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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Location: Guildford
For the attention of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Dear Sirs

Re Unlawful taxi license conditions and abuse of Acts of Parliament

Guildford Borough Council has introduced non-statutory policies that require taxis in Guildford be liveried in a green plastic wrap, and also required extra training for existing taxi drivers.

Although the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 by means of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform (Regulatory Functions) Order 2007, and the Regulators Code 2014 require the Council to make these policies in a way which was transparent, accountable, proportionate and consistent, they failed to follow those statutory instructions. Complaint has been made to the Council, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Local Government Ombudsman, but all have refused to apply the Statutory guidance.

I draw this to your attention, as it seems that the Courts and the Ombudsman have failed to adhere to the wishes of Parliament in applying these regulations, designed to limit the Councils’ wide powers given to any Council by the Local Government Act 2000 and the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976.

Further, it seems that section 47 of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 (LGMPA) requiring Councils to adopt license conditions which are reasonably necessary, is of no effect, as the Courts have held that Councils can make unnecessary taxi license conditions if they have undertaken a “consultation”, although no Act gives them that power in relation to taxi licenses. That matter was decided in the High Court (CO/829/2017), and Court of Appeal (C1/2017/3126), in the case of Benn Simmonds v Guildford Borough Council

Finally, it seems that under section 68 of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976, Councils can suspend a taxi license for 2 months, without right of appeal, if the Council believe that the taxi does not comply with any license condition. (Wilcock v Lancaster City Council [2013] EWHC 1231 (Admin) (11 April 2013)) permission to appeal refused on the papers.

Those decisions do not follow the intention of the LGMPA, which was to mirror the Plymouth City Council Act of 1975, on which the 1976 Act was modelled, which only allows suspension without right of appeal in the case of taxis which are a danger to the public.

Could you let me know by email what if anything you propose to do about these matters?

Yours truly


Mark Rostron

See the background documentation at https://misconductinpublicoffice.org/wi ... s_Act_1976


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:36 pm 
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Quote:
Those decisions do not follow the intention of the LGMPA, which was to mirror the Plymouth City Council Act of 1975, on which the 1976 Act was modelled, which only allows suspension without right of appeal in the case of taxis which are a danger to the public.

Are they suspending, or merely refusing to re-issue?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Suspending and then revoking. https://misconductinpublicoffice.org/wi ... 8_from_GBC


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:42 am 
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An interesting case, not sure why you don’t just get the livery, it would be cheaper, but I guess you have had enough of councils and there stupid regulations. To suspend you they would have to have adopted the 1976 So I would get a copy of the minutes where they adopted it and also a copy of the advert placed in the local paper, lots of councils adopted the act but didn’t advertise.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:40 pm 
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The Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 is already the law of the land, no need for Council to adopt it.
The reason I don't get liveried is I don't want a livid green car for personal use and I don't want the damage and cost that comes after plastic wrapping,
The way the Act is being misapplied means Councils can impose any unreasonable licence condition on drivers
Bad news for everyone.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:27 pm 
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MarkRGuildford wrote:
The Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 is already the law of the land, no need for Council to adopt it.
The reason I don't get liveried is I don't want a livid green car for personal use and I don't want the damage and cost that comes after plastic wrapping,
The was the Act is being misapplied means Councils can impose any unreasonable licence condition on drivers
Bad news for everyone.

Sorry MarkR you are wrong in several things.

1. A Local Authority was required to adopt the 1976 Act. I believe however that all England and Wales Authorities have done so - with the exception of Plymouth which has its own Act. If you can show that the 1976 was not properly adopted you could us that though, as non-adoption would invalidate the use of the provisions of the Act in that licensing area.

2. The livery is not a condition on the Driver, it is a vehicle condition on the separate vehicle licence, and unfortunately the 1847 Act for Hackneys and the 1976 Act for PH allows vehicle conditions to be made.

3. You, as a proprietor, do have a right of Appeal at the Magistrates Court. It would probably be a tough fight and I don't rate your chances of success very highly, but the choice obviously is yours whether to take it on.

Whatever you choose to do, I wish you well.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:57 am 
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Yes, I know it's a licence condition on the vehicle.
No, Councils don't get to choose which Acts of Parliament apply to them.
Section 47 of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 allows them to impose conditions that are reasonably necessary.
The Council have provided no good reason as to why green plastic cladding is necessary.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:49 am 
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Quote:
The reason I don't get liveried is I don't want a livid green car for personal use and I don't want the damage and cost that comes after plastic wrapping,


I thought it was teal but must admit it is hard to drive past Guildford and not throw up at the sight of that colour :-#

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:06 pm 
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MarkRGuildford wrote:
The Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976 is already the law of the land, no need for Council to adopt it.
The reason I don't get liveried is I don't want a livid green car for personal use and I don't want the damage and cost that comes after plastic wrapping,
The way the Act is being misapplied means Councils can impose any unreasonable licence condition on drivers
Bad news for everyone.


I bow to your superior knowledge Mark

Aylesbury Vale District Council v Call a Cab Limited

Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court (DJ Pattinson) 8th March 2013

A prosecution of a taxi company has failed for reasons which will amount to a wake-up call for taxi licensing authorities across the country. 24 years to the day after adopting the private hire licensing regime, Aylesbury Vale District Council's prosecution of a local operator was dismissed because of alleged procedural failures in the adoption