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Taxis, private hire vehicles and Transport licensing

Information on what is required to licence a vehicle or transfer a vehicle licence to another person. Information about who needs to apply for a taxi/hackney carriage licence. How to apply for a pleasure boat, full or restricted boat licence. How to apply for a small bus permit.

Coronavirus update:

In line with advice and current measures taken by Government to limit the spread of coronavirus, the licensing offices have closed to the general public, and drop-in sessions are cancelled until further notice. You may still contact the Technical Hub with any licensing enquiries by calling 01724 297000 or by email at licensing@northlincs.gov.uk

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles are subject to rigorous checks to ensure mechanical reliability and ensure they provide safety and comfort for passengers and drivers. Licensed vehicles are subject to conditions set out in the Taxi Licensing Policy and are tested and inspected according to the Taxi Compliance Testing Standards handbook.

As proprietors of licensed vehicles have a duty of care in relation to public safety to ensure vehicles are properly maintained, and the potential of taxis to be used as transportation in criminal activities, proprietors must establish they are “fit and proper” to hold a licence. This is performed by obtaining a Basic Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure & Barring Service upon grant or transfer of a vehicle. Holders of a current Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence issued by North Lincolnshire Council are already considered to be fit and proper, as more stringent tests are applied in the course of obtaining that licence, and will not require a basic disclosure.

 

We have published Coronavirus advice for Hackney carriage and private hire licensees [PDF, 69Kb]  for managing coronavirus, including links to guidance for both operators and passengers.

If your vehicle is due to expire from 27 July onwards and due for renewal, or you are licensing a new vehicle, please contact the council’s MOT test station on  01724 297812 to book a mechanical test. Please note, the garage will be open to take bookings from Monday 20 July.

Once you have a mechanical appointment, contact the Technical Hub on 01724 297000 to book a vehicle inspection.

If you have a fare meter installed in your vehicle – either as a hackney carriage or a private hire vehicle – please complete a Meter Declaration Form [PDF, 70Kb] to declare that your meter is calendar-controlled and calibrated to the appropriate fares before attending the visual inspection

Please submit any application forms by email or post to the below address, with payment made via BACS using the details on our fees and charges page or by cheque made payable to ‘North Lincolnshire Council’.

We are continuously reviewing the situation and will adjust accordingly should the situation change.

Please refer to national guidance to ensure whether you are legally allowed to operate your business during the crisis, or if you are entitled to financial support.

Hackney carriage vehicles may ply for hire and pick up fares.

They must carry a yellow square plate displayed on the rear of the vehicle, a top light showing the licence number and side panels on the front doors. The external plate identifies the vehicle, its expiry date and licence number. This information is also displayed on a sticker inside the vehicle, along with tariffs of the maximum fare that can be charged. The side panels identify the licence number.

Vehicles must have undergone a mechanical test and a visual appearance check before gaining a licence.

Vehicles over five years old upon the issue of a licence are subject to a further supplementary mechanical test. The licence expiry date is set to expire when a supplementary is due and a separate application is required to renew the licence following a supplementary mechanical.

We have tried to make these documents as accessible as possible. If you require a different format, please contact us. You can read our Accessibility Statement on our website.

Downloadable application form:

Fees and charges

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our licence fee register.

MOT exemption

To tax your vehicle at the Post Office or DVLA local office, you will be required to produce a V112 exemption form.

Equality Act 2010

Under the Equality Act 2010, drivers of Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicles have a legal obligation to carry passengers and assistance dogs.  When carrying these passengers, drivers can not charge any more than the metered fare and must allow the assistance dog to remain with the passenger.  The term “assistance dogs” refer to more than just guide dogs for blind people. It includes:

  • Guide dogs for the blind – white harness with yellow fluorescent strips
  • Hearing dogs for the deaf – burgundy jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (seven years to adult) – yellow jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (to work with children) – blue harness
  • Canine partners (people with physical impairments) – purple jacket
  • Support dogs (physical and other impairments) – blue jacket

Under the Act, it is an offence for any operator or driver to refuse to carry assistance dogs. On conviction for such an offence, drivers can be fined up to £1,000.

