Implementation of S167 lists of taxis - Previously a Mess

Doug Paulley made this Freedom of Information request to St Edmundsbury Borough Council as part of a batch sent to 5 authorities

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

The request was successful.

Dear St Edmundsbury Borough Council,

I am writing this Freedom of Information Request in relation to your Council's compliance or otherwise with the Government's statutory guidance on implementation of S165-167 of the Equality Act, relating to taxi services for wheelchair users. All taxi licensing bodies are obliged under S167(6) to have "due regard" to the document "Access for wheelchair users to taxis and private hire vehicles: statutory guidance" at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy... . The questions I raise below should be interpreted as requests for recorded information under the Freedom of Information Act.

I have previously made two similar requests to you, one in April 2017 and one in November 2017. I am now requesting an update to assess the impact of implementing this legislation, 12 months after it was commenced. Please note: this request is not identical to my previous requests and in any case asks for updated information as of the time of sending the request. It is therefore not appropriate to respond simply "see previous answer" or "situation unchanged".

Your handling of my previous FOI request on similar matters in November 2017 is still being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office. Please note: this is a separate request, submitted at a separate time, for information as held now rather than in November.

1) The Government guidance states: "Whilst LAs are under no specific legal obligation to maintain a list under section 167, the Government recommends strongly that they do so. Without such a list the requirements of section 165 of the Act do not apply, and drivers may continue to refuse the carriage of wheelchair users, fail to provide them with assistance, or to charge them extra."
Please can you indicate whether you have now implemented a list of wheelchair accessible taxis under your powers set out in Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010, and/or a list of wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles under your powers set out in Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010?

2) If you do now have such a list, please provide information in response to the following questions 2a) to 2j):
2a) On what date was it put in place?
2b) The statutory guidance states "The Government therefore recommends that a vehicle should only be included in the authority’s (S167) list if it would be possible for the user of a “reference wheelchair” to enter, leave and travel in the passenger compartment in safety and reasonable comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair."
Is this the definition you have used for a taxi or PHV to be considered wheelchair accessible for the purposes of the list?

2c) The statutory guidance states: "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."
Have you published your list? Is it marked "designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Act"? Is the make and model of each vehicle listed? Is each vehicle identified as a taxi or a private hire vehicle? Is the name of the operator of each vehicle given in the list? Have you made owners and drivers of vehicles on the list aware that their vehicle has been listed?

2d) The guidance states: "it would also be helpful to include information about the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and whether wheelchairs that are larger than a “reference wheelchair” can be accommodated."
Does your list include information on each vehicle as to the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and whether wheelchairs larger than a "reference wheelchair" can be accommodated?

2e) The guidance states: "We encourage LAs to provide drivers of taxis and PHVs who are not exempt from the duties with clear guidance on their duties with respect to the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs, either as part of existing driver-facing guidance, or as supplementary communication."
Have you provided non-exempt taxi/PHV drivers with such guidance?

2f) The guidance states: "We recommend that licensing authority rules for drivers are updated to make clear when a meter can and cannot be left running".
Have you updated such rules to make this clear?

2g) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables vehicle owners to appeal against the decision of a LA to include their vehicles on the designated list. That appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or in Scotland the sheriff, and must be made within 28 days of the vehicle in question being included on the LA’s published list."
Please tell me how many such applications have been made to the Magistrates Court, and how many have been successful.

2h) How many drivers has the authority prosecuted for discriminatory behaviour contrary to S165 of the Act? How many such prosecutions were successful? What were the sentences?

2i) How many drivers licensed by yourselves have been prosecuted by other people or bodies for failure to comply with S165 of the Act? How many such prosecutions were successful? What were the sentences?

2j) Where drivers have been prosecuted under S165 of the Act, thus affecting their standing as a "fit and proper person", what resultant disciplinary action have you taken in respect of their taxi or private hire vehicle drivers' licenses?

3) If you do not have a S167 list or lists now, please indicate if you still intend to produce such a list.

