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The Sustainable Travel Group. Welcome to: Taxi Operators’ Forum 24 th May 2012. Taxi Forum. Introductions Mark Watters (Chair) Team Leader – Business Development & Support Dave Smith Team Leader – Quality Team Peter Haines Quality Officer – Quality Team Janna Walker

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the sustainable travel group

The Sustainable Travel Group

Welcome to:

Taxi Operators’ Forum

24th May 2012

taxi forum
Taxi Forum

Introductions

Mark Watters (Chair)

Team Leader – Business Development & Support

Dave Smith

Team Leader – Quality Team

Peter Haines

Quality Officer – Quality Team

Janna Walker

Senior Contract Manager – Contracts Team

Rob Whittaker

Public Transport Policy Manager

- Policy & Information Team

Biddy Small

Team Leader – Policy & Information

taxi forum1
Taxi Forum

Agenda

  • Housekeeping
    • Please turn mobiles off, no fire drills expected
    • Please hold all questions until the very end
  • Review of the year
  • Presentations from myself, Dave, Rob and Janna
  • Questions and Answers / Your Views session
taxi forum2
Taxi Forum

Review of 2011/12 (with the help of the Working Group)

  • Launch of eMarketplace for social care transport providing an opportunity for taxi operators to widen their business

(see www.choosemysupport.org.uk )

  • Yet more changes to CRB scheme
  • Requirement for escorts to have a reasonable standard of English
  • Safeguarding issues: don’t use Facebook™ or give out mobile numbers to clients. Guides available on our website.
  • Extension of SV2 Framework Agreement for another year to 30th April 2013
  • New rules on contract cover costs (see November 2011 minutes)
  • Changes to transport provision policies
  • Early payment discount scheme
  • Gearing up for eAuctions
  • Financial position of the Authority
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Taxi Forum

Local transport policy changes

  • Currently consulting on proposals to save £750,000 over two years
  • Significant impact on current local bus service network
  • Proposal to replace 9 bus services with Demand Responsive Transport services
  • Other bus services also affected
  • Details: www.leics.gov.uk/transportconsultation
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Taxi Forum

Taxi Opportunities

  • Proposals are subject to political approval
  • A few (bus services) into many (DRT)
  • Services designed around meeting the ‘essential’ travel needs of residents
  • Significant opportunities for work after 09:30 and before 15:30
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Taxi Forum

School transport update

  • No change in Mainstream Policy for September 2012 and charges remain the same
  • Reductions in transport at:
    • De Lisle
    • South Charnwood
    • Stoke Golding St. Martins
    • Enderby Brockington
    • Groby Brookvale & CC
    • Countesthorpe College

Note: ‘commercial’ operation at some of the above already planned.

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Taxi Forum

Email tendering Issues

  • A reminder to please quote
  • You might think you won’t win because you think the price is high or the job is out of your area, but we do have some contracts with little interest therefore please bid!
  • If ‘you’re not in you can’t win’!
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Taxi Forum

Email tendering issues

We have had a number of contractors who have recently not been fully completing email tender returns.

Example:

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Taxi Forum

Email tendering issues

Please remember to fully complete Section A before returning your email tender.

If you do not you may not win the tender even if you are the lowest price i.e. if we do not know who you are or what you can offer in respect of vehicles and escorts etc; we cannot chase round seeking clarification. In these cases we may simply go to the next nearest lowest quote from an operator who has completed the form correctly.

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Taxi Forum

Communications Update

  • STG is looking to improve communications with contractors with particular regard to contract requirements – and changes
  • If contractors have a specific person who deals with Council contracts please let us know and we will note on our records (with their phone number and e-mail details)
  • We will undertake to confirm arrangements by fax or e-mail after a telephone conversation. We are proposing to ask that our verbal requests are read back – to check that they have been correctly noted.
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Taxi Forum

CRB Update

  • 28th May – 31st August 2012 phasing in new tighter Identity Checking requirements
  • The new ID checking process will have three routes that can be used:
    • Route One: the applicant produces a document from Group 1 (Primary Trusted Identity Credentials) and 2 further documents from Group 1 or 2, one of which must verify the applicant’s current address
    • Route Two: the applicant produces three documents from Group 2 comprising one from 2a (Trusted Government/State Issued Documents) and two further documents from Group 2a or 2b one of which must verify the applicant’s current address. Organisations conducting the ID check are then required to ensure an external ID validation service is used to check the applicant against their records to verify the applicant’s name and address history.
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Taxi Forum

CRB Update

    • Route Three: only to be used if routes One or Two are not available. The applicant must produce:
    • A certified copy of a UK birth certificate and
    • Four further documents from Group 2 consisting of one document from Group 2a and 3 further documents from Group 2a or 2b, one of which must verify their current address.
  • Applicants who cannot satisfy the ID requirements of the above are obliged to be fingerprinted!

For latest info on CRB see new websites:

www.direct.gov.uk/crb - general info for CRB applicants and the public

www.businesslink.gov.uk/crb - info for registered bodies and businesses

www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crb - corporate info and publications

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Taxi Forum

Compliance – Issues of the moment 1

  • Accident reporting – accidents occurring when carrying passengers are fortunately very rare, owing in no small part to the professionalism of drivers that contractors use. However, contractors are reminded that they must report to STG any accident whilst on contract operations as soon as possible after the event.
  • Any accident involving injury or suspected injury should be reported to the emergency services.
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Taxi Forum

Compliance – Issues of the moment 2

  • Vehicle Excise Licences – contractors are reminded it is their duty to ensure that any vehicle used on a contract service displays a valid licence
  • Those contractors who purchase their licences on line must allow sufficient time for the licence to be posted to them so that it reaches them before the old one has expired
  • The Council will investigate every case where a valid excise licence is not displayed and where it is found that the vehicle has been operated without a valid licence being purchased (as well as not displayed) it is extremely likely the contract in question will be terminated and other punitive action taken against the contractor
  • Driver registration scheme – contractors are reminded to notify the STG when setting on drivers who are new to them, or indeed when drivers leave them.
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Taxi Forum

Compliance – Issues of the moment 3

  • Safeguarding
    • Facebook™ and the internet
    • Mobile phones
    • Giving or receiving ‘gifts’ to/from passengers
  • ‘Guidelines’ leaflets have been updated and will be sent to taxi operators and families during the summer (also available online).
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Taxi Forum

Compliance – Issues of the moment 4

  • Selling/Buying another taxi business which holds contracts with LCC
  • Please notify LCC as soon as possible to discuss proposals and potential changes to contract arrangements
  • Trading as "Z Taxis" - keeping the business running under existing arrangements
  • Novating LCC contracts - must be requested, not always granted
  • Tender Framework updated. Details of change of ownership should be provided to LCC.
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Taxi Forum

Olympic Torch Relay

Monday 2nd/ Tue 3rd July 2012

  • Local and School Service disruption will be inevitable

Further information from:

http://www.leics.gov.uk/olympictorchrelay_faqs.htm

http://www.london2012.com/torch-relay/

http://www.leicester.gov.uk/olympictorch/

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Taxi Forum

Olympic Torch Relay

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Taxi Forum

Training Update

  • STG will run more ‘Helping Hands’ courses during the year, both during school terms and in school holidays
  • Melton Council using this course to satisfy training need for disability awareness of all taxi drivers in their Borough.
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Taxi Forum

Training Update

  • STG are preparing generic risk assessments for establishments
  • These will indicate traffic flows around the site and recommended parking areas
  • They will also give an idea of who the establishment caters for – which may help contractors to allocate appropriate drivers/escorts
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Taxi Forum

eAuctions - overview

  • Works like eBay™ in reverse, but requires ‘live bidding’ at a preset day and time
  • Requires operators to be registered on the ‘web portal’
  • Trial contracts this summer
  • Will still be tendering by email as can only eAuction the more ‘stable’ contracts – will give longer termination notice too
  • Working group has expressed interest in doing business this way
  • Full support will be given by STG and online training also available
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Taxi Forum

eAuctions

Operator Benefits

  • Operators are able to submit numerous bids
  • Operators are able to react in a live environment
  • Able to calculate a price for a contract prior to the eAuction
  • Operators may win a contract at a higher price than the price you would have won during a normal tender
  • Open and transparent
  • Operators know almost immediately if they are in contention to win a contract or not and can focus their resources accordingly
  • Contracts will remain in place if there are no significant changes
  • Notice period of contracts tendered through the eAuctions will be extended to 1 calendar month by either party
  • Become eligible to be considered for an annual inflationary price increase
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Taxi Forum

eAuctions

How it works

  • Tenders will be grouped into areas based on the Leicestershire Districts
  • Due North Web Portal
  • Contracts published on LCC website before the auction
  • Interested operators must register to participate
  • Registered participants will then be invited to participate in the event
  • Training eAuction available prior to live event
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Taxi Forum

eAuctions

How it works – Bidding

  • Bidding for all contracts in the eAuction will start and finish together
  • The eAuction will last initially for 30 minutes
  • All bidding is legally binding and all bidding is anonymous
  • Participants must not get carried away with the bidding, and keep a close eye on their rank position
  • Participants in winning position will be notified that they are in position “1”
  • If more than one participant has submitted the lowest price, then they will be notified that they are in position “=1”
  • Note that there is a minimum £250 penalty if you win an eAuction and withdraw before the start of the contract or within a month of its start
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Taxi Forum

Sharing of data with other authorities

  • Details of your inclusion on our frameworks are publicly available (on website)
  • We share mailing lists with other LAs – this may generate more business for you and helps keep you informed of what each LA is doing
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Taxi Forum

Invoicing

No apologies for covering this again – so please help us to help you!

The following are the main problems with invoices:

  • No Invoice number!
  • Incorrectly addressed
  • Wrong prices quoted
  • Addition errors
  • Wrong VAT amounts
  • Not quoting Contract numbers
  • No reference to dates of operation (or even which month)
  • Not declaring journeys not operated/varied
  • Handwritten is still acceptable but must be clear and hold all the details needed.
  • We take ‘false declarations’ very seriously – can lead to barring from tender list and we will seek to recover over claimed monies.
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Taxi Forum

Invoicing

Examples of bad invoices:

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Taxi Forum

Invoicing

Template available on our website.

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Taxi Forum

Invoicing

  • Template and instructions are on our website
  • Reminder that contract payment terms are 30 days (unless you want to join the 1% discount scheme).
  • Please note that we also expect operators to bill in good time – very late invoices won’t be paid (12+ months)
  • Audits across all services
    • Contacting schools/parents/carers to confirm travel
    • Spot checks on site (also for quality compliance)
    • Returning incorrect invoices (thus delaying payment)
  • If your contract changes – please tell us!
  • Note that August (1 or 2 days only) school transport invoices should be added to September’s bill.
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Taxi Forum

Invoicing

Our correct address:

Invoices

Business Development & Support Team

Sustainable Travel Group

Environment & Transport Department

Leicestershire County Council

County Hall

Glenfield

Leicester LE3 8RJ

Do NOT use our PO Box 1151 address

(This PO Box address no longer exists)

Do NOT email invoices

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Taxi Forum

New 1% Scheme details

  • Originally requested by bus operator (suggestion from Forum)
  • Survey to gauge interest
  • Must be paid by BACS
  • Only for schools (mainstream and SEN) and social care services
  • Will pay within 14 days of invoice receipt in exchange for 1% discount
  • Operators can withdraw with 1 month’s notice
  • Starts 1st June 2012 (for May operations) – note Bank Holiday and that invoices are processed from receipt date
  • 29 operators (mostly taxi) signed up
  • Will consider late application to the scheme
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Taxi Forum

Invoicing – The EMSS project

Leicestershire County Council and Nottingham City Council have entered into a partnership - East Midlands Shared Services (EMSS) - to provide finance and HR/Payroll transactional services to their respective councils. One aspect of this partnership is an improved, streamlined process for ordering and paying for goods and services.

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Taxi Forum

Invoicing – The EMSS project

What it will mean for you:

  • New ‘No Purchase Order – No Pay’ policy i.e. ordering - for Leicestershire staff this must be done using an approved method quoting a Purchase Order (PO) or appropriate contract reference
  • Payments: the important detail for operators is to check the 'Invoice’ or ‘Bill To’ Address provided on the PO they have received as invoices sent to an incorrect address could result in payment being delayed whilst it is re-routed
  • New Financial Service Centre (FSC) based in Nottingham
  • Otherwise generally no change
  • You will have some general information directly from the new FSC and then STG will issue more detailed information (FAQs)
  • ‘Go Live’ this autumn
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Taxi Forum

Concessionary Travel Vouchers

  • At the moment no change in policy
  • Current vouchers expire 31st August
  • Operators have 2 weeks after that to reimburse them with us.
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Taxi Forum

Working Group nominations

  • Remit of the working group:
    • For both the Authority and taxi companies to gain an insight and understanding of the aspects of contract work that are important to them and work together to address any general issues that may arise
    • For LCC to pass on information on relevant policy or legislative changes, duty of care issues and general information affecting the taxi market
    • To discuss new ways of working and to work in partnership
    • To look at all aspects of LCC contract work for mutual benefit
    • To share the discussion with all in the market via the published minutes
  • Please contact Mark Watters or a member of staff in the STG with your nomination.
  • We are looking for 1-2 people from up to 10 companies to form the 2012/13 working group to meet 3 times between now and April 2013.
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Taxi Forum

Q & A Session

Please keep questions to a “general interest” for all here today.

Views on?

  • eAuctions
  • DRT services
  • Anything else!
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Taxi Forum

Working group nominations and further information

  • See us at the end of this meeting or make an appointment
  • By phone: 0116 3050001 and ask for the Business Development & Support Team
  • By email: STG@leics.gov.uk
  • In writing:

Business Development & Support Team

Sustainable Travel Group

Environment & Transport Department

Leicestershire County Council

County Hall

Glenfield

Leicester LE3 8RJ

Our website:

www.leics.gov.uk/highways/passenger_transport