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Refund of Fees

It has come to our attention that the increases in fees charged in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle licences, and Operators Licences have not been correctly advertised for the last six years.

Background
The Council are aware that the increases in fees charged in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle licences, and Operators Licences have not been correctly advertised.  Whilst all fare increases were advertised on the Council website, they were not advertised in a local newspaper as required. This was an oversight on the part of the Council and means that the portion of the fees received over and above that which was last advertised in the prescribed manner has not been lawfully collected. The Council have been working closely with representatives of the Colchester Hackney Carriage Association and the Private Hire Vehicle trade to agree the process by which the refunds due will be repaid.

We are pleased to advise that the Council have now agreed a process by which the difference in the fees paid may be refunded and are now in a position to invite claims from any person or company that believes they may be affected.

How to Claim
If you believe that you have a legitimate claim for a refund, you must complete in full one claim form for each vehicle or operator licence, in addition to a 'claimant details' form (entitled Taxi Licensing Refund Application). Only one Refund application form is required regardless of the number of vehicle and/or operator claim forms submitted.

Examples:

If you are claiming for 3 private hire vehicles and as an operator, you will be required to submit 3 separate private hire vehicle claim forms, 1 operator claim form (unless the operators licence has been held in different names in which event a separate form will be required for each trading/company name) and one Taxi Licensing Refund Application. This means you will be submitting 5 forms in total.

If you are not, and have not been an operator in the last 6 years but have held 1 vehicle licence, you will need to complete 1 vehicle claim form (either a hackney carriage or a private hire form dependant on the type of vehicle licensed) and 1 Taxi Licensing Refund Application. This means you will be submitting 2 forms in total.

Please note any forms that contain more than one vehicle per form will be rejected and you will be required to resubmit your application.

Please be advised that the claimant details form contains a declaration, which you must sign. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement or fraudulent claim will be liable to prosecution. All claims will be verified via the Council database.


Claim forms can be downloaded using the links below.

pdf icon Claimant details form [39kb]

pdf icon Hackney Carriage Claim Form [26kb]

pdf icon Private Hire Claim Form [25kb]

pdf icon Operator Claim Form [24kb]

These forms must be downloaded, completed and signed by the claimant (or in exceptional circumstances by an agent, appointee or relative - giving reasons as to why the claimant is unable to submit the claim) and returned to:


Colchester Borough Council
Rowan House,
33 Sheepen Road,
Colchester,
Essex

CO3 3WG


Once Your Claim has been Received
Your application will be checked and verified.  Providing the application is completed correctly and the claim is legitimate then we aim to respond with a refund of all monies due, by cheque, within 28 days.  If there is a problem with the claim we will notify you directly advising you of the issue and any revised timescale for handling the claim.

We are anticipating a large volume of claims, therefore in the interests of directing efforts into processing these as quickly as possible we will not enter into discussion on any claim within the initial 28 day period. For this reason, we would ask that once your claim has been submitted you refrain from chasing progress within the 28 days of submission.

The Council will aim to respond to all claimants with the refund of monies due within 28 days, provided that the application is completed correctly and all information relating to the claim is complete, accurate and is a legitimate claim.

Should you require any further information please contact the Licensing, Food and Safety Manager at the address above.