4) Irrespective of whether you have created a list or not or indeed whether you intend to create such a list, since 2010 you have been obliged to process applications under Section 166 of the Equality Act for driver medical exemptions from the duty to transport and not discriminate against wheelchair users. The Guidance states; "the Act allows LAs to grant exemptions from the duties to individual drivers. These provisions are contained in section 166, and were commenced on 1st October 2010."

4a) How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act 2010?

4b) The guidance states: "We understand that some licensing authorities have already put in place procedures for accessing and exempting drivers, and as an absolute minimum, we think that the evidence provided should be in the form of a letter or report from a general practitioner."
Do you accept or require a letter or report from a GP to process applications for driver exemption under S166?

4c) The guidance states: "The Government’s view is that decisions on exemptions will be fairer and more objective if medical assessments are undertaken by professionals who have been specifically trained and who are independent of the applicant. We would recommend that independent medical assessors are used where a long-term exemption is to be issued, and that LAs use assessors who hold appropriate professional qualifications and who are not open to bias because of a personal or commercial connection to the applicant"
Have you appointed independent medical assessors to determine applications for medical exemption under S166?

4d) Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption under S166.

4e) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables drivers to appeal against the decision of a LA not to issue an exemption certificate. That appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or a sheriff in Scotland, and must be made within 28 days beginning with the date of the refusal."
How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions have been heard?

4f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were successful?

5) The guidance states: "We would therefore recommend that LAs also publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchair into a seat within the vehicle. It should be made clear however that this list of vehicles has not been published for the purposes of section 165 of the Act and drivers of those vehicles are therefore not subject to the legal duties to provide assistance."
Do you currently publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchairs into a seat within the vehicle?

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

foi, St Edmundsbury Borough Council

Thank you for your request for information.

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prs.support, St Edmundsbury Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley

 

I refer to your request for information dated 3 May 2018. 

 

As you may be aware, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath
District Council are working together under the banner West Suffolk to
provide a shared service across the boundaries of both authorities. This
response is sent on behalf of the West Suffolk councils.

 

Request:

 

Dear Forest Heath District Council,

 

I am writing this Freedom of Information Request in relation to your
Council's compliance or otherwise with the Government's statutory guidance
on implementation of S165-167 of the Equality Act, relating to taxi
services for wheelchair users. All taxi licensing bodies are obliged under
S167(6) to have "due regard" to the document "Access for wheelchair users
to taxis and private hire vehicles: statutory guidance" at
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
. The questions I raise below should be interpreted as requests for
recorded information under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

I have previously made two similar requests to you, one in April 2017 and
one in November 2017. I am now requesting an update to assess the impact
of implementing this legislation, 12 months after it was commenced. Please
note: this request is not identical to my previous requests and in any
case asks for updated information as of the time of sending the request.
It is therefore not appropriate to respond simply "see previous answer" or
"situation unchanged".

 

Your handling of my previous FOI request on similar matters in November
2017 is still being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office.
Please note: this is a separate request, submitted at a separate time, for
information as held now rather than in November.

 

1) The Government guidance states: "Whilst LAs are under no specific legal
obligation to maintain a list under section 167, the Government recommends
strongly that they do so. Without such a list the requirements of section
165 of the Act do not apply, and drivers may continue to refuse the
carriage of wheelchair users, fail to provide them with assistance, or to
charge them extra."

Please can you indicate whether you have now implemented a list of
wheelchair accessible taxis under your powers set out in Section 167 of
the Equality Act 2010, and/or a list of wheelchair accessible private hire
vehicles under your powers set out in Section 167 of the Equality Act
2010?

 

2) If you do now have such a list, please provide information in response
to the following questions 2a) to 2j):

2a) On what date was it put in place?

2b) The statutory guidance states "The Government therefore recommends
that a vehicle should only be included in the authority’s (S167) list if
it would be possible for the user of a “reference wheelchair” to enter,
leave and travel in the passenger compartment in safety and reasonable
comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair."

Is this the definition you have used for a taxi or PHV to be considered
wheelchair accessible for the purposes of the list?

