South Ribble Council had failed to make the safety of taxi passengers a priority when issuing licenses, a report has concluded.
Last summer, officers and members of the council expressed concerns over certain taxi drivers having their licenses renewed despite being involved in potential incidents of child sexual exploitation.
The council commissioned an independent external review into the service, which found there had been a ‘lack of awareness and priority given to safeguarding and the safety of taxi passengers’.
The report did praise the council for being ‘active at every stage’ of the review, and it has already accepted all the recommendations made. These include improving taxi licensing administrative arrangements, complaint investigatory procedures and safeguarding awareness.
Leader of the council, cllr Margaret Smith said: ‘The council welcomes this independent report today. We fully accept its recommendations and are on course to implement them all.’
She added: ‘This council operates in an open and transparent way. That is why, as soon as concerns were raised about our Licensing Service, we acted swiftly and commissioned this external report by an independent firm of solicitors.
‘However, we didn’t sit back and wait for the outcome of that review. Over the last six months the council has been active in responding to any concerns. We made improvements as soon as the issues were raised, and as a result the final report has not seen the need for any further recommendations.’