Blackpool Council Disregard Taxi Support Grants

The council have disregarded supporting the local Taxi trade with Grants throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, other councils have given grants to their local operators ranging from £500 to £1500, even the local MPs have lobbied the council to deliver a grant scheme but with no effect.

In a stark contrast, the council have used the UK Government funding to support the Tram and Bus systems in Blackpool with hundreds of thousands of pounds, even though all the staff are off work or working part time on full pay.

Generates Millions for Local Economy Annually

The Taxi trade is a major stakeholder in the public transport system, it generates more than £16 Million into the local economy annually and transports more passengers than the Tram & Bus systems and plays a crucial role in delivering tourists to hotels, nightlife and attractions on a 24/7 basis.

Some Taxi drivers have qualified for the self-employed grant scheme, unfortunately a high percentage of drivers fall into the 3 million unforgotten category, even the self employed grant scheme just about covers the basic living costs.

Untouched Financially

One factor that’s not mentioned in the media or by public sector staff, is the fact that the local authority decision makers are untouched by the financial implications of the COVID-19 restrictions, they remain on full pay and working from home.  The reality of the financial impact can never be understood by a protected minority who have financially benefited from the pandemic, and allowing personal opinions to influence decisions, that’s the sad reality of how the council decisions appear to the local Taxi trade.

Licensing Fees

From 2017 to 2020 Blackpool Council generated over £1.3 Million in licensing fees, and during the COVID-19 pandemic they have continued to charge the Taxi trade the fees and that’s one area the council can control and support the Taxi trade, money raised from licensing fees is legally ring fenced for Taxi Operations and what the £1.3 Million has been spent on is still being investigated.

On Going Communications

Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association have been communicating with the council requesting Grants for the last 6 months, involving the press and the local MPs who have been supporting the Taxi trade, resulting in a small refund being given to taxi drivers and vehicle licence holders (£75 & £170), this falls way short of the national picture and is not a Grant.

As it stands now, BLTOA understand there will be no Grants given to the Taxi trade by Blackpool Council, any public support of this post will be greatly appreciated by the trade.

Click the link for a list of other councils grants to the taxi trade