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

The request was successful.

Dear Oadby and Wigston Borough Council,

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

I have previously made 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

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

2 Attachments

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Your Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.

 

Your request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”) and will be responded to within 20 working days, as defined by
the Act. This is subject to the information not being exempt or containing
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If you have any queries or concerns, please contact us on (0116) 257 2708.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Compliance | Corporate Resources

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D2D92F.672A4740

 

Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

d:  0116 257 2708

t:   0116 288 8961
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response is outlined below and, or, attached.

 

Our Ref: FOI-2641

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Important Notes: |
| |
|   |
| |
|1.      The information provided in response to requests made under the |
|Act is subject to copyright protection. |
| |
|  |
| |
|2.      Where the copyright is owned by Oadby and Wigston Borough |
|Council, re-use is permitted in accordance with the terms of the [1]Open|
|Government Licence.  However, we do ask that you attribute the |
|information to Oadby and Wigston Borough Council when re-using it. |
| |
|  |
| |
|3.      Where third party copyright is identified, you will need to |
|contact the copyright owner directly should you wish to re-use their |
|information. |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Our Response (including your original request): |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|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. |
| |
|  |
| |
|As we only have one wheelchair access vehicle at present, we currently do not have a list.  This will obviously be reviewed should the number |
|rise in the future. |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

Should you be unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you can
ask for an internal review by emailing [2][email address].
The Compliance Officer will then arrange a review of your case.

 

If you are not happy with the outcome of any internal review, you have the
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If you have any queries about this email, please contact us quoting the
above reference number.

 

Yours faithfully

Compliance | Law & Governance

[4][IMG]

 

Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

d:  0116 257 2708

t:   0116 288 8961
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e:  [5][email address]

 

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Dear Oadby and Wigston Borough Council,

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

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

You have not responded to several elements of my request. Inter alia:

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?

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

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

2 Attachments

*** This is an automatically generated reply - please do not reply
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Your Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

 

We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.

 

Your request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“the Act”) and will be responded to within 20 working days, as defined by
the Act. This is subject to the information not being exempt or containing
a reference to a third party.

 

Responses to requests for information will be sent by email, using normal
font size, unless you have requested otherwise.  If you do have any
particular requirements for the format of our response (including for
re-useable formats), then please do let us know.

 

For more information on how the Council handles FOI’s, including where
exemptions may apply or when fees may be payable, please visit the
Council’s website by clicking on the link [1]Freedom of Information (FOI).

 

Further information is also available from the [2]Information
Commissioner's Office (ICO) by clicking on the link.

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact us on (0116) 257 2773.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Compliance | Law & Governance

[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D2D92F.672A4740

 

Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

d:  0116 257 2773

t:   0116 288 8961
f:   0116 288 7828
e:  [4][email address]

[5]cid:image004.jpg@01D2EB45.E4305810

 

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This electronic message and any files attached or transmitted with it
contain information which may be privileged, confidential and protected in
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named on this message only. If you are not the intended recipient you must
not disseminate, copy, distribute, disclose, use in any other way or take
any action in reliance upon the information contained therein. If you have
received this electronic message in error, please notify us by telephone
on 0116 2888961 or e-mail immediately and then delete the e-mail together
with any attachments from your system.
Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those views of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council
or any of its individual departments. Neither do any of the contents in
this electronic message and its attachments amount to a contractual or
legal commitment on the part of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council.
Activity and use of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council e-mail system is
not private and may be monitored to secure its effective operation and for
other lawful business purposes. Although we take reasonable precautions to
ensure our emails and attachments are virus free, we cannot accept
responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email
or attachments.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/pages/fr...
2. https://ico.org.uk/
3. http://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]

Dear Compliance,

I have requested the ICO undertake a S50 assessment in the following terms.

Dear ICO

Please undertake a S50 assessment Oadby and Wigston's handling of the
following FOI request.

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

They have failed to respond to to several elements of my request. Inter alia:

> to several elements of my request. Inter alia:
>
> 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?

I requested an internal review but they failed to respond and over 20
working days have passed, so please conduct an assessment of their
failure to provide the required information.

Thank you

Doug Paulley

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

2 Attachments

*** Please ensure that you read in full the important notes below before
reviewing this response. ***

 

I write further to your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) which we have now considered. Our
response is outlined below and, or, attached.

 

Our Ref: FOI-2641 (Review)

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Important Notes: |
| |
|   |
| |
|1.      The information provided in response to requests made under the |
|Act is subject to copyright protection. |
| |
|  |
| |
|2.      Where the copyright is owned by Oadby and Wigston Borough |
|Council, re-use is permitted in accordance with the terms of the [1]Open|
|Government Licence.  However, we do ask that you attribute the |
|information to Oadby and Wigston Borough Council when re-using it. |
| |
|  |
| |
|3.      Where third party copyright is identified, you will need to |
|contact the copyright owner directly should you wish to re-use their |
|information. |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Firstly, may we apologise for our original email response not being |
|clear.  Please find below the same information as previously provided |
|but worded differently. |
| |
|  |
| |
|Our Response (including your original request): |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|You have not responded to several elements of my request. Inter alia: |
| |
|  |
| |
|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? |
| |
|None as we have not received any request for exemption. |
| |
|  |
| |
|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? |
| |
|Yes. |
| |
|  |
| |
|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? |
| |
|To date, we have not appointed an independent medical assessor, as we |
|have never had an application which warranted one. |
| |
|  |
| |
|5d) Please provide a copy of your application form for driver exemption |
|under S166. |
| |
|We do not have one. |
| |
|  |
| |
|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? |
| |
|None as we have never received an application. |
| |
|  |
| |
|5f) How many appeals against refusal to issue S166 exemptions were |
|successful? |
| |
|n/a |
| |
|  |
| |
|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? |
| |
|At present, we do not have any such vehicles, therefore we do not have a|
|list. |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

Should you be unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you can
ask for an internal review by emailing [2][email address].
The Compliance Officer will then arrange a review of your case.