 

2c) The statutory guidance states: "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."

Have you published your list? Is it marked "designated for the purposes of
Section 165 of the Act"? Is the make and model of each vehicle listed? Is
each vehicle identified as a taxi or a private hire vehicle? Is the name
of the operator of each vehicle given in the list? Have you made owners
and drivers of vehicles on the list aware that their vehicle has been
listed?

 

2d) The guidance states: "it would also be helpful to include information
about the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and
whether wheelchairs that are larger than a “reference wheelchair” can be
accommodated."

Does your list include information on each vehicle as to the size and
weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and whether wheelchairs
larger than a "reference wheelchair" can be accommodated?

 

2e) The guidance states: "We encourage LAs to provide drivers of taxis and
PHVs who are not exempt from the duties with clear guidance on their
duties with respect to the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs, either
as part of existing driver-facing guidance, or as supplementary
communication."

Have you provided non-exempt taxi/PHV drivers with such guidance?

 

2f) The guidance states: "We recommend that licensing authority rules for
drivers are updated to make clear when a meter can and cannot be left
running".

Have you updated such rules to make this clear?

 

2g) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables vehicle owners to
appeal against the decision of a LA to include their vehicles on the
designated list. That appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or
in Scotland the sheriff, and must be made within 28 days of the vehicle in
question being included on the LA’s published list."

Please tell me how many such applications have been made to the
Magistrates Court, and how many have been successful.

 

2h) How many drivers has the authority prosecuted for discriminatory
behaviour contrary to S165 of the Act? How many such prosecutions were
successful? What were the sentences?

 

2i) How many drivers licensed by yourselves have been prosecuted by other
people or bodies for failure to comply with S165 of the Act? How many such
prosecutions were successful? What were the sentences?

 

2j) Where drivers have been prosecuted under S165 of the Act, thus
affecting their standing as a "fit and proper person", what resultant
disciplinary action have you taken in respect of their taxi or private
hire vehicle drivers' licenses?

 

3) If you do not have a S167 list or lists now, please indicate if you
still intend to produce such a list.

 

4) Irrespective of whether you have created a list or not or indeed
whether you intend to create such a list, since 2010 you have been obliged
to process applications under Section 166 of the Equality Act for driver
medical exemptions from the duty to transport and not discriminate against
wheelchair users. The Guidance states; "the Act allows LAs to grant
exemptions from the duties to individual drivers. These provisions are
contained in section 166, and were commenced on 1st October 2010."

 

4a) How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act
2010?

 

4b) The guidance states: "We understand that some licensing authorities
have already put in place procedures for accessing and exempting drivers,
and as an absolute minimum, we think that the evidence provided should be
in the form of a letter or report from a general practitioner."

Do you accept or require a letter or report from a GP to process
applications for driver exemption under S166?.

 

4c) The guidance states: "The Government’s view is that decisions on
exemptions will be fairer and more objective if medical assessments are
undertaken by professionals who have been specifically trained and who are
independent of the applicant. We would recommend that independent medical
assessors are used where a long-term exemption is to be issued, and that
LAs use assessors who hold appropriate professional qualifications and who
are not open to bias because of a personal or commercial connection to the
applicant"

Have you appointed independent medical assessors to determine applications
for medical exemption under S166?

 

4d) Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption
under S166.

 

4e) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables drivers to appeal
against the decision of a LA not to issue an exemption certificate. That
appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or a sheriff in Scotland,
and must be made within 28 days beginning with the date of the refusal."

How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions have been heard?

 

4f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were
successful?

 

5) The guidance states: "We would therefore recommend that LAs also
publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in
wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchair into a seat
within the vehicle. It should be made clear however that this list of
vehicles has not been published for the purposes of section 165 of the Act
and drivers of those vehicles are therefore not subject to the legal
duties to provide assistance."

Do you currently publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to
passengers in wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchairs
into a seat within the vehicle?

