Private Hire and Hackney Carriage consultation announced
03rd August 2015
From 1 October 2015 we are changing the operating period for private hire and hackney carriage taxi drivers’ licences and private hire operators’ licences. This is to meet the provisions of the Deregulation Act 2015.
The new legislation means that all hackney carriage and private hire driver licences will be required to be issued for a standard three year term as a general rule, and that all private hire operators will be issued a licence for a standard five year term. Subsequently, this change in legislation means that processes and fees need to be reviewed and in effect from 1 October 2015.
The Council has opened these proposals up to consultation and would appreciate feedback on the current proposals or alternative options to consider. Full details of both the updated fees and charges and on the Council’s updated procedural checks can be found with the consultation document here... The deadline for responses is 4 September 2015.
The Council has a duty of care to as best as possible ensure public safety and protect children from harm. This is an issue of particular importance and one which needs monitoring closely. It is imperative that the Council implements measures as comprehensively as possible in order to ensure the ongoing suitability of a private hire/hackney carriage driver and private hire operators.
The Licensing Authority subsequently needs to take a more proactive enforcement stance and ensure satisfactory licensing checks are in place as a protective and preventative measure in determining grant of a licence or continued suitability of a licence-holder. Therefore, due to the length of time that both driver licences and operator’s licences will be granted for, it is proposed that the Council review its requirements in relation to the checks we undertake to ensure a persons ‘fit and proper’ status to hold a licence under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 in order to protect the safety of the travelling public.
In view of this, and the recent abolishment by the DVLA of driver licence paper counterparts, the Council are considering yearly DVLA checks for Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Driver licence applications/renewals, a minimum standard of one visit to an operators premise per annum, and an additional enhanced DBS check in the third year of an operators licence and as per our current process, an enhanced DBS check every three years for driver renewals.
Representations in relation to both the procedural proposals the private hire operator and hackney carriage and private hire driver licence fees must be received by the Council no later than midnight on 4 September 2015. Representations can be made by email or by post to Licensing, Three Rivers District Council, Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 1RL.