S167 List of Accessible Taxis: update after 6 months - C no fixed previous date

The request was partially successful.

Dear Bradford City 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 a similar request to you in April 2017. 6+ months later, I am repeating the request with some variations. I am repeating because the Statutory Guidance states "We would expect these arrangements to take no more than a maximum of six months to put in place, following the commencement of these provisions" - "these provisions" having been commenced on 6th April.

In response to my previous FOI request on similar matters in April 2017, you indicated that you did not have a Section 167 list but were intending to create such a list, though you didn’t provide a date by which you hoped the list would be in place.

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 changed your position since April, such that you do now have 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?

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) If you don't have a S167 list but do intend to produce one, please provide information in response to questions 4a) and 4b) below.
4a) Please indicate when you intend to have the list in place.
4b) Where you have already made relevant decisions, please indicate whether you intend to comply with the elements of the statutory guidance set out in 2b) to 2f) above.

5) 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."

5a) How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act 2010?

5b) 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?

5c) 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?

5d) Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption under S166.

5e) 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?

5f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were successful?

6) 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?

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Dear Mr Paulley

 

I acknowledge receipt of your FOI request sent by email 04/11/17. I have
logged your request under our reference number FOI-Nov19

 

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Council has 20
working days in which to respond to your request. Therefore, a written
response will be sent to you on or by 30 November 2017.

 

Many thanks

 

Licensing Service

 

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley, the attachment below contains responses to a Freedom of
Information request made by you 04/11/17.
 
 
 
 
Many thanks,
 
Licensing Service
 

Carol Stos, Bradford City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley

Please find attached response to your FOI request.

Kind Regards
Carol Stos
Licensing Manager
Fleet & Transport Services, Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service

Shearbridge  Depot, Shearbridge Road, Bradford, BD7 1PU
 
Tel:  01274 434316
Email:  [1][email address]
Web: [2]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire 
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Dear Bradford City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Bradford City Council's handling of my FOI request 'S167 List of Accessible Taxis: update after 6 months - C no fixed previous date'.

You haven't responded to the following elements of the request.

"4a) Please indicate when you intend to have the list in place."

You refer to your response to Question 1, which basically says you will publish it when you have done the necessary admin work. That doesn't tell me much. What is your intended date of implementation?

You claim that the following is also answered in response to Question 1 but it is not so you have not provided the information I requested.

"5) 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."

5a) How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act 2010?

5b) 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?

5c) 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?

5d) please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption under S166.

5e) 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?

5f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were successful?
"

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

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Freedom of Information, Bradford City Council

Dear Doug Paulley

I acknowledge the receipt of your request asking for a review regards your response to the FOI request. This matter is now receiving our attention and we aim to have a response out to you by 5th January 2018 within the period of 20 working days allowed for disclosure under a review.

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please feel free to contact us at [Bradford City Council request email] quoting the reference no: [FOI-Nov19]

Kind regards

Dani

Miss Dani Mistry
Information Governance Officer
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – Department of Corporate Services
1st Floor Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX
Tel: 01274 434139
For Freedom of Information requests, please visit our website http://www.bradford.gov.uk/foi before you submit a request as you may find the information and data that you want in the data that we already publish in our Publication Scheme.  The Scheme has a significant amount of information which is available to you, without the need for a specific request, and describes how we work and how to obtain information published by our various departments.
This e-mail, and any attachments, may contain Protected or Restricted information and is intended solely for the individual to whom it is addressed. It may contain sensitive or protectively marked material and should be handled accordingly. If this e-mail has been misdirected, please notify the author immediately. If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in it or attached, and all copies must be deleted immedately. Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses, any attachments to this e-mail may nevertheless contain viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to identify. You should therefore carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any documents. Bradford Council will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this e-mail. E-Mails may be subject to recording and / or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

Please consider the environment before printing this email

show quoted sections

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Re: Internal review FOI-Nov19

 