 

Dear St Edmundsbury Borough Council,

 

I am writing this Freedom of Information Request in relation to your
Council's compliance or otherwise with the Government's statutory guidance
on implementation of S165-167 of the Equality Act, relating to taxi
services for wheelchair users. All taxi licensing bodies are obliged under
S167(6) to have "due regard" to the document "Access for wheelchair users
to taxis and private hire vehicles: statutory guidance" at
[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
. The questions I raise below should be interpreted as requests for
recorded information under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

I have previously made two similar requests to you, one in April 2017 and
one in November 2017. I am now requesting an update to assess the impact
of implementing this legislation, 12 months after it was commenced. Please
note: this request is not identical to my previous requests and in any
case asks for updated information as of the time of sending the request.
It is therefore not appropriate to respond simply "see previous answer" or
"situation unchanged".

 

Your handling of my previous FOI request on similar matters in November
2017 is still being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office.
Please note: this is a separate request, submitted at a separate time, for
information as held now rather than in November.

 

1) The Government guidance states: "Whilst LAs are under no specific legal
obligation to maintain a list under section 167, the Government recommends
strongly that they do so. Without such a list the requirements of section
165 of the Act do not apply, and drivers may continue to refuse the
carriage of wheelchair users, fail to provide them with assistance, or to
charge them extra."

Please can you indicate whether you have now implemented a list of
wheelchair accessible taxis under your powers set out in Section 167 of
the Equality Act 2010, and/or a list of wheelchair accessible private hire
vehicles under your powers set out in Section 167 of the Equality Act
2010?

 

2) If you do now have such a list, please provide information in response
to the following questions 2a) to 2j):

2a) On what date was it put in place?

2b) The statutory guidance states "The Government therefore recommends
that a vehicle should only be included in the authority’s (S167) list if
it would be possible for the user of a “reference wheelchair” to enter,
leave and travel in the passenger compartment in safety and reasonable
comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair."

Is this the definition you have used for a taxi or PHV to be considered
wheelchair accessible for the purposes of the list?

 

2c) The statutory guidance states: "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."

Have you published your list? Is it marked "designated for the purposes of
Section 165 of the Act"? Is the make and model of each vehicle listed? Is
each vehicle identified as a taxi or a private hire vehicle? Is the name
of the operator of each vehicle given in the list? Have you made owners
and drivers of vehicles on the list aware that their vehicle has been
listed?

 

2d) The guidance states: "it would also be helpful to include information
about the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and
whether wheelchairs that are larger than a “reference wheelchair” can be
accommodated."

Does your list include information on each vehicle as to the size and
weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and whether wheelchairs
larger than a "reference wheelchair" can be accommodated?

 

2e) The guidance states: "We encourage LAs to provide drivers of taxis and
PHVs who are not exempt from the duties with clear guidance on their
duties with respect to the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs, either
as part of existing driver-facing guidance, or as supplementary
communication."

Have you provided non-exempt taxi/PHV drivers with such guidance?

 

2f) The guidance states: "We recommend that licensing authority rules for
drivers are updated to make clear when a meter can and cannot be left
running".

Have you updated such rules to make this clear?

 

2g) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables vehicle owners to
appeal against the decision of a LA to include their vehicles on the
designated list. That appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or
in Scotland the sheriff, and must be made within 28 days of the vehicle in
question being included on the LA’s published list."

Please tell me how many such applications have been made to the
Magistrates Court, and how many have been successful.

 

2h) How many drivers has the authority prosecuted for discriminatory
behaviour contrary to S165 of the Act? How many such prosecutions were
successful? What were the sentences?

 

2i) How many drivers licensed by yourselves have been prosecuted by other
people or bodies for failure to comply with S165 of the Act? How many such
prosecutions were successful? What were the sentences?

 

2j) Where drivers have been prosecuted under S165 of the Act, thus
affecting their standing as a "fit and proper person", what resultant
disciplinary action have you taken in respect of their taxi or private
hire vehicle drivers' licenses?

 

3) If you do not have a S167 list or lists now, please indicate if you
still intend to produce such a list.

