December 20, 2016
A delay in licence renewals could see many out of a job over the festive period in Nottingham; the busiest time of year for the taxi trade.
“It’s not the time of year I want to be out of work.”
For one Nottingham driver it’s looking very likely that he won’t have a valid licence in time for the Christmas boom. The dad of four, Daniel Smith, was prompted to renew his licence eight weeks before his current one expired. Daniel duly completed and sent his paperwork but has yet to receive his new badge.
Daniel said: “It’s not the time of year I want to be out of work. I’ve got two children and I’ve got bills to pay. I drive a wheelchair accessible taxi too so my customers rely on me.”
Unacceptable Waiting Time
When chasing up his application Daniel was told that the delay was down to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) taking longer to process applications. The DBS examines each individual application for criminal records to ensure that drivers aren’t a risk to members of the public.
“Some drivers are out of work for up to eight weeks after placing their paperwork with the council.”
Director of Central Cars, Gary Allen, said: “I understand how important these checks are but they seem to be taking an increasingly long time to approve. In a lot of cases the process time really is unacceptably long.
“Some drivers are out of work for up to eight weeks after placing their paperwork with the council. If the drivers don’t get badged in time it affects us too because we lose the revenue from them.”
Daniel added: “I just don’t understand what’s causing the delay. Ideally the council would send me a temporary badge.”
Chief licensing officer at Nottingham City Council, Richard Antcliff, commented: “These checks include an enhanced DBS check, a medical exam, a check to ensure the drivers have the right to work in the UK, a local knowledge check and mandatory safeguarding training.
“As a licensing authority we expect the highest possible standards in this trusted profession and whilst we do not unduly delay these checks, the public will always expect us to take all reasonable measures to ensure drivers are suitable.
“Unfortunately we cannot influence the length of time the DBS takes and this can sometimes be in excess of three months, depending on the circumstances.”