Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

Doug Paulley made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Luton Borough Council as part of a batch sent to 312 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Luton Borough Council,

1) Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a list of wheelchair accessible:
a) taxis
and
b) private hire vehicles
under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010.

2) Please identify how many a) taxi and b) PHV drivers have applied for medical / physical impairment exemption under S166 of the Equality Act 2010 since S166 was commenced. If you've created a list under S167, please identify how many of the exemptions were in place before S167 and how many have been put in since.

3) Please state whether you voluntarily compiled a list of accessible taxis and private hire vehicles following the Department for Transport's guidance of 15th September 2010, which stated, in relation to section 167, “although the list of designated vehicles will have no actual effect in law until the duties are commenced, we would urge licensing authorities to start maintaining a list as soon as possible for the purpose of liaising with the trade and issuing exemption certificates”. If you did produce such a voluntary list, please indicate when you did so, and provide the current list.

If you have produced a list of wheelchair accessible taxis and/or private hire vehicles under S167, or are going to, please tell me the following.

4) The date the list was instated or by which you intend to do so.

5) The accessibility requirements of a taxi for it to appear on the list.

6) How you intend to enforce drivers' compliance with S165.

7) The list.

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Dear Luton Borough Council,

Please can I check that you have received and are processing my FOI request?

I'm a bit concerned as it's been 3 weeks since I sent it and you haven't acknowledged you've received it. WhatDoTheyKnow's mail server logs show that the email containing my request was successfully received by your email server, but that doesn't mean a human has actually read it.

Please put my mind at rest?

thank you

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

LBC Feedback, Luton Borough Council

THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS NOT SECURE FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF UNENCRYPTED SENSITIVE DATA

Dear Mr Paulley,

I confirm that Luton Council have received your request and the allocated reference number is 968756. We are aiming to respond to within the 20 day response timescale, which is the 18.05.17. If this is not possible, then we will send you a progress update.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely
LBC Feedback
Luton Council
Tel: 01582 546398

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear LBC Feedback,

Please tell me what is happening with my FOI request now that the 20 working days has past.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

LBC Feedback, Luton Borough Council

THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS NOT SECURE FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF UNENCRYPTED SENSITIVE DATA

Dear Mr Paulley,

Sincerest apologies for the delay. I will chase this up and update you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Yours sincerely
LBC Feedback
Luton Council
Tel: 01582 546398

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

LBC Feedback, Luton Borough Council

THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS NOT SECURE FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF UNENCRYPTED SENSITIVE
DATA

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Further to your request for information of 19th April, please accept my
apologies for the delay in responding to you. I can confirm that we do
hold most of this information, and provide it below:-

 

1.            The Councils Policy is that all Hackney Carriage vehicles
are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) and all 170 vehicles are listed
on our register. We currently do not hold the  information for Private
Hire Vehicles as this was not required previously.

 

2.            We have not received any requests for medical exemptions

 

3.            The provisions for WAV Taxis have been in place in Luton
since the conditions were first approved in the 1980s so this predated the
DfT advice in 2010 but a list was published on the 21st April 2017
[1]http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Busines...

 under the downloads section of the web page.

 

4.            See point 3 above

 

5.            The provisions for WAV vehicles are set out in the councils
policy at page 70 and we are following the DfT guidance that for any other
vehicle to be designated on the list it must be capable of carrying some –
but not necessarily all – types of occupied wheelchairs.
[2]http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Lists/L...

 

 

6.            The service undertakes evidence based compliance and
enforcement work so enforcement will be on a case by case basis. 

 

7.            See point 3 above

 

Please note that under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC
Directive) Regulations 2003 Luton Council ask not to receive unsolicited
marketing communications.

