LEADING Councillors from Derby City and Gedling Borough Councils have reached an in-principle agreement to allow taxis that are licensed by Gedling to be inspected by Derby-based officers.

The announcement follows concerns raised by the public about the number of hackney carriages operating as private hire vehicles in Derby, that have been licensed by other councils. Currently, officers in Derby are unable to inspect these vehicles without colleagues from the relevant licensing authority present.

The meeting was prompted by a letter from Councillor Baggy Shanker, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services at Derby City Council, inviting several authorities affected by this loophole to work together more closely.

The proposals are the latest in a series of measures due to be introduced to improve the regulation of taxi licensing in Derby, following recommendations made by the Council’s external auditors.

It is thought that between fifty and eighty drivers regularly operating in Derby hold licences from Gedling Borough Council. Reports will now be prepared that will recommend authorising Derby City Council officers to inspect the vehicles and drivers operating in the city that have been licensed by Gedling.

Councillor David Ellis, Cabinet Member for Public Protection at Gedling Borough Council, said:

“We have taken significant steps in recent years to strengthen our taxi licensing procedures, including the introduction of a knowledge test and safeguarding training for drivers. We also know that a number of our existing license holders predominantly operate in Derby.

We have a responsibility to ensure that all drivers licensed by Gedling Borough Council meet the standards we set and expect of them, wherever they are based. Our licensing officers already carry out regular joint inspections with colleagues in the City, but the agreement we have reached will allow both authorities to invest their time and resources more effectively.”

Councillor Shanker added:

“I am delighted that we have reached this agreement. The recent taxi licensing consultation showed a clear public appetite for addressing concerns about the number of vehicles and drivers operating in Derby who are licensed elsewhere.

Colleagues in Gedling have demonstrated a commitment to upholding high standards amongst their licensed drivers, wherever they operate.

The ability of Derby City Council licensing officers to inspect out-of-town vehicles and drivers will lead to higher standards and greater public confidence in the trade. I’d like to thank Councillor Ellis for his co-operation and I look forward to working together in future.”