Agenda item

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licence Fees



The Committee having –



considered the report from the Director of Public Health;




heard Rachael Hind’s (Licensing Service Manager) presentation of the report which highlighted the following key areas –





Plymouth City Council regulated the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire industry through the licensing framework set out in the Plymouth City Council Act 1975;






fees for licences should be set at a figure which would recover the full cost of the licensing administration including enforcement, in so far as was consistent with the particular provisions which allowed licence fees to be charged;




the budgets for licensing were operated as two trading accounts, one for Private Hire and the other for Hackney Carriage; as review of the current fees had been undertaken to balance the two trading accounts and to ensure that there was no cross-subsidy;




additional savings had been made this year and all accounts for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire were on track to be in a balance position by the end of 2022/23 and in a surplus position by the end of 2023/24;




consideration had been given to whether the fees could be lowered; however it would be unwise to reduce any of the fees at this stage, as it was uncertain what the next year would bring due to the ongoing pandemic and the changes proposed as part of the Taxi Policy consultation;




Covid 19 had continued to have an impact on the number of licensed drivers and vehicles on both trades; this had been factored into this year’s budget monitoring; these figures are reviewed on a regular basis;




the current licenses spilt in 2021 (as at 6 December 2021) -





Hackney Carriage vehicles 306 (33%);







Private Hire vehicles 627 (67%);






Hackney Carriage drivers 314 (32%);






Private Hire drivers 673 (68%);






there were currently 39 Private Hire operators.


The Committee –



heard representations from interested parties from the taxi trade and the PLTA which included the following main points -





both representatives were pleased that there were no proposed increase in fees for 2022/23;






raised concerns that there would be a risk of a significant increase in fees, in future years due to drivers over the age of 60 (currently 81) leaving the trade (if there were less drivers this would result in significant increases in the fees);






requested that the Committee ask the Council’s scrutiny function to look at the impact of future fees on the trade through a task and finish group;






raised concerns that any significant increase to the fee would impact the ability of the trade to attract new drivers (this issue had been recognised at a national level);






requested that the budget was reviewed on a regular basis to ascertain if it could be reduced;






highlighted that the number of drivers stated in the report was out of date and that 20 Hackney Carriage drivers were not working in the trade and had no intention of doing so in the future;






January and February were known in the trade as the ‘doldrums’ and this was the time when drivers left the trade.


Councillor Jordan advised that it was hoped that the taxi trade would form part of the work being undertaken by the Violence Against Women and Girls Commission to make Plymouth safe.


The Chair advised that Councillor Smith (Chair of the Commission for Violence Against Women and Girls) had extended an interest to also work with the Equalities Working Group.


The Committee agreed that the fees would remain the same and not have any changes for the financial year 2022/23.



Supporting documents: