Taxi drivers in Powys will be subject to background checks every six months.

At a meeting of the Democratic Services committee on Monday, April 22 councillors received a report which said that tweaks were needed to the Powys County Council constitution.

The council’s head of legal and democratic services, Clive Pinney explained that the changes are needed as subscribing to the DBS (Disclosure and Barring) service is a new requirement for licensed drivers to comply with guidance issued by the Welsh Government and the UK Department for Transport.

An annual subscription to the UK Government’s DBS Update service costs £13.

Mr Pinney explained that he considered the change to the Powys constitution to be a “minor amendment”.

This means that it doesn’t need to go before all councillors at a council meeting to be ratified.

If the drivers don’t follow the new six monthly DBS requirement the constitutional change would allow the “relevant” head of service to have the ability to sub-delegate responsibility to the relevant council officer to suspend the taxi/hackney cab licence.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Claire Hall asked for confirmation that the driver would need to subscribe to the DBS update service which allows certificates to be checked online or “demonstrate” in another way that their DBS has is up to date.

Mr Pinney confirmed she was correct and that this is a new requirement.

Cllr Hall said: “I just thought that every six months was a bit onerous for paperwork but if it’s an either or situation I can’t see why they can’t do that.”

Independents for Powys Cllr Gareth E Jones asked why the Welsh Government had brought in the guidance.

Mr Pinney said: “It’s to safeguard members of the public who use taxis.”

He added that the other licensing requirements would continue on a three yearly basis.

Earlier this month increases to two of three types of taxi licences came into force.

The fees for 2024/2025 which don’t include the cost for DBS checks are:

• Hackney carriage private hire (1 year): £150 going up from £146 this year.

• Driver licence (3 years): £284 up from £270.50 this year.

• Private Hire Operators (5 years): £355 down from £358 this year.