Lists of Accessible Taxis under S167 Equality Act 2010

Doug Paulley made this Freedom of Information request to Richmondshire District 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.

The request was successful.

Dear Richmondshire District 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

Cantrell, Sheila, Richmondshire District Council

3 Attachments

RDC FOI Ref: 4810 – Taxi Info

Dear Mr Paulley

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Information Request

I acknowledge your request for information received on 19 April 2017.

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information
requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by
the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information not being
exempt or containing a reference to a third party.

 If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal
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If you have any queries or concerns then please contact Business Support
Team Leader at Richmondshire District Council, Mercury House, Station
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[1][Richmondshire District Council request email]

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone:   01625 545 700

[2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sheila Cantrell

 

 

 

 

Sheila Cantrell
Business Support Team Leader
Richmondshire District Council
t: 01748 900931
e: [email address]
w: [3]www.richmondshire.gov.uk

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Cantrell, Sheila, Richmondshire District Council

3 Attachments

RDC FOI Ref: 4810 – Taxi Info

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request

 

Your request for information has now been considered and the information
requested is below.

 

Information Disclosed

-------------------------------------------------------

 

Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a list
of wheelchair accessible:
[1]http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/transpor...
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. 0

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. NO

 

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.
[2]http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/business...
- Hire Policy

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

show quoted sections

Dear Richmondshire District Council,

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

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

You haven't responded to most elements of my FOI request.

1) In response to my request:

"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."

you simply responded with the list http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/transpor...
. This list gives no indication whether it is a S167 list of taxis, within the intent of sections 165-167 of the Equality Act, which is what I asked, or if it is simply a voluntary list that doens't have the implications of S167 of the Equality Act. I assume that it must be because you later state that you did not have a voluntary list before S167 was commenced, but this isn't clear.

It also doesn't make clear whether you have a S167 list of PHVs, or if you intent to have one, or not at all.

You also didn't answer Q4:

"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. "

When did you create a S167 list, please? Or when do you intend to do so?

Your response to my Q5 didn't make sens. I asked:

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

You responded:

"http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/business... - Hire Policy"

That Hire Policy does not contain the information I am requesting. I asked for the accessibility requirements of a taxi for it to appear on your S167 list. The hire policy was written at some point in 2016, i.e. well before S167 was commenced, and has no indication as to features required of wheelchair accessible vehicles.

You also didn't answer Q6:

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

To be honest, I don't think you've read my request for information properly. You certainly haven't understood it or made any significant effort to identify and provide the information I requested with anything approaching the required diligence. I think you've treated my request, and therefore me, with contempt.

Please try again.

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

GEN - FOI/DP Information Request, Richmondshire District Council

3 Attachments

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.

Under Section 167 it states the ‘authority may maintain a list of vehicles
falling within subsection (2)’

(2)A vehicle falls within this subsection if—

(a)it is either a taxi or a private hire vehicle, and

(b)it conforms to such accessibility requirements as the licensing
authority thinks fit.

 

We have decided just to publish a list of vehicles that are wheelchair
accessible

:
[1]http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/transpor...

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. 0

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. NO

 

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. There
are no current plan to produce a list with any further detail than that
already published above
5) The accessibility requirements of a taxi for it to appear on the list.
[2]http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/business...
- Hire Policy

6) How you intend to enforce drivers' compliance with S165. Our compliance
guidelines are set out in the policy above and we expect drivers to comply
with said policy.  Failure to do so could result in drivers being brought
before Licensing committee. 

 

 

request information

Richmondshire District Council
e: [email address]
w: [3]www.richmondshire.gov.uk

[4]Link to Facebook[5]Link to Twitter

The information contained in this email is confidential. It is intended
only for the stated addressee(s)  and access to it by any other person is
unauthorised. If you are not an addressee, you must not disclose, copy,
circulate or in any other way use or rely on the information contained in
this email. Such unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you have received
this email in error, please inform the sender immediately and delete it
and all copies from your system. Any views or opinions expressed are
solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those
of Richmondshire District Council.

All e-mail traffic may be subject to monitoring/recording in accordance
with relevant legislation.

