By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

A new streamlined online processing system implies that taxi driving licence charges are set to be lowered in Powys for the subsequent financial yr.

The County Council’s Planning Committee meeting came to the decision after listening to that running costs had been decreased due to the on-line system introduced in during the pandemic.

That system streamlined the method and can permit officers to raised use their time to “engage and assist the taxi trade”.

Senior taxi licensing officer, Sue Jones, explained that the charges for 2022/23 have been calculated on an average of the costs for years 2019/20 before the pandemic, and 2020/21 when Covid emerged.

“As anticipated, it means that fees have come out much less for 2022/23,” she stated, estimating that fee changes would see a loss of £9,000 in revenue for the authority.

“This may be absorbed by the funding already acquired for public protection providers from Welsh Government for added work carried out in relation to covid compliance.

She added that enforcement work had restarted and that the “streamlined online process” introduced on by Coronavirus could be kept.

Due to this change taking on from workers manually processing the functions, Ms Jones said that the costs will “unlikely recover” to the identical levels.

“Efficiencies in processing time will release officers to have interaction and assist the taxi commerce especially in relation to implementation of the brand new Welsh Government taxi standards,” mentioned Ms Jones.

If councillors agree the proposals, they will then be marketed in the local press permitting a 28-day period for objections to be lodged.

Ms Jones explained that any objections to the proposed charges would need to be “considered” and reported again to the committee.

Ms Jones stated: “If no objections are made, then these charges will come into effect on April 1.”

The fees for 2022/2 which don’t include the price for DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks are:

Hackney carriage non-public hire (1 year):  £130 – dropping from £148

Driver licence (3 years): £248 – dropping from £260

Driver licence (1 year) : £140 -dropping from £150

Private Hire Operators (5 years):  £387 – dropping from £405.

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