Review Will Assess Eco-Friendly Incentives for Blaenau Gwent Taxi Drivers
A REVIEW will take place to see whether it’s possible to give Blaenau Gwent taxi drivers more of an incentive to drive eco-friendly cars.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Licensing Committee on Tuesday, January 30, councillors looked at a proposal to increase licensing fees by five per cent from April 1.
The increased licence fees cover taxis, scrap metal, street trading and sex establishments – and further increases are mooted for the following two years.
These will be the first increases since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trading standards and licensing team manager, Steve Osborne said: “You will be aware of the pressures businesses have been under since the global pandemic and the cost of living crisis and you have supported trade through the licensing system by not increasing fees since 2019/2020.”
Mr Osborne told councillors that the council’s Regeneration and Community Services chiefs have proposed that the fees are increased in line to move towards full-cost recovery over the next three-year period.
Mr Osborne said: “This is the first time we’ve looked at a three-year period and think this is a pragmatic way forward, as it provides some certainty to trade and the authority.”
He added that costs would continue be monitored to ensure that fees don’t “exceed” full cost recovery and that the next review would be in three year’s time.
Cllr Sonia Behr asked whether it would be possible to give a “discount” for taxi drivers who use electric vehicles.
Committee chairwoman, Cllr Lisa Winnett: “It’s a good point and it’s something we should look at.
“But we also need to look at cost recovery because the vehicle would still need to be tested – it would affect the vehicle not the driver and would need to work out.
“We would need to know how much it costs to test the vehicles and whether it can be done in the borough.”
Cllr Jules Gardner added that this review should cover biofuels, hydrogen and even ammonia powered vehicles and: “other alternatives besides electric vehicles.”
Cllr Winnett asked that the committee receive a report to get a “full picture” on this topic.
Cllr Malcom Cross said: “Totally agree as we have to be forward thinking it would be good to debate and we have to be mindful of how much this would cost.”
Cllr John Hill added: “We need incentives for people to switch over to electric.”
Councillors agreed the proposal and a consultation on the fees is set to start soon.
If no objections are received the new fees would come into force on April 1.
This means that the fees are set to be:
New Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle:
New licence application – £310 – from the current £295.
Renewal licence –£243 – up from the current £239.
New licence application – £643 – up from the current £612.42.
Renewal application – £431 – up from the current £410.82.
New licence application – £682 – up from the current £649.98.
Renewal licence application – £631 – up from the current £600.78.
Temporary trading licence (28 days) – £72 – up from the current £69.
New licence application – £387 – up from the current £368.26.
Renewal application – £367 – up from the current £349.36.
Scrap Metal site:
New licence – £507 – up from the current £482.56.
Renewal application – £351 – up from the current £334.06.
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