Case No. CO/4743/2009 Barrie's Comments: The general rule of law is now confirmed that taxi drivers, minicab drivers and any other drivers are allowed to wait for as long as necessary on single or double yellow lines for the purpose of picking up a passenger and/or their luggage. In the case of black cabs which can be hailed by a passenger in the street it is easy to see what time is taken and in the normal course of events that pickup time is clearly necessary. The question arises (and this was dealt with by the court): what is the necessary time for a a taxi driver or minicab driver to pickup a passenger when they receive a pre-booked cab fare. I have won many cases at the parking adjudicator arguing that there has to be a time period to pick up a passenger starts when the vehicle arrives, the driver looks for his passenger and the passenger comes from their premises, finds the cab and enters the vehicle. My view is that that is all part of the process of waiting for the purpose of picking up the passenger. I am pleased to say that the court confirmed my view. Background Nearly all councils have taken the rigorous view ( in my view totally incorrect and illogical) that when a taxi driver or minicab driver receives a pre-booked fare the driver cannot wait at all and that the passenger has to be at the kerb ready to get into the vehicle. Some parking adjudicators have agreed with the councils’ view, but many parking adjudicators have not agreed. Indeed one parking adjudicator said that it was preposterous to suggest that a driver arriving to pick up a passenger should act like a Formula One driver performing a pitstop with the passenger diving into the vehicle and the vehicle taking off. The High Court has now clarified the law on this issue and has stated that councils are wrong to adopt the position they have taken so far. The learning judge stated that when a driver arrives at the destination, the time taken looking for the passenger or waiting for the passenger to identify the vehicle are all a necessary part of the process of picking up the passenger - and accordingly any parking tickets issued in those circumstances must be cancelled. The judge also decided that if a driver arrives at the destination to pick up the passenger but the passenger then cancels the journey this is still nevertheless part of the process of picking up the passenger and accordingly any parking tickets issued in such circumstances must be cancelled.. Barrie Segal’s Final Comment: This is a very important clarification of the law which demonstrates that councils have been unfairly penalising licensed taxi and minicabs.
This is an excerpt of a transcript from Hansard for the 1st November 2010 column 1538 - House of Lords. If you are unaware of Hansard, it is a record of what is being talked about in the Houses of Parliament.
At this stage, I will refrain from commenting on this transcript and will open up the comment feature, as I would love to hear anyones opinions about the subject(s) being talked about. This was brought to my attention this morning by a friend and to be honest Hansard is not something I look at now, but this I must admit has certainly got my interest.
Lord James of Blackheath: At this point, I am going to have to make a very big apology to my noble friend Lord Sassoon, because I am about to raise a subject that I should not raise and which is going to be one which I think is now time to put on a higher awareness, and to explain to the House as a whole, as I do not think your Lordships have any knowledge of it. I am sorry that my noble friend Lord Strathclyde is not with us at the moment, because this deeply concerns him also.
For the past 20 weeks I have been engaged in a very strange dialogue with the two noble Lords, in the course of which I have been trying to bring to their attention the willing availability of a strange organisation which wishes to make a great deal of money available to assist the recovery of the economy in this country. For want of a better name, I shall call it foundation X. That is not its real name, but it will do for the moment. Foundation X was introduced to me 20 weeks ago last week by an eminent City firm, which is FSA controlled. Its chairman came to me and said, "We have this extraordinary request to assist in a major financial reconstruction. It is megabucks, but we need your help to assist us in understanding whether this business is legitimate". I had the biggest put-down of my life from my noble friend Lord Strathclyde when I told him this story. He said, "Why you? You're not important enough to have the answer to a question like that". He is quite right, I am not important enough, but the answer to the next question was, "You haven't got the experience for it". Yes I do. I have had one of the biggest experiences in the laundering of terrorist money and funny money that anyone has had in the City. I have handled billions of pounds of terrorist money.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Where did it go to?
Lord James of Blackheath: Not into my pocket. My biggest terrorist client was the IRA and I am pleased to say that I managed to write off more than £1 billion of its money. I have also had extensive connections with north African terrorists, but that was of a far nastier nature, and I do not want to talk about that because it is still a security issue. I hasten to add that it is no good getting the police in, because I shall immediately call the Bank of England as my defence witness, given that it put me in to deal with these problems.
The point is that when I was in the course of doing this strange activity, I had an interesting set of phone numbers and references that I could go to for help when I needed it. So people in the City have known that if they want to check out anything that looks at all odd, they can come to me and I can press a few phone numbers to obtain a reference. The City firm came to me and asked whether I could get a reference and a clearance on foundation X. For 20 weeks, I have been endeavouring to do that. I have come to the absolute conclusion that foundation X is completely genuine and sincere and that it directly wishes to make the United Kingdom one of the principal points that it will use to disseminate its extraordinarily great wealth into the world at this present moment, as part of an attempt to seek the recovery of the global economy.
I made the phone call to my noble friend Lord Strathclyde on a Sunday afternoon—I think he was sitting on his lawn, poor man—and he did the quickest ball pass that I have ever witnessed. If England can do anything like it at Twickenham on Saturday, we will have a chance against the All Blacks. The next think I knew, I had my noble friend Lord Sassoon on the phone. From the outset, he took the proper defensive attitude of total scepticism, and said, "This cannot possibly be right". During the following weeks, my noble friend said, "Go and talk to the Bank of England". So I phoned the governor and asked whether he could check this out for me. After about three days, he came back and said, "You can get lost. I'm not touching this with a bargepole; it is far too difficult. Take it back to the Treasury". So I did. Within another day, my noble friend Lord Sassoon had come back and said, "This is rubbish. It can't possibly be right". I said, "I am going to work more on it". Then I brought one of the senior executives from foundation X to meet my noble friend Lord Strathclyde. I have to say that, as first dates go, it was not a great success. Neither of them ended up by inviting the other out for a coffee or drink at the end of the evening, and they did not exchange telephone numbers in order to follow up the meeting.
I found myself between a rock and a hard place that were totally paranoid about each other, because the foundation X people have an amazing obsession with their own security. They expect to be contacted only by someone equal to head of state status or someone with an international security rating equal to the top six people in the world. This is a strange situation. My noble friends Lord Sassoon and Lord Strathclyde both came up with what should have been an absolute killer argument as to why this could not be true and that we should forget it. My noble friend Lord Sassoon's argument was that these people claimed to have evidence that last year they had lodged £5 billion with British banks. They gave transfer dates and the details of these transfers. As my noble friend Lord Sassoon, said, if that were true it would stick out like a sore thumb. You could not have £5 billion popping out of a bank account without it disrupting the balance sheet completely. But I remember that at about the same time as those transfers were being made the noble Lord, Lord Myners , was indulging in his game of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic of the British banking community. If he had three banks at that time, which had had, say, a deficiency of £1.5 million each, then you would pretty well have absorbed the entire £5 billion, and you would not have had the sore thumb stick out at that time; you would have taken £1.5 billion into each of three banks and you would have absorbed the lot. That would be a logical explanation—I do not know.
My noble friend Lord Strathclyde came up with a very different argument. He said that this cannot be right because these people said at the meeting with him that they were still effectively on the gold standard from back in the 1920s and that their entire currency holdings throughout the world, which were very large, were backed by bullion. My noble friend Lord Strathclyde came back and said to me that he had an analyst working on it and that this had to be stuff and nonsense. He said that they had come up with a figure for the amount of bullion that would be needed to cover their currency reserves, as claimed, which would be more than the entire value of bullion that had ever been mined in the history of the world. I am sorry but my noble friend Lord Strathclyde is wrong; his analysts are wrong. He had tapped into the sources that are available and there is only one definitive source for the amount of bullion that has ever been taken from the earth's crust. That was a National Geographic magazine article 12 years ago. Whatever figure it was that was quoted was then quoted again on six other sites on the internet—on Google. Everyone is quoting one original source; there is no other confirming authority. But if you tap into the Vatican accounts—of the Vatican bank--— come up with a claim of total bullion—
Lord De Mauley: The noble Lord is into his fifteenth minute. I wonder whether he can draw his remarks to a conclusion.
Lord James of Blackheath: The total value of the Vatican bank reserves would claim to be more than the entire value of gold ever mined in the history of the world. My point on all of this is that we have not proven any of this. Foundation X is saying at this moment that it is prepared to put up the entire £5 billion for the funding of the three Is recreation; the British Government can have the entire independent management and control of it—foundation X does not want anything to do with it; there will be no interest charged; and, by the way, if the British Government would like it as well, if it will help, the foundation will be prepared to put up money for funding hospitals, schools, the building of Crossrail immediately with £17 billion transfer by Christmas, if requested, and all these other things. These things can be done, if wished, but a senior member of the Government has to accept the invitation to a phone call to the chairman of foundation X—and then we can get into business. This is too big an issue. I am just an ageing, obsessive old Peer and I am easily dispensable, but getting to the truth is not. We need to know what really is happening here. We must find out the truth of this situation.
If you scroll through the PDF to the time stamp 10.42pm and column number 1538 you find the section that contains this information. I was advised about this by someone at the House of Lords information office this morning, who helped me find the section that I needed. Thank you whoever you were.
Mr Lionel Morris V Newport City Council, another blast from the past 27/11/2009.
Neumans LLP are pleased with the judgment of Mr Justice Beatson at the High Court in Cardiff on 27 November 2009 in which he quashed the decision of Newport City Council in relation to age limits on taxis, including hackney carriages (black cabs). Neumans LLP represented Mr Lionel Morris who brought the Judicial Review on behalf of himself and all members of the Newport Hackney Drivers Association (NHDA). The NHDA is an association of around 80 hackney carriage drivers who are based in Newport, South Wales. Mr Justice Beatson held that the decision was unlawful. Amongst the reasons given were the failure to take into account the six monthly plating test. He stated that this was not a case in which it would be appropriate to deny our clients a remedy in the exercise of discretion. The decision, which was made on the 18th March 2009, meant that hackney carriages over 12 years old could not be licensed, and used as taxis. It also meant that at the first registration of a hackney carriage, it had to be under 3 years and 3 months old. The practical effects of this decision would have meant that hackney carriage drivers who fell foul of the new age restrictions would have gone out of business if they could not afford new taxis.
Newport Hackney Taxi Driver Association (NHTDA), won this judicial review with claimed costs of £550,000......"The council believes the lawyers’ actual costs as a result of the judicial review into a change in its taxi regulations should be around £100,000.
But this would have been doubled because the system allows the successful side to claim what is called an “uplift” depending on the risk that lawyers took on in fighting the case."
Newport Hackney Taxi Driver Association charge an annual membership fee of £10 with an additional monthly subscription of £5. They have about 80 members!!!
Taken from a government dept for transport website.. http://www.vosa.gov.uk/vosacorp/publications.htm
• Age Limits. The setting of an age limit beyond which a local authority will not license vehicles is somewhat arbitrary and disproportionate particularly as it is perfectly possible for a well-maintained older vehicle to be in good condition. A greater frequency of testing may, however, be appropriate for older vehicles - for example, twice-yearly tests for vehicles more than five years old.
Our concerns would be that United Trade Group (LTDA, LCDC, and Unite) have already accepted an age limit on your behalf without consultation or vote. The fact is they jumped the gun an offered a 15 year age limit to the Mayor. In our opinion this could prejudiced our case.