Latest News, updates and Events
A number of drivers have started a Taxi Association to represent drivers in the borough. The association is a key development in enhancing communications between the trade and Council so please give some thought to joining.
At this early stage Mr Bill Bessant has put himself forward as a point of contact for the association. If you have an interest in joining of want more information please contact him on 01784 459832
Thank you to all those who attended the first taxi forum on 15 October, it was a very useful event; your honest views were much appreciated.
The Forums will be held three times a year, dates and venues for the next year’s meeting are still to be finalised. They will be published on the Taxi Licensing website when known.
I have placed the notes from the latest Forum on the Runnymede Taxi Licensing website.
We had some discussion at the Forum around communication’s and in particular our website.
The simplest way for the licensing team to communicate with you as a group is through our website, so I have now added a news item section to our website which will be updated regularly to help you keep up to date with latest developments in Taxi licensing.
This page is available to you now. To access it you can either copy and paste the below address into your search engine or simply search with, Runnymede hackney and private hire licensing. The news section is at the bottom of the page.
The website will be changing early in 2014, it will be easier to navigate and the content will be updated over the following months to make it clearer.
I would encourage you to check this as a matter of routine so you are fully up date with developments.
On the subject of communication, we do want to get away from the practice of sending letters as far as is possible. For routine updates on licensing etc. there will be the news page on the website but for other matters we would like to have the option to e-mail information to you as an individual, this may in the future include vehicle test reminders and drivers licence reminders. There is a lot to consider but it is an area we would like to develop.
Another option we would like to explore is sending you information via a text message; most of you will have mobile phones so it could be a quick and easy way to keep you up to date
We do not have e mails or mobile numbers for all drivers and operators at the moment so I would ask that you e mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, using your normal e mail account. A short message letting us know your name, mobile phone number, drivers badge/plate number and your intentions regarding online DBS checks (see 7 overleaf) we will then know your e mail address and can place it on our distribution list.
Other matters under consideration.
- Taxi fares – Following our forum we have decided to consult with you on fares, there does seem to be a split amongst drivers on whether an increase is necessary. I will send out consultation letters as soon as possible, please ensure that you make your view known and reply promptly to enable me to put a report together for the Regulatory Committee meeting on 16 January2014.
- Vehicle age limits – There was much debate about this at the Forum, we will look into our current limits and consider any changes.
- Taxi ranks – Following the discussion about ranks at the Forum, I have prepared a report on the railway station ranks and the future provision of hackney carriage ranks in the Borough. This will be presented to the Regulatory Committee on 19 November. This report will be available on the Runnymede Borough website.
- Taxi plates etc.- We will be introducing new taxi plates and drivers badges at the beginning of 2014. The plates will still be adhesive but slightly larger than the current ones, (they are the same as the ones used in Spelthorne). Badges etc. are much the same but with better materials and non-fade ink. The advantages for licensing are that they around the same cost, are simpler to produce and look more professional.
- Knowledge test - A new knowledge test will be coming into use before the end of the year. It will be a fit for purpose test based around multiple choice and written answers, there will also be a numeracy test included. To save officer time tests will be carried out in groups once a month. Our current system is a one to one test taking an hour and a half minimum so the new procedure should free up time for plating vehicles.
- Disclosure and Barring service checks : many of you have experienced delays with DBS applications. There is a way to speed this up by having an online DBS record. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online. Registration lasts for 1 year and costs £13 per year. For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service. Basically you would have an online DBS record which is automatically kept up to date, you give the council permission to check it when due and that is it, it will not cost you any extra but could save you a lot of time and worry.