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

The request was successful.

Dear Leeds 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

DPFOI, Leeds City Council

Dear Doug Paulley,

Freedom of information request Ref 19842 : S167 List of Accessible Taxis

Thank you for your request for the above information which we received 4, November 2017. We will respond to your request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

We have passed your request onto Saleem Aziz, Information Governance Officer, Resources & Housing, [email address] who will arrange a response within the appropriate statutory time limit.

Please remember to quote reference number FOI 19842 in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Mr Adam O’Connell
Information Governance Assistant
Information Management & Governance
Digital and Information Service
Leeds City Council

0113 37 84251
www.leeds.gov.uk

show quoted sections

IMG.CC.requests, Leeds City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Doug Paulley,

 

Freedom of Information Request (Ref: 19842)

 

I refer to the above and your request dated 4, November 2017. I have
contacted the relevant services and now provide a response to the
following request S167 List of Accessible Taxis.

 

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.

 

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| | Information | Response |
| | Requested | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|1|The Government |The council has used the Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle dataset on the data mill to provide |
| |guidance |information about the number of vehicles which are accessible to wheelchair users. The viewer has the |
| |states: "Whilst|option of filtering the document to only show the wheelchair accessible vehicles. |
| |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): |
|-+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|A|On what date |The data mill information (on the numbers of vehicles) has been published for 2 years, since 2015. I |
| |was it put in |cannot tell how long the list of the types of vehicles has been maintained. |
| |place? | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|B|The statutory |All taxi or private hire vehicle which appear on the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles have been |
| |guidance states|inspected to show that they meet the council’s standards for wheelchair accessible vehicles. |
| |"The Government|[1]http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...   |
| |therefore | |
| |recommends that|  |
| |a vehicle | |
| |should only be |Section 4 of the conditions states how the vehicles are inspected and approved. |
| |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? | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|C|The statutory |Yes.  The council has used the Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle dataset on the data mill to |
| |guidance |provide information about the number of vehicles which are accessible to wheelchair users. The viewer |
| |states: "Before|has the option of filtering the document to only show the wheelchair accessible vehicles. |
| |drivers can be | |
| |subject to the | [2]https://datamillnorth.org/dataset/hackne...
| |duties under | |
| |section 165 of |  |
| |the Act, the LA| |
| |must first |The licensed trade in Leeds are aware of this published list. |
| |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? | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|D|The guidance |The council provides a list on its website of the type of wheelchair accessible vehicles which have been|
| |states: "it |inspected and approved by the council for use as a Hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.   |
| |would also be | |
| |helpful to |[3]http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Approved%20... |
| |include | |
| |information |  |
| |about the size | |
| |and weight of |The conditions referred to previously [4]http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...  relate |
| |wheelchair that|to wheelchair accessible vehicles, which includes information, such as the size and weight of |
| |can be |wheelchairs. |
| |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? | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|E|The guidance |Yes, the Council has a policy on the application of Medical Exemptions which was first introduced in |
| |states: "We |2010 – please see attached. |
| |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? | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|F|The guidance |We haven’t made any changes to 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? | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|G|The guidance |No applications were made to the Magistrates Court. |
| |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. | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|H|How many |Four prosecutions for refusal to carry assistance dogs. |
| |drivers has the| |
| |authority |Fine £200 |
| |prosecuted for | |
| |discriminatory |No Trial Date / Result |
| |behaviour | |
| |contrary to |Fine £220 |
| |S165 of the | |
| |Act? How many |Fine £100 |
| |such | |
| |prosecutions | |
| |were | |
| |successful? | |
| |What were the | |
| |sentences? | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|I|How many |We have not been made aware of any such prosecutions. |
| |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? | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|J|Where drivers |Written warning and requirement to undertake remedial training. |
| |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 |n/a |
| |have a S167 | |
| |list or lists | |
| |now, please | |
| |indicate if you| |
| |still intend to| |
| |produce such a | |
| |list. | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|4|If you don't |n/a |
| |have a S167 | |
| |list but do | |
| |intend to | |
| |produce one, | |
| |please provide | |
| |information in | |
| |response to | |
| |questions 4a) | |
| |and 4b) below. | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|a|Please indicate|n/a |
| |when you intend| |
| |to have the | |
| |list in place. | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|b|Where you have |n/a |
| |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." | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|A|How many |18 |
| |exemptions have| |
| |you granted | |
| |under S166 of | |
| |the Equality | |
| |Act 2010? | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|B|The guidance |Please see our policy attached.  We require a GPs letter in the first instance & a subsequent referral |
| |states: "We |to the Council’s occupational health provider. |
| |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? | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|c|The guidance |We use the Council’s Occupational health provider. |
| |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? | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|D|Please provide |Please see the attached policy which includes examples of our application form. |
| |a copy of your | |
| |application | |
| |form for driver| |
| |exemption under| |
| |S166. | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|E|The guidance |None |
| |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? | |
| | | |
| |  | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|F|How many |None |
| |appeals against| |
| |refusal to | |
| |issue S166 | |
| |exemptions were| |
| |successful? | |
|-+---------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|6|The guidance |All taxi or private hire vehicle which appear on the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles have been |
| |states: "We |inspected to show that they meet the council’s standards for wheelchair accessible vehicles. |
| |would therefore|[5]http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...   |
| |recommend that | |
| |LAs also |  |
| |publish a list | |
| |of vehicles |We do not produce a specific list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs. |
| |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? | |
| | | |
| |  | |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

