'Insist on a local cabbie': Telford taxi passengers urged to help change law
Taxi passengers in Telford are being urged to help change the law by requesting only locally-licensed vehicles when booking trips.
Telford & Wrekin Council deputy leader Richard Overton said his administration is lobbying the government to reverse a law that allows operators to work across local authority boundaries, where standards and regulations may be different.
He asked for residents to help by lobbying their MPs.
Councillor Overton, who also holds the enforcement portfolio, was responding to a question from a member of the public who pointed out that the local taxi industry is among the issues being examined by the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Telford Child Sexual Exploitation (IITCSE).
Speaking at a full meeting of Telford & Wrekin Council, Yvonne Hill said: “I welcome the inclusion of taxi licensing in the terms of reference of the independent inquiry into CSE and, also, the council’s recent focus on cross-border licensing.
“What help can local residents give to ensure that only drivers licensed by Telford & Wrekin Council operate within the borough?”
IITCSE’s terms of reference were approved by the borough’s cabinet in last July.
These include “the local taxi industry and taxi licensing and the night-time economy, and the impact that has had on CSE”.
Councillor Overton thanked Ms Hill for asking the question, and said: “As you are aware, as a cabinet we feel strongly about the problems of cross-border hiring which has come about since the Deregulation Act of 2015, which permitted operators to subcontract jobs to another private-hire operator licensed by any other local authority in England and Wales.
“We have lobbied and will continue to lobby central government for changes to legislation that will, amongst other matters, see that all private hire journeys must start or end in the local authority area where the driver and vehicle are licensed.
“Local residents can help us achieve this change in legislation by also lobbying their local MPs,” he said.
“In addition they can, when booking private-hire vehicles, inform the operator that they would prefer a Telford & Wrekin Council-licensed driver.”