Consultation on Draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy
Redditch Borough Council is responsible for issuing licences in respect of:
- Vehicles used as hackney carriages (taxis)
- Vehicles used as private hire vehicles
- Drivers of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles
- Operators of private hire vehicles
The overarching aim of the Council when carrying out these licensing functions, is to protect the public by ensuring vehicles are safe and fit for use and that drivers and operators are suitable people to undertake these roles.
In July 2020, with a view to better protecting children and vulnerable adults, the Department for Transport issued new statutory guidance to taxi and private hire licensing authorities called the “Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Standards.” A copy of the Statutory Standards can be found online here
The Statutory Standards document sets out a framework of policies that licensing authorities “must have regard to” when exercising their functions. These functions include developing, implementing and reviewing their taxi and private hire vehicle licensing regimes.
The Statutory Standards make clear that:
“Having regard” to these standards requires public authorities, in formulating a policy, to give considerations the weight which is proportionate in the circumstances. Given that the standards have been set directly to address the safeguarding of the public and the potential impact of failings in this area, the importance of thoroughly considering these standards cannot be overstated.
The Statutory Standards also state that:
Whilst the focus of the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards is on protecting children and vulnerable adults, all passengers will benefit from the recommendations contained in it. There is consensus that common core minimum standards are required to regulate better the taxi and private hire vehicle sector, and the recommendations in this document are the result of detailed discussion with the trade, regulators and safety campaign groups. The Department therefore expects these recommendations to be implemented unless there is a compelling local reason not to.
In response to the publication of the Statutory Standards, Redditch Borough Council has started a review of their hackney carriage and private hire licensing policies and in doing this has had regard to the Statutory Standards.
In conducting the review of their policies, the Council has adopted the approach that they will look to incorporate the recommendations made in the Statutory Standards within their policies unless there is a compelling local reason not to.
The review of policies has provided the Council with the opportunity to review and update other parts of their existing policies, where it is felt appropriate to do so.
As part of this review, the Council has produced a draft “Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy” which it now seeks to consult upon locally with all relevant stakeholders. A copy of the draft policy can be downloaded here
This consultation will make clear where a proposed change to the Council’s existing policies is being made in direct response to a recommendation set out in the Statutory Standards. In respect of these changes, the Council is using the consultation exercise to ask those responding whether they have any evidence of a compelling local reason why the Council should not make that change.
Where there are other proposed changes to the Council’s policies that have not been prompted directly by the Statutory Standards those responding to the consultation are invited to provide their opinions on those proposed changes.
The Council would like to hear views on the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy from all relevant stakeholders.
The Council would like to hear not only the taxi and private hire vehicle trades themselves but also groups likely to be the trades’ customers including groups representing disabled people, Chambers of Commerce, organisations with a wider transport interest, women’s groups, local traders, and the local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements.
The Council believe it would also be helpful to hear the views of night-time economy groups (such as Pubwatch) as the taxi and private hire trade is an important element of dispersal from the local night-time economy’s activities.
The Council would like to hear the views of members of the local community who make use of taxi and private hire vehicle services in the area.
You may find it helpful to download a copy of the draft policy to refer to when responding to the consultation.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to respond to the consultation by post, a copy of the consultation questions can be downloaded here
Postal responses should be sent to:
Redditch Taxi Consultation, Worcestershire Regulatory Services, Wyre Forest House, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 7WF
This consultation will be open for responses until 13th August 2021
The responses received during the consultation will be considered by the Council before any decisions are taken regarding the implementation of the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.