It is a pleasure to participate in this debate. Like the speakers before me, I thank Daniel Zeichner for initiating this debate.
As we have heard, taxis are now an integral part of our lives, providing jobs and opportunities to people across the UK and enhancing transport links to our local and rural communities. The report by the task and finish Group on taxi and private hire vehicle licences, which we are focusing on today, urges the UK Government to overhaul the regulatory regime for the taxi and private hire vehicle sector and has recommended minimum standards for drivers, vehicles and operators in taxi and private hire vehicle licensing.
There have been calls for the UK Government to convene a panel of regulators, passenger safety groups and operator representatives to determine what those minimum safety standards should be. It has been suggested that licensing authorities should be able to set additional, higher standards in safety and all other aspects, depending on the requirements of particular local areas, as the hon. Member for Cambridge and Mr Hayes pointed out.