I acknowledge receipt of your request for an Internal review FOI-Nov19
sent by email 07/12/17. I have logged your request under our reference
number FOI-Nov19.In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act; the
Council has 20 working days in which to respond to your request.
Therefore, a written response will be sent to you on or by 04th January
2018

 

Many thanks

 

Licensing Service

 

 

 

 

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Re: Internal Review FOI-Nov19

 

The above attachment contains a response to your FOI request for an
Internal Review 07/12/17 (FOI- Nov 19)

 

Many thanks

 

Licensing Service

 

Dear Taxi Testing,

Thank you,

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

dear ICO

Please conduct a S50 assessment of Bradford council's handling of my
FOI request at
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...
.

They haven't supplied all the information I requested, nor employed a
valid exemption. After internal review they have supplied more but
have still not supplied the information I requested in this element:

"5c) The guidance states: "The Government’s view is that decisions on
exemptions will be fairer and more objective if medical assessments ar
e undertaken by professionals who have been specifically trained and
who are independ ent of the applicant. We would recommend that
independent medical assessors are us ed where a long-term exemption is
to be issued, and that LAs use assessors who hold a ppropriate
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?"

One could infer from their response that they haven't appointed
independent medical assessors for this purpose, but they don't
actually say.

Thank you

Doug Paulley

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Thank you for emailing the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service, Your
email is receiving attention.

 

The service will respond within the next 10 working days.

 

In the meantime [1]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire is the best
place to find answers to frequently ask questions, find application forms,
vehicle specifications, information on applying for driver or vehicle
licenses and service news.

 

If you've written to us in the last 10 days, please don't resend your
message, you will receive a reply in due course.

 

If you have a Freedom of Information request please check our how to make
a Freedom of Information request page online first. You may find the
information that you want is already published. You will find a
Publication Scheme which contains information anyone can see without
making a formal request. It also describes how we work and how to obtain
information published by Council departments .

 

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service,

Shearbridge  Depot,

Shearbridge Road,

Bradford, BD7 1PU

 

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Department of Place

 

Office: 01274 434316

 

Email: [2][email address]

 

Web: [3]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...

Dear Taxi Testing,

What are you doing about my request for internal review?

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Thank you for emailing the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service, Your
email is receiving attention.

 

The service will respond within the next 10 working days.

 

In the meantime [1]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire is the best
place to find answers to frequently ask questions, find application forms,
vehicle specifications, information on applying for driver or vehicle
licenses and service news.

 

If you've written to us in the last 10 days, please don't resend your
message, you will receive a reply in due course.

 

If you have a Freedom of Information request please check our how to make
a Freedom of Information request page online first. You may find the
information that you want is already published. You will find a
Publication Scheme which contains information anyone can see without
making a formal request. It also describes how we work and how to obtain
information published by Council departments .

 

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service,

Shearbridge  Depot,

Shearbridge Road,

Bradford, BD7 1PU

 

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Department of Place

 

Office: 01274 434316

 

Email: [2][email address]

 

Web: [3]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Good Morning Mr Paulley,

Your original email is not attached to this email so I am unsure what you are requesting. Do you mean an Officer Review? I have looked on our database for your name and our emails but I am unable to find you. Please can you provide further information as to what you require and I will look in to it for you as a matter of urgency.

Kind Regards,

Licensing Team

show quoted sections

Dear Taxi Testing,

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

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Thank you for emailing the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service, Your
email is receiving attention.

 

The service will respond within the next 10 working days.

 

In the meantime [1]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire is the best
place to find answers to frequently ask questions, find application forms,
vehicle specifications, information on applying for driver or vehicle
licenses and service news.

 

If you've written to us in the last 10 days, please don't resend your
message, you will receive a reply in due course.

 

If you have a Freedom of Information request please check our how to make
a Freedom of Information request page online first. You may find the
information that you want is already published. You will find a
Publication Scheme which contains information anyone can see without
making a formal request. It also describes how we work and how to obtain
information published by Council departments .

