Night time economy exists thanks to Licensing

Its day four of National Licensing Week and today's theme is all about night time and how South Somerset District Council's (SSDC) Licensing team has an impact on the night life of all the towns across South Somerset.

It's been a busy week at work and you're heading to town for some food and drink with friends, but did you know that the restaurant you're eating at is only able to serve you a glass of your favourite wine because they have had an alcohol licence granted to them by the Council's Licensing team?

You've had a lovely meal but perhaps you and your friends want to move on to your favourite local pub or club? Imagine your night coming to an end simply because they didn't have a premises licence that was granted by the District Council's Licensing team.

Before you get into a taxi, you decide you want to grab another bite to eat from the local kebab takeaway. There would be no doner kebab or cheesy chips on offer because the premise isn't open if it wasn't for the Licensing team issuing a premises licenceā€¦

You then need that taxi home, but are you getting in a taxi that's been licenced by our Licensing Officers?  In South Somerset, there are 363 licensed taxi drivers and 296 licensed taxi vehicles.

Before SSDC will consider an application for a joint Hackney Carriage / Private Hire driver's licence, an applicant is required to provide the following documentation:

  • Full driving licence (including any counterpart);
  • A signed data protection mandate to allow a check of your driving licence;
  • Knowledge Test pass certificate;
  • Driving Standards Agency (DSA) pass certificate or SSDC equivalent;
  • Completed medical questionnaire;
  • Disability Awareness Course pass certificate;
  • Fully completed DBS application form with supporting documents;
  • Certificate of good conduct;
  • Passport-sized photograph

All of the above is checked with the application by Licensing Officers at SSDC and the Council issued driver's badges allow the holder to work in both capacities as a hackney carriage and/or private hire driver.

Councillor Angie Singleton, Portfolio Holder for Licensing at South Somerset District Council said, "To think that you and your family or friends couldn't go out and enjoy yourselves on an evening is crazy, but it's a reality if Licensing Officers don't issue licences to establishments. Officers work hard work with business owners to ensure they have the right type of licence and that's renewed when required. Our Officers do a fantastic job in ensuring that taxi drivers and their vehicles are legal for the job they carry out across the district".

South Somerset District Council's (SSDC) licensing team have a very helpful section on the SSDC website at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/licensing that gives details of the different licences, permits, registrations and notifications required for Premises Licences and relating to alcohol and entertainment.

There is also a very helpful section that gives details of the process on how to become a taxi driver and also the application for the licence and licensing of Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles.

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