 

4) Irrespective of whether you have created a list or not or indeed
whether you intend to create such a list, since 2010 you have been obliged
to process applications under Section 166 of the Equality Act for driver
medical exemptions from the duty to transport and not discriminate against
wheelchair users. The Guidance states; "the Act allows LAs to grant
exemptions from the duties to individual drivers. These provisions are
contained in section 166, and were commenced on 1st October 2010."

 

4a) How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act
2010?

 

4b) The guidance states: "We understand that some licensing authorities
have already put in place procedures for accessing and exempting drivers,
and as an absolute minimum, we think that the evidence provided should be
in the form of a letter or report from a general practitioner."

Do you accept or require a letter or report from a GP to process
applications for driver exemption under S166?

 

4c) The guidance states: "The Government’s view is that decisions on
exemptions will be fairer and more objective if medical assessments are
undertaken by professionals who have been specifically trained and who are
independent of the applicant. We would recommend that independent medical
assessors are used where a long-term exemption is to be issued, and that
LAs use assessors who hold appropriate professional qualifications and who
are not open to bias because of a personal or commercial connection to the
applicant"

Have you appointed independent medical assessors to determine applications
for medical exemption under S166?

 

4d) Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption
under S166.

 

4e) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables drivers to appeal
against the decision of a LA not to issue an exemption certificate. That
appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or a sheriff in Scotland,
and must be made within 28 days beginning with the date of the refusal."

How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions have been heard?

 

4f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were
successful?

 

5) The guidance states: "We would therefore recommend that LAs also
publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in
wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchair into a seat
within the vehicle. It should be made clear however that this list of
vehicles has not been published for the purposes of section 165 of the Act
and drivers of those vehicles are therefore not subject to the legal
duties to provide assistance."

Do you currently publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to
passengers in wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchairs
into a seat within the vehicle?

 

Response:

 

1) The Government guidance states: "Whilst LAs are under no specific legal
obligation to maintain a list under section 167, the Government recommends
strongly that they do so. Without such a list the requirements of section
165 of the Act do not apply, and drivers may continue to refuse the
carriage of wheelchair users, fail to provide them with assistance, or to
charge them extra."

Please can you indicate whether you have now implemented a list of
wheelchair accessible taxis under your powers set out in Section 167 of
the Equality Act 2010, and/or a list of wheelchair accessible private hire
vehicles under your powers set out in Section 167 of the Equality Act
2010?

 

Answer: Yes

 

2) If you do now have such a list, please provide information in response
to the following questions 2a) to 2j):

2a) On what date was it put in place?

 

Answer: 2/06/2017

 

2b) The statutory guidance states "The Government therefore recommends
that a vehicle should only be included in the authority’s (S167) list if
it would be possible for the user of a “reference wheelchair” to enter,
leave and travel in the passenger compartment in safety and reasonable
comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair."

Is this the definition you have used for a taxi or PHV to be considered
wheelchair accessible for the purposes of the list?

 

Answer: The list does not specify definitions however, in order for a
licensed vehicle from the list to qualify as wheelchair accessible, it has
to meet conditions in the handbook (for both authorities):

 

Passengers, regardless of any disability, must be able to get in and out
of the vehicle with reasonable ease and travel within it safely and in
reasonable comfort while remaining seated in their wheelchair, if so
required.

 

2c) The statutory guidance states: "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."

 

Answer: Yes

 

Have you published your list? Is it marked "designated for the purposes of
Section 165 of the Act"? Is the make and model of each vehicle listed? Is
each vehicle identified as a taxi or a private hire vehicle? Is the name
of the operator of each vehicle given in the list? Have you made owners
and drivers of vehicles on the list aware that their vehicle has been
listed?

 

Answer: Yes

 

2d) The guidance states: "it would also be helpful to include information
about the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and
whether wheelchairs that are larger than a “reference wheelchair” can be
accommodated."