 

I trust that this response is satisfactory. If however you are
dissatisfied with this response you have a right to appeal to an
independent officer within Communities & Environment. They will re-examine
your request and assess whether we have adhered to the requirements of the
act. Should you wish to follow this course of action please address your
concerns in writing to Mandy Dobson, Communities & Environment,
Information Management and Governance, 4th Floor, Leonardo, 2 Rossington
Street, Leeds LS2 8HD or by emailing [email address].

 

You also have a right under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act
to ask the Information Commissioner to decide whether we have met with our
obligations under the act.  The Commissioner has however made it clear
that he expects all applicants to exhaust internal appeals procedures
prior to making such an application. Should you wish to contact the
Commissioner’s office then you can write to the following address:

 

            Office of the Information Commissioner,

            Wycliffe House,

            Water Lane,

            Wilmslow,

            Cheshire,

            SK9 5AF.

 

You may also contact the Commissioner via his website at [6]www.ico.gov.uk

 

I trust that this is self-explanatory.  If you have any queries please
contact me on 0113 37 87891, or by return email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Saleem Aziz

Information Governance Officer

t: 0113 37 87891

e: [7][email address]

e: [8][email address]

e: w: [9]www.leeds.gov.uk 

 

Information Governance, Digital and Information Service

Information is everyone’s business and responsibility.”

 

 

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

Free Chamber music concerts from world-class musicians

[10]Leeds Lunchtime Chamber Music series offers the perfect lunchtime
respite for a chance to hear an astounding performance in your lunch hour.
Free admission, simply turn up and enjoy the music. Concerts take place on
Wednesdays, 1.05pm at The Venue, Leeds College of Music.

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

Leeds City Council - MJ Local Authority of the Year 2016

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...
2. https://datamillnorth.org/dataset/hackne...
3. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Approved%20...
4. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...
5. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...
6. blocked::UrlBlockedError.aspx UrlBlockedError.aspx www.ico.gov.uk
file:///tmp/UrlBlockedError.aspx
7. mailto:[email address]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/
10. https://www.leedsconcertseason.co.uk/wha...

Dear Leeds City Council,

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

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

You provided the information you wanted to provide, not the information I requested.

I do not care about the publication of the register on the data mill and the ability to filter it by wheelchair accessibility. That has nothing to do with the information I am requesting. I specifically asked whether or not you have produced and published a list under your powers set out under S167 of the Equality Act 2010, which was commenced on 6th April 2017. The data mill taxi register is utterly irrelevant and I object to you trying to shoe-horn it in to your response due to your evident and unacceptable ignorance of what a S167 list is. I even took you through the detailed requirements as set out in the Government legislation, yet you still didn't provide the information I requested and instead spouted irrelevant data.

