Reigate and Banstead Borough Council is seeking views on proposed changes to its taxi and private hire licensing rules.
The alterations include the adoption of a new convictions policy, and mandatory child sexual exploitation awareness training for all drivers.
The consultation is open until Monday 4 December 2017, via a SurveyMonkey webpage. (Unusually, there doesn’t appear to be an off-line option.)
Reigate & Banstead say that the proposals stem from the Surrey Licensing Forum, which is made up of senior representatives from each council in Surrey.
The aim of the plans is to bring a more consistent approach to training and assessment of drivers across the county: with all councils adopting the same approach, someone who fails to get a licence in one part of Surrey won’t be able to apply for one in another.
And, when deciding whether an applicant is suitable to hold a licence, all the councils will take into account criminal convictions, along with other factors such as character, non-criminal behaviour and police information.
Mandatory safeguarding training will also be introduced for new and existing taxi drivers, to raise their awareness of child sexual exploitation and how to report concerns about children or vulnerable adults.
Councillor Graham Knight, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s Executive Member for Enforcement, said:
“I encourage our residents to take part in the consultation and tell us their views on the proposals.
All Surrey borough and district councils are working closely together to achieve a consistent approach to licensing and training drivers to spot and report signs of child sexual exploitation with the aim of helping prevent children and young people being exploited in this way.”
Following the consultation, the results will be analysed and the final policies agreed in early 2018.
Reigate & Banstead is hosting the survey on behalf of all Surrey councils, with the aim of making it easier for residents and businesses who may use services across more than one council area, and to avoid the need to collate the results of 11 separate consultations.
SurveyMonkey webpage (includes a link to the policy)