Posted: Mon 3rd Jul 2023

Public to be consulted over Gwynedd taxi licence fee rises of around 12 percent

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jul 3rd, 2023

Proposed recommendations to raise the fees for taxi cab licenses have been agreed.
Cyngor Gwynedd’s general licensing committee today (Monday, June 12) considered plans to raise the charges to recomended levels – subject to a consultation with the taxi industry and public notice.
The rises would allow the council to recover its costs and could mean an average increase of around 12%.
Since 2013, the council has annually reviewed its fees for hackney carriage licences, private hire vehicle licences, private hire operator licences and drivers’ licences.
By law, the council can make a charge to cover reasonable costs  for granting a driver’s licence for a hackney or private hire vehicle, and towards costs associated for processing, administration and issuing licences.
They can also charge for granting a vehicle and operator’s licence, for inspection costs, hackney carriage stands, public notices, management and supervision of vehicles and the costs associated with application processing.
Taxi fees cannot be increased to raise income for the council – only to recoup cash for processing and administering licences.
Gwynedd’s fees were previously increased by 25% in 2013, 19.78% in 2014, and 10.78% in 2015.
In 2016/17 and in 2017/18, they did not incerase at all –  but it was agreed to increase them at an average of 28% across the various taxi licensing fees for 2018/19.
However, during the Covid crisis, in March 2021  a recommendation was made that  all taxi fees should be increased in line with inflation.
At the time that was 2.59% – although that rise was not considered “enough to fully recover the council’s costs.”
Then the authority had felt the taxi industry had “faced significant losses” during lockdowns.
I was decided not to recommend the full recovery of costs, beyond the level set in 2018/19.
However, amid recent rising inflation and higher costs of providing the taxi licensing service, the matter came before the committee.
It also considered  the cost of officers’ training needs, advertising and consulting on fee changes, and an increased level of checks required to ensure the suitability of drivers, vehicles and operators.
A report also pointed to “changes on the horizon” such as completing the review of the Combined Taxi Policy, which will adopt the recommendations of the Department for Transport’s National Statutory Hackney and Private Hire Vehicle Standards; and incorporating proposals in the Welsh Government’s White Paper consultation over taxi industry regulation.
The committee’s report stated “Having considered all the factors noted, we believe there is not much choice but to increase the fees if we are to maintain the service expected by the public and the
industry.”
The recommendations could mean:
A one year taxi driver’s licence currently £233 rising to £254 in 2023/24.
A three year’s taxi driver’s licence, now £270, up to £353.
A new hackney vehicle licence, currently £232  (total includes internal and external plates  (hackney and private hire) and sticker (private hire) increase to £259.
A renewal of a hackney vehicle licence  (total includes internal and external plates (hackney and private hire), and sticker (private hire)  up from £197 to £213.
Transfer of a HV licence to a new owner, and the charge for transfer of PH licence would remain at £75.
A new PH licence currently £268 (total includes internal and external plates (hackney and private hire), and sticker (private hire) up to £295.
Renewal of PH licence (total includes internal and external plates (hackney and private hire), and sticker (private hire) from £197 to £213.
A one year operator’s’ licence now £236, rising to £257, a three year’s operator’s licence from £275 to £300 and a five year’s operato’rs licence from £329 to £358.
A licensing committee member said “Several committee  members had felt it was now important to recommend raising the fees.”
Following a public consultation objections will be considered by the Committee in September, 2023. No new fees will come into force until a final decision is made. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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