Taxigate: Q&As about the council’s audit report

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Milton Keynes Council has released its internal audit report into the Taxigate scandal. But what does it mean?

We look at the issues behind the report with this Q&A section.

Were any rules broken by councillors or officers when they granted a taxi licence to a convicted rapist?

The report is clear that no rules were broken – but both council chief executive Carole Mills and council leader Peter Marland have criticised the decision.

The report states: “Correct use of procedure does not automatically mean that decisions are appropriate, good and/or reasonable”.

What action is being taken against councillors or council officers involved in granting the licence?

The report does not call for any resignations of councillors, and council leader Peter Marland admits that the council cannot force them to resign.

However Ms Mills did meet with Subhan Shafiq over the issue, and he is believed to have resigned as mayor after this meeting.

No council staff have been disciplined.

Why didn’t any council officers raise their concerns about the licence?

Nobody challenged the decision at the time, although some later said that they felt “uncomfortable”. One officer did tell their manager, “but no further action was taken”.

Carole Mills says that she has since publicised the council’s whistle-blowing policy to all staff.

Could other offenders become cabbies in future?

Council policy now excludes anyone from getting a private hire or taxi licence in Milton Keynes if they are on the Sex Offenders Register.

However this does mean that sex offenders who were no longer on the register could still gain licences.

Council bosses have also decided against a blanket ban on anyone with other types of criminal conviction, saying “the existing policy is robust and considered sufficient to safeguard the public”.

Will any outside bodies be called to investigate the scandal?

No. A council statesman said: “The internal audit review has been very comprehensive.”