ONE taxi driver objected to taxi licence fees going up from April.

At Powys County Council’s Planning, Taxi Licensing and Rights of Way committee on Thursday, January 16, councillors were given feedback following the 28 day consultation period, after councillors voted in favour of the increases at their last meeting.

Senior licensing officer, Sue Jones, said: “This report is just to update you.

“The notices of the fees were posted in the press as is needed by statute and we had one objection from Graham Davies, of Brecon Taxis.

“His points are: that the rises are above the level of inflation and don’t take into consideration the running costs of operating a taxi business.

“He has acknowledged that we are taking views from the trade on taxi fares which are regulated by us.

“He mentioned that taxi officers are not seen on the street and he wanted to see the formulas and spreadsheets.

“I responded to him and signposted him to the spreadsheets we use and referred him to Information Compliance which suggested making an FOI (Freedom of Information Request.)

“He hasn’t actually made one yet.”

“I have pointed out the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes that is not apparent to him and more effort will be made to get out more.

“I’m quite happy that the fees reflect the cost of the service.”

Cllr E Michael Jones (Independent – Old Radnor) moved that the report was accepted and was voted through unanimously.

The fees were set at the commitee’s last meeting on December 5, 2019.

They are based on figures of the time PCC took to process applications  from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.

During that period PCC received applications from just over 60 new drivers.

Driver renewals are on a three year cycle and around 150 were renewed last year.

The changes to the fees are :

  • Vehicles (1 year) Hackney carriage private hire from £138 to £148;
  • Driver licence (3 years) from £247.50 to £260, and this does not include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check fee;
  • Driver licence (1 year) from £140 to £150, and this does not include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check fee;
  • Private Hire Operators (5 years) from £398 to £405, again this does not include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check fee;
  • Knowledge/Competency test from £38 to £40.

Fees are used for:

  • Cost of material such as making the plate and/or badge;
  • Cost of processing the licence;
  • Cost of sub-committee hearings to consider individual license/application;
  • Administration costs such as training, meetings, questions, complaints and compliance checks.