Pendle taxi driver slams 'un-fare' Burnley Council for refusing to pay Covid support grant

A Pendle-based taxi driver working in Burnley has complained that he is not elgible for a support grant from Burnley Council because he lives outside the borough.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 3:45 pm

Mr Muhammad Usman, who works in Burnley as a self-employed private hire driver for DELTA, recently applied for the Additional Restrictions Support Grant scheme from Burnley Council, but was told he was not eligible as he lives in Pendle.

Mr Usman said it was not fair that he could not claim the financial support, which was launched as a one-off patyment due to the recent lockdown.

He said: "Burnley Council's decision is totally unfair and unjustified. The council considers me an outsider because I don't reside within the borough, but yet I hold a Burnley Borough Council taxi badge.

The grant is available to private hire drivers

"I have been affected the same from lockdown as those drivers who live in Burnley. We all pay the same badge application fee, medical fee, DBS checks fee, MOT test fee, taxi plate fee, insurance, maintenance fee and radio rent."

Mr Usman went on to say that he believes there are hundreds of taxi drivers living Pendle who have no support grants available to them.

He added: "If the council thinks the support grant is only for Burnley residents, then why does it give their badges to outsiders and allow them to work in Burnley?

"Everyone should be supported and treated equally during this hard time, especially when we are losing 20% to 40% of our income."

Muhammad Usman

Burnley Council was one of the first authorities in East Lancashire to identify self-employed taxi drivers as recipients of Additional Restrictions Grant.

Eligible self-employed taxi drivers are eligible for a payment of £500 for each 28-day period that lockdown restrictions are in place.

A Burnley Council spokesman has said they will respond in due course.