Rushmoor Borough Council is joining forces with three other local authorities to pilot a new digital service for taxi licence holders.
The four councils have been awarded £138,150 from the government’s Local Digital Fund to explore and prototype a digital service for taxi licence holders to manage their licences, using a convenient online service.
Officers at Rushmoor will be working alongside colleagues from Hart District Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and North Tyneside Council.
The pilot project will explore issues such as:
- Are licensing user needs common across different local authorities?
- Can these needs be met with a consistent, scalable digital service solution?
- Can such a solution deliver meaningful and realisable benefits?
The move follows previous research by Rushmoor with local taxi-drivers and operators to understand their needs for managing their taxi licences, which showed that there was a desire for a digital service.
Under the current system licensing staff need to contact licence holders by phone or email, to notify them when information is needed, or tasks are due. This can sometimes lead to challenges in communication and errors, wasted time and frustration for both licence holders and staff. In extreme cases it can result in taxi drivers being unable to work.
The current work is time consuming, but a new digital system could offer a faster and more convenient option for licence holders and free up officer time for pro-active enforcement and for helping taxi licence holders.
Rushmoor Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Customer Experience, Digital and Transformation, Councillor Jonathan Canty, said: "As as council we are always striving to make it easy and convenient for residents and businesses to access our services. That is why I am delighted that we have secured new government funding to help deliver a digital licence service, which will make it easier and quicker for drivers to manage their licences online."