Richmondshire District Council, Mercury House, Station Road, Richmond,
North Yorkshire, DL10 4JX.

From: Cantrell, Sheila
Sent: 02 May 2017 14:44
To: '[FOI #402049 email]'
<[FOI #402049 email]>
Subject: RDC FOI Ref: 4810 – Taxi Info

 

RDC FOI Ref: 4810 – Taxi Info

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request

 

Your request for information has now been considered and the information
requested is below.

 

Information Disclosed

-------------------------------------------------------

 

Please advise if you have produced, or currently intend to produce, a list
of wheelchair accessible:
[6]http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/transpor...
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. 0

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. NO

 

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.
[7]http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/business...
- Hire Policy

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

-------------------------------------------------------

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response, and believe Richmondshire
District Council has not complied with legislation, please ask for an
internal review
Please quote reference RDC FOI Ref: [FOI Reference Number]

You may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by the Council.

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[8]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

 

The information provided in response to your request is copyright
Richmondshire District Council unless otherwise endorsed. Granting access
to this information under the Freedom of Information Act does not permit
you to re-use the information provided for commercial purposes, for
photocopying or reproduction in any form.

 

If you wish to re-use the information you need to apply for a Licence. You
can do this on line at or by writing to Business Support Team Leader,
Richmondshire District Council, Mercury House, Station Road, Richmond,
North Yorkshire, DL10 4JX, Tel: 01748 900931, Email:
[9][Richmondshire District Council request email] You may be required to pay a
fee or comply with conditions for permitted re-use.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Sheila Cantrell

 

 

 

 

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http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
9. mailto:[Richmondshire District Council request email]
mailto:[Richmondshire District Council request email]

Dear GEN - FOI/DP Information Request,

I must say I am disappointed: that response was still very unclear and unhelpful.

I am therefore troubling the ICO for a S50 assessment, as stated below.

hello

Please conduct a S50 assessment of this council's handling of my FOI
request.

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

I asked:

"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."

The authority responded simply with a link to a list of accessible
vehicles:

http://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/transpor...

The Government guidance
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...,
instituted under S167(6) of the Act and to which the local authority
must have regard, said:

"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’."

Also:

"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.richmondshire.gov.uk/transpor...
, doesn't state that it is "designated for the purposes of Section 165
of the Act" and doesn't state whether a vehicle is a taxi or a PHV. So
I assume that it can't be a S167 list. But they haven't told me if
they count this as a list in compliance with S167 or not; nor whether
they intend to create a S167 list or not; and so they haven't supplied
the information requested, a valid exemption, or told me they don't
hold it.

There are two types of list of accessible taxis and private hire
vehicles an authority may hold: a list compiled under S167 of the
Equality Act, or a voluntary list that doesn't have the ramifications
of S167 and S165 of the Equality Act. They are not clear into which
category their list falls...

In response to my request for independent review, they quoted S167 of
the Act and simply stated "We have decided just to publish a list of
vehicles that are wheelchair accessible". Once again that doesn't tell
me if this is a S167 list or not; and whether they intend to publish a
designated S167 list or not.

I also asked the date that they created a S167 list or the date by
which they intend to create the list; and also when any voluntary list
was created. They have produced a list of taxis. That list must be
either a S167 list, or a voluntary list. Yet they haven't given the
date that made the list, in response to either my request about date
of instatement of S167 or my request about when a voluntary list was
created.

I also think that their approach as been particularly obtuse and
unhelpful, and not in keeping with the obligation to assist requesters
as set out in S16 of the Freedom of Information Act; and I object to
their unhelpful attitude.

Please conduct a S50 assessment.

Doug Paulley

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Cantrell, Sheila, Richmondshire District Council

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley

 

These are the responses to the ICO questions regarding your FOI request. 

 

To determine whether you have complied fully with the complainant’s
specific request under FOIA, please answer the following questions:

 

o Does the council hold any information on whether the ‘Wheelchair
accessible vehicles operating in Richmondshire’ list was issued under
s167 of the Equality Act 2010?  We are not aware that the list we
provided was compiled as a result of S167 of the Equality Act 2010. 