Does your list include information on each vehicle as to the size and
weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated, and whether wheelchairs
larger than a "reference wheelchair" can be accommodated?

 

Answer: No

 

2e) The guidance states: "We encourage LAs to provide drivers of taxis and
PHVs who are not exempt from the duties with clear guidance on their
duties with respect to the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs, either
as part of existing driver-facing guidance, or as supplementary
communication."

Have you provided non-exempt taxi/PHV drivers with such guidance?

 

Answer: Yes

 

2f) The guidance states: "We recommend that licensing authority rules for
drivers are updated to make clear when a meter can and cannot be left
running".

Have you updated such rules to make this clear?

 

Answer: This will be updated before April 2019 on our new single council
policy

 

2g) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables vehicle owners to
appeal against the decision of a LA to include their vehicles on the
designated list. That appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or
in Scotland the sheriff, and must be made within 28 days of the vehicle in
question being included on the LA’s published list."

Please tell me how many such applications have been made to the
Magistrates Court, and how many have been successful.

 

Answer: None

 

2h) How many drivers has the authority prosecuted for discriminatory
behaviour contrary to S165 of the Act? How many such prosecutions were
successful? What were the sentences?

 

Answer: None

 

2i) How many drivers licensed by yourselves have been prosecuted by other
people or bodies for failure to comply with S165 of the Act? How many such
prosecutions were successful? What were the sentences?

 

Answer: None known to us

 

2j) Where drivers have been prosecuted under S165 of the Act, thus
affecting their standing as a "fit and proper person", what resultant
disciplinary action have you taken in respect of their taxi or private
hire vehicle drivers' licenses?

 

Answer: None (Not Applicable)

 

3) If you do not have a S167 list or lists now, please indicate if you
still intend to produce such a list.

 

Answer: Not Applicable

 

4) Irrespective of whether you have created a list or not or indeed
whether you intend to create such a list, since 2010 you have been obliged
to process applications under Section 166 of the Equality Act for driver
medical exemptions from the duty to transport and not discriminate against
wheelchair users. The Guidance states; "the Act allows LAs to grant
exemptions from the duties to individual drivers. These provisions are
contained in section 166, and were commenced on 1st October 2010."

 

4a) How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act
2010?

 

Answer: None

 

4b) The guidance states: "We understand that some licensing authorities
have already put in place procedures for accessing and exempting drivers,
and as an absolute minimum, we think that the evidence provided should be
in the form of a letter or report from a general practitioner."

Do you accept or require a letter or report from a GP to process
applications for driver exemption under S166?

 

Answer: Both letter and report

 

4c) The guidance states: "The Government’s view is that decisions on
exemptions will be fairer and more objective if medical assessments are
undertaken by professionals who have been specifically trained and who are
independent of the applicant. We would recommend that independent medical
assessors are used where a long-term exemption is to be issued, and that
LAs use assessors who hold appropriate professional qualifications and who
are not open to bias because of a personal or commercial connection to the
applicant"

Have you appointed independent medical assessors to determine applications
for medical exemption under S166?

 

Answer: No

 

4d) Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption
under S166.

 

Answer: See below link

 

[3]https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/Business/...

 

4e) The guidance states: "Section 172 of the Act enables drivers to appeal
against the decision of a LA not to issue an exemption certificate. That
appeal should be made to the Magistrate’s Court, or a sheriff in Scotland,
and must be made within 28 days beginning with the date of the refusal."

How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions have been heard?

 

Answer: None

 

4f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were
successful?

 

Answer: None Not Applicable

 

5) The guidance states: "We would therefore recommend that LAs also
publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in
wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchair into a seat
within the vehicle. It should be made clear however that this list of
vehicles has not been published for the purposes of section 165 of the Act
and drivers of those vehicles are therefore not subject to the legal
duties to provide assistance."

 

Do you currently publish a list of vehicles that are accessible to
passengers in wheelchairs who are able to transfer from their wheelchairs
into a seat within the vehicle?

 

Answer: Disabled access is marked on the lists with D

 

If you are unhappy with this response you may request an internal review
of this matter via the Council’s corporate complaints procedure.

