Taxi Driver Online

UK cab trade debate and advice
It is currently Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:00 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 4828
Wakefield Council challenges High Court taxi fees ruling in potentially landmark case

https://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news ... 1-10123461

Image
Image: Wakefield Express

A district council has launched an appeal against a ruling that it's overcharged taxi drivers, in what could be a landmark case for the whole industry.

Wakefield Council is challenging a High Court decision last December that the £384 fee it charges taxi drivers for a licence to trade are unlawful.

Three of the UK's top judges are set to decide on the matter, which may see councils across the country forced to fork out millions to reimburse drivers.

Wakefield Council says the amount it charges is necessary to recover the costs of licensing vehicles, as well as the costs of policing the local industry and punishing cabbies who break the rules.

The local authority has been backed by the Local Government Association (LGA) in the case, as most other authorities charge taxi fees in a similar way.

But cabbies argue the fee should only cover the cost of issuing the licence, and nothing more.

At a Court of Appeal hearing in Leeds on Tuesday morning, Wakefield Council's barrister Sarah Clover said the authority was seeking "clarity and guidance" over the issue.

She said: "With the breadth of the duties and the things the council does, in relation to drivers, the critical question is, how is that to be funded?

"The council has always maintained, along with most, if not all other councils, that they are entitled to be refunded for that work.

"There's always been ambiguity about it but the issue is still ambiguous and unresolved."

Ms Clover suggested that the fees system used by the council was already used, nationwide, to licence lap dancing clubs and other sexual entertainment venues. That has not been challenged.

Arguing that the fees were used to help keep people in the Wakefield district safe, she added: "Not only can a faulty vehicle have an impact on public safety, but drivers as well."

Commenting on the complex nature of the case, the lawyer representing taxi drivers said there was a "shanty town of taxi legislation".

Gerald Gouriet QC said the "man on the Wakefield bus would raise an eyebrow" if he was told that the costs applied by the council covered regulation around "how a driver is dressed and whether or not they use offensive language".

He said: "It is my submission that the costs relating to the control and supervision of vehicles does not and cannot embrace costs arising from the enforcement against drivers."

The original case was brought to the High Court at the end of last year by the Wakefield District Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Association, after the council hiked its licence fee by 60 per cent.

The council was initially refused the right to appeal, but that decision was later overturned, leading to the Court of Appeal case.

The judges' final ruling on the matter is expected to be made next month.

If the appeal is lost, Wakefield Council may have to pay out in excess of £1m to drivers in cases dating back as far as 2004.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 44136
Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
Gerald Gouriet QC said the "man on the Wakefield bus would raise an eyebrow" if he was told that the costs applied by the council covered regulation around "how a driver is dressed and whether or not they use offensive language".

Good point.

I'm relieved and delighted that the trade have got proper legal representation as this fella does know what he is talking about.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:05 am
Posts: 90
Quote:
He said: "It is my submission that the costs relating to the control and supervision of vehicles does not and cannot embrace costs arising from the enforcement against drivers."


Reading between the lines here it sounds like they're saying that using money from vehicle licensing to fund enforcement against drivers is wrong. Could the council not just move a proportion of the vehicle licence costs into the driver's badge cost? That would mean the driver's licence paid for driver enforcement and the vehicle licence paid for vehicle enforcement.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 13370
Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
Quote:
Ms Clover suggested that the fees system used by the council was already used, nationwide, to licence lap dancing clubs and other sexual entertainment venues. That has not been challenged.


what relevance is that to taxi licensing :roll:

_________________
Taxis Are Public Transport too

Join the campaign to get April fools jokes banned for 364 days a year !


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:56 pm
Posts: 1791
Karga wrote:
Quote:
He said: "It is my submission that the costs relating to the control and supervision of vehicles does not and cannot embrace costs arising from the enforcement against drivers."


Reading between the lines here it sounds like they're saying that using money from vehicle licensing to fund enforcement against drivers is wrong. Could the council not just move a proportion of the vehicle licence costs into the driver's badge cost? That would mean the driver's licence paid for driver enforcement and the vehicle licence paid for vehicle enforcement.



The Cardiff case made it clear to all Councils that there had to be 5 different accounts for Taxi/Private hire/operators fees and monies could not be used to cross subsidise.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:57 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 44136
Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
Could the council not just move a proportion of the vehicle licence costs into the driver's badge cost?

Not under existing taxi/PH licensing laws.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 1 hour [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: x-ray and 30 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group