Another example: I asked how many prosecutions you've brought under S165. S165 is specifically and only about discrimination against wheelchair users, as is all of my freedom of information request. Yet you responded telling me about prosecutions against drivers for discriminating against people with assistance dogs. Why, what has that got to do with prosecutions against drivers for discriminating against wheelchair users? Why have you told me this, and why have you not provided the information I asked: how many people you've prosecuted for discriminating against them as a wheelchair user, under S165 of the Equality Act as commenced on 6th April 2017. I was entirely clear on this but you misinterpreted it and didn't provide the information I requested. As you didn't in April. Now I have to chase it, involving my energy, time and headspace, and wait even longer, due to your incompetence.

Provide the information now please, without expecting me to pfaf about and wait further. Meanwhile you should educate yourself on this law, as evidently you aren't aware so I strongly suspect you are not treating reports of overcharging wheelchair users as crime reports as you should, and that you are thus failing to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Totally unacceptable. You have failed me through failing to comply with Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 1998, and are failing wheelchair users through your ignorance of S165/167 of the Equality Act and your failure to comply with your duties under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

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

DPFOI, Leeds City Council

Dear Mr. Paulley

Freedom of Information Review (Ref: 19842) S167 List of Accessible Taxis

I refer to the above and your request for an internal review has been passed to the relevant section for investigation. We will deal with your complaint under stage two of Leeds City Council’s Compliments and Complaints Policy.

The issues you have raised will be dealt with by an investigating officer in order for them to review your case and carry out a full investigation. They will contact you within 20 working days to report on their findings.

If you have any further issues or concerns that might impact on the review please contact myself on 0113 3789043.

Yours sincerely,

Malika Doust
Information Governance Support Officer
Information Governance and Managements Team (City and Communities)
Digital Information Service

show quoted sections

Dear DPFOI,

I have requested the ICO undertake a S50 assessment under the following basis.

Dear ICO

Please conduct an assessment of Leeds City Council's handling of this request:

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

I forward a copy of their response below, because it was in a table style and it did not display well on the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

My concern is that the information they have supplied is not the information I requested.

In Question 1, they haven't told me whether or not they have produced a S167 list. The ability to filter their licensing database is not a response to whether or not they have produced a S167 list under their powers under the Equality Act.

That also makes a mockery of their response to 2a and 2c; also if they don't have a S167 list (they aren't clear) this makes a mockery of their responses to 3 and 4.

In 2e, I asked:

> 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?

I specifically asked about guidance given to _non-exempt_ drivers about their duties not to discriminate against wheelchair users. But their response doesn't provide this information and answers an entirely different question about systems for processing applications for medical exemption.

In 2h, I asked, "How many drivers has the authority prosecuted for discriminatory behaviour contrary to S165 of the Act?" S165 of the Equality Act deals specifically and solely about discrimination against wheelchair users and doesn't mention other disabled people at all, including guide dog users. Yet their response provides details solely of the number of prosecutions they have made for discrimination against guide dog-users - which is not the information I requested. This also makes a mockery of their response to 2j.

I therefore asked them to complete an internal review, by email of 6th December. Unfortunately, despite having indicated they have received my request, they have failed to respond.

Please conduct a S50 assessment of this authority's compliance with their obligations under the Act, in specific where the information they have provided is not the information I requested because they didn't read or understand my request properly.

thank you

Doug Paulley

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

IMG.CC.requests, Leeds City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

Please find attached the response to your FOI appeal request.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Saleem Aziz

Information Governance Officer

t: 0113 37 87891

e: [email address]

e: [email address]

e: w: www.leeds.gov.uk 

 

Information Governance, Digital and Information Service

Information is everyone’s business and responsibility.”

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear IMG.CC.requests,

I have updated my S50 request to the ICO in the following terms.