Where a driver has an allergy to dogs, the driver must apply for an exemption from carrying assistance dogs.  If no exemption has been applied for and subsequently granted, then drivers are still required to carry assistance dogs. Where an application is made to the licensing authority for an exemption, it must be supported by medical evidence. The driver with the allergy should be under the care of a specialist consultant and will be required to produce reports from their consultant.

Private hire vehicles are only available for pre-arranged journeys and the fare is agreed before the journey. They may have a meter. These vehicles must not have a top light, sign, illumination or notice that would lead the public to think it was a hackney carriage. Similarly, any advertising for private hire must not refer to taxis or hackney carriages.

Licensed private hire vehicles in North Lincolnshire have a green square external plate, internal sticker and side panels. The external plate identifies the vehicle, its expiry date and licence number. This information is also displayed on a sticker inside the vehicle. The side panels identify the licence number.

We have tried to make these documents as accessible as possible. If you require a different format, please contact us. You can read our Accessibility Statement on our website.

Downloadable application form:

Fees and charges:

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our licence fee register.

MOT Exemption

To tax your vehicle at the Post Office or DVLA local office you will be required to produce a V112 exemption form.

Equality Act 2010

Under the Equality Act 2010, drivers of Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles have a legal obligation to carry passengers and assistance dogs.  When carrying these passengers, drivers can not charge any more than the metered fare and must allow the assistance dog to remain with the passenger.  The term “assistance dogs” refer to more than just guide dogs for blind people. It includes:

  • Guide dogs for the blind – white harness with yellow fluorescent strips
  • Hearing dogs for the deaf – burgundy jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (seven years to adult) – yellow jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (to work with children) – blue harness
  • Canine partners (people with physical impairments) – purple jacket
  • Support dogs (physical and other impairments) – blue jacket

Under the Act, it is an offence for any operator or driver to refuse to carry assistance dogs. On conviction for such an offence, drivers can be fined up to £1,000.

Where a driver has an allergy to dogs, the driver must apply for an exemption from carrying assistance dogs.  If no exemption has been applied for and subsequently granted, then drivers are still required to carry assistance dogs. Where an application is made to the licensing authority for an exemption, it must be supported by medical evidence. The driver with the allergy should be under the care of a specialist consultant and will be required to produce reports from their consultant.

Where a licensed vehicle is sold or otherwise transferred to another proprietor, the licence holder must give notice of the transfer within 14 days of the sale.

Downloadable application form for licensed vehicle transfer

Both parties have to complete a part of this form.  Proof of insurance is also required from the proposed new licence holder. A basic disclosure will also be required under the same circumstances as detailed above.

Fees and charges

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our licence fee register.

Private Hire Operators

Anyone wishing to operate private hire vehicles to carry passengers for hire and reward.

As private hire work is done by prior arrangement, records must be kept showing relevant details. This includes details of journeys, the vehicles used and who the driver was. This requires a level of administration and people who operate private hire vehicles must hold an operator’s licence.

Checks are made to ensure that operators are “fit and proper” people to hold a licence. In considering the fitness and propriety test for Private Hire Operators, applicants for a Private Hire Operator licence will be required to obtain a basic disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service by visiting the Government website. Holders of a current Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle Driver Licence are already considered to be fit and proper, as more stringent tests are applied in the course of obtaining that licence, and will not require a basic disclosure.

In addition to the basic check, they will also be required to:

  • Provide evidence of right to work in the UK.
  • Ensure they hold current public liability insurance providing cover of at least £10 million
  • Provide a declaration of convictions recorded against them
  • Complete a Safeguarding & CSE Awareness course conducted by Licensing
  • Ensure the telephone number for the private hire office has a land line number for bookings to be made.

Full details of the requirements and conditions are available in the Taxi Licensing Policy  [PDF, 2 MB].

