Agenda item

Comments from Members of the public

To receive comments or views from members of the public at the Committee’s discretion.


Tim Harrison raised the following points in relation to agenda item 10, Government Consultation on Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Licensing Best Practice Guidance for Licensing Authorities:


·       The speaker was speaking on behalf of the drivers at Autocabs, owners of Grantham Taxis, Amber Taxis, Streetcars and CB Taxis.

·       The Council had followed a hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy under the guise of air quality management.

·       A previous Member had been contacted on two occasions via email: one relating to the aspirations of the Council to improve vehicle emissions, the other relating to gratefulness to the Council that a new development in Spittlegate Heath would produce extra income from customers. Over 4000 new houses would mean 7000 more unregulated vehicles, polluting the local air.

·       After the consultation, taxi companies were advised that it was too late for their input.

·       Another email was sent to a Cabinet Member, where this led to a falsehood aimed at misleading other Committee Members.

·       The trade had been through the worst 2 years due to covid.

·       Doubling the purchase cost of the tool of trade to a taxi driver would mean that buying a car two years newer than previously, meant a 100% increase in outlay, increase in fuel prices, licensing, insurance and running costs.

·       Unfair restriction of trade that is not applied to other traders in the local area.

·       Whether unfair pressure on trading on the homegrown taxi trade was considered by the Council.

·       Access to vehicles which single drivers can not afford to purchase, expenses would rise.

·       Whether an Equality Impact Assessment was conducted by the Council as it was a requirement in law.


Neil Dumbleton raised the following points in relation to agenda item 10, Government Consultation on Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Licensing Best Practice Guidance for Licensing Authorities:


·       That the current hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy was not fit for purpose, because of the following reasons:


-       Method of consultation being flawed and virtually ineffective

-       In response to a Freedom of Information request to the Licensing Department regarding the number of letters and direct contact between independent taxi drivers was 409 emails.

-       Other methods to notify the taxi trade was notifications in two newspapers, an interview on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, a post on the Council’s website and laminated pieces of paper on taxi rank street lampposts.


·       That all potential changes should be directly in writing in a timely manner to the license holder.

·       That the consultation had little use of purpose it allowed the Council’s Licensing department to ‘tick a box’ and provide results gathered.

·       The content of the 2020 policy fails on 90% of objectives set out to achieve in section 1.2.

·       The trades had been established professionally and respectively before the policy was conceived.

·       The trade was yet to see evidence from the Council’s Licensing department of support or input.

·       When the trade would see action from the Council on driver safety.

·       The protection of the environment was a failed objective of the policy.

·       The trade of South Kesteven were being punished for Grantham town centre being an air quality management area.

·       That Grantham was 4.73 sq miles, meaning only 1.28% of the total area of South Kesteven. 57,344 households were in South Kesteven with an average of 1.3 vehicles per household, meaning approximately 74,547 vehicles of all ages. 368 hackney carriage and private hire vehicles in South Kesteven, which makes us 0.5% of the vehicles in the whole district.

·       Almost all of the hackney carriages were compliant with the euro five emission standard.

·       That the Council were seeing fit to and imposed a five-year age limit, an increased financial burden to under depleted members of the trade.

·       That the policy was not fit for purpose due to lack of respect and contempt shown by those who are given the responsibility of implementing the policy and those who question the actions and rationale.

·       That the 2020 policy be set aside, and a new policy be undertaken that involves contribution from all stakeholders and affected groups.