Dear ICO

Further to my S50 request below, I have now had the authority's response to my request for internal review. However I still maintain my S50 request.

Their response is below.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

I remain dissatisfied for the following reasons.

1.) I asked about a S167 list. They keep referring me to their data mill. Their data mill is not a S167 list, it is a list of all their vehicles that can be filtered to only list accessible vehicles. The Department for Transport's 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’". This list is not so marked. I note they further state in response to the 6th element of my request, "We do not produce a specific list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs".

I appreciate that it is not down to you (the ICO) to determine whether or not they have complied with the S167 legislation. However, I would argue that the information they have provided in response to my Freedom of Information Request is inaccurate and should be properly listed as "no".

2a) I asked when they produced a S167 list. They said "The data mill information (on the numbers of vehicles) has been published for 2 years, since 2015". That is not what I asked. S167 of the Equality Act has only existed since 6th April 2017, therefore it is not possible to have a list created under S167 of the List before that date. They have not provided the information I requested, nor a valid exemption.

2c) I asked 'Is it marked "designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Act"?' (meaning the list). They responded "yes". However this is inaccurate because the data mill they have linked to is not marked "designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Act". It is my opinion that the information they have supplied is inaccurate as this should be "No".

I asked "Have you made owners and drivers of vehicles on the list aware that their vehicle has been listed?" They responded "The licensed trade in Leeds are aware of this published list." That is not the information I asked: I asked whether the owners and drivers of the individual vehicles on the list are aware that their vehicle has been included in a S167 list. They have not supplied the information I requested, nor a valid exemption.

2d) I asked '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?' Their response was 'The council provides a list on its website of the type of wheelchair accessible vehicles which have been inspected and approved by the council for use as a Hackney carriage or private hire vehicle. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Approved%20... . The conditions referred to previously http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20... relate to wheelchair accessible vehicles, which includes information, such as the size and weight of wheelchairs.' That is not the information I requested; I asked whether their S167 list includes information on each vehicle as to the size and weight of wheelchair that can be accommodated. Their response is a non-sequiteur; they have not provided the information I requested nor have they employed any exemption, valid or otherwise.

2e) I asked '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."' They responded 'Yes, the Council has a policy on the application of Medical Exemptions which was first introduced in 2010'. That is irrelevant and is not the information I requested - I was not asking for information about medical exemptions, I was asking whether non-exempt drivers had been given clear guidance on their duties with respect to the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs. They haven't supplied the information I requested, and have not employed an exemption.

5a) I asked "How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act 2010?" They responded "18" but I don't believe their response. I note that in response to my question about driver prosecutions for failing to comply with duties towards wheelchair users, they initially responded telling me that they had prosecuted 4 drivers for refusing guide-dogs. I strongly suspect these 18 medical exemptions are for dog allergies rather than for the duties as regards wheelchair passengers.

6) I asked "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?" They responded "All taxi or private hire vehicle which appear on the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles have been inspected to show that they meet the council’s standards for wheelchair accessible vehicles. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20... We do not produce a specific list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs' That's not what I asked; in this element I was not asking about lists of wheelchair accessible vehicles nor of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs. I asked whether they have 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, i.e. of wheelchair UNaccessible vehicles. They have not provided the information I requested, nor an exemption, valid or otherwise.

Please continue to conduct your S50 assessment.

Doug Paulley

This is a forwarded message
From: Doug Paulley <[email address]>
To: [email address]
CC:
Date: Monday, January 8, 2018, 10:37:38 PM
Subject: S50 request: Leeds City Council and S167 lists

===8<==============Original message text===============
Dear ICO

Please conduct an assessment of Leeds City Council's handling of this request:

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

I forward a copy of their response below, because it was in a table style and it did not display well on the WhatDoTheyKnow website.

My concern is that the information they have supplied is not the information I requested.

In Question 1, they haven't told me whether or not they have produced a S167 list. The ability to filter their licensing database is not a response to whether or not they have produced a S167 list under their powers under the Equality Act.