Please complete the Private Hire Vehicle Operators application form and email to licensing@northlincs.gov.uk

Fees and charges

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our licence fee register. You can apply for a one year or a five year licence.

Taxi warning points scheme

The warning points scheme covers all holders of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licences, proprietors of licensed vehicles and Private Hire Operators.

The scheme has been developed to provide the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee and Licensing Officers with more options when dealing with breaches to licence conditions or when an offence has been committed. Under the legislation, the only options available to the Committee are to issue a warning, suspend or revoke a licence, while officers can either prosecute or refer to the Committee.

The points scheme allows Licensing Officers and Members of the Committee to attach points, thus bridging the gap between a warning and suspension or revocation. These points serve as a warning with a time limit, with a trigger for a review of the licence should 12 or more points be imposed at any one time.

A copy of the warning points scheme is attached as Appendix G to the Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF, 2 MB] and a list of the points that may be attached for each breach or offence is attached as Schedule 1 to Appendix G.

I have received warning points, can I appeal?

If you are issued warning points by a Licensing Officer then you have the right of appeal to the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee. To launch an appeal you should complete a Taxi Licensing Appeal Form [PDF, 55 KB] and return it to the Licensing team.

There is no appeal against the decision of the Licensing (Miscellaneous) Sub-Committee to give you points.

Taxi drivers

On 18 November 2020, the government issued comprehensive guidance for the taxi and PHV sector on actions that drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs) can take to protect against coronavirus. The guidance is available on the  government website.

In line with advice and current measures taken by the Government to limit the spread of Coronavirus, the licensing offices have closed to the general public. All face-to-face appointments and drop-in sessions are cancelled until further notice. You may still contact the Technical Hub with any licensing enquiries by calling 01724 297000 or by email at licensing@northlincs.gov.uk. Applications and supporting documents may be submitted by email or post. Payment can be made via BACS, cheque or over the phone by calling 01724 297000. We will also be arranging DBS applications remotely and will verify your original documents by video call, using Microsoft Teams or Skype.

We have published Coronavirus advice for hackney carriage and private hire licensees [PDF, 94KB] for managing Coronavirus, including links to guidance for both operators and passengers.

We are continuously reviewing the situation and will adjust accordingly should the situation change.

Please refer to national guidance to ensure whether you are legally allowed to operate your business during the crisis, or if you are entitled to financial support.

January 2021 update

Due to the current lockdown, all face-to-face training including Safeguarding has been postponed until at least March 2021. If your drivers licence is due to expire before 1 March 2021, and you have not yet passed Safeguarding, please contact Licensing. We will not be processing grant applications at this time.

Any person who carries passengers for hire and reward needs to apply for a taxi driver licence to drive licensed vehicles.

There are two types of licensed vehicles. You may apply to drive both types of vehicle.

  • Hackney carriage vehicles – these vehicles can be hailed and ply for hire on approved taxi ranks
  • Private hire vehicles – these vehicles may only carry out pre-booked journeys booked through a licensed operator.

Application forms for hackney carriage and private hire vehicle driver’s licences can be downloaded:

PLEASE NOTE: All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.

Licensed drivers will be required to carry vulnerable adults and/or children in their vehicles. The council will not licence anyone to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle unless it is satisfied that they are a fit and proper person. In considering the fit and proper test, applicants will be required to complete the following:

  • Complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Provide a Certificate of Good Conduct, or similar foreign criminality check, from each country they have been resident in outside of the UK after the age of 10 years old. If you were resident in another country before the age of 10 years old, we will require proof of the date you left.
  • Provide a photograph endorsed as a true likeness by a current or previous employer, or someone of professional standing who has known them for at least three years. The person of professional standing shall not include a relative or prospective employer or another driver, proprietor or operator, or member or Officer of North Lincolnshire Council.
  • Provide a medical certificate obtained from the applicant’s own GP or in consultation with their medical history
  • Have a DVLA licence or other relevant full licence which must have been held for at least 12 months. We will check your DVLA licence for relevant endorsements – please see the DVLA section of this page for more information.
  • Pass the relevant parts of the Knowledge Test – please refer to the relevant section of this page for further information.
  • Take a NLC Driver Assessment test [PDF, 235 KB] for hackney carriage and/or private hire vehicle drivers in some circumstances – Refer to the Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF, 2 MB]
  • Attend and pass a Safeguarding & CSE Awareness course. The Safeguarding Course includes evidence that drivers can converse in English. Evidence could also be provided, such as qualification certificates. Please refer to the relevant section of this page for more information.
  • Provide evidence of right to work in the UK.

