To consider three proposals to vary the current Bridgend County Borough hackney carriage table of fares.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services reported on three proposals to vary the current hackney carriage table of fares which had been received from Mr James Borland and Mr Richard Parrott, Mr Tom Burke and Mr Dario Nelson.
He stated that the application from Mr James Borland and Mr Richard Parrott for the increase in fares had been made due to the drivers facing increasing costs and the current tariff in Bridgend is below the Welsh and national averages. The application from Mr Tom Burke sought to increase the rate of fares to bring drivers’ incomes closer to the minimum wage. The application also sought to change the times at which the different tariffs are applicable and the introduction of two new tariffs for the Christmas and New Year period. The application by Mr Dario Nelson also sought to increase the fares by amending the hours the tariffs will be in operation and includes additional tariffs for the hours between 3.00am – 6.00am. Mr Nelson had also requested that due to the large amount of dead mileage experienced in a rural area such as Bridgend, fares should generally be higher than in urban areas. In addition to the dead mileage figure, Mr Nelson had asked the Council consider the additional cost to proprietors of licensing new vehicles under the current council policy which also affects drivers who lease vehicles, the higher cost of insurance for taxi drivers as well as vehicle running costs and the Council’s taxi licensing costs.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services reported that the current table of fares had been in place since 15 August 2011 and he summarised a table which provided details of the daytime rate of the 2 mile fare currently authorised by the Council together with a comparison with the proposed fares authorised by a sample of other licensing authorities. He stated that Bridgend is currently 322nd in the mile fare league table out of 366 local authorities.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services informed Cabinet that should it agree to vary the tariff, the variation would need to be advertised for a period of at least 14 days to permit persons to make an objection. Should there be no objections; the variation would then come into effect on the date of the expiry of the period of notice. However, should an objection be received the objection would need to be re-considered by Cabinet before the variation is implemented. Members are advised that there is no known formally constituted trade organisation within the Borough at present but consultation must follow the statutory format laid down in the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 by statutory notice in a newspaper.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services summarised the effects of the proposals on the rise in fares; the standard timings and the Christmas and Bank Holiday periods and the changes to the structure of the table of fares.
The Head of Shared Regulatory Services informed Cabinet that the proposals received were from individual drivers and not from the taxi trade and that it was hoped to get a taxi forum together. In response to a question from the Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations as to the cost of living and the number of licensed drivers, the Head of Shared Regulatory Services informed Cabinet that the cost of diesel had decreased and the number of licensed drivers had stayed the same.
Cabinet considered the responses received to increase the current hackney carriage table of fares and that it would be minded to increase the contamination fee to £125. The Leader stated that it was essential to consult on the proposals in order to have the view of the taxi trade and also the public who rely on using taxis.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet rejected the three proposals received to vary the current Bridgend County Borough hackney carriage table of fares and recommended the legality and practicalities of consulting on hackney carriage fees with the taxi trade and public be explored.