TRAINING for taxi drivers from across Gwent has been described as a “nice little earner” for one borough council. 

All drivers from across the area, other than those licensed in Newport, are required to complete a one-off knowledge test, when they first register, and attend a safeguarding course every three years run by Torfaen Borough Council. 

This financial year its Adult Community Learning Service has already earned £14,680 from the 152 applicants who’ve sat the knowledge test and a further £2,625 from 75 drivers who’ve attended the passenger safeguarding course. 

Blaeanavon independent councillor Nick Horler described the £17,305 income from taxi testing in 2023/24 as a “nice little earner” and asked if there is a possibility that could be lost if other local authorities used a different provider. 

But service manager Angela Price said she isn’t worried that Caerphilly Borough, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire Council would no longer use the service. 

“I don’t think there’s any risk of them going to another provider, they approached us,” said Ms Price. 

She said the service had been developed as a result of licensing officers working on a regional basis and it has tailored its service to meet the needs of the different councils and agreements are in place with the three other Gwent councils. 

“They’ve got to have the knowledge test and we’ve developed that around their individual local authorities and I’d be very shocked if they were to go to another provider and we’ve also been approached by other local authorities to provide tests for them.” 

Beth McPherson, the council’s head of communities, said it wouldn’t make “financial sense” for the other councils to leave the service and she said Torfaen develops its training to keep up with new legislation. 

Torfaen’s learning service is the only provider in the four areas and training is delivered online and over Microsoft Teams video calling and those taking part have to sign a declaration it it is their own work at risk of their licence being revoked. 

Courses and training have been praised by social services, the Welsh Government and the police.