If you have ever lived in another local authority area, or worked as a Driver in another local authority area, we will contact that authority to ensure there is no information or intelligence that would prevent us from issuing you a licence.

Full details regarding any of the above criteria may be found in the Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF, 2MB].

We will conduct checks with the DVLA for all people who apply to be a licensed driver. This is to ensure that their DVLA driving licence is valid and any relevant endorsements on the licence may be reviewed. The paper counterpart to the photo card driving licence is no longer valid, nor issued, by the DVLA as of 8 June 2015.

Your driving summary is available on the DVLA website. You can use this service to create a licence ‘check code’ to share your driving record with us.
The ‘check code’ will give us the authority to check on your DVLA licence:

  • the types of vehicles you can drive
  • any penalty points or disqualifications you have
  • the last eight characters of your driving licence number.

This code is a single-use code that expires after 21 days – please make sure you get it when you submit your application. Please note this code is case-sensitive; ensure you clearly indicate lower case and capital letters when providing the code. You should produce the Check Code to Licensing and not conduct the check yourself.

As from 25 May 2018 the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and Data Protection Act 2018 came into force, replacing the former Data Protection Act 1998. This has affected how your personal data can be used.  In order to process your application for a disclosure check, you must read and understand the Standard / Enhanced Check Privacy Policy.

When completing your application form you will need to sign to say you have read the policy and understand how the Disclosure Barring Service will process your personal data.  Please note that without this consent your application can not be processed.

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our fee register. Licences are usually issued for a three year period, unless your Right to Work or DVLA licence expires during this time.

We will require scanned copies or photographs of the following to accompany your application:

  • minimum of three DBS documents (such as Passport, DVLA Driving Licence and a Council Tax or Utility Bill). Details of all of the documents we can accept are available on the Gov.uk website.
  • proof of Right to Work (if not provided with DBS documents). If you do not have a British Passport, a list of other documents we can accept is available on the Gov.uk website.
  • a copy of both sides of your DVLA Photocard Driving licence (if not provided with DBS documents).

We will contact you to arrange a remote appointment to verify these documents. The appointments will be conducted via Microsoft Teams or Skype.

All applicants must attend and pass Safeguarding training before a licence will be granted, and again on renewal. There may be occasions when you are required to sit and pass an additional course if we have received information or a complaint about your behaviour.

Our Safeguarding training is now conducted by Adult Education and Community Learning. Further information can be found in the NLCACL Taxi Driver Course leaflet [PDF, 178Kb]. Places can be booked after Monday 7 September 2020 by contacting 01724 297146 or emailing nlacl.enquiries@northlincs.gov.uk

Knowledge Tests can be booked by calling 01724 297000. When you call to book, we will ask you which parts of the test you need to sit.

Hackney Carriage Drivers will be required to pass parts A, B and C of the Knowledge Test.

Private Hire Drivers will be required to pass parts C and D of the Knowledge Test.

One attempt of the test is included with your application fee. The re-sit fee is £47 for three additional attempts. Photo ID is required when you attend the Knowledge Test.

The Study Guide  is available here for you to read.

Under the Equality Act 2010, drivers of Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles have a legal obligation to carry passengers and assistance dogs and wheelchair users. When carrying these passengers, drivers cannot charge any more than the metered fare; must allow the assistance dog to remain with the passenger and afford all reasonable assistance. The term “assistance dogs” refer to more than just guide dogs for blind people. It includes:

  • Guide dogs for the blind – white harness with yellow fluorescent strips
  • Hearing dogs for the deaf – burgundy jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (seven years to adult) – yellow jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (to work with children) – blue harness
  • Canine partners (people with physical impairments) – purple jacket
  • Support dogs (physical and other impairments) – blue jacket.

