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Taxi drivers angered by plans to raise fees in Lichfield and Burntwood

Taxi drivers in Lichfield have hit out at plans to raise fees.

Lichfield District Council is discussing proposals to increase operator licences from £50 per vehicle to £65 a year.

Meanwhile, hackney carriage vehicle licences will rise from £180 to £205 under the new plans.

The report will go before the local authority’s regulatory and licensing committee today (November 28).

But the Lichfield Hackney Association has warned the council not to use taxi drivers to make up shortfalls in its funding, insisting that they “utterly and unanimously” disagree with the plans.

“My members are hard-working people who are already struggling to make a living due to the unfair and harsh policy regarding the hackney carriage trade, not to mention the economic state,” said the Association’s chairman Mohammed Imran.

“I do appreciate the council needs to raise money due to Government cuts, but you [the council] cannot and should not do it by breaking the back of my hard-working members.

“Just because you can do something, it does not mean you should.”

Although hackney carriage licences are set to rise, prices for private hire vehicles will drop from £165 to £145 under the plans.

Councils are entitled to put charges in place to cover the cost of administering taxis in their area.

A report to today’s meeting from Lichfield District Council’s principal environmental health officer, Gareth Davies, says that charges need to be revised.

“Our objective is to set our fees at a level to cover the cost, but not make a surplus,” he said. “Historically, the taxi trade has only paid part of the costs for running this service.

“Recent reviews of fees have been aimed to reduce the level of subsidy and move towards full recovery.”

Full details of the proposed fees and the report can be downloaded from Lichfield District Council’s website.

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  1. Some Bloke

    29th November, 2013 at 12:34 am

    “Our objective is to set our fees at a level to cover the cost, but not make a surplus,” he said. “Historically, the taxi trade has only paid part of the costs for running this service.”

    This is true. LDC is protecting it’s Council Tax payers from covering the cost of the licencing service by asking those profiting to contribute. The increase is hardly very much and judging from the amount of taxis available in the evenings, their is plenty of business.

    The fees paid are to ensure that taxis are safe. £25 a year increase? A year?

    I use Lichfield taxis regularly. I’m pleased that an independent local regulator ensures that my trip is safe.

  2. Jozef Nakielski

    29th November, 2013 at 12:58 am

    lol I can’t believe they’re kicking a fuss up over the licence going up with inflation. 25 quid a year , not a week but a year . I’m sure they can raise prices by a quarter of a penny per fare to cover it . They should try running a parcel delivery company .

  3. Jozef Nakielski

    29th November, 2013 at 1:00 am

    or a pub, or any of the multitude of trades that don’t make easy profits .

  4. Sabcat

    29th November, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Hackney drivers don’t set their own prices, the council do that and they cut them last year. I’m not sure how the council can claim they don’t already make full recovery, taxi licensing is a part time job for the same lad that responsible for stray dogs. Mind you, they did blow £10k+ on private detectives to follow a bloke around who was driving unbadged a couple of years ago, I think he got fined £400.

    Probably works out cheaper not to bother getting a license and just cough a fine every few years.

  5. Medici2471

    29th November, 2013 at 7:34 am

    “Twenty five quid a year” commented cab driver Dave Smart, “at this rate I’ll never be able to give up my job as a fireman.”

  6. Cynic

    29th November, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Is the taxi rank on the disabled car park near What’s ever used in the day time?

  7. Jozef Nakielski

    29th November, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    not by me cynic, why do you ask so you want to build houses on it ?

  8. Cynic

    29th November, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    “Jozef” Because I have NEVER seen it used and it replaced a disable parking bay which was always used!!

    If you know the area – the falling down (literally) building nearby and the old Whats are ripe for old folks apartments but I doubt that will happen as it is too logical for our council.