WIGAN council's licensing officers are warning local operators of private hire firms: "Make sure they're licensed".

A Golborne man was recently prosecuted for driving a private hire vehicle without a licence.

He was fined £300 and ordered to pay £50 costs.

A council spokesman for the licensing section said: "Having the usual driving licence is not enough.

"Drivers of private hire vehicles must possess the appropriate licence issued by the council. Those who disobey this regulation will risk attracting heavy fines.

"However, the reason behind the rule is even more important. Since there is a vetting procedure when applications are made for private hire licences, operators can be sure that, if their drivers possess properly issued licences, steps have been taken to ensure that they are fit and proper people to be in such close contact with members of the public.

"So, the message to operators is - make sure that your drivers are licensed, it is in your own interests."

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.