 

If, after an internal review, you are still unhappy with the decision, you
have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at the following
address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745

Fax: 01625 524 510

Email: [4][email address]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

FOI Co-ordinator

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear St Edmundsbury Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Implementation of S167 lists of taxis - Previously a Mess'.

1) For both licensing and freedom of information purposes, you are still two separate bodies. I still require separate responses to the two separate FOI requests I sent to you and the separate body Forest Heath.

2) In your response, you indicated that your S167 list is marked "designated for the purposes of
Section 165 of the Act". It doesn't seem to be, at https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/Business/... . I think the information you have provided is thus incorrect.

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

foi, St Edmundsbury Borough Council

Thank you for your request for information.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council are working together to share services across West Suffolk with all staff working across both Councils' boundaries.

Please note:

* We record requests for information which cannot be found in the council's available sources on our website*. Check our website<http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/>:
* Open Data<http://data.westsuffolk.gov.uk/>
* Planning applications - view current and historic planning applications<http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/planning/v...>
* Licensing registers<http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/business/r...>
* Waste service/bins<http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/bins/>
* we will contact you if we require clarification to process your request
* the 20 working days allowed for replying to requests does not include Bank Holidays

* data relating to the following is not held by West Suffolk. Requests should be resubmitted to Suffolk County Council<https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/about/freedom...>

* roads and transport
* children, families, learning/schools
* adult social care and health
* public health in Suffolk

Customer Services
www.westsuffolk.gov.uk<http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk>
Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough councils

Report, pay and apply online 24 hours a day<http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/doit/index...>

******************************************************************* This email is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error please contact the Sender. This footnote confirms that this email message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses and content security threats. WARNING: Although the Council has taken reasonable precautions to ensure no viruses are present in this email, the Council cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email or attachments. ********************************************************-W-S-

prs.support, St Edmundsbury Borough Council

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley

 

I refer to your request for information dated 14 May
2018.                                . 

 

As you may be aware, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath
District Council are working together under the banner West Suffolk to
provide a shared service across the boundaries of both authorities.  This
response is sent on behalf of the West Suffolk councils.

 

Request:

 

Dear St Edmundsbury Borough Council,

 

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

 

I am writing to request an internal review of St Edmundsbury Borough
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Implementation of S167 lists of
taxis - Previously a Mess'.

 

1) For both licensing and freedom of information purposes, you are still
two separate bodies. I still require separate responses to the two
separate FOI requests I sent to you and the separate body Forest Heath.

 

2) In your response, you indicated that your S167 list is marked
"designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Act". It doesn't seem
to be, at
[1]https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/Business/...
. I think the information you have provided is thus incorrect.

 

Dear Forest Heath District Council,

 

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

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Forest Heath District
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Implementation of S167 lists of
taxis - Previously a Mess'.

 

1) For both licensing and freedom of information purposes, you are still
two separate bodies. I still require separate responses to the two
separate FOI requests I sent to you and the separate body St Edmundsbury
council.

 

2) In your response, you indicated that your S167 list is marked
"designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Act". It doesn't seem
to be, at
[2]https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/Business/...
. I think the information you have provided is thus incorrect.

 

 

Response:

 

 

St Edmundsbury Borough Council

 

1)   Separate responses from each Authority are attached under FOI number
55.

 

 

2)   The list has been combined into one and the link has changed which
does state ‘"designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Act".

 

[3]https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/Business/...

 

 

Forest Heath District Council

 

1)   Separate responses from each Authority are attached under FOI number
55.

 

2)   The list has been combined into one and the link has changed which
does state ‘"designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Act".

 

[4]https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/Business/...

 

 

If you are unhappy with this response you may request an internal review
of this matter via the Council’s corporate complaints procedure. 

 

If, after an internal review, you are still unhappy with the decision, you
have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at the following
address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire  SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745

Fax: 01625 524 510

Email: [5][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

FOI Coordinator

 

 

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