Thursday, January 02, 2014

Taxi Leaks Editor's Reply To Peter Hendy's Letter....By Jim Thomas.

Last year, bosses at TfL pocketed a cool £2.5m in bonuses with top recipient Peter Hendy receiving a massive £319,000 plus a knighthood.
Source: TfL's latest draft accounts (click here to view)

At around the same time, TfL Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy, decided he would no longer authorise the issue of temporary licences to drivers awaiting renewals, as has been the case for many years.

His decision, in league with holdups caused by the new licensing system, has thrown dozens of drivers out of work for periods in some cases, in excess of three months, causing great financial hardship for the drivers and their families.

Taxi leaks recently posted a campaign letter, asking TfL commissioner Peter Hendy to reconsider his refusal to grant temporary licences to drivers currently unable to work due to hold ups in TfL's system.

A standard reply from Leon Daniels on behalf of Peter Hendy, was sent out to all drivers who used the email template. This we posted on the Taxi Leaks blog, on Christmas morning.

Amazingly, there hasn't been one word publicly from the United Trade Group (LTDA,LCDC and Unite) who claim to represent the trades best interests. 
Although it has been "alleged" UTG subscribers have been secretly advised to carry on working without the necessary documentation.

Below is our reply to the response asking Sir Peter to reconsider.

Dear Mr. Hendy,

Thank you for the reply from your colleague Leon Daniels concerning the need for TfL to issue 'temporary' licences for taxi drivers whilst they are awaiting DBS or TfL processing.

Leon Daniels states that TfL are unable to so do and that there have been instances where had they done so, offences would have come to light that would have caused that person not to be relicensed.

This response raises the following issues and questions:

1. How many of these offences related to taxi drivers as opposed to PH licensees and if there are any, please supply suitably redacted details of those?

2. The reply in effect states that it is only at renewal of licence that such matters come to the attention of TfL, meaning that any criminal activity that would possibly lead to a revocation of a licence, could remain 'undetected' for the entire validity period of three years.

This, if correct is unacceptable from a public protection viewpoint and I would welcome further clarification.

3. All that is being sought is a temporary licence for drivers of known good character whilst DBS and TfL internal delays are resolved, any Risk Assessment would surely conclude that the public are at little risk from those concerned and it's probably correct that should they suddenly be of a criminal mindset to commit serious offences, whether they are licensed ( temporary or otherwise) as a taxi driver would not act as a deterrent!

In any event, offences committed if serious in nature, should have already led to an examination of that individuals fitness to remain licensed as the police authorities would have notified TfL, unless the situation as queried in point 2 is extant.

It is noted that TfL issue new licences to those who due to recent residency from abroad cannot be checked in any robust fashion yet those who have been checked many times, are prevented from pursuing there lawful business.

4. This issue is causing real and genuine hardship for what appears an unreasonable risk averse attitude from TfL. Other metropolitan
authorities issue just such temporary licences, if they can why cannot TfL.

5. If a TfL member of staff commits or is alleged to have commit an offence they are suspended on full pay pending any outcome. London taxi drivers often with decades of blameless service are being placed out of work for what are bureaucratic and doctrinaire reasons.

I urge you to reconsider.

Jim Thomas
Licensed Taxi Driver
40 years service.


In the know. said...

So Helen Chapman has been off work now for 8 weeks.
Apparently, you can't get sacked or made redundant while off sick
She can string it out on full pay for 6 months, then half pay for another.
Medical retirement better than redundancy package as she hadn't been with TfL long enough to get bette deal.

So Helen screwed us, now she's screwing TfL, before they screw her.

Ruff Justiss said...

Someone's got a screw loose!

As ever the innocent suffer.

Anonymous said...

i see that a london ph firm has an ad in a romanian newspaper looking for drivers please tell me how tfl do checks on a driver fresh of the banana boat from romania i mean if an english person gets a ph badge they have british records to check but these people dont so do they check romanian records or what

Anonymous said...

cont. so we trust romanian strangers more than taxi drivers most with clean long service sums up this country

LCY Len said...

There's probably an EU kickback for taking on eastern european undesirables as PH drivers and in turn a kickback from PH to tfl for turning another blind eye.

Editorial said...

Anon 7:17- 7:22
All foreign nations recently arrived have to apply to their respective embassies for a certificate of good character before they can sign up to be PH drivers.
Not quite as secure as our own CRB checks though.

There is a section on TfL website which explains this process in detail.

Some larger PH operators have had recruitment agencies abroad for many years. These supply a regular flow of new drivers to replace the ones that move on.

Editorial said...

Don't wet yourself mate, there is nothing racist contained in posts on this blog

Referring to people as Eastern European undesirables, could be perceived as xenophobic, but definitely not racist

And yes your comment was censored because of abusive profanities. CC

LCY Len said...

I never saw this bloke marks tirade, but I imagine it was the usual find offence where non is intended shout loud before actually thinking about what I'm saying drivel. Read my post CAREFULLY and you will see that I'm not calling ALL eastern europeans undesirables, I am saying that tfl have a record of giving out licences to pretty much anyone regardless of their history in their pursuit of money and as the theme of this thread is concerning how already proven trustworthy drivers are being hamstrung in going about their business, I think I was entitled to surmise that such incentives as giving licences to unknown entities from eastern europe exist and I think we would all term people like that as undesirable when it comes to both the saftey of the public and the preservation of our clientele.