Agenda item

West Suffolk Council Taxi Fees and Charges

Report number:     CAB/WS/22/052

Portfolio holder: Councillor Andy Drummond

Lead officer: Jen Eves





That the new scale of fees for the granting of taxi licences for implementation from 3 April 2023, be approved.


(Report number CAB/WS/22/052)


The Cabinet considered this report, which sought approval for the adoption of a new scale of fees for the granting of taxi licences for implementation from 3 April 2023.


Councillor Andy Drummond, Portfolio Holder for Regulatory and  Environment explained that West Suffolk Council, as the licensing authority, was responsible for processing and issuing licences for private hire and hackney carriage vehicles, as well as combined driver’s licences.  The fees for the former Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury Councils were different and had been aligned as part of the West Suffolk single council work in 2019.  However, it was noted that that the fees had not been formally reviewed since 2015-2016.


The Council’s priority was to ensure that licence applications were proceeded in time and that appropriate checks were carried out to protect passenger safety.  Thereby, maintaining public confidence in the taxi service. 


The Council also needed to demonstrate that the fees it charged for such licences had been set in accordance with the law and best practice.  This was to recover allowable costs in administering the various licensing regimes for which the Council was responsible.  The Council could not make a profit from licence fees.  However, the reconciliation of any surplus or deficit would take place over a three year cycle.


Therefore, the aim of this review was to ensure that the Council recovered the costs associated with the grant of any vehicle licences or combined driver’s licences.  This included the costs of issue and administration, as well as monitoring of compliance with conditions in line with legislation and best practice.


Consultation with the taxi trade had taken place between 22 June and 1 August 2022.  The purpose of the consultation was an opportunity for the trade to inspect the fees and raise objections, if they considered that these did not comply with legislative requirements or to raise objections if there were incorrect calculations and charges. 


The consultation had yielded four responses, all from members of the taxi trade.  All responses were opposed to the proposed changes.  All respondents had described the issues faced by the taxi industry in recent years and the issue with increased prices caused by inflation.  Most mentioned a need for increased fares to compensate (which had been dealt with separately).  However, none of the respondents had raised any objections that met the required criteria for further consideration.


Therefore, having undertaken the review, which had been unpinned by a comprehensive methodology, as set out in Appendix A to Report number CAB/WS/22/052, the Cabinet supported the introduction of the new scale of fees as proposed, to be effective from 3 April 2023.  The Cabinet also noted that, moving forward, it was the intention was to review these fees on a three year basis, in line with the West Suffolk Fees and Charges Policy.


In response to a question raised by a Cabinet member, the Director (HR, Governance and Regulatory Services) explained that future options would be developed with regards to the use of electric vehicles within the taxi fleet.


The Portfolio Holder for Regulatory and Environment also wished to thank the Director (HR, Governance and Regulatory Services) and her Team for the work which had been undertaken on this comprehensive review.




That the new scale of fees for the granting of taxi licences for implementation from 3 April 2023, be approved.

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