Council response to today’s Times article

Published May 23, 2018 at 10:10

A Rossendale Council spokesperson said:

Our top priority as an authority which licenses taxis has always been the safety of passengers and drivers.

Our policies have always been based on national guidelines and the issues raised here – which are now more than two years old – have previously been thoroughly investigated and were unfounded. The investigations were reviewed by both our internal and external district auditors who were satisfied with the results.

We are absolutely confident we have not issued any licences to anyone who should not have received one under the Council’s previous policies and that all DBS checks were in place.

Ov​er the last two years, we have worked to strengthen our approach on taxi licensing to ensure anyone who uses a taxi, or works in one, has the best protection we can offer.

This includes the requirement for new applicants and renewals to pass a basic skills and local knowledge test, be enhanced DBS checked, trained in safeguarding and disability awareness and for all vehicles to carry CCTV. We have introduced a strict intended use policy on our hackney carriage vehicles and in addition vehicle owners who are not licensed drivers with us also need to be DBS checked.  We also continue to regularly audit licences to ensure all holders meet these requirements.

As part of the Council’s regular audit schedule a further audit was completed in November 2017 which resulted in a substantial assurance rating in relation to our licensing policies and procedures.

As a result of this work we now have one of the best taxi licensing policies in the country and have been working with the LGA on best practice for local authorities.

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