 

If you are not happy with the outcome of any internal review, you have the
right to apply directly to the [3]Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
for a decision. Further information is available by clicking on the link.

 

If you have any queries about this email, please contact us quoting the
above reference number.

 

Samantha Lane

Democratic Services Officer / Compliance Officer

Law & Governance

[4]cid:image001.jpg@01D2D92F.672A4740

 

Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

d:  0116 257 2773

t:   0116 288 8961
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Dear Compliance,

You write,

"Firstly, may we apologise for our original email response not being clear. Please find below the same information as previously provided but worded differently."

Really? Please point out precisely where this information was provided in your original response.

For your reference, the entirety of your inital response was:

"As we only have one wheelchair access vehicle at present, we currently do not have a list. This will obviously be reviewed should the number rise in the future."

Please advise where, precisely, I can find the following information (as requested in my FOI request) in the above response.

"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?"

I look forward to your explanation as to where the above information was "previously provided but worded differently" within your previous response, which again I quote in its entirety for your ease of reference: "As we only have one wheelchair access vehicle at present, we currently do not have a list. This will obviously be reviewed should the number rise in the future."

Don't insult my intelligence by making claims that are quite self-evidently incorrect: you did not provide the information until I wrote to the ICO, and to attempt to claim otherwise is ridiculous and demeaning of you and me.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

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Dear Compliance,

By the way, in response to

"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?"

you said

"At present, we do not have any such vehicles, therefore we do not have a list."

Really? You don't license any vehicles that are accessible to passengers who are able to transfer from their wheelchairs into a seat within the vehicle? No saloon cars into which a wheelchair user could transfer into the passenger seat and their folded manual wheelchair put in the boot?

It is a blooming stupid idea of the DFT's to suggest that councils should keep such a list, especially given that such a definition essentially includes all vehicles, but to suggest you don't have any vehicles that meet that description is also ludicrous.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Compliance, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Paulley

 

I refer to your two emails dated 10 January 2018, in response to your
Freedom of Information request FOI-2641.

 

In relation to the first email (received 1725 hrs), our response dated 10
January 2018 which stated “please find below the same information as
previously provided but worded differently” is, as you have correctly
identified, not an accurate description of the reply you originally
received. Unfortunately this was simply due to a miscommunication which
occurred in collating the response and was not, as you suggest, an attempt
to insult your intelligence. Once again we offer our apologies for failing
to address your questions in full in our original response. Following your
request for a review, the body of the email containing our subsequent
reply did address each of the questions contained in your original request
in turn.

 

In relation to the second email (received 1733 hrs), Government guidance
recommends that a vehicle should only be included in the authority’s list
if it would be possible for the user of a “reference wheelchair” (as
defined in Schedule 1 of the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility
Regulations 2000) to enter, leave and travel in the passenger compartment
in safety and reasonable comfort whilst seated in their wheelchair. The
example which you provided in relation to a wheelchair user transferring
into the passenger seat and their folded manual wheelchair being put in
the boot does not accord with the Government guidance on the listing of
‘wheelchair accessible’ vehicles  and consequently it is unnecessary for
the Council to provide a list, under Section 167 of the Equality Act, of
any other vehicles that it may licence.

 

We do however sympathise with your view that the DFT guidance is somewhat
unhelpful in relation to clearly defining the rationale for maintaining a
list of vehicles which facilitate transfer from a wheelchair into the
passenger seat, because as you say, such a list could essentially include
all vehicles. That said, we note that [1]some local authorities interpret
the guidance as a recommendation to maintain a supplementary list which
identifies vehicles that facilitate the transfer from wheelchair to seat
within the vehicle itself. Our response therefore was based on the fact
that we do not currently licence any vehicles which enable the passenger
to transfer from their wheelchair to their seat all from within the
vehicle.

 

As your FOI request has already been subject to an internal review, and as
we consider that the information requested has now been provided, case
reference FOI-2641 shall now be logged on our records as complete. We are
aware that you have previously requested that the ICO undertake an
assessment of Oadby & Wigston Borough Council’s handling of your request,
and to this end we would like to offer our assurances that any feedback or
recommendations received from the ICO shall be acted upon accordingly.

 

We are grateful for your patience during the time it has taken to deal
with your request.

 

Kind regards

 

Samantha Lane

Democratic Services Officer / Compliance Officer

Law & Governance

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D2D92F.672A4740

 

Customer Service Centre: 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 1AD

Postal Address: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire
LE18 2DR

d:  0116 257 2773

t:   0116 288 8961
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