Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

The request was successful.

Dear Isle of Anglesey 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

FOI, Isle of Anglesey Council

Thank you for your recent request for information from the Isle of Anglesey County Council.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, we aim to respond to your request within 20 working days. In some instances we may be unable to achieve this deadline, in which case we will advise you of the likely timescale within which the response will be provided.

Beryl Jones
Swyddog Gwybodaeth Corfforaethol a Chwynion – Adain Gyfreithiol, Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn
Corporate Information and Complaints Officer- Legal Section, Isle of Anglesey County Council

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John E. Lloyd,

Mr Paulley,

 

We would like to confirm receipt of your Freedom of Information Act
concerning:

 

‘Freedom of Information request - Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167
Equality Act 2010’

 

We are in the process of obtaining advice from our Freedom of Information
Officer as to what information we are legally allowed to release, and a
file containing this information will be prepared for you. Also within
this file will be a statement indicating the reasons why any information
has been omitted (if applicable).

 

We shall notify you when this information is available, being within 20
working days from receipt of your request, that day being 22/5/17.

 

Regards

 

 

John Lloyd

Uwch Swyddog Gorfodaeth Safonau Masnach / Senior Trading Standards
Enforcement Officer

Cyngor Sir Ynys Mon/Isle of Anglesey County Council

Swyddfa'r Sir/Council Offices

Llangefni

Ynys Mon / Isle of Anglesey

LL77 7TW

Ffon/Tel: 01248 752840

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Dear John E. Lloyd,

Where is your response to my FOI request please? The 20 working days have passed.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

FOI, Isle of Anglesey Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

Further to your request and your complaint to the ICO please see attached
response.

 

Please accept my apologies for the late response but having made
enquiries, the information had been collated on the 8th May and forwarded
to  a senior officer for checking but unfortunately that officer has been
away from the office and the e-mail inbox un - monitored, hence the delay.

 

I trust that the attached answers your request but if you are dissatisfied
with any aspect of this response to your request for information, and / or
the decision made to withhold information, you may ask for an internal
review.  Please address your correspondence to the Customer Care Officer,
Legal Services, Council Offices, Llangefni, Ynys Môn LL77 7TW (e-mail:
[email address])

 

If you are not content with the outcome of any internal review you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF.  Please note that the Information
Commissioner is likely to expect internal review procedures to have been
exhausted before beginning his investigation.

 

Regards

 

 

Beryl Jones

Swyddog Gwybodaeth Corfforaethol a Chwynion

Corporate Information & Complaints Officer

Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn / Isle of Anglesey County Council

 

[1]cymraeg_ysgrifennwch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Isle of Anglesey Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Isle of Anglesey 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 - "A list was compiled on the 3rd of March 2011 and published on the Council’s website" - doesn't provide the information I am asking.

The DFT's statutory guidance, to which all taxi licensing bodies are legally required to have "due regard", has this to say about S167: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

"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."

"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. Your list on your website, supplied in respose to Q7, does not comply with these requirements. I have to say that I think it is unlikely you have a S167 list, in which case please tell me when you will?

In response to my request,

"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."

you responded

"Records not held - For the purpose of Section 1 FOIA 2000, we hold no information relevant to your request."

Since 2010 you are legally obliged to have had a process by which taxi drivers could apply for exemption from the duty to assist wheelchair users and not to discriminate against them (even though that duty was not in place at that time.) S166 of the Equality Act:

"(1)A licensing authority must issue a person with a certificate exempting the person from the duties imposed by section 165 (an “exemption certificate”) if satisfied that it is appropriate to do so—

"(a)on medical grounds, or

"(b)on the ground that the person's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to comply with those duties."

You are obliged to hold a record as to certificates you have issued under this process. If you mean that contrary to your obligation under the Act, you didn't have sucha process, or that you did but you didn't issue any certificates, please simply state this. However claiming you don't hold this information is frankly claiming that you haven't complied with the Act over the last 7 years.

In response to Q3 you state that you compiled a voluntary list of wheelchair accessible vehicles. However the list you have pointed me to isn't a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles; it is a list of operators together with an indication of whether or not that taxi operator has any wheelchair accessible taxis. That's not a list created under the 2010 DFT guidance, which is what I asked about.

In response to my question:

"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 date the list was instated or by which you intend to do so."

you responded:

"3rd March 2011"

That can't possibly be correct. S167 of the Equality Act was only commenced on the 6th April 2017. It is thus not possible to have created "a list of wheelchair accessible taxis and/or private hire vehicles under S167" before that date.

In response to my request "How you intend to enforce drivers' compliance with S165" you responded Regular Enforcement visits and checks.about enforcement" 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

FOI, Isle of Anglesey Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

Please see attached letter confirming that your request for and Internal
Review has been registered.

 

Regards

 

 

Beryl Jones

Swyddog Gwybodaeth Corfforaethol a Chwynion

Corporate Information & Complaints Officer

Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn / Isle of Anglesey County Council

 

[1]cymraeg

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Isle of Anglesey Council,

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

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

I requested an internal review of this request, some time ago. Please can you tell me what is happening with my request for an internal review? I want to complete my research. Thank you.

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

FOI, Isle of Anglesey Council

3 Attachments

  • Attachment

    RE Internal review of Freedom of Information request Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010.html

    16K Download

  • Attachment

    image001.jpg

    3K Download

  • Attachment

    02 acknowledgement.doc

    60K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Paulley,

Please see message sent to you on 7.6.17.