 

o If this list is not issued under s167, does the council hold any
information to suggest that it was issued as a voluntary list
following the Department for Transport’s guidance of 15^th September
2010?  We do not have any evidence that this list was issued as a
voluntary list under Department of Transport guidance 2010.  We simply
produce a list of accessible taxi’s as part of our website/customer
service to the residents of Richmondshire. 

 

o If this list is not issued under s167, do you have plans, or any
information on any plans to do this?  No – however, we feel that we
cover all the specifications in S167 of the equality Act 2010 in our
current Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy although S167 is not
referenced. 

We do have wheelchair accessible vehicles that are a ‘special licence’ (as
per act) that are purely for vehicles that are wheelchair accessible –
This was a Licensing Committee decision based on local need/factors ie
supply and demand.

 

o What date was the ‘Wheelchair accessible vehicles operating in
Richmondshire’ list created? And

The list is updated annually – the current list was created 1 April 2017 –
when licences are renewed as per statutory regulations.

 

o Does the Council have a separate Wheelchair Accessible PHV list,
issued under s167 or of other status?  No.

Under ‘special licenses’ we do have capacity to have 12 vehicles that are
wheelchair accessible but local taxi businesses/individuals have only
chosen to take up 45% of the available plates.  All are fully aware of the
‘special license’ and the criteria that is required to full fill the
application. 

 

Part of the original question we did not answer relates to Section 165

 

Our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy which all drivers sign up to
when they apply/renew their licenses.  Non compliance against any part of
the policy could result in the driver appearing in front of the Licensing
Committee and relevant sanctions applied.  In worst case scenario licence
would be revoked.  We do have an enforcement policy as an appendix to the
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy.

 

 

In scenarios where there is some dispute between the amount of information
located by a public authority and the amount of information that a
complainant believes may be held, the ICO, following the lead of a number
of Information Tribunal decisions, applies the civil standard of the
balance of probabilities.  In other words, in order to determine such
complaints the ICO must decide whether on the balance of probabilities a
public authority holds any information which falls within the scope of the
request (or was held at the time of the request).  To assist us in
determining whether you have supplied all the information held in
connection with the complainant’s request, please tell us:

 

o What searches were carried out for information falling within the
scope of this request and why would these searches have been likely to
retrieve any relevant information? 
o If searches included electronic data, please explain whether the
search included information held locally on personal computers used by
key officials (including laptop computers) and on networked resources
and emails.
o If searches included electronic data, which search terms were used?
o If the information were held would it be held as manual or electronic
records?
o Is there a business purpose for which the requested information should
be held? If so what is this purpose?
o Are there any statutory requirements upon the Council to retain the
requested information?

 

We have searched all electronic data both in back office systems and
emails and can find nothing held for anything relating to S167 of Equality
Act 2010 or Department of Transport guidance 2010, nothing comes up in any
searches.  All information is held on a central network, our IT security
policy does not allow for documents to be saved on computer/laptop hard
drives.  We have very few hard copy files, very few related to policy
decisions, these have been searched.

 

We have had a number of Management Changes over the last few years, coming
out of a shared service agreement with a neighbouring Council where their
licensing team were managing our licensing service, positions gapped etc. 
Hence our current Manager has no evidence as to explain the source of
information. 

 

I trust this answers your questions

 

Sheila Cantrell
Business Support Team Leader
Richmondshire District Council
t: 01748 900931
e: [email address]
w: [1]www.richmondshire.gov.uk

[2]Link to Facebook[3]Link to Twitter

The information contained in this email is confidential. It is intended
only for the stated addressee(s)  and access to it by any other person is
unauthorised. If you are not an addressee, you must not disclose, copy,
circulate or in any other way use or rely on the information contained in
this email. Such unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you have received
this email in error, please inform the sender immediately and delete it
and all copies from your system. Any views or opinions expressed are
solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those
of Richmondshire District Council.

All e-mail traffic may be subject to monitoring/recording in accordance
with relevant legislation.

Richmondshire District Council, Mercury House, Station Road, Richmond,
North Yorkshire, DL10 4JX.

References

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