Agenda item

Work Programme

Report of the Assistant Director Law and Governance


The Assistant Director Law and Governance submitted a report (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to this Scrutiny Committee’s work programme and to give consideration to a request received from Councillor Jones that an item on wheelchair accessible taxis be added to the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme.


The submitted report stated that a request had been received from a Member of this Committee to investigate options to increase the number of wheelchair accessible taxis in Darlington and improve on the current situation; and Members were invited to make a decision as to whether this item should be added to its work programme, and if so, how work should proceed.


The Licensing Manager advised Members that there was a national shortage of taxi drivers following the removal of covid restrictions; an action plan was in place to address the shortage of drivers; that legislative and policy changes would be required to mandate the requirement of wheelchair accessible vehicles and this could have a financial impact on the Council and operators at a time when the focus was on restoring numbers of drivers to address the current pressures and demands on the taxi trade.


Members were informed that the Council works closely with Darington Association on Disability (DAD) in an attempt to resolve issues as they arise; the Council’s policy offers a number of incentives to drivers to invest in wheelchair accessible vehicles; and in accordance with government recommendations, the Licensing Department publishes an up to date list of all wheelchair accessible vehicles on its website. Members suggested that this list be shared via social media. Reference was also made to Tees Flex, which provided wheelchair accessible vehicles.


Members acknowledged the current position regarding taxis in Darlington and welcomed an update report at a future meeting of this scrutiny committee


Discussion ensued on the current work programme;  it was agreed that the item ‘Drug and Alcohol Service Contract’ be removed from the work programme.


RESOLVED – (a) That an update report regarding taxis in Darlington be provided at a future meeting of this Scrutiny Committee.


(b) That the Work Programme be updated to reflect discussion.



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