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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:58 pm 
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Assumed this would be a straightforward article about a policy delay due to Covid, but it does go on a bit.


CCTV in taxis to be revisited following protest by 'struggling' drivers

https://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/191 ... g-drivers/

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CCTV cameras fitted in all Craven taxis by next month is to be revisited following calls for their installation to be put on hold.

Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore has joined more than 100 taxi drivers in appealing to Craven District Council to reconsider making it policy for all vehicles to have safety cameras, which cost around £500, fitted by April.

“I fully understand the need for CCTV cameras in licensed vehicles for both the protection of taxi drivers and passengers alike,” said the Conservative MP.

“This issue has been raised with me by a number of local taxi drivers. I do, however, believe that the council should again consider postponing the introduction of these cameras due to the ongoing effect that coronavirus is having on the industry as a whole.

“A local group of taxi drivers have come up with a reasonable time scale which I would urge Craven District Council to consider.”

There are currently130 hackney carriages and 15 private hire vehicles operating in Craven and the cost of installing cameras for the drivers has been put at between £450 and £600.

In January, the council’s licensing committee agreed to make it policy for all taxis to have CCTV fitted for the safety of both drivers and passengers by April. Members at the time said while trade was affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the economy would ‘bounce back’ and pointed out they had been discussing bringing in the policy for about three years.

Councillor Peter Madeley, said while taxi drivers agreed CCTV needed to be introduced, for both their and the public’s safety, now was not the time.

Cllr Madeley, said many of the drivers were in his Skipton ward, and were struggling financially due to the pandemic.

"People are finding it very hard and we need to help. They agree with CCTV, but it is a matter of timing. They are currently earning £20 to £30 per day and out of that comes the cost of petrol," he said.

At last week's full council meeting Cllr Madeley was told CCTV would be discussed at the next licensing committee on April 6, almost a week after the policy was to start.

Cllr Madeley was also told no taxi driver would be penalised in the meantime.

Cllr Simon Myers, chairman of licensing, told Cllr Madeley that it was unfortunate that representations had not been made earlier and not just more than a month before it was due to be brought in, but the policy would be re-visited.

He explained that taxi drivers and firms had been made aware of the licensing agenda in January, which included the CCTV policy, and requests had been made by the licensing officer for details of earnings, to inform the committee, but had not been forthcoming.

"We have received correspondence from various taxi firms, a petition and by a large number of taxi drivers and we have undertaken to discuss it at the next licensing meeting on April 6," he said.

“We have always entered into dialogue with taxi drivers, and we are always interested in being as fair as we can."

In response to Cllr Madeley's question that no action would be taken against any taxi driver who had failed to have CCTV fitted by the start of April, Cllr Myers said: "I know out there in the public people sometimes think we are unreasonable, believe me we are not going to start forcing people on April 1 knowing that we are having a meeting on April 6. We don’t want to be unduly harsh with anybody, we will look at it again."

He added that it was unfortunate that representations had been left so late, including the petition, signed by more than 100 people and too late to be presented at full council.

“It is unfortunate that four or five weeks before it is due to come in that we get these representations but that will not stop us from considering it," he said.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:59 pm 
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Quote:
In January, the council’s licensing committee agreed to make it policy for all taxis to have CCTV fitted for the safety of both drivers and passengers by April. Members at the time said while trade was affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the economy would ‘bounce back’ and pointed out they had been discussing bringing in the policy for about three years.

So in January councillors thought the economy would bounce back sufficiently that drivers would find a spare £600 for a CCTV system before the end of March :roll:

Quote:
“It is unfortunate that four or five weeks before it is due to come in that we get these representations but that will not stop us from considering it," he said.

And much of the rest of the article seems to be blaming the trade for leaving their representations late.

But in view of councillors' opinion in the economic bounceback back in January, I'm not surprised the trade have been body swerving them.

And despite the councillor's usual stuff about consultation and dialogue, someone in the comments is claiming no one actually knew about the CCTV proposal that was decided in January. Sounds about right :roll:

Good photo of the rank, though :-s


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:19 am 
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Posts: 7304
Whatever the pros and cons of the various arguments, the craven process in Craven demonstrates why these things should be decided nationally :roll:


CCTV in Craven taxis on hold for now but 're-visited' in six months

https://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/192 ... ix-months/

TAXI drivers have been given a reprieve over the compulsory fitting of CCTV cameras.

Private hire vehicles and taxis in Craven were expected to pay around £500 to have safety cameras fitted by April, for the protection of both drivers and passengers.

But, councillors have now decided to shelve the plans until September when they will revisit the new policy and make a fresh decision based on whether the economy is starting to recover.

At Tuesday’s meeting of Craven District Council’s Licensing Committee, John Pickering of the Craven Taxi Association said drivers had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and asked for the compulsory fitting of CCTV to be delayed for two years.

But councillors, who first agreed to the policy in 2018, said that was too long with one questioning the whole point if it kept being put off.

Mr Pickering told councillors nighttime economy in Craven was non existent and day time trade was a fraction of what it was before the start of the pandemic in March last year.

Taxis relied on tourism and the hospitality industry and there had been a massive drop in both, he said. There were also ‘whispers’ of a possible further lockdown in the summer.

Mr Pickering said he was in support of CCTV but called on the committee to shelve the plans for two years, saying passengers were currently having to wear face masks anyway, which meant identification if an issue arose would be impossible, and adding that drivers did not want the added stress of it being reviewed every six months.

“We cannot afford this outlay right now we are struggling to make ends meet. 24 months will allow taxi drivers to fully financially recover,” he said.

Fellow taxi driver Gordon Thomson, based in the Dales, said business had been ‘pretty much wiped out’ over the last year or two, agreed that CCTV was a great idea but also wanted to see it postponed.

The committee, which had received a petition from drivers, heard from Cllr Andy Solloway, who has been volunteering at the Covid vaccination centre in Skipton, that taxi drivers had been doing a good job, bringing people to be vaccinated, and on occasions, helping people to jump start cars that had been left idle for months, and changing tyres.

Cllr David Ireton, who voted against a delay, said if CCTV kept being put off, it raised the question whether it was needed at all. The policy had been put in place to protect drivers when they were accused of ‘all sorts of things’, he said.

Cllr Robert Heseltine said if everything went to plan, there would be a 'return to normal' on June 21, but there could be further lock-downs. CCTV needed to be in place for the safety of both drivers and passengers, he said, but proposed delaying implementation for a further six months and revisiting the situation then.

Committee chairman, Simon Myers said it was unfortunate that taxi drivers had not attended the meeting in January when it had been decided to implement the scheme in April, and that the committee always welcomed input. He added that when the April date had been agreed, it was on the basis that the economy had been expected to be in recovery, but that had not happened.

But, he agreed with a six month delay after which the implementation date of cameras would be reviewed.

“September will be a good time to revisit this, and if we have had more lock-downs, we will look at it again,” he said.


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