11/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/08/2018 04:53
Cheltenham Borough Council has begun using the national register for taxi and private hire licence refusals launched by the Local Government Association in July 2018.
The council has a statutory duty to only licence people who are fit and proper to drive a taxi or private hire licensed vehicle. Historically however, there have been issues with licence holders and applicants not disclosing details of any previous licences that may have been refused or revoked by another licensing authority. Previous refusals and revocations do not appear on normal background checks and so licensing authorities have largely relied on the honesty of the applicant.
A new national Register of Refusals and Revocations has now been launched that will allow licensing authorities to record details of where a hackney carriage or private hire drivers' licence has been refused or revoked, and allow licensing authorities to check new applicants and licence holders against the register. This should help to prevent people found to be not fit and proper in one area from securing a licence somewhere else through deception and non-disclosure.
Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, says: 'Cheltenham Borough Council has always maintained the highest licensing standards in the interest of public safety and protection.
'The new national database will allow the council the ability to undertake thorough background checks on new applicants and existing licence holders to ensure we comply with our statutory duties but more importantly, to ensure that people using taxis and private hire vehicles in Cheltenham have the highest level of confidence that the driver has been thoroughly checked.'
From this month, every applicant for a taxi or private hire driver's licence will be checked against the national register. Equally, background checks will be undertaken on existing licence holders who apply for a renewal of their licence to ensure there are no relevant historic and/or undeclared licensing matters the council should be aware of.
For media enquiries, please contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]
For more information, including frequently asked questions, please visit the council's website: www.cheltenham.gov.uk/nr3