Reduced Services

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.

Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.

Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our Coronavirus information page

You are invited to view and contribute to the The Mayor's Covid Record of Reflection

Message from the Mayor of Castle Point Council Councillor Colin Riley and the Leader of the Council Councillor Norman Smith

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing

Help for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers at this time has now been implemented:

  • If drivers elect not to use their vehicle for hire and reward for a period of time because there is no work available, they can change their insurance to normal business only for a period (Hire and Reward insurance is much more expensive) and return the plates to the office. We will then re issue the plates when they wish to resume working. The annual renewal date will remain the same.

Other changes to our ways of working at present:

  • Payments can be taken over the phone by debit or credit card
  • The Government recently announced an automatic 6 month extension to all MOTs issued after 31st March 2020 - THIS 6 MONTH EXTENSION ENDED 1ST AUGUST 2020.

Castle Point Borough Council has a statutory responsibility to licence the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade.

The Taxi & Private Hire Statutory Guidance Consultation

The consultation period begins on 9 October 2020 and you are invited to comment on the DfT Statutory Guidance Document by 1pm on 20 November 2020. Please download the Statutory Guidance Consultation Response form [docx] 87KB

Public safety is the main reason why the licensing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles, drivers and operators is regulated. The Council is required to ensure that all licence holders are ‘Fit and Proper’ persons to be licensed and that vehicles are accessible and safe.

Hackney Carriage Vehicles (Taxis)

A licensed taxi may be hired at one of the Boroughs taxi ranks, or it can be hailed in the street or be pre booked. Hackney Carriage vehicles display the councils door sticker on the front doors and a licence plate to the rear of the vehicle. The plate is white and displays full details of the vehicle that is licensed. All hackney carriage vehicles must display a taxi roof sign and carry a taximeter. Wheelchair Accessible vehicles display an orange plate.

Private Hire Vehicles

Private Hire vehicles must be pre booked and are generally used by operators for contract hire, executive hire and airport work etc. These vehicles display the Councils door sticker on the front doors and a licence plate to the rear of the vehicle. The plate is yellow and displays full details of the vehicle that is licensed.

Stretch Limousines

These vehicles carrying up to 8 passengers for hire and reward must be licensed with the Local Authority or Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). Stretch limousines licensed with a local authority are not permitted under any circumstances to carry more than 8 passengers.

Initial Application (Drivers)

Before a person can drive a licensed vehicle, whether it be a Hackney Carriage or a Private Hire vehicle they must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be over 21 years of age
  • Have held a full driving licence for not less than three years
  • Pass a medical examination of fitness to drive (Group 2 standard)
  • Be vetted by the Police and Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
  • Sign a mandate in order that a check can be made through the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA)
  • Be a holder of a Drivers Standards Agency (DSA) pass certificate for a driving assessment for taxis and private hire vehicles

Driving Assessment for taxi and private hire vehicles [pdf] 62KB

All applicants will be required to submit:-

  • An application form to include details of two referees to whom the Council will write
  • A DIsclosure & Barring Service (DBS) form together with three forms of identification
  • A medical form (to be completed by your own G.P) and sent direct to the Licensing Manager, Castle Point Borough Council.
  • Signed mandate for a check through the DVLA
  • The appropriate fee (details can be obtained from the Licensing Unit on 01268 882480)
  • attend a Disability Awareness and Customer Care course and produce the original certificate as proof of attendance.
  • A Drivers Standards Agency (DSA) pass certificate for a driving assessment for taxis and private hire vehicles

Applicants for a Hackney Carriage Licence will be required to sit a knowledge test, based on the Castle Point area. A test appointment can only be made after the appropriate documents have been received by this office.

Payments

For more assistance call the Licensing Unit on 01268 882480

Applying for a Licence - How to do this

To apply for a licence to become a driver and drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle or for any other queries, please contact the Licensing Unit on 01268 882480 or forms can be downloaded from the home page - forms on line

By appointment:- The Licensing Unit, Castle Point Borough Council, Kiln Road Benfleet, Essex SS7 1TF

 Lost Property

It is a condition of licence that all drivers finding lost property in their vehicles, hand the item(s) into a local police station as soon as possible and in any event within 72 hours. If you have left your property in a licensed vehicle please report it to the above office. You details will be recorded and you will be contacted as soon as the driver has handed in your property. Please be aware that the driver is permitted to charge a small fee for the return of your property.

Exemptions

Exemptions from licensing a vehicle for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward are weddings and funeral cars.

Minibuses that are capable of carrying more than 8 passengers must be licensed as PSV’s through the Traffic Commissioner at Cambridge.

Complaints and Compliments

If you wish to make a compliant about a licensed driver or the service you have received please do so, in writing, to the head of Licensing and Community Safety and include the drivers licence plate number or badge number, together with a date and time of the incident.

If complaint refers to driving, please inform the Head of Licensing and Transportation and the Traffic Police if you feel the drivers’ actions were dangerous.

Compliments can be made in writing or by telephone to the Head of Licensing and Transportation at Castle Point Borough Council.

Telephone No. 01268 882480 or licensingunit@castlepoint.gov.uk

Castle Point Borough Council, Kiln Road, Benfleet, Essex  SS7  1TF