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Taxi drivers in Newtown face lower licence fees

Created on 12/01/2022 @ 06:57
Taxi drivers in Newtown face lower licence fees.

A new streamlined online processing system means that taxi driving licence fees are set to be reduced in Powys for the next financial year.

The County Council’s Planning Committee meeting came to the decision after hearing that running costs were reduced due to the online system brought in during the pandemic.

That system streamlined the process and will allow officers to better use their time to “engage and assist the taxi trade”.

Senior taxi licensing officer, Sue Jones, explained that the fees for 2022/23 have been calculated on an average of the costs for years 2019/20 before the pandemic, and 2020/21 when Covid emerged.

“As anticipated, it means that fees have come out less for 2022/23,” she said, estimating that fee changes would see a loss of £9,000 in income for the authority.

“This can be absorbed by the funding already received for public protection services from Welsh Government for additional work carried out in relation to covid compliance.

She added that enforcement work had restarted and that the “streamlined online process” brought on by Coronavirus would be kept.

Due to this change taking over from staff manually processing the applications, Ms Jones said that the costs will “unlikely recover” to the same levels.

“Efficiencies in processing time will free up officers to engage and assist the taxi trade especially in relation to implementation of the new Welsh Government taxi standards,” said Ms Jones.

If councillors agree the proposals, they will then be advertised in the local press allowing a 28-day period for objections to be lodged.

Ms Jones explained that any objections to the proposed fees would need to be “considered” and reported back to the committee.

Ms Jones said: “If no objections are made, then these fees will come into effect on April 1.”

The fees for 2022/2 which don’t include the cost for DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks are:

Hackney carriage private hire (1 year):  £130 – dropping from £148

Driver licence (3 years): £248 – dropping from £260

Driver licence (1 year) : £140 -dropping from £150

Private Hire Operators (5 years):  £387 – dropping from £405.

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service