A pause on plates

Oldham Council have postponed a reduction in the size of ID plates on taxis after Lib Dem Councillor Louie Hamblett called out the failure to carry out an Equality Impact Assessment as part of the decision.

Mrs Berry with Councillor Louie Hamblett

The plates, which identify private hire cars, were due to change shortly until Councillor Hamblett challenged the decision, pointing out that for people who have impaired vision – and who are therefore more likely to use taxis – would be most affected by the change.

Councillor Hamblett said: “This just hasn’t been thought through – and I know that because the report to Cabinet tells me that they didn’t look at this. It’s very simple – if this makes it harder for people with impaired vision to recognise taxis, it should not be going ahead.

“I’m glad that the Council has postponed the change awaiting an Equality Impact Assessment. However, this shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It’s very telling that no-one on the Cabinet asked this question. It seems as though we have a Council that talks about equality but doesn’t do the work to achieve it.”

Mrs Berry, a Crompton resident who has macular degeneration, added: “I use taxis to get to appointments or go to town regularly and I struggle to see so its important that they do display the ID plates properly so I can tell if it’s a genuine taxi or not.”

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