That also makes a mockery of their response to 2a and 2c; also if they don't have a S167 list (they aren't clear) this makes a mockery of their responses to 3 and 4.

In 2e, I asked:

> 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?

I specifically asked about guidance given to _non-exempt_ drivers about their duties not to discriminate against wheelchair users. But their response doesn't provide this information and answers an entirely different question about systems for processing applications for medical exemption.

In 2h, I asked, " How many drivers has the authority prosecuted for discriminatory behaviour contrary to S165 of the Act?" S165 of the Equality Act deals specifically and solely about discrimination against wheelchair users and doesn't mention other disabled people at all, including guide dog users. Yet their response provides details solely of the number of prosecutions they have made for discrimination against guide dog-users - which is not the information I requested. This also makes a mockery of their response to 2j.

I therefore asked them to complete an internal review, by email of 6th December. Unfortunately, despite having indicated they have received my request, they have failed to respond.

Please conduct a S50 assessment of this authority's compliance with their obligations under the Act, in specific where the information they have provided is not the information I requested because they didn't read or understand my request properly.

thank you

Doug Paulley

This is a forwarded message
From: IMG.CC.requests < [email address] >
To: "'[email address]'" < [email address] >
CC:
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2017, 2:34:34 PM
Subject: Freedom of Information Request (Ref: 19842)

===8<==============Original message text===============
Dear Doug Paulley,

Freedom of Information Request (Ref: 19842)

I refer to the above and your request dated 4, November 2017. I have contacted the relevant services and now provide a response to the following request S167 List of Accessible Taxis.

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.

Information Requested
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 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?
The council has used the Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle dataset on the data mill to provide information about the number of vehicles which are accessible to wheelchair users. The viewer has the option of filtering the document to only show the wheelchair accessible vehicles.

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

A
On what date was it put in place?
The data mill information (on the numbers of vehicles) has been published for 2 years, since 2015. I cannot tell how long the list of the types of vehicles has been maintained.
B
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?

All taxi or private hire vehicle which appear on the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles have been inspected to show that they meet the council’s standards for wheelchair accessible vehicles . http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...

Section 4 of the conditions states how the vehicles are inspected and approved.

C
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?
Yes. The council has used the Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle dataset on the data mill to provide information about the number of vehicles which are accessible to wheelchair users. The viewer has the option of filtering the document to only show the wheelchair accessible vehicles.
https://datamillnorth.org/dataset/hackne...

The licensed trade in Leeds are aware of this published list.
D
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?
The council provides a list on its website of the type of wheelchair accessible vehicles which have been inspected and approved by the council for use as a Hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.
http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Approved%20...

The conditions referred to previously http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20... relate to wheelchair accessible vehicles, which includes information, such as the size and weight of wheelchairs.
E
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?

Yes, the Council has a policy on the application of Medical Exemptions which was first introduced in 2010 – please see attached.
F
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?
We haven’t made any changes to the guidance.

G
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.
No applications were made to the Magistrates Court.
H
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?

Four prosecutions for refusal to carry assistance dogs.
Fine £200
No Trial Date / Result
Fine £220
Fine £100
I
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?

We have not been made aware of any such prosecutions.
J
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?

Written warning and requirement to undertake remedial training.

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

n/a
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.
n/a
a
Please indicate when you intend to have the list in place.
n/a
b
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.
n/a
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."

A
How many exemptions have you granted under S166 of the Equality Act 2010?
18
B
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?
Please see our policy attached. We require a GPs letter in the first instance & a subsequent referral to the Council’s occupational health provider.
c
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?

We use the Council’s Occupational health provider.
D
Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption under S166.

Please see the attached policy which includes examples of our application form.
E
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?

None
F
How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were successful?
None
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?

All taxi or private hire vehicle which appear on the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles have been inspected to show that they meet the council’s standards for wheelchair accessible vehicles. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/HC%20WAV%20...

We do not produce a specific list of vehicles that are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs.