The Internal Review will be conducted as soon as it is possible to do so.

Regards

Beryl Jones
Swyddog Gwybodaeth Corfforaethol a Chwynion
Corporate Information & Complaints Officer
Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn / Isle of Anglesey County Council

01248 752588

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Dear FOI,

Yes, I got your message.

Here's what the ICO has to say about the time taken to respond to internal reviews.

"The spirit of the Code is that internal reviews should be completed as soon as possible. For example:
• a complaints procedure should be designed to allow prompt determination of complaints (para 39)
• target times should be set for dealing with complaints (para 42).
• the code also recommends that the target times are reviewed regularly and that each authority should publish them together with information on its success in meeting those targets.
• there is also an implied recommendation, supported by guidance issued by the Department for Constitutional Affairs, that the complainant should be kept fully informed throughout the review
process.
The Commissioner supports these recommendations and intends, from time to time, to monitor conformity with them.
Some other factors to be noted are as follows:
• FOIA requires a request to be complied with “promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt” which suggests that internal reviews should also be completed promptly."

So:

Where do you punish your target internal review response times, and your compliance stats with them?

Howcome you haven't kept me informed throughout the review process?

You took far too long to respond to my FOI request, due to a failure in administrative oversight that allowed your response to be stymied by leaving it with an officer who was away from work, which should never have happened. The response when you actually sent it was a disgraceful mess that did not address the subject of my request and demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the subject matter of my request. Now you are saying you will take 20 working days to do the internal review.

320+ authorities have dealt with my request properly, and those that didn't, responded promptly to my internal review. You are causing me and my research inconvenience, which is not acceptable. So please do not assume you can choose to respond to me on the 20th working day: given you have already broken the law, failed to comply with my information rights and inconvenienced me, please pull your finger out and deal with my internal review before the 20 working day deadline.

In the meantime, give me regular updates as to where you're at with it. For example, when did you send it to your internal officer to investigate? When is his or her deadline? How is their investigation going?

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

FOI, Isle of Anglesey Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail below.

 

I can confirm that the request for an Internal Review was forwarded to the
Corporate Information Governance Manager the day after it was received
together with all the relevant paperwork.  I can assure you that the
Corporate Information Governance Manager will undertake the review at the
earliest opportunity.  As stated, we aim to conduct a review within 20
working days, that is our target.  In some cases it is not possible to
complete the review within that timescale.  The ICO Guidance states that
Internal Reviews should be held within a "reasonable timeframe" and they
have, in different decision notices, stated that this could be 40 working
days.

 

We do not publish review statistics other than the number received.  We
normally inform complainants of progress in cases of significant delay
only; we do not have the resources to provide anything additional
contact.  As you may appreciate, it is incumbent upon the Council to use
its resources wisely and to maintain its access to information processes
as effectively as possible within the restrictions of the available
resources.

 

I am advised that the Internal Review will be completed by next week.

 

Regards

 

 

Beryl Jones

Swyddog Gwybodaeth Corfforaethol a Chwynion

Corporate Information & Complaints Officer

Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn / Isle of Anglesey County Council

 

[1]cymraeg_ysgrifennwch (00000002)

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

Doubtless the ICO were aware of the obligation upon Councils "to use its resources wisely and to maintain its access to information processes as effectively as possible within the restrictions of the available resources" when they wrote the following guidance:

"• the code also recommends that the target times are reviewed regularly and that each authority should publish them together with information on its success in meeting those targets.
• there is also an implied recommendation, supported by guidance issued by the Department for Constitutional Affairs, that the complainant should be kept fully informed throughout the review
process.
The Commissioner supports these recommendations and intends, from time to time, to monitor conformity with them."

The fact remains that Anglesey Council's failure to comply with your obligations in respect of my information governance rights has caused me inconvenience and is continuing to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

FOI, Isle of Anglesey Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley,

Please see attached the result of the Internal Review conducted today.

Regards

Beryl Jones
Swyddog Gwybodaeth Corfforaethol a Chwynion
Corporate Information & Complaints Officer
Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn / Isle of Anglesey County Council

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Dear FOI,

"The request for an Internal Review was received on the 6th June 2017 and the review was conducted on the 4th July 2017." - the last possible day -

"Unfortunately, the applicant had occasion to complain to the ICO on the 1st June as the Council has not responded to his request. The ICO instructed the Council to respond by the 16th June and a response was sent on the 6th June with an explanation and apology for the delay."

"First, it is regrettable that the response was not issued in a timely manner and that the complainant was thereby compelled to contact the ICO. I am satisfied that the explanation provided regarding the delay is valid, albeit an inconvenience to the complainant."

"The Initial response was evidently inadequate, both from a perspective of technical accuracy and also conformity with the FOIA."

"I regret the delay and inconvenience arising.".

Yeah thanks Ms Jones. Perhaps if you had ensured that the Council's response a) didn't sit in an absent colleague's mailbox for weeks without followup and b) appeared to provide the information requested, then your time, Mr Pritchard's time, and (most importantly) my time and research would not have been wasted. Other information governance officers take pride in their work, actively manage requests and act as the requester's advocate within the organisation.

It is clear that this is what is expected within the industry, e.g. by NADPO. NADPO's chair said that he would generally expect FOI officers to prompt departments for overdue responses without needing prompting by the requester, because FOI officers generally own their authority's compliance stats, so will normally be very keen to chase up recalcitrant colleagues.

You didn't. I recommend doing so in future.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

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