Licence fees for Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers are to be significantly lowered – and in some cases almost halved – after councillors agreed them earlier today (17 February).
The new charges for drivers, vehicles and operators, which will not come into effect until 1 April 2016, were approved by the Licensing and Public Protection Committee.
The reductions – many of which are around 30 per cent – have been made possible due to Licensing’s surplus balance, accrued over previous years.
The committee agreed to use £189,000 of its surplus in order to lower the fees for 2016/17 – with a new three-year Hackney Carriage driver licence reduced from £370 to £250 (down 32 per cent) and new private hire vehicle licence down from £250 to £128 (49 per cent).
Licence fees for Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers are reviewed annually by the council and may increase or decrease depending on the cost of delivering the service in the previous year and the amount on Licensing balances.
The fees are set at a level to ensure that the service achieves full cost recovery.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “I am pleased to be able to announce the proposed fee reductions for Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers.
“The new fees are based on a commitment we gave last year to reinvest a third of the carry forward balance each year from the taxi licensing account into the cost of licences.
“Our licence fees in Birmingham are now lower than in many surrounding local authorities and comparable core cities.”
Following the committee’s approval, Birmingham City Council must advertise the proposed fees in a local newspaper for 28 days and consider any objections it receives during that period.
If there are no objections, the revised charges will take effect from 1 April 2016.
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