 

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service,

Shearbridge  Depot,

Shearbridge Road,

Bradford, BD7 1PU

 

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Department of Place

 

Office: 01274 434316

 

Email: [2][email address]

 

Web: [3]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Good Morning Mr Paulley,

I have forwarded your email to the appropriate person(s) and a reply to your request will be sent to you in due course.

Kind Regards,

Licensing Team

show quoted sections

Dennis Rowe, Bradford City Council

Dear Mr Paulley regarding the below email. Could you please clarify if this is a FOI request.

You submitted an FOI request to Bradford Council dated 4th November 2017 asking for the same information (FOI Nov 19) A response to that request was sent to you 28/11/17. You then asked that an Internal Review be conducted regarding the response sent. The Licensing Service conducted a Review and provided you with a response 02/01/18.

Kind regards,

Licensing Service

show quoted sections

Dear Dennis Rowe,

yes; I referred it to the ICO because you still haven't provided some data. See https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

I had hoped that me telling you about the referral would prompt you reconsidering, reading the request properly and actually providing the data, or a valid exemption. Evidently not.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Dear Mr Paulley

Re FOI-Feb72

Thank you for your email 09/02/18 clarifying that the email sent by you
25/01/18 to the Licensing Service was a FOI Request for the following
information:

Implementation of S165-167 of the Equality Act, relating to taxi services
for wheelchair users.

Please be advised when making future FOI Requests to use the following
email address. [1][email address] The email sent by you
25/01/18 did not contain details of your request only a hyperlink to your
website. This resulted in a delay in responding to you as further
clarification was sought.

Your request has been logged 12/02/18 and you should expect to receive a
reply from the Licensing Service within 20 working days, 9/03/18.

If you have any queries about this request, please do not hesitate to
contact the Service again quoting the reference number above.

This email also serves as an acknowledgment of your FOI Request.

Yours sincerely,

Licensing Service

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Taxi Testing,

"Thank you for your email 09/02/18 clarifying that the email sent by you 25/01/18 to the Licensing Service was a FOI Request"

No it wasn't. My FOI request was sent by email on 4th November. I am still chasing elements of the request because you haven't complied with it, despite the request, a request for internal review, a referral to the ICO and further chasing.

"The email sent by you 25/01/18 did not contain details of your request only a hyperlink to your website."

1) It's not my website

2) The FOI request and all communications in relation to it were sent to you by email.

"This resulted in a delay in responding to you as further
clarification was sought."

Said "clarification" was evidently not very effective.

"Your request has been logged 12/02/18 and you should expect to receive a reply from the Licensing Service within 20 working days, 9/03/18."

If it was a request, which it was not, you would be obliged to respond both "promptly" and "in any case within 20 working days" of your RECEIPT of the request, not your registration of it.

"Please be advised when making future FOI Requests to use the following email address. [1][email address]"

My FOI request was sent to that email address, back in November, but it needn't have been. Provided a FOI request is received by the any member of staff, the authority is under an obligation to respond.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look hopeful that Bradford will absorb some clue before the ICO forces them to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Taxi Testing, Bradford City Council

Thank you for emailing the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service, Your
email is receiving attention.

 

The service will respond within the next 10 working days.

 

In the meantime [1]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire is the best
place to find answers to frequently ask questions, find application forms,
vehicle specifications, information on applying for driver or vehicle
licenses and service news.

 

If you've written to us in the last 10 days, please don't resend your
message, you will receive a reply in due course.

 

If you have a Freedom of Information request please check our how to make
a Freedom of Information request page online first. You may find the
information that you want is already published. You will find a
Publication Scheme which contains information anyone can see without
making a formal request. It also describes how we work and how to obtain
information published by Council departments .

 

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service,

Shearbridge  Depot,

Shearbridge Road,

Bradford, BD7 1PU

 

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Department of Place

 

Office: 01274 434316

 

Email: [2][email address]

 

Web: [3]www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivat...

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