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Still time to give your views on revised taxi licensing policy

If you live and work in West Lancashire, there is still time to give your views on important proposed changes to the way West Lancashire Borough Council licences taxis and drivers operating in the area.

The Council licences taxis and drivers throughout the Borough as a means to safeguard the travelling public and to support the licensed trade. A key document which helps the Council achieve these aims is its Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

New national safeguarding guidance means that this policy needs updating and the Council wants to hear your views on the proposed changes. It is running a public consultation which will run until 14 March 2019. All comments received will be presented to the Council’s Licensing and Appeals Committee for consideration.

Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety said: “This is a very important policy for the Council and we are grateful to people living and working in West Lancashire who have already given their views as well as those in the licensed trade who have contacted us.

“The Council would particularly like to hear from people who use taxis regularly so that we can ensure our policy meets the needs of local people and there is still time for you to give your views through the consultation process.”

Important amendments include a new definition relating to drivers, vehicle proprietors and Private Hire Operators which set out what the Council considers to be a ‘fit and proper person’ in each case.

Proposed changes for licensed drivers also include:

  • New requirement to subscribe to the DBS Update Service
  • New requirement to attend safeguarding training
  • Revised standard for minor motoring offences
  • Revised processes to check whether applications have been refused or revoked by other Councils
  • An enhanced Convictions Policy which is derived from new national guidelines

Proposed changes for licensed vehicles are:

  • New requirements for vehicle licence holders who do not already hold a driver or Private Hire Operator licence
  • Change to the age requirements for Private Hire vehicles subject to a new application
  • New long term emission requirements for licensed vehicles

To read the draft policy which has more details and to find out how you can give your views, please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/yourviews and click on consultations underway.

Comments can be made by emailing: licensing.enquiries@westlancs.gov.uk or by post to: West Lancashire Borough Council, Licensing Service, Robert Hodge Centre, Stanley Way, Skelmersdale, WN8 8EE.

Local taxi companies and drivers have been contacted directly to get their views.

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