Saturday, October 10, 2015

Press Release From The UCG, Regarding Demo Suspension.

The Next Steps

The UCG Committee agreed to suspend one of the remaining three demos to give the Metropolitan Police Cab enforcement unit, the Metropolitan Police and TfL Compliance Officers a chance to prove to us they have got the message. The message is a simple one Enforce the Law, this is an all encompassing statement. There are many facets to it, but the message is ANYTHING that PHVs shouldn't be doing must be dealt with promptly and not for a month, but it must become the new "Normal".

 That's Touting, Cruising and responding to Hails, Vehicles being driven by persons other than the person the PHV license appertains to, the correct insurance, Apps circumventing the law. One of our demands was an E-Hailing policy, this has still not been addressed and we haven't forgotten this. But we need to start somewhere. The "somewhere we are starting" is on street operations. The UCG will accompany both visible and undercover compliance officers and the cab enforcement teams.

 The Police have shown an interest in the serious allegations about Uber that have been "popping up" all over twitter, we have between 10k and 12k logged now, some not so serious, just gripes, others are very serious. Senior Met Police officers have asked us to hand over the evidence we have so that they can investigate the serious issues. The very same list that TfL didn't want to see back in the spring of this year.

 Another of our demands was a cap to the number of PHVs, our legal advice was different to both TfL and LTDA's lawyers. TfLs barrister QC Chamberlain will meet with our Barrister to find the best solution and discuss ways to fix this.

 You have seen how much resource the police were instructed to throw at our last demo in Victoria. That level of deployment is seriously expensive and not one they can sustain without other budgets being robbed (peter to pay paul).

 The Police are far more serious about dealing with this than TfL ever were. Perhaps Boris doesn't want this level of disruption, who knows what is going on behind closed doors? What is apparent to us now is that this problem is on everyone's radar.

 There is a saying, "speak softly and carry a big stick" This was always our approach, you cannot negotiate a settlement from a position of weakness (or perceived weakness). This is why in all our dealings with the authorities we will maintain that we ALWAYS reserve the right to return to the streets if promises are not delivered.

 But why would they make any promises if no matter what they try we continue to demonstrate?

 The issue we must now address is... Do we continue regardless of the assurances we are getting? The last time we suspended our demos we stated we reserve the right to return to action. We also told them it would be an escalation. And did we escalate it!

 As a sign of good faith we suspended ONE of the remaining three.

 The Hogarth Roundabout to Hammersmith and Back to Hogarth is going to cause significant disruption. Trevor Merralls our campaign manager is under a lot of pressure from the Met to confirm whether the remaining two demos will go ahead. They have to do a lot of resource planning to cope with this.

 But as a democratic organisation We ask you the members for your input. It's up to you...

 Are we going to agree to suspend the remaining two demos? or not?

 The UCG committee will meet with senior Police Officers and TfL Compliance heads next week. Between now and then the committee will formulate an acceptable response requirement. We will ask for KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure the response to this problem with dates and tangible, measureable outcomes. Ask all parties in the meeting to sign up to these or amended KPIs as agreed and add a caveat that if the KPIs are not being met we ballot our members to return to the streets.

 The question to our members is:

 DO YOU want this? or do you want to continue with demos 5 and 6?

 The Police are asking for our response. They need to plan if these are going ahead.


 We had assurances that Parliament would intervene, they are still working on this, but our clocks run at different speeds.

The authorities know we will return to action if this problem isn't dealt with because we did just that recently.

Our demos cost more to police than putting warranted enforcement officers on the streets to tackle touting.

 Currently the police are on our side.

TfL bosses have egos bigger than buses, but we are out maneuvering them, going around and above them.


TfL bosses are still in denial and that isn't going to change anytime soon.


Public opinion at some point will tip against us (although everyone I spoke to currently supports us)

One final thought:- In military tactics there is a tactic called "leaving the gate open" 

 If your enemy is in retreat, leave them somewhere to retreat into. If you don't they will fight to the death and leave scorched earth.

 I have tried to make this a balanced discussion for you to consider carefully.

But it's our members who have the vote.... We are here to guide, advise and serve.

Len Martin, Chairman United Cabbies Group.


Barry said...

Excellent news letter.
My opinion is that the police have given something so we should give something back. A postponement of the remaining demos is a good idea. It shows we , unlike TFL are flexible and willing to negotiate.
It will look good on us and badly on TFL.
But I will abide by what the majority votes for.

Patric Mc said...

Police have given NOTHING!! They have agreed to adhere to what they were supposed to do in the first place, thats it ffs!.... Like we owe them a debt of gratitude for them 'agreeing' to do what they are commissioned to do in the first place!! I agree on postponing the demo to see what comes about yes, but personally id be ready to reinstate action at the drop of a hat if they fail, even one bit, in doing they duty they are there for, in conjunction with Bojo's mob!! The trade has been failed miserably an we owe them sweet FA

Anonymous said...

postpone, BUT, tell them in the STRICTEST of STRICTEST terms that, this is only on the condition that, we want to see massive action, NOW

the same sort of MASSIVE action, that they can dish-out to us, whenever they try to break up our demos

regards, Alan Wicker

Anonymous said...

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick...................


Anonymous said...

History repeating itself... Its not the first time the UCG have taken their foot off of the accelerator and lost control of the steering. This time I hope the members force the UCG committee to man up and get on with the job. Enforcement on a scale that is required just ain't gonna happen, this, or the other side of Christmas. If this proposed strategy goes ahead, it will be back to square one! The police are not on our side at all - how the f*#k the UGG committee have come to the conclusion baffles me, especially after the last demo!
This idea is madness. The demo's ate working. Boris Johnson, plod and TFL are rattled.


Anonymous said...

precisely why I joined united cabbies group.
democratic, fair and let us know we are the power behind the ORG and not the followers of empty promises , onwards and upwards guys, good job!!!!!!
we should give a little on this one and give the police a chance or we WILL be back!

Anonymous said...

The POLICE have given us nothing, will we see them on the streets tonight enforcing the law, they have had since 1998 to ENFORCE THE LAW and were still waiting, ENFOCE THE LAW now, and every day there after.

Every citizen in the United Kingdom has the protection of the law, except London Taxi Drivers!


Anonymous said...

Well, it is October. Now watch the turkeys vote for Christmas!

Tony Casey said...

The Police and the compliance teams will agree to more double paid overtime.
Every year in November and December,enforcement come out to increase the pay for
their Christmas wage packets.100 people will likely be involved in any operation and they will only manage to NICK about 6 people,never any follow up,giving us date and times of any court appearances . No honest results given about their conviction
rates.BECAUSE THERE WONT BE,only letters sent out to scabs telling them ,NOT TO DO IT AGAIN....