A cabbie has been forced to abandon his ‘Santa Taxi’ idea after council killjoys told him to remove his fake beard (Picture: SWNS)
A taxi driver has slammed council bosses 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 Father Christmas to spread festive cheer for his customers.
The dad-of-three from Lincolnshire donned a fluffy white beard to complete the look, but was ordered to remove it by grinches at the town hall ‘for the safety of the public’.
It came after a single 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, was told the rules stated his face must match his official ID badge.
Yet despite wearing a face mask to work every day for two years during the Covid pandemic, it was the fake beard which proved too much for South Kesteven District Council who banned him from wearing it while on shift.
Brian now says he will be forced to scrap his ‘Santa Taxi’ which he had planned to drive around town until the New Year.
Taxi driver Brian was told his face must resemble the picture on his ID badge- despite wearing a face mask for two years during the pandemic (Picture: SWNS)
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.’
Brian later tried colouring his normal beard with white hair spray in an attempt to circumvent the beard ban, but said it ‘flakes badly and doesn’t last very long’.
Yet despite falling foul of the festive killjoys, Brian says he’s ‘determined to continue to put a smile on people’s faces’.
Brian says he tried dying his regular beard white to compensate, but the effect just wasn’t the same (Picture: SWNS)
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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