I have been sending emails to local Councillors in area's that have decided to 'do away' with a local knowledge test, namely Wolverhampton, Derby and Birmingham up to now, an example of the email sent is ;
Dear Cllr Bolshaw
I was very concerned to read your comments in the article about Private Hire and Taxis in Wolverhampton found in The Express & Star paper, and wish to make comment for you to take into consideration.
The Taxi and Private Hire industry has been thrown into turmoil since the introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015 and many authorities across the country are doing their utmost to minimise the effects that it has brought to areas all over the UK.
The initial reasons that this was sold to the Commons and House of Lords by the Tories, was under the guise that people in rural areas would have a better chance of receiving a service if the borders were removed, this has not been the case what so ever, in fact the rural areas have suffered because this new Law has allowed drivers to move into larger towns and cities like moths to a flame.
The removal of the knowledge test, will I am positive, make Wolverhampton the next Rossendale Licensing Authority, who are now under so much pressure from all other LA's to amend their mistakes that they have had to recently release a full consultation on both the vehicles and the drivers licenses to enable them to stem the flow of outgoing licenses and to so much as cull the licenses that are already granted. Do you really want this same thing to happen to your very own LA and its credibility ?
Uber are usually at the bottom of this, and it was no surprise to find that Uber are licensed within Wolverhampton, did they make the suggestion to make it easier to gain a taxi license? Their business model is pure saturation of an area with drivers, this forces local Tax paying businesses out of work and traps the drivers to then work on Ubers platform, this is not a good business for the future, or for the local economy. Uber uses the Deregulation Act to bring drivers from other areas and therefore takes the local economy back with them when they finish work, greatly reducing the money spent at local shops and within the community of Woverhampton. This has been proven in many areas already and is something to take note of as a Councillor.
Saturation of this industry is like any other industry, just look at the North Sea fishing and what that did to the trawler men of the East coast, this is no different. You mention that a lot of aplicants will not even work in your area, ask yourself why that would be, the answer is because you have made it too easy for them to gain a license in Wolverhampton and then circumvent the system for the area that they actually wish to work, would this action make them a fit and proper person? I am not sure.
Take a look at the case law of Newcastle v Berwick where the court found in favour of Newcastle accusing Berwick of issuing badges to drivers who worked out of area and therefore Berwick were unable to 'police' appropriately.
Or page 9 of the Local Governments Taxi and Private Hire - Councillor's Handbook (England and Wales) that states with regards to cross border hiring and sub contractin (the Deregulation Act 2015)
'This poses a risk to communities everywhere, as well as the reputation of local government as a whole. Every council should be mindful of its opportunities to protect communities outside of its immediate responsibility.'
As you can see, these two facts actually request that LA's do their utmost to protect the industry, perhaps admitting that the Government got this one wrong when they passed the Deregulation Act, and trust that the LA's are careful in their approach and be extra mindful of the reaction to any action that they make.
I ask that you take serious consideration to the implications of how you are issuing badges before the flood gates are opened and Woverhampton end up in the same mess that Rossendale found themselves in.
I am happy to discuss this matter further should the information I have supplied not be enough to warrant a prompt re think of the policy that Woverhampton are or have adopted.
I thank you for your time in reading this email, and look forward to your response.
As you can see, we have not only Case Law but also a reference to this Case Law in the Governments Guide to Licensing Authorities, so why are they all basically holding up their hands and saying 'if you cant beat m, join em' ???
Control your own area's, stop thinking on who gets the revenue, and act together as responsible councils !!!
Do some basic math, just 300 drivers from another area, working in a city would be a MINIMUM of 300 x 600 (top line takings for the week) = £180,000 per week, now over the year thats over £9 million pound being taken out of that cities local economy.... would the council allow that to happen in any other industry ?
no they would not... but instead of earning their crust and working with other area's to beat this deregulation farce, they simply look at how to cash in on it without a thought to the industry and its future, North Sea fishing springs to mind...
a load of Cod's whallop !!