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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:21 pm 
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Nottingham taxi drivers slam £200 council grant to pay for Covid measures

https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/not ... 00-6033066

Nottingham City Council have said that taxi drivers have been fairly compensated

Nottingham taxi drivers have said that a £200 grant from the council is 'nothing' and will not make up for the impact of Coronavirus.

Nottingham City Council decided on September 20 to use £320,000 of funds to pay every council licenced taxi driver £200, in order to contribute towards the cost of Covid measures like screens and extra cleaning.

The £200 grant follows a £400 payment by Nottingham City Council to drivers earlier this year.

Cabbies thought that the money received was "nothing" compared to the grants which other drivers across Nottinghamshire have gotten from local authorities.

So Heal, 62, a taxi driver in the city centre, said:

“It’s very bad here, very bad.

“This council especially, other councils are giving more money.

“We’ve had one to £400 here and £200 pound there, but that’s not good for us taxi drivers.

“Now it’s a little bit better, but in the pandemic it was one, two or three jobs all day. £20, £30, £35 all day.

“The £200 is nothing. Other councils in the UK pay £2000, £1500, here is nothing.

“It’s not good. The council can’t help us."

Another Nottingham taxi driver, who did not want to be named, said:

“It’s been hard, it’s been really hard to be a taxi driver.

“We’ve received about £400, that was 6 months ago.

“It’s nothing.

“Some councils are giving them thousands of pounds in other areas.

“It’s been quiet, just sitting here maybe one job, earn £20, in the pandemic.

“It’s slightly a bit better now.”

Asif Maqsood, 44, a taxi driver, said: "Taxi drivers have had a rough time.

"Before we got a payment of £400 earlier this year, but I have heard that Rushcliffe council gave £4500 while Gedling gave £2100.

"It is not enough and the majority, if not 100 per cent, of drivers think the same."

Wasim Amin, 41, chair of the Nottingham Taxi Owners' and Drivers' Association, who has been a driver for more than a decade, said:

"Any help from the local government is appreciated in these difficult times for self employed, small business licensed Taxi drivers by NCC.

"The neighbouring Councils like Rushcliffe and Gedling have given more financial packages to any Taxi driver’s compare to Nottingham City Council licensed Taxi drivers.

"We feel the Nottingham City Council could have done more to support the licensed vehicles as there was no work but it seems that the council has not indicated how much was received from central government and put us drivers at the bottom of the pecking order as always."

Nottingham City Council said that taxi drivers had been fairly compensated for the cost of Covid measures.

Councillor Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development at Nottingham City Council, said: “We completely understand how hard the past 18 months have been for all businesses and self-employed people.

"However, to suggest that taxi drivers have been unfairly treated by the council over supplementary grants is incorrect.

“In Nottingham, we received a pot of money from Central Government – the Discretionary Grant scheme – which we were asked to distribute among all local businesses.

"This was never supposed to replace lost income or act as a wage supplement for taxi drivers. The Government compensated individuals directly through its self-employed support programme.

“Instead, Discretionary Grant funding is intended to help with additional Covid-related costs, which for taxi drivers could include things like screens in vehicles and PPE.

“Proportionally-speaking, taxi drivers in Nottingham have received a significant chunk of this discretionary money – around £1million in total.

"We have 2,500 licensed drivers in the city means we could never provide the individual level of financial support offered by a small number of neighbouring districts.

"Doing so would have left not a single penny to support other Nottingham businesses also affected by the pandemic, including hospitality and retail.

“However, we made an initial payment of £400 followed by another of £200 more recently. There is no requirement to pay taxi drivers anything out of the Discretionary Grant scheme and, indeed, many councils have chosen not to. We felt differently.

“Our research shows the average amount each driver received nationally was £500, meaning taxi drivers in Nottingham had more than most around the country at £600 each."


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 48756
Location: 1066 Country
The council has had that money for nearly a year now, and only now decide on paying out £200 to each driver.

Shameful, absolutely shameful. [-(

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