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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:46 am 
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High Court Quashes Wakefield Taxi Licence Fees

https://licensing-lawyer.co.uk/licence-fees/

There is no general rule of full recovery of the cost of administration of licence regimes. The power to set taxi licence fees, and the extent of such power, is limited by the words of the LGMPA 1976.

The High Court has quashed the licence fees charged for private hire vehicle and hackney carriage licences set by Wakefield City Council, following a claim for judicial review by the Wakefield District Private Hire and Hackney Association.

His Honour Judge Saffman, sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court, held that the fees charged by Wakefield were unlawful. In particular, the Council had wrongly interpreted section 70 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and had erroneously charged the costs of enforcement against drivers (for speeding, bad parking, dressing inappropriately and a miscellany of uncivil or illegal conduct) to the control and supervision of vehicles. Wakefield’s case had been that the costs were properly accounted for against vehicles because the errant drivers were driving vehicles. The learned judge described that as ‘stretching beyond breaking point’ the language of the section.

The case is of wider importance as it dispels any suggestion that there is a general principle of law that licensing regimes should be self-financing. The judge made it clear that a local authority’s entitlement to recover from the licence fee the costs of administering a licensing regime is governed by the words of the empowering statute. Where Parliament has awarded local authorities a broad discretion to set such licence fees “as they think reasonable”, the courts have upheld policies of full cost recovery on the ground that the policies, being reasonable, are intra vires; but where, as in s 70 LGMPA 1976, the power to charge a fee is circumscribed by reference to specific heads of recovery, recovery is restricted to those specified heads. Licensing authorities are creatures of statute, and have no powers beyond those which statute has given them.

In the course of the High Court action it became apparent that Wakefield Council has overcharged private hire vehicle licence fees by an aggregate sum in excess of £1million, which will form the subject of a claim for restitution.

Gerald Gouriet QC and Charles Streeten acted for the successful claimant, with the assistance of A2Z licensing.


The relevant part seems to be s70(1):

70 Fees for vehicle and operators’ licences.

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, a district council may charge such fees for the grant of vehicle and operators’ licences as may be resolved by them from time to time and as may be sufficient in the aggregate to cover in whole or in part—

(a) the reasonable cost of the carrying out by or on behalf of the district council of inspections of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles for the purpose of determining whether any such licence should be granted or renewed;

(b) the reasonable cost of providing hackney carriage stands; and

(c) any reasonable administrative or other costs in connection with the foregoing and with the control and supervision of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1976/57/section/70


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:37 pm 
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In the course of the High Court action it became apparent that Wakefield Council has overcharged private hire vehicle licence fees by an aggregate sum in excess of £1million, which will form the subject of a claim for restitution.

Well done to the trade. =D>

For far too long our trade has been used by many many councils as a cash cow, but it would appear Wakefield will no longer be one of those councils.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Took me 5 years and a resignation to get it sorted here.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:29 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Took me 5 years and a resignation to get it sorted here.

And we were there with you. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
grandad wrote:
Took me 5 years and a resignation to get it sorted here.

And we were there with you. :D


shoulder to shoulder or right behind him?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:50 pm 
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Any idea how long Wakefield have to seek consent for an appeal? Have they done it yet?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:50 pm 
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cabbyman wrote:
Any idea how long Wakefield have to seek consent for an appeal? Have they done it yet?

6 months for Judicial Review, 28 days for normal appeal.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:35 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
grandad wrote:
Took me 5 years and a resignation to get it sorted here.

And we were there with you. :D

Yes and the help and encouragement was appreciated.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:36 pm 
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Any sign of a transcript on this case?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:27 pm 
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Chris the Fish wrote:
Any sign of a transcript on this case?

None up on the normal sites.

But no doubt one will turn up here, especially if Wakefield appeal.

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