I trust that this response is satisfactory. If however you are dissatisfied with this response you have a right to appeal to an independent officer within Communities & Environment. They will re-examine your request and assess whether we have adhered to the requirements of the act. Should you wish to follow this course of action please address your concerns in writing to Mandy Dobson, Communities & Environment, Information Management and Governance, 4th Floor, Leonardo, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds LS2 8HD or by emailing [email address].

You also have a right under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act to ask the Information Commissioner to decide whether we have met with our obligations under the act. The Commissioner has however made it clear that he expects all applicants to exhaust internal appeals procedures prior to making such an application. Should you wish to contact the Commissioner’s office then you can write to the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Wilmslow,
Cheshire,
SK9 5AF.

You may also contact the Commissioner via his website at www.ico.gov.uk

I trust that this is self-explanatory. If you have any queries please contact me on 0113 37 87891, or by return email.

Yours sincerely,

Saleem Aziz
Information Governance Officer
t: 0113 37 87891
e: [email address]
e: [email address]
e: w: www.leeds.gov.uk

Information Governance, Digital and Information Service
Information is everyone’s business and responsibility.”

Free Chamber music concerts from world-class musicians

Leeds Lunchtime Chamber Music series offers the perfect lunchtime respite for a chance to hear an astounding performance in your lunch hour. Free admission, simply turn up and enjoy the music. Concerts take place on Wednesdays, 1.05pm at The Venue, Leeds College of Music.

Leeds City Council - MJ Local Authority of the Year 2016

The information in this email (and any attachment) may be for the intended recipient only. If you know you are not the intended recipient, please do not use or disclose the information in any way and please delete this email (and any attachment) from your system.
The Council does not accept service of legal documents by e-mail.

===8<===========End of original message text===========

===8<===========End of original message text===========

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

IMG.CC.requests, Leeds City Council

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay.

 

I’ve attached our response to the questions asked by yourself and the ICO.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Saleem Aziz

Information Governance Officer

Digital and Information Service

 

t: 0113 37 87891

e: [1][email address]

e: [2][email address]

w: [3]www.leeds.gov.uk 

 

Information                     is everyone’s business and responsibility

[4]Post-Launch Strapline

 

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

Are we the best city to be healthy?
Find out more in this year’s Director of Public Health annual report
‘Nobody Left Behind: Good Health and a Strong Economy’
[5]www.leeds.gov.uk/dphreport

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References

Visible links
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2. mailto:[email address]
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5. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/dphreport

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

Response sent via private email (via the ICO)

Question
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?

Response

In some circumstances a driver of a designated Taxi or Private Hire vehicle may be unable to fulfil the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 for medical reasons, either short or longer term. Section 166 of the Act allows licensing authorities to exempt drivers from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds or because the driver’s physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for them to comply with the duties.

Bradford Metropolitan District Council (BMDC) do not have an appointed independent medical assessor, our policy for a driver who wishes to apply for a Medical Exemption Certificate is that they must complete the appropriate application form including the section to be completed by their Doctor (GP) detailing exactly what duties cannot be undertaken and why. The Doctor must have access to the driver’s medical records and will be required to provide details in relation to why the driver should be exempt. On receipt of the Doctors information the Licensing Service may issue a temporary exemption.

If the driver requires a longer term exemption they will be required to see a medical specialist to arrange for a more in depth medical report to be compiled, the driver may apply to have the exemption issued for the duration of their Licence following this report.

I trust this has answered question 5C to your satisfaction. I will also take this opportunity to update you with answers to the following:

Question

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

Response

We have not issued any exemptions in relation to S166 to date.

Question

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?

Response

Yes, the drivers GP must provide information detailing exactly what duties cannot be undertaken and why. The Doctor must have access to the driver’s medical records and will be required to provide details in relation to why the driver should be exempt.

Question

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

Response

I have attached a copy of the form to this email.

Question

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?

Response

The Licensing Service has not received any appeal in relation to S166.

Question

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

Response

The Licensing Service has not received any appeal in relation to S166.

I hope the above answers clarify Bradford’s position regarding your questions.

Yours sincerely,

Carol Stos
Licensing Manager

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