Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council

Private hire operator fees consultation

Starts: 19 November 2015
Ends: 16 December 2015

Have your say on the fee proposals for private hire operators' licences

Overview

A private hire operators' licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for private hire vehicles.

Operators apply annually to this local authority for the renewal of their licence and due to changes in legislation the way that this local authority deals with applications and the appropriate fee will need to change.

The Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent on the 26 March 2015 and amends two sections of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 that deal with the granting of licences to taxi and private hire drivers and operators' licences. The new legislation affecting the taxi and private hire trade came into force on the 1 October 2015.

Section 53 and 55 changes the law in such a way as to establish a standard duration of three years for taxi and private hire drivers licences and five years for an operators licence.

As a result of these changes the local authority needs to consider a revised fee structure for the private hire operators licences, in order to take into consideration that licences must now be issued for the statutory five year period, except in circumstances of an individual case.

The fees that may be charged for licences are governed by legislation which requires that the council sets fees intended to recover up to its reasonable costs and does not charge a fee which is intended to make a profit. The council may therefore seek to charge less than cost, but not seek to charge more than cost. If less it would need to be funded from the general reserves and in the current climate no such funds have been identified.

Proposals

A full review has been undertaken in order to ascertain the level of fee that should be set for a new/renewal application for a private hire operators' licences. This review has been undertaken using the guidance and toolkit provided by the Institute of Licensing for assisting local authorities with setting fees.

Changes agreed in the fees will take effect on the 20 December 2015, or a later date to be agreed. 

No individual circumstances have been identified where it would be appropriate to offer a licence for a lesser period.

It is proposed that all operators pay a standard fee for the application/grant of a licence and a separate element is applied based upon the number of vehicles registered with each company.

It is proposed to offer the option to pay the 5 year licence by annual instalments for an additional fee. 

It is also proposed that the fee for the Disclosure and Barring Certificate (DBS) should be reduced to the sum recharged by the DBS service; the local authority administration fee for processing these applications has now been included within the proposed new operator licence application fee.

Proposed fees

Operator renewal 5 year licences
Number of vehicles
Fee 5 year licence (£)
5 Year fee per vehicle band (£)
Total (£)

 0  1,450.00  0  1,450.00

 1 1,450.00  75.00  1,525.00

 2 - 5
1,450.00  150.00  1,600.00

 6 - 20
1,450.00  300.00  1,750.00

 21 - 50
1,450.00  600.00  2,050.00

 51 - 100
1,450.00  1,200.00  2,650.00

 101 - 200
1,450.00  2,400.00  3,850.00

 201 - 300
1,450.00  4,800.00  6,250.00

 301 - 400
1,450.00  9,600.00  11,050.00

 401+
1,450.00  19,200.00 20.650.00

 Payment arrangement fee


 50.00

 New private hire operators' licence
 1,550.00


 Disclosure Barring certificate


 44.00

The Licensing Department is making all known operators aware of the changes in the law and invites you to provide comments on its proposals for fee changes.

Next steps

The consultation findings will be presented to the Licensing Committee and will be used to inform their decision later this year for a decision on the fees.

Further information

For help, or further information, please contact us:

Licensing Team
The Guildhall,
St. Giles Square
Northampton
NN1 1DE

Telephone: 01604 838393

Email: licensing@northampton.gov.uk

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