 

You are free to use the information provided for your own purposes,
including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes
of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
requires the permission of the copyright holder. You may apply for
permission to re-use this information by submitting a request to
[3][email address]

 

Detailed advice about the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations
(PSI) 2005 is available from the Office of Public Sector Information at:
 [4]Office of public Sector Information

 

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request(s), you can ask
for a review of how we have handled it, by contacting us at the address
above or by contacting emailing us at [5][email address],uk

Please set out any specific concerns you have. If you have any other
queries or concerns then please contact us using the above details. Please
quote the reference number provided above when contacting us.

 

Should you remain unhappy with our response after we have reviewed it, you
can refer your concerns to the Information Commissioner Further
information on the Freedom of Information Act is available through the
Information Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

Internet: [6]www.ICO.org.uk

 

Kind regards

 

Frances Bogie

Information Governance Officer

Business Intelligence Unit

Luton Borough Council

Town Hall, 1st Floor Annexe LU1 2BQ

Phone; 01582 548678

Email: [email address]

www.luton.gov.uk

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Luton Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Luton Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010'.

I asked:

"1) Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a list of wheelchair accessible:
a) taxis
and
b) private hire vehicles
under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010."

Your response - "The Councils Policy is that all Hackney Carriage vehicles are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) and all 170 vehicles are listed on our register. We currently do not hold the information for Private Hire Vehicles as this was not required previously." - doesn't provide the information I am asking, and your list at http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Lists/L... doesn't appear to meet the requirements of S167.

The DFT's statutory guidance has this to say about S167: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

"Before drivers can be subject to the duties under section 165 of the Act, the LA must first publish their list of designated vehicles, and clearly mark it as ‘designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act’. LAs should ensure that their designated lists are made easily available to passengers, and that vehicle owners and drivers are made aware. Lists should set out the details of the make and model of the vehicle, together with specifying whether the vehicle is a taxi or private hire vehicle, and stating the name of operator."

Do you have a list clearly marked "designated for the purposes of section 165 of the Act", does it solely hold wheelchair accessible vehicles, is it published, does it include the make, model, license type (taxi or PHV) and the name of the operator? If you do then you have a S167 list. If you don't then you don't have a S167 list, and taxi drivers in your area are not subject to the obligations set out in S165 of the Act. I have to say that because the current list doesn't meet these requirements, I think it is unlikely you have such a list, in which case please tell me when you will?

Whilst you state you don't currently have a S167 list of PHVs, you haven't stated whether or not you currently intend to make one. I know that the DFT are strongly advising local authorities to produce S167 lists, including of PHVs. so are you doing so?

In response to my question about enforcement of S165, you state "The service undertakes evidence based compliance and enforcement work so enforcement will be on a case by case basis." This is not the case unless you have a fully compliant and designated S167 list. If you don't have such a list then S165 does not apply in your area at all.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

LBC Feedback, Luton Borough Council

THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS NOT SECURE FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF UNENCRYPTED SENSITIVE
DATA

 

Dear Mr.Paulley,

 

Thank you for you email requesting a review on the  FOl : 968756. A
response is due to reach you by 20 working days. The Due response date is
: 30/06/2017

 

Information Governance Assistant, Business Intelligence

Luton Borough Council

Town Hall, George Street, Luton LU1 2BQ

Email:  [1][email address]

 

 

 

[2]LutonLogo

IMPORTANT: Luton Borough Council routinely monitors the content of e-mail
sent and received by its e-mail systems, to ensure compliance with its
policies and procedures. Messages that breach policy or pose a threat may
be quarantined or deleted. Scanning of this message and addition of this
footer is performed by MailMarshal Secure Email Gateway in conjunction
with virus detection software. The Council is not responsible for any
changes made to the message after it has been sent. This message is
intended only for the addressee. Any unauthorised copying or distribution
may be unlawful. If you have received this email in error please notify
the originator of the message and then delete this message from your
system.

Website: [3]www.luton.gov.uk

Sign up to receive important updates on council
services: [4]luton.gov.uk/emailupdates

[5]Twitter Follow us on Twitter: @Lutoncouncil

[6]Facebook Like us on Facebook: Luton Council

[7]Think Green Before printing, please think about the ENVIRONMENT!

