Agenda Item No 14

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 6 June 2018

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regulatory and Legal Services

 

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act - Section 65 Power to Fix Fares for Hackney Carriages - Applications to Vary the Hackney Carriage Fares Tariff

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To determine an application received from the Vale of Glamorgan Taxi Association to vary the current Vale of Glamorgan Council's rate of hackney carriage fares.

Recommendations

  1. That Cabinet approves in principle the application put forward by the Vale of Glamorgan Taxi Association to vary hackney carriage fares with an implementation date of 23 July, 2018 (provided there are no objections).
  2. That, subject to the recommendation 1, the fare variation is advertised in the local press.
  3. That subject to no objections being received delegated authority is granted to the Director of Environment and Housing to agree the fare variation in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regulatory and Legal Services.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To allow the new proposed fares to be publically advertised. Under Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, if any objections are received to the public notice, these must be considered by Cabinet and any new fare tariff must come into effect within 2 months from the original implementation date. The implementation date has been recommended to allow for the Cabinet recess, and to remain within the statutory time limit.
  2. To vary hackney carriage fares it is necessary to give public notice in accordance with Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
  3. To permit the change in fares to be implemented if there are no objections received.

Background

  1. The Council may fix or vary the rate of fare for the hire of a hackney carriage under the provisions of Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976. The Section requires that any variation of the fare must be advertised in a local paper and that a period of notice of at least 14 days be given to enable any person to make objections.
  2. The current tariff of fares has been in place since 1 August 2011 and is shown in Appendix A.
  3. An application to increase the rate of hackney carriage fares was submitted to the Licensing Department by the Chairman of the Vale of Glamorgan Taxi Association on 15 March 2018.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Vale of Glamorgan Taxi Association's application proposes a mean increase of 7.45% across all tariffs. All other charges such as the waiting time and the charge for cleaning the interior of the vehicle remain the same. Full details of the request are shown in Appendix B.
  2. In support of the application, the Chairman of the Vale of Glamorgan Taxi Association states "the average rise that we are proposing is 7%. The last rise was 2011 that means we are requesting a rise of only 1% per year, I think you will agree this is not excessive, especially when you consider the rises in the cost of living, and the major rises in the running costs the Drivers and Operators now have to pay, ie. Parts, Fuel, Insurance etc"
  3. The following tables provide details of the current maximum fares within the Vale of Glamorgan with a comparison to the proposed tariff.

Tariff 1

Applies to vehicles carrying 1 to 4 passengers

Journey Length

Current

Proposed

Percentage increase

1 mile

£3.75

£4.00

6.7%

2 mile

£5.65

£6.00

6.2%

3 mile

£7.55

£8.00

6%

4 mile

£9.45

£10.00

5.8%

5 mile

£11.35

£12.00

5.7%

10 mile

£20.85

£22.00

5.5%

Tariff 2

Applies to vehicles carrying 1 to 4 passengers during the following times:

11.00pm to 6.00am every day. All day Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Journey Length

Current

Proposed

Percentage increase

1 mile

£4.10

£4.25

3.7%

2 mile

£6.30

£6.75

7.1%

3 mile

£8.50

£9.25

8.8%

4 mile

£10.70

£11.75

9.8%

5 mile

£12.90

£14.25

10.5%

10 mile

£23.90

£26.75

11.9%

Tariff 3

Applies to vehicles carrying 1 to 4 passengers during the following times:

6.00pm December 24 to 6.00am 27 December / 6.00pm December 31 to 6.00am 2 January

Journey Length

Current

Proposed

Percentage increase

1 mile

£5.60

£6.00

7.1%

2 mile

£8.40

£9.00

7.1%

3 mile

£11.20

£12.00

7.1%

4 mile

£14.00

£15.00

7.1%

5 mile

£16.80

£18.00

7.1%

10 mile

£30.80

£33.00

7.1%

Tariff 4

Applies to MPVs & Minibuses carrying 5 to 8 passengers

Journey Length

Current

Proposed

Percentage increase

1 mile

£4.50

£4.80

6.7%

2 mile

£6.90

£7.40

7.2%

3 mile

£9.30

£10.00

7.5%

4 mile

£11.70

£12.60

7.7%

5 mile

£14.10

£15.20

7.8%

10 mile

£26.10

£28.20

8%

Tariff 5

Applies to MPVs & Minibuses carrying 5 to 8 passengers during the following times:

11.00pm to 6.00am every day. All day Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Journey Length

Current

Proposed

Percentage increase

1 mile

£5.05

£5.30

5%

2 mile

£7.75

£8.30

7.1%

3 mile

£10.45

£11.30

8.1%

4 mile

£13.15

£14.30

8.7%

5 mile

£15.85

£17.30

9.1%

10 mile

£29.35

£32.30

10.1%

          

Tariff 6

Applies to MPVs & Minibuses carrying 5 to 8 passengers during the following times:

6.00pm December 24 to 6.00am 27 December / 6.00pm December 31 to 6.00am 2 January

Journey Length

Current

Proposed

Percentage increase

1 mile

£6.75

£7.20

6.7%

2 mile

£10.35

£11.10

7.2%

3 mile

£13.95

£15.00

7.5%

4 mile

£17.55

£18.90

7.7%

5 mile

£21.15

£22.80

7.8%

10 mile

£39.15

£42.30

8%

  1. For information the following table provides details of the daytime rate of the 2 mile fare currently authorised by the Council together with a comparison with the proposed fares and also the fares authorised by a sample of other licensing authorities:

Authority

Cost per 2 mile journey

Watford

£8.40

London

£7.80

Swindon

£6.70

Exeter

£6.60

South Gloucester

£6.40

Hereford

£6.30

Carmarthenshire

£6.00

Cardiff

£6.00

Proposed Tariff

£6.00

Newcastle upon Tyne

£5.80

Current Vale of Glamorgan Tariff

£5.65

Newport

£5.60

Gwynedd

£5.50

Rhondda Cynon Taff

£5.20

Denbighshire

£5.20

Swansea

£5.05

Bridgend

£4.90

Caerphilly

£4.80

Merthyr Tydfil

£4.50

Blaenau Gwent

£4.30

  1. The Vale of Glamorgan is currently in position 201 in the 2 mile fare league table out of 370 local authorities, as printed in the March 2018 edition of Private Hire & Taxi Monthly. The proposed increase would move the Vale of Glamorgan to 154 out of 370 local authorities.
  2. The proposed tariff increase is below the rate of inflation, as measured by Consumer Prices Index (CPI), over the period since the last increase. The level of inflation between August 2011 and February 2018 was 12.6%.
  3. The AA Fuel Price Report shows that the cost of diesel has decreased from a Wales average of 139.9p per litre in August 2011 to 124.2p per litre in February 2018, a decrease of 11%. Unleaded 95 Octane petrol has also decreased by 10% over the same period from 135.6p per litre in August 2011 to 121.4p per litre in February 2018.
  4. Consideration should be given to obtaining a balance between increasing the fare to compensate the increase of costs of running a hackney carriage, and ensuring that the increase does not deter the public from using hackney carriages.
  5. Should Cabinet 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 considered by the Cabinet before the variation is implemented.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. In accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, a public notice will be published in a local newspaper. As a cost neutral service, all associated costs will be met within existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. An increase in fares should assist hackney carriage operators with their vehicle running costs and should provide for increased levels of income for drivers/operators.  It is not felt that the levels of increases proposed would deter users from using hackney carriages.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. All decisions taken by or on behalf of the Council must (a) be within the legal powers of the Council; (b) comply with any procedural requirement imposed by law; (c) be within the powers of the body or person exercising powers on behalf of the Council; (d) be undertaken in accordance with the procedural requirements imposed by the Council e.g. standing orders and financial regulations; (e) be fully and properly informed; (f) be properly motivated; (g) be taken having regard to the Council's fiduciary duty to its taxpayers; and (h) be reasonable and proper in all the circumstances.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no equal opportunity implications as a direct result of this report

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Well-being Outcome 2: An environmentally responsible and prosperous Vale Objective 3: Promoting regeneration, economic growth and employment.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. If Cabinet decide to amend the fare tariff it will be necessary to give public notice in accordance with Section 65 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. Cabinet will then have to consider any objections that are received during the public notice period.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Environment and Regeneration

Background Papers

AA Fuel Price Report - August 2011

AA Fuel Price Report - February 2018

Private Hire and Taxi Monthly - Hackney Taxi Fare Tables

Contact Officer

Daniel Cook, Licensing Policy Officer, 01446 709105

Officers Consulted

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing Services