policy document to the April meeting of the full Council, with a view to adoption from the beginning of May 2018.

Please make any comments in writing, so they can be easily collated for consideration at the end of the consultation period. It would also be useful if you could state your name and any organisation or persons you may be responding on behalf of, as this will help us to understand the context of your comments.

If you wish to discuss the draft Policy before commenting, please contact the Licensing Manager by email, or by telephoning 01629 761374.

Your comments can also be posted to the Licensing Manager at Regulatory Services, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Matlock, DE4 3NN.

Please submit your comments before 12th March 2018.