Under the Act, it is an offence for any operator or driver to refuse to carry assistance dogs. On conviction for such an offence, drivers can be fined up to £1,000.

Where a driver has an allergy to dogs, the driver must apply for an exemption from carrying assistance dogs.

To apply for an exemption, a driver must fill in an Exemption application form [PDF, 41Kb].

If no exemption has been applied for and subsequently granted, then drivers are still required to carry assistance dogs. Where an application is made to us for an exemption, it must be supported by medical evidence. The driver with the allergy should be under the care of a specialist consultant and will be required to produce reports from their consultant.

In July 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) published a document of National Standards, which sets out guidelines and recommendations to Local Authorities. The document contains a set of expected minimum standards in administering the licensing function and determining applicant fitness and proprietary that Licensing Authorities are expected to follow unless there is a compelling local reason not to.

The standards have been put in place to safeguard and protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation; however all passengers will benefit from the recommendations made. A key focus of the changes is also to build confidence in the taxi and private hire industry.

The recommendations are the result of detailed discussions with the trade, regulators and safety campaign groups. The DfT have outlined that they expect these recommendations to be not only implemented by Local Authorities, but also considered rigorously and with an open mind.

North Lincolnshire Council already maintains many of these standards through the Taxi Licensing Policy, adopted guidance and more broadly through internal safeguarding and whistleblowing policies. The document contains several additional standards that would further improve public safety. Where standards differ between the Licensing Policy and the DfT guidance, Licensing will apply the most stringent requirements.

Some of the key changes that Drivers may notice are:

Information Sharing

  • Applicants will be required to disclose if they hold, or have previously held, a licence with another Local Authority. The applicant will also be required to disclose if they have had an application for a licence refused, or if a licence was revoked or suspended by another Local Authority. Licensing will continue to communicate with other Local Authorities to request or share information which may be relevant.

DBS Checks

  • Drivers will soon be required to have a DBS check every six months. This check will be carried out by the DBS Update Service. As a result, all licensed drivers will be required to evidence continuous registration with the DBS Update Service to enable Licensing to routinely check for new information every six months. Drivers that do not subscribe to the Update Service will still be subject to a check every six months. There is a cost for the update service which is currently £13 per year. Alternatively the cost of a new DBS is currently £40.
  • Previous convictions disclosed on applicants’ DBS certificates may be assessed differently following the new guidance. Any offences involving dishonesty, indecency or violence may require a longer rehabilitation period before a licence or renewal will be granted. Grandfather rights do not apply. Further information on how Licensing will assess previous convictions in line with the National Standards can be found in the Assessment of Previous Convictions.[PDF, 590Kb]
  • Licensing will inform Humberside Police and the DBS if they receive any relevant information about a Driver, or if they decide to refuse or revoke a licence. This is particularly relevant if the Driver is thought to present a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult.

Boat licences

If you want to use a boat or other craft on the UK’s rivers and canals, you must register, buy a licence or pay a toll to the appropriate navigation authority for that waterway. Hire boats are licensed by the hire company, but you may want to use the boat on a waterway that it is not licensed for. If this is your plan you should consult the company first.

If you already know you need to pay for a British Waterways licence or an Environmental Agency registration, you can now do this online on the waterscape website.

If you wish to be in charge of or navigate a pleasure boat or vessel for the purpose of carrying passengers for hire, you must obtain the appropriate licence from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Passenger Vessel Code Survey Certificate and the boat must be maintained to these standards.

The council’s Licensing Division issue pleasure boat licences for vessels carrying no more than 12 passengers and which are under 24 metres in length, on voyages that are at no time outside categorised waters (i.e. waters not regarded as ‘sea’).

Please note: pleasure boat operators who wish to go outside categorised waters or carry more than 12 passengers on boats which are over 24 metres in length should contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for advice.

