Taxi loophole leaves children at risk of abuse, says Commons committee chairman Betts

THE chair of a key House of Commons committee has called the Government's “reluctance” to tackle a taxi licensing loophole leaving children at risk of abuse “deeply concerning”.

Clive Betts, chair of the communities and local government committee, said the body welcomed the introduction of national statutory guidance on taxi licensing but was concerned that Minster has not committed to monitoring how effective it is at ensuring the rules are not “undermined” by the operation of out-of-area taxis.

The Advertiser has previously reported on concerns about taxis licensed outside Rotherham operating in the borough when not subject to new strict safety requirements including CCTV and safeguarding training.

Mr Betts said: “Children and vulnerable adults will remain at risk in Rotherham for as long as the local authority's tough new licensing rules can be undermined by taxis from other areas.

“The Government must monitor the new statutory guidance for taxi licensing when it is introduced to see that it not only ensures consistently high standards across the country but also enables local authorities to put in place and enforce specific measures appropriate for their areas. If the guidance fails in this regard, then the Government should legislate.

 “The reluctance of Ministers to commit to either of these actions is deeply concerning.”