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24th Dec 2022

Cabbie slams council killjoys for banning him from wearing a Santa beard while driving

Steve Hopkins

Brian was told his face must made his official ID badge

A taxi driver has slammed town hall killjoys after they banned him from wearing a Santa beard – over ‘elf and safety fears.

Brian Makwana – who celebrates his 38th birthday on Christmas Day – dressed as St Nick to spread festive cheer for his customers.

To complete the look, the dad-of-three donned a white beard but now council Grinches have ordered him to remove it “for the safety of the public”.

The bizarre ruling came after one passenger complained to the council saying they were unable to identify Brian because the beard covered his features.

Brian, who works for CB Taxis in Grantham, Lincolnshire, was told the rules stated his face must match his official ID badge.

Despite wearing a face mask to work for two years during the pandemic, South Kesteven District Council banned his beard.

Brian now says he will be forced to scrap his ‘Santa Taxi’ which he had planned to drive around town until the New Year.

He said: “Without the full costume it just doesn’t have the same effect.

“I get waves from members of the public on the street and in cars, both young and old. “But since I’m not wearing my beard, I get nothing as they just think it’s a person wearing a Santa hat.

“After all it was council and government advice about wearing a mask and this was deemed acceptable so what is the difference, as you can see my eyes and the side of my face? “I just think it’s very petty and short-sighted of the council.

“Furthermore, the size of my photo on my badge which hangs around my neck whilst driving is only visible should a customer lean in closely or request to see it, which has never happened.”

In a bid to get round the beard ban, Brian coloured his normal beard with white hair spray, but it “flakes badly and doesn’t last very long”.

Despite running into the ‘elf and safety’ killjoys, Brian says he’s “determined to continue to put a smile on people’s faces”.

He said: “It makes me feel that some people need more Christmas cheer to help them because they are feeling so bad or low to have to complain about something like this.”

Brian received an email from the South Kesteven District Council licensing team after they had received one complaint.

The council said it is not their “intention to spoil the festivities” but the “safety of the public must always be the key priority”.

A spokesperson said: “The photo on a driver’s identification badge gives passengers reassurance, if needed.

“Therefore, we ask that any item of clothing that makes it difficult to identify a driver, must not be worn.”

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