Chair of Licensing Committee hits back at Labour over taxi licences

Politics / Sat 2nd Sep 2023 at 09:54am

THE CHAIR OF Harlow Council’s Licensing Committee has responded to the Harlow Labour leader’s comments on taxi licences.

Councillor Nick Churchill said: “I am writing in response to Cllr Vince’s dramatic and misinformed statements concerning the sub contracting of private hire vehicles from Wolverhampton by ONE of the private hire operators in Harlow.

“The Harlow operator also operates in Wolverhampton and is licenced by Wolverhampton for that. There are clear and strict rules about using PH drivers and vehicles from other areas and all of those are being complied with. My licencing team has been making regular inspections of the operators activities in this regard and at no point has there been any breaches of the rules and regulations.

“All licencing authorities have a high standard regarding the driver and condition of the vehicle including DBS registration during the life of their licence and renewed checks as required. Their vehicles are required to undergo condition checks as required by the licencing authority.

I can say that Harlow Licencing is cooperating with Wolverhampton Licencing to facilitate condition checks of the Wolverhampton registered vehicles including visits from a member of the Wolverhampton team.

Councillor Vince’s assertion that Wolverhampton is cheaper to get a PH Drivers licence the cost of getting a badge is £233.48, for a 1 year licence. The cost for a 3 year licence is £289.48. In Harlow the cost is £240 for a 1-year licence or £405 for a 3-year licence. As you can see there is very little difference.

“The only loophole is in Cllr Vince’s statements.

“If Cllr Vince had taken the time to speak to his councillors on the licencing committee or even contact me then he would have all the information I ensured that a briefing was sent to members on 26th May 2023 this was a copy of a reply sent to Unite following their raising the issue with the council in April 2023.

He was also sent a copy of that briefing following his raising the question with the licencing team in August 2023.

“Am I surprised by Cllr Vince trying to manufacture a problem that my hard-working and hard-pressed Licencing team are already dealing with successfully? Not really no.

“Should Cllr Vince check his facts, read his mail and speak to his councillors before releasing inaccurate and misleading information? OH YES

Councillor Nick Churchill
Chairman of Licencing

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