We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Gwen Swinburn please sign in and let everyone know.

Dear City of York Council,

At the last Licensing Committee you presented a summary report of what purported to be the dedicated Taxi Fund, which has to be self funding and not make a profit.
https://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/...

Background
In addition to this minimal information a staffer stated that some of the underspend had been because there ‘had been a freeze on recruitment’.

They also said that the management costs which rose significantly last year were inadequate.

I have always been told management do not complete time sheets so am perplexed how these costs were arrived at.

I was also surprised to see that following the licensing department’s complete failure to do DBS renewals, even though drivers will have paid for these as part of their renewal fees, the question is why should they be expected to pay again through the £57k extra fees to City of York trading?

There is also significant concern over the ‘melding of staff and resources from this dedicated taxi account with the authority’s other licensing duties. Concerns are that the taxi fees are being used to pay for staff and other activities of the department, which I understand would be unlawful.

Consequently please will you provide the complete break down of the taxi account to include
1. how the management overheads and staff costs were accounted ( staff time, CYT, overheads) For those hours/resources applied to the field inspections please supply the record of hours spent each week on patrol specifically on taxi inspections a) from this account and b) from the public protection account.
2. Regarding the DBS check amount of £34k please provide a breakdown of that expenditure
3. Please provide a breakdown of the £16k miscellaneous expenditure
4. Please provide an account of the £3k transport costs applied to that account.
5. Regarding the recruitment ‘freeze’ last year which apparently led to a post being held vacant for an entire year. Please provide the member decision and chief officer direction and recorded information that led to this post being unfilled. Considering this is a ring fenced account was the decision to freeze that post agreed with HR and S151?
6. Finally I recall several years ago the trade agreed to an increase in their fees (was it a 30% increase) for the specific purpose of more vehicle checks and enforcement. Please can you provide recorded information on the management response and increased checks in response to that increase in fees?

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

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Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510
Or email: [email address]<mailto:[email address]> (please include your telephone number in your email)

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

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ContactPoint@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Swinburn

 

Further to your request for information made on 9 September 2019 regarding
the ‘taxi fund’…

 

A complete breakdown of the taxi account for 2018/9 is attached.

 

Furthermore, the answers to your questions are as follows:-

 

1. How the management overheads and staff costs were accounted (staff
time, CYT, overheads). For those hours/resources applied to the field
inspections please supply the record of hours spent each week on patrol
specifically on taxi inspections a) from this account and b) from the
public protection account.

 

In relation to ‘management overheads and staff costs’, employees working
on taxi licensing are charged direct to the account through payroll and
CYT invoiced charges.

Management, central support and accommodation overheads are an assessment
based on historical information and covers a proportion of management,
central support costs, including, finance, HR, IT, business support. The
apportionment of costs was based on a number of factors for each service
including staff numbers, number of PC’s, number of desks, numbers of
financial transactions.

The Disclosure and Barring Service charges are either charged direct
through external supplier invoices or by internal recharges where services
are provided through Human Resources (HR).

In relation to inspections/patrols, there are no records of hours spent
specifically on ‘taxi inspections’ carried out whilst on patrol. However,
the cost of the ‘patrols’ is not met from the taxi account, it is met from
a Public Protection account.

 

2. Regarding the DBS check amount of £34k please provide a breakdown of
that expenditure

 

Please see attached

 

3. Please provide a breakdown of the £16k miscellaneous expenditure

 

Please see attached

 

4. Please provide an account of the £3k transport costs applied to that
account.

 

Please see attached

 

5. Regarding the recruitment ‘freeze’ last year which apparently led to a
post being held vacant for an entire year. Please provide the member
decision and chief officer direction and recorded information that led to
this post being unfilled. Considering this is a ring fenced account was
the decision to freeze that post agreed with HR and S151?

 

The ‘post freeze’ was in accordance with HR advice.

 

6. Finally I recall several years ago the trade agreed to an increase in
their fees (was it a 30% increase) for the specific purpose of more
vehicle checks and enforcement. Please can you provide recorded
information on the management response and increased checks in response to
that increase in fees?

 

We are not aware of an ‘agreement’ in relation to a proposed fee increase.
Further details of the meeting(s) including the date would need to be
provided in order to ascertain whether we hold a written management
response.

 

If you are dissatisfied with our response you have the right to ask for a
review of how your enquiry was handled and responded to. This can be done
by contacting us through [City of York Council request email] stating your reason(s) why you
are dissatisfied, and we will pass this to the information governance team
who deal with all reviews of how we have dealt with FOI enquiries. If
after they complete their investigation and reply to you with their
findings, you still remain dissatisfied you can contact the Information
Commissioner, contact details below:

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a
national rate number

Fax: 01625 524 510 Or email: [email address] (please include your
telephone number)

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Matt Boxall

Head of Public Protection

 

Contact Point  | Information Governance and Complaints Team   
t: 01904 554556 | e:[email address]

 

West Offices | Station Rise | York YO1 6GA

[1]www.york.gov.uk | [2]facebook.com/cityofyork | [3]@CityofYork

 

 

 

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Gwen Swinburn please sign in and let everyone know.