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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:12 am 
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A fortnight ago, StuartW wrote:
So if that's correct then those living over the border won't be eligible. That'll go down well.

This cross-border thing was always going to be problematic, but the likes of the Birmingham area self-evidently going to be more problematic at most.

But no word of the part-time conundrum, as discussed in the other thread. Maybe the council dumped that because it's too difficult to decide, whereas where licence holders live is a bit easier to assess for box-ticking purposes.


'Hung out to dry' - Taxi driver fury after missing out on council £1k Covid grant

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/m ... r-19865015

Cabbies who live in Birmingham but hold Solihull licences are unable to claim the 'life-saving' sum

Image
Image: Birmingham Mail

Taxi drivers have told of their fury after being 'abandoned' by the city council - after it emerged they were ineligible for 'vital' £1k Covid grants.

Cabbies claim they have been 'hung out to dry' after the scheme was found to only be accessible for drivers who both live in and hold their taxi licences in Birmingham.

This leaves cabbies who live in Birmingham but hold Solihull licences without a potential payout.

Drivers said the one-off grant of £1,000 would have been 'life-saving' and they were 'gutted' upon finding out this week that they were unable to claim the cash.

The Birmingham City Council grant is aimed at supporting Birmingham’s hackney carriage and private hire taxi drivers who have been significantly impacted throughout the government lockdown restrictions.

The city council said they had only a 'limited budget' - and only drivers who meet their strict criteria could be considered for the grant.

A similar scheme, run by Solihull Council, only applies to drivers who live in the borough.

One driver, who did not want to be named, told BirminghamLive: "Birmingham City Council states only drivers licenced in Birmingham and residing in Birmingham are eligible for the grant.

"This leaves the majority of Solihull-licenced drivers who live in Birmingham hung out to dry .

"It's a total farce. Solihull Council say essentially it doesn't matter where you are licensed, as long as you live in the Solihull area.

"Solihull have around 2,000 taxi drivers - but I would say the vast majority live in the Birmingham area. This is going to affect such a lot of people."

The National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) are said to be 'trying to engage' with the authorities.

Sajjad Hussain, taxi driver and chair of the RMT Solihull taxi branch, said: "So many union members have been getting in touch. This £1k would have been a lifesaver and helping hand.

"I am a Birmingham resident but i hold a Solihull licence. I am totally excluded from this grant.

"This grant would have gone towards covering my insurance and the vehicle licence. It would have been a helping hand and given me some breathing space.

"Times are so hard, money isn't coming in. We are waiting hours for jobs to come in and we're losing out on fuel.

"We are grafters, we all want to work and we are trying so hard to carry on. We want to help communities, take people for their vaccines and to appointments.

"Councils really needed to broaden their criteria. There are so many of us struggling - I moved house fairly recently, I have children, a mortgage.

"When I heard a grant was imminent I felt confident we would be eligible, i trusted the council. When I found out so many of us weren't eligible I was gutted

"There should have been one blanket criteria across all authorities so everyone would have been eligible to receive something."

A Birmingham City Council spokeswoman said the scheme would support over '5,200 Birmingham residents with a Birmingham licence'.

"The policy for the taxi grant scheme has been developed in line with government guidance," a city council spokeswoman said.

"Cities across the country have been given Government funding to support businesses within their area that have been significantly impacted by Government restrictions. For Birmingham this includes our taxi drivers.

"At its discretion Birmingham City Council has decided to offer one-off grant support to Birmingham based taxi drivers with a Birmingham licence, who have been significantly by Government restrictions.

"The scheme will support over 5,200 Birmingham residents with a Birmingham licence, who have been significantly impacted by Government restrictions.

"Whilst we fully appreciate the concerns raised, the city council has only a limited amount funding available and can only support drivers that meet the eligibility criteria"

A Solihull Borough Council spokesman said: "Solihull Council has been consistent in requiring applicants to be resident in the borough, either as businesses or individuals, to access its business support packages - as do other councils. The Council was one of the first in the region to put in place a discretionary business support package in May 2020 for businesses with premises in the borough or for those trading from home with a Solihull address.

"In response to the lockdown, the Council launched its new Discretionary Business Grant (DBG) scheme on 13 January. Already over 347 businesses and individuals have received over £2.5m in support from these schemes.

"Following feedback from Taxi Drivers Union the application form for the DBG scheme was amended, within 24 hours, to reflect the fact taxi drivers neither operate from a business premises or from home. As taxi drivers can choose to register and pay licence fees to one or more local authorities, where they pay their licence fee is not part of the Discretionary Business Grant scheme’s eligibility criteria.

"Taxi drivers not resident in Solihull can contact their own local authority to see what support it may be able to offer. There is a wide array of support available for businesses, and some drivers may be eligible for other funding, depending on their individual circumstances. All support available can be viewed at https://www.solihull.gov.uk/COVID-19/Business-grants.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:30 pm 
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Some councils have really gone out of their way to make things harder for drivers to claim. [-X

If a driver is license by your council, and works within your licensing district then pay him the f***ing money.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:36 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Some councils have really gone out of their way to make things harder for drivers to claim. [-X

If a driver is license by your council, and works within your licensing district then pay him the f***ing money.


Seems these drivers dont though, unless I read it wrong?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:20 pm 
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captain cab wrote:
Seems these drivers dont though, unless I read it wrong?

It's certainly quite a confusing read - the Birmingham City Council bit is straightforward enough, but it's not quite clear what's going on when Solihull Council comes into it. I mean:

RMT Solihull chair wrote:
"I am a Birmingham resident but i hold a Solihull licence. I am totally excluded from this grant."

But the way I read it he'd be eligible as a Solihull licence holder regardless of where he lives?

Anyway, no point getting stuck down that particular rabbit hole, but hardly a surprise it's even more confusing than the cross-border thing generally :-s

(Some readers may have noticed that earlier I got 'eligible' and 'ineligible' the wrong way round, in fact I actually used the term illegible, which means something completely different :oops:

Sorted now, though :? )


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