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.luton.gov.uk/
4. http://www.luton.gov.uk/emailupdates

Dear LBC Feedback,

How is the internal review of this request progressing please?

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Dear LBC Feedback,

I am keen to complete my research; please can you conduct your internal review as soon as practicable? Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Dear Luton Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I have requested the ICO conduct a S50 assessment in the following terms.

"Dear ICO

Please conduct a S50 assessment of this request:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

on the following bases.

1) The information they have provided is not the information I
requested.

2) They haven't conducted an internal review and 20 working days have
passed.

Thank you

Doug Paulley"

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Collins, Tracy (GCSx),

Dear Sir,

 

I can confirm the Council are undertaking a review of your request and a
response will be with you by 14/07/17.

 

Regards

 

Tracy Collins

Information Governance Officer

Information Governance Team

Business Intelligence

Luton Borough Council

Town Hall

Luton

LU1 2BQ

 

IMPORTANT: This transmission is intended for the named addressee(s) only,
may contain sensitive or protectively marked material up to RESTRICTED and
should be handled accordingly.
Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the
addressee) you may not copy, use, or disclose to anyone else. 
All traffic will be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance
with relevant legislation and Luton Borough Council's policies and
procedures. 
Messages that breach policy or  pose a threat may be quarantined or
deleted. 
Scanning of this message and addition of this footer is performed by
MailMarshal Email Security software in conjunction with virus detection
software. 
The Council is not responsible for any changes made to the message after
it has been sent. 
If you have received this transmission in error please notify the sender
immediately using the reply option to this e-mail then delete this message
from your system.

Dear Collins, Tracy (GCSx),

... for an internal review request I made on 1st June, for a request that was completely mishandled from day 1.

I submitted requests to all the taxi and PHV licensing bodies in Great Britain. I have to wonder why Luton council has failed to respond adequately to my request, given that 330+ have responded in full, including those that went to internal review. Doubtless the ICO will reach the same determination.

Luton's failure to comply with their obligations under the Act and delay in completing the internal review is exceptional, unacceptable and has caused me inconvenience.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Collins, Tracy (GCSx),

Dear Sir.

I  confirm I have undertaken a review of your Freedom of Information
request. I am satisfied the Council's response on 1 June 2017 has provided
you with all the information we hold. This is relevant to questions 2 to
7.

As already notified we do not hold the information to question 1.

In response to your question enclosed with your review request 1 June
2017;

"1) Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a
list of wheelchair accessible:
a) taxis
and
b) private hire vehicles
under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010."

I can confirm the following response;

1) a) Yes
1) b)  The Council do not hold this information.

If you remain unhappy after the conclusion of the Council’s internal
complaints procedure, you may apply to the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Collins
Complaint & Information Governance Officer
Information Governance Team
Business Intelligence
Luton Borough Council
Town Hall
Luton
LU1 2BQ

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Collins, Tracy (GCSx),

I have requested that the ICO conduct a S50 assessment, on the following basis.

Dear ICO

Further to my request below, Luton have now claimed to have completed
an Internal Review, but I remain dissatisfied on the following basis.

In my original request of 19th April, my first element was as follows.

> 1) Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to
> produce, a list of wheelchair accessible:
> a) taxis
> and
> b) private hire vehicles
> under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010.

They responded, belatedly, on 1st June:

> The Councils Policy is that all Hackney Carriage vehicles
> are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) and all 170 vehicles are listed
> on our register. We currently do not hold the information for Private
> Hire Vehicles as this was not required previously.

This doesn't provide the information I requested, however. It doesn't
indicate whether they have produced, or currently intend to produce, a
S167 list of wheelchair accessible taxis or of private hire vehicles.

In response to my request for internal review they (eventually, very
belatedly) responded:

> As already notified we do not hold the information to question 1.
>
> In response to your question enclosed with your review request 1 June
> 2017;
>
> "1) Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a
> list of wheelchair accessible:
> a) taxis
> and
> b) private hire vehicles
> under the powers set out in S167 of the Equality Act 2010."
>
> I can confirm the following response;
>
> 1) a) Yes
> 1) b) The Council do not hold this information.

This simply doesn't make sense. The "question enclosed with your
review request 1 June 2017" as quoted by them was, word for word,
question 1 in my original request. It wasn't new, it was one and the
same thing.

I therefore do not have any confidence that their belated Internal
Review was in any way completed properly or thoroughly.

I still don't feel that they have provided the information I
requested.

The problem is that the list they provided in response to my request
for their S167 list does not comply with the technical requirements of
S167 lists as specified by the statutory guidance produced by the
Department for Transport. Unless and until they create a list that is
compliant with the DFT's guidance, they haven't produced a S167 list;
and they have therefore supplied me incorrect information.

The authority is obliged to have due regard to the guidance, under
S167(6) and (7) of the Equality Act 2010, which states:

> The Secretary of State may issue guidance to licensing authorities as to—
>
> (a) the accessibility requirements which they should apply for the
> purposes of this section;
>
> (b) any other aspect of their functions under or by virtue of this
> section.
>
> (7) A licensing authority which maintains a list under subsection
> (1) must have regard to any guidance issued under subsection (6).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010...

I attach the Statutory Guidance. In Section 1.2 it confirms it is
statutory guidance to which authorities must have regard:

> This is a statutory guidance document, issued under section 167(6)
> of the Equality Act 2010 and constitutes the Secretary of State’s
> formal guidance to LAs in England, Wales and Scotland on the
> application of sections 165 to 167 of the Equality Act 2010. LAs
> must have regard to this guidance document.

Sections 3.9 and 3.10 of the Guidance state:

> Before drivers can be subject to the duties under section 165 of the
> Act, the LA must first publish their list of designated vehicles,
> and clearly mark it as ‘designated for the purposes of section 165
> of the Act’.

> LAs should ensure that their designated lists are made easily
> available to passengers, and that vehicle owners and drivers are
> made aware. Lists should set out the details of the make and model
> of the vehicle, together with specifying whether the vehicle is a
> taxi or private hire vehicle, and stating the name of operator.

The list they provided, at
http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Lists/L...
,

a) isn't marked "designated for the purposes of section 165 of the
Act"

b) doesn't list the make of the vehicle

c) doesn't list the model of the vehicle

d) doesn't list whether the vehicles are taxis or private hire
vehicles

e) doesn't state the name of the operator.

This does not comply with the obligations of S165 or S167 of the Act,
or with the Statutory Guidance. It isn't a valid S167 list.

I would suggest that the accurate response to my request for
information as to whether they currently have a S167 taxi list is
"no", whether they intend to have a list is "no" and for a copy of the
list should be "information not held". I say this because I
specifically asked for was the S167 list of taxis. What they provided
was not a S167 list of taxis.

They didn't respond to my request for information as to whether they
intend to create a S167 list of Private Hire Vehicles; they said
"information not held". They should have recorded information on this
as they are legally obliged to have due regard to the attached
guidance, which strongly suggests that they should have a S167 list of
private hire vehicles and that they should have a process in place to
create it by the end of September 2017. 350+ other authorities have
provided this information - recorded in licensing committee papers,
taxi operator newsletters and the like.

These fundamental issues mean that the information Luton has provided
to me in response to my FOI request is not the information I
requested. They have failed to comply with S1 of the Act in that they
have not provided the information I requested, stated that it didn't
exist or cited a relevant exemption (or any combination of these for
the various elements of my request.)

They also breached the timescale for responding to my request, and
they haven't complied with the complaints procedure or recommended
timetables as set out in your statutory code.

I would also argue that the timing and manner of their responses
constitutes a failure to offer me assistance and in general co-operate
with my attempt to secure relevant information from them, as required
by S16.

Please conduct a S50 assessment.

Thank you

Doug Paulley

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Bogie, Frances (GCSx),

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Further to your complaint to the ICO, they have asked us to provide you
with the response we gave them. Please see below the response in relation
to the specific questions they asked us.  

 

 

Q1. Please clarify whether the Council holds an S167 compliant list which
matches the criteria above. Due to the time lapse since the request, can
you confirm your position at the date of the request (19 April 2017) and
currently. The Council does not hold this information. We did not and do
not hold a s167 compliant list. This is why we responded to the first
question of the original request to say we do not hold this information.

 

Q2. If the answer to Q1 is no, the complainant asks if and when you plan
to produce a S167 list. In terms of the FOIA you will need to answer this
question if you have recorded your intention in any way, for example in
meeting minutes or a planning document. It would also be helpful in terms
of resolving the case if you could provide an answer to this question. 

 

We do not hold this information. For clarity, there is no recorded
decision to produce this list. it is the intention of the authority to
compile this list and we have amended the application forms to gather this
information and are consulting on updating our Hackney Carriage Policy.
The list will be produced once this information is gathered. There is no
set date for the production of the list.       

Q3. Please review your response to “6). How you intend to enforce drivers'
compliance with S165?” and provide all recorded information you have in
relation to this question. We do not hold this information as we do not
enforce under s165. We provided Mr Paulley with information on our
approach to enforcement under other legislation, which is carried out on
an case by case basis.

For the sake of completeness, I re-produce our original response to Mr
Paulley’s request for information:-

I can confirm that we do hold most of this information, and provide it
below:-

1.            The Councils Policy is that all Hackney Carriage vehicles
are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) and all 170 vehicles are listed
on our register. We currently do not hold the  information for Private
Hire Vehicles as this was not required previously.

 

2.            We have not received any requests for medical exemptions

 

3.            The provisions for WAV Taxis have been in place in Luton
since the conditions were first approved in the 1980s so this predated the
DfT advice in 2010 but a list was published on the 21st April 2017
[1]http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Busines...

 under the downloads section of the web page.

 

4.            See point 3 above

 

5.            The provisions for WAV vehicles are set out in the councils
policy at page 70 and we are following the DfT guidance that for any other
vehicle to be designated on the list it must be capable of carrying some –
but not necessarily all – types of occupied wheelchairs.
[2]http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Lists/L...

 

6.            The service undertakes evidence based compliance and
enforcement work so enforcement will be on a case by case basis. 

 

7.            See point 3 above

It was our intention in this response to assist Mr Paulley with the
relevant information which we do hold. The statutory guidance to produce a
s167 list, is guidance; there is no duty to compile such a list.  As we
had not and have not produced that list, there are no exemptions which we
sort to rely on or do seek to rely on now. We did not and do not hold the
requested information.  

I trust that this assists you.

 

Kind regards

 

Frances Bogie

Information Governance Officer

Business Intelligence Unit

Luton Borough Council

Town Hall, 1^st Floor Annexe LU1 2BQ

Phone; 01582 548678

Email: [3][email address]

[4]www.luton.gov.uk

 

 

IMPORTANT: This transmission is intended for the named addressee(s) only,
may contain sensitive or protectively marked material up to RESTRICTED and
should be handled accordingly.
Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the
addressee) you may not copy, use, or disclose to anyone else. 
All traffic will be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance
with relevant legislation and Luton Borough Council's policies and
procedures. 
Messages that breach policy or  pose a threat may be quarantined or
deleted. 
Scanning of this message and addition of this footer is performed by
MailMarshal Email Security software in conjunction with virus detection
software. 
The Council is not responsible for any changes made to the message after
it has been sent. 
If you have received this transmission in error please notify the sender
immediately using the reply option to this e-mail then delete this message
from your system.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Busines...
2. http://www.luton.gov.uk/Business/Lists/L...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.luton.gov.uk/