Downloadable application form

The applicant must:

  • have full knowledge of all statutory rules, regulations and byelaws applicable to navigation on all waters for which the licence is required
  • hold a current Full Boatman’s Licence
  • have insurance to cover the boat, liability to passengers and third parties to a minimum of £2,000,000
  • hold a Current Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Passenger Vessel Code Survey Certificate.

Licences are issued yearly and are not transferable nor can they be back dated. The council may suspend or revoke a licence at any time if it feels that this is necessary in the interests of the public.

Timescale

We aim to deal with grant and renewal applications within 70 days for Boatman’s licences and 84 days for Pleasure Boat licences. Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted/renewed if you have not heard from us by the end of the above application period.

Licensing Act 2003

If alcohol or regulated entertainment is provided on board to passengers then a Premises Licence is required under the above Act. Contact the Licensing Division for further details. It is an offence under s.136 of the above Act, to provide alcohol for sale or supply without the provision of a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice in place.

The full boatman’s licence enables the holder to take charge of and navigate boats on the water, including the carriage of passengers for hire.

The restricted licence relates only to the taking charge of boats from the ‘shore’.

To obtain a Full or Restricted Boatman’s Licence, the following requirements must be met:

  • have full knowledge of all statutory rules, regulations and byelaws applicable to navigation on all waters for which the licence is required
  • hold a current Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) ML5 Medical Certificate completed by their own General Practitioner
  • the applicant must not suffer from any disease or physical disability which could affect his or her fitness to operate and be in charge of pleasure boats let for hire
  • be over 18 years of age.

Downloadable application forms

Licences are issued yearly and are not transferable nor can they be back dated. The council may suspend or revoke a licence at any time if it feels that this is necessary in the interests of the public.

Timescale

We aim to deal with grant and renewal applications within 70 days for Boatman’s licences and 84 days for Pleasure Boat licences. Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted/renewed if you have not heard from us by the end of the above application period.

Licensing Act 2003

If alcohol or regulated entertainment is provided on board to passengers then a Premises Licence is required under the above Act. Contact the Licensing Division for further details. It is an offence under s.136 of the above Act, to provide alcohol for sale or supply without the provision of a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice in place.

Small bus permit

Who needs to apply?

A small bus permit is necessary so that voluntary groups and other bodies can charge or accept a form of remuneration for providing transport for their own members, or other people they serve without having to comply with the full PSV operator licensing or PCV driver licensing requirements.

Permits issued under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985 allow certain non-profit making organisations to charge for transport services without licence. But the services must be provided for their own members or for groups of people whom the organisation serves. They may not provide services in this way to members of the general public. Permit vehicles cannot be run as part of an activity that is itself carried on with a view to making a profit, and any charges must only cover the running costs.

If no charge is made at all no permit will be required. However a charge covers more than just the payment of a fare. Any payment in cash or in kind, which gives passengers the right to be carried, is considered to be a charge. This could encompass part of a larger payment even if the payment is not directly related to particular journeys. For example, a subscription to a club which entitled you to free transport in the club’s vehicle.

Permits may be used for:

  • Minibuses that can carry nine to 16 passengers excluding the driver
  • Large buses that can carry 17 or more passengers excluding the driver.

 

Application Form

You can download an application form [PDF, 48Kb] and send it, complete with payment, to:

Licensing Department
PO Box 42
Church Square House
Scunthorpe
DN15 6XQ

To help with your application for a small bus permit, we also have guidance notes [PDF, 77Kb] available.

Permits for large buses that can carry 17 or more passengers are issued by the Traffic Commissioner, Hillcrest House, 386 Harehills Lane, Leeds, LS9 6NF.

Fees and charges

You can find the fee for this permit by going to our fee register.

For more information, and to get your free copy of the ‘Guide for Operators PSV 385’, please visit the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) website

Contact

licensing@northlincs.gov.uk
01724 297000

Licensing Department
PO Box 42
Church Square House
Scunthorpe
DN15 6XQ