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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 2933

Taxi drivers penalty points

Request


I write to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

My request concerns penalty points given to taxi drivers in Brentwood in the last three years.
Specifically:

-How many Brentwood-registered taxi drivers have appeared in front of the council’s licensing panel as a result of receiving penalty points in each of the last three years? (please break down per year)

-How many points have been given to each of them? (please break down per year)

-What have they been given the points for?

-How many lost their licence? (please break down per year)

-How many penalty points were issued to Brentwood-registered taxi drivers in 2011?

-How many points have been given to each of them? (please break down per year)

-What have they been given the points for?



Response

To comprehensively answer all of your enquires for these financial years it will require a manual check of all current and expired driver and vehicle files. 

In respect of freedom of information enquiries the ‘Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 sets an appropriate limit for public authorities such as local Councils whereby if the cost of complying with a relevant request exceeds £450, the authority is entitled to take into account the estimated cost of determining whether it holds the information sought, locating the information or a document which may contain the information and extracting the information from a document containing it. 

The regulations prescribe the extent to which any costs that a public authority takes into account are attributable to the time which persons undertaking any of the activities mentioned above on behalf of the authority are expected to spend on those activities and estimates those costs to be at a rate of £25 per person per hour. 

Therefore in accordance with Section 9 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA 2000), I have estimated that in order to be able to fully comply with your request a manual check will be required of approximately the following files: 

36 - Private Hire Vehicles

221 - Hackney Carriage

360 – Driver

200 – Archived Driver

100- Archived Vehicle 

On an estimated basis of an average of 20 minutes per file to check and record any relevant information held on that file it will take approximately 306.00 hours to comply with your request. 

At £25 per hour as per the above regulations, this will be a cost of £7650 less £450, giving an amount of £7200. 

Also if the information is supplied in hard copy it will require a redaction of any personal information from correspondence or records etc. This will be an additional cost which is unknown at this present time and cannot be calculated until the work has been completed.

Where a public authority is charging a fee in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 the applicant has a maximum of 3 months to pay from the date of this letter. 

The public authority is not required to comply with the request until such times as it is satisfied that the fee has been paid.

 Accordingly, in compliance with Section 12 of the FOIA 2000 the Council is exempt from supplying this information as the cost of supplying the information exceeds the £450 limit prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.  

I would therefore be grateful if you would advise me accordingly as to whether you wish to proceed with your enquiry and enclose payment by return if you do. As advised, you have 3 months from the date of this letter should you wish to do so. 

In compliance with Section 16 of the FOIA 2000 the Council recognises that it has a duty to advise and assist you in this matter if it can. Therefore if I can be of any further assistance as to how you think that the information might be provided to you in an alternative way which would reduce the cost of your enquiry, or to provide the information within the £450 limit prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 please do not hesitate to advise me accordingly. 

Section 21 of the FOIA 2000 refers to information accessible to the applicant by other means. In accordance with this section, information regarding driver, vehicle proprietor or operator attendance at Licensing Appeals Committee is available through the Council’s web site. The information will not identify the individual driver, vehicle proprietor or operator, neither will it identify an offence, but should describe the decision or outcome of the appeal.

If you have any queries about the information you have received, please contact me and I will be happy to assist you if I am able to. My contact details are given at the head of this letter.

Alternatively if you are unhappy with the information supplied, you may ask for an internal review. To request an internal review, please write to The Legal Department, Brentwood Borough Council, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood. Essex. CM15 8AY giving the reasons for your dissatisfaction. It will help if you quote the reference number for your case.

If you do not agree with the outcome of the internal review, you may lodge an appeal with the Information Commissioner (www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk). The Information Commissioner is an independent official appointed by the Crown to oversee the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

The Information Commissioner can consider complaints about any aspect of the way in which requests for information have been handled. Please note: the Information Commissioner would be unlikely to consider your complaint if you have not first requested an internal review.

You can write to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.