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ROUND THE COUNCILS EREWASH:


NEW RULES ADOPTED INCLUDE VAPING BAN


Erewash cabbies will be banned from vaping with licensing officers saying it will make it easier to stamp out cigarette smoking which has been illegal since 2006. According to the Nottingham Post, other new rules to be adopted cover tyre treads and a ban on any taxi which has been rebuilt after a bad crash. Erewash Borough Council licensing committee also adopted measures to prevent the industry from getting involved in slavery or child sex abuse. Nick Thurstan, head of environment, told the committee: “We have had people using the excuse ‘I was vaping or using an E-cigarette,’ and not tobacco when challenged. It under- mines our ability to effectively enforce the health acts.” An official report outlined worries about cars that had been rebuilt after serious accidents. It went on: “Unless repairs have been carried out by a reputable company, doubts over the safety of the vehicle may remain. Officers consider that licensing a vehicle that has sustained structural damage, even though it has been repaired, presents too high a risk in terms of driver and passenger safety to be licensed.” Taxi tyres will have to show a depth of two millimetres, rather than the 1.6mm limit for private cars. Mr Thurstan said this should reduce the risk of tyres becoming illegal between annual checks carried out by council experts. Cllr Howard Griffiths said the council should look at how taxis could help in tackling low carbon plans. “We need to look at electric cars. We want to encourage our fleet to go to electric vehicles,” he added. Vehicles already have to meet air safety standards, the report said. A total of 252 consultation letters were sent to drivers and operators, giving them the chance to question the changes. Only one person responded, saying it was difficult to find vehicles without tinted windows.


WIGAN: SUSPENSION FOR NO REGULAR DBS CHECKS


Taxi and PH drivers will be automatically suspended if they do not sign up for regular checks on their criminal record, according to new rules at Wigan council. The Manchester Evening News reports that PH and hackney drivers who do not subscribe to the DBS Update Service by December 1 will be suspended until they have signed up. Drivers who do sign up for the service will be checked for criminal convictions and barring information on a weekly basis with a regular search of the system.


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The service removes the requirement for new DBS certificates, reduces the administrative burden and mitigates potential delays in relicensing drivers. It comes as Wigan council brings its rules up to date with the Statutory Taxi and PHV Standards published by the DfT. The regulation committee approved the move at a meeting on Friday 9 July. Councillors also unanimously agreed to implement a series of standards which are not already in place within the borough later this year. However, they voted against allowing a smaller number of councillors to determine whether drivers should be suspended in individual cases. Licensing officers asked the regulation committee whether they feel the council should explore creating a smaller sub-committee to deal with individual cases involving taxi or PH drivers, proprietors and operators. But the committee voted against the recommendation. Speaking after the meeting, Labour councillor John Vickers said: “Something of this nature should be done by a proper full committee of all political parties then we have a consensus and no chance of accusations of political bias.” He also spoke of the ‘hypocrisy’ of asking drivers to have regular DBS checks when some councillors have not had any themselves. Under the new rules, all licensed drivers will have to provide evidence of their continuous registration with the DBS Update Service every six months. Further proposals will be considered later this year as part of the Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards which are set to be implemented.


RICHMONDSHIRE: CABBIES TRAINED IN DEMENTIA AWARENESS


Richmondshire’s fleet of taxi and private hire drivers have been trained in dementia awareness – one of the first groups to have undertaken the training in North Yorkshire. The 200 drivers licensed by the district council have worked with Dementia Forward, North Yorkshire’s leading dementia charity, after a carer raised concerns of problems sometimes experienced by a family member with dementia when using taxis or PHVs.


“It is not unusual for someone living with dementia to express a desire to return to the familiarity of childhood,” said Dementia Support Advisor Janice Smith. Dementia awareness training is important for giving taxi drivers confidence in these situations, and helping people with dementia to safely maintain their independence. District Council Chairman and council Dementia Champion, Cllr Clive World, added: “This has been a unique project and every driver who has taken the course will display a vehicle sticker giving confidence to passengers and their families.” If are interested in dementia awareness training, call Dementia Forward’s Helpline 03300 578592.


AUGUST 2021


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