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December 12 General Election

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Where you see this symbol FAQ you can submit a question and we will add the answer to our pool of Frequently Asked Questions for the benefit of other users. Whilst using the website if you come across a term or word you do not understand, then you can submit it to our glossary and we will provide an explanation, which again will help other users. We try to use plain language where possible and your feedback will help. Thank you.

Your question Answer
How do I get my vehicle licensed as a taxi?

Hackney Carriage vehicles are required to be licensed to ensure that they are suitable for use by the public.

We have a vehicle age restriction policy and subject to certain exceptions,  we will not licence a vehicle that is more than five years old. However, once the vehicle is licensed it is entitled to remain licensed until it is not more than eight years old.

A licence is issued for 12 months and vehicles over three years of age are required to undergo twice yearly mechanical tests (fee of £30.00 payable at time of test).

Before a licence can be issued you must make an appointment for a taxi test at:

May Gurney Fleet and Passenger Services LimitedWhitehaven Commercial ParkMoresby ParksWhitehavenTel: 01946 517600

You should then take the completed application form to May Gurney Fleet and Passenger Services Limited at the time of the taxi test together with:

  • Vehicle Registration Document/Bill of Sale
  • Valid MOT Certificate (if applicable).

Once the vehicle has passed the taxi test, you can submit the application form, pass certificate and checklist to us together with:

  • Vehicle Registration Document/Bill of Sale
  • Valid MOT Certificate (if applicable)
  • Valid Insurance Certificate/Cover Note.

We will then issue the licence along with a yellow licence plate for you to affix to the rear bumper of your vehicle.

Can I become a taxi driver?

To qualify you must:

  • Have held a full driving licence for 12 months prior to the date of application;
  • Complete a hackney carriage drivers licence application form;
  • Complete a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) application form (if applicable). This is required every 3 years and in the intervening years a self-certification form must be completed declaring that no further convictions have been obtained since the last CRB check;
  • Provide a medical certificate (required every 3 years unless otherwise stated) from his/her doctor, certifying that the applicant is fit to drive a private hire vehicle;
  • Provide a full current driving licence (both photo card and counterpart);
  • Provide 2 x passport size photographs of the applicant;
  • Provide a valid Passport (if applicable);
  • Provide your Birth Certificate ;
  • Provide your Marriage Certificate (if applicable);
  • Provide your National Insurance Number.
Where can I read the Licensing Act 2003?

Full details about licensing can be found here.


Where can I find out about alcohol licensing?

The Home Office has a good section on their website which guides you through when you need to have a licence and details of how to apply.

What are credit unions?

If you need to borrow money to cover unplanned bills for essential items why not consider approaching a Credit Union. The interest charges of a credit union are less than many other sources of credit.

Credit Unions provide an important source of credit particularly if you find it difficult to access money from high street banks and building societies. They can help prevent you from falling victim to illegal sources of credit such as loan sharks.

Credit Unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. Members pool their savings together which then provide funds from which loans can be made. Besides loans and savings, profits go towards developing the business or are returned to members in the form of a dividend.

At what time does the council office open?


The Market Hall, Market Place, Whitehaven, CA28 7JG

- Monday: 9am 5pm
- Tuesday: 9am 5pm
- Wednesday: 10am 5pm
- Thursday: 9am 5pm
- Friday: 9am 4.30pm
- Saturday: CLOSED
- Sunday: CLOSED

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The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven, CA28 7SJ

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8:45 – 5:15pm
  • Wednesday, 10am – 5:15pm
  • Friday, 8:45 - 4.30pm

Please note: The reception has moved to The Market Hall. For anyone visiting the Copeland Centre for a meeting, please access the side reception and select the relevant officer from the telephone system. 
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The Millom Office, St George’s Road, Millom, LA18 4DD

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am – 4pm
  • Wednesday, 9am – 12pm

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Cleator Moor Local Links based at Cleator Moor Library

  • Monday, Tuesday, 9am– 5pm
What if I encounter problems during the construction process?

If problems arise during the progress of works our officers will do their best to help find solutions, and will be happy to offer advice to both you and your builder.

The Building Control service is not a warranty organisation and if the building work fails to meet your needs or expectations your redress would be against your builder, not the Council. For this reason you should take great care in selecting a builder who is reliable and who is still likely to be around if you have problems two or three years into the future.

Is a building regulation completion certificate the same as a guarantee or warranty?

No. The completion certificate simply confirms that, as far as the Local Authority has been able to ascertain, the work on-site complies with the current Building Regulations. This means that inspections will need to have been carried out at the appropriate times, and that any problems found were put right. The Local Authority does not provide a guarantee or warranty on the work.

If you are buying a new or altered property, always make sure your solicitor checks that a completion certificate has been issued for the work. This is particularly important as if defects are found later; it may be you who is responsible for correcting them rather than the previous owner!

If I make a Building Notice application, will the Building Control Officer tell me how to carry out the work during his first visit?

No, although we are always willing offer help and advice but you should not expect to use the Building Control Officer as a substitute for an architect or designer.

If you are not confident that you (or your builder) are fully conversant with the requirements of the regulations, then we would strongly advise that you do not use a Building Notice application.

If you do not check plans on Building Notice applications, why are the charges the same as for Full Plans Applications?

As no plan check is made, additional reliance is placed on the inspection stage of the process to ensure the Building Regulations are complied with.

This translates into a requirement for either more inspections being necessary, or the inspections made taking longer than would be the case with a Full Plans application; hence the total cost is the same.