Herefordshire Council today voted to adopt a new Taxi Policy, which includes a mandatory training element for new and existing drivers in relation to safeguarding.

The policy sets out the expectations of Herefordshire Council as the Licensing Authority and will prove to be an invaluable document for the council’s officers when enforcing and regulating the licensing of Herefordshire’s 1,050 taxi drivers, hackney carriage vehicles, private hire vehicles and private hire operators. The Policy will also prove useful for the Magistrates in the event of any appeal.

Herefordshire Council has 1,050 licence holders, including Hackney Carriage Proprietors, Private Hire vehicle proprietors and Dual Driver and Operators.

The most significant change to the Taxi Policy is the introduction of a mandatory safeguarding training element, which will highlight to licence holders potential indicators of concern and what to do if they see them. The changes ensure that the policy is clear and compliant with current best practice and constitutional requirements and improve the robustness of the council’s safeguarding measures.

It also offers the opportunity to share information regarding issues surrounding child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and illicit trade practices.

The training will be provided in conjunction with council Children’s Services, meaning that once a taxi licence is granted, the licence-holder will also be authorised to carry out county transport work on behalf of Herefordshire Council, such as transport to and from schools, and transporting social care clients.

The new policy will be uploaded to the website and notification will be sent to all existing licence holders, who will be allowed reasonable time to undertake the training.

Cllr Ange Tyler, cabinet member for housing, regulatory services, and community safety, said:

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to re-vamp the council’s Taxi Policy. We have consulted with both the taxi trade and stakeholders, and this update is something they have been asking for as well.

“Licensing of taxis is essential to ensure that members of the public and particularly our most vulnerable residents are fully protected, enabling them to travel safely both within and out of county. I would like to thank everybody who has played a part in updating the Policy, and helping to improve public safety.”

For more information visit the Herefordshire Council website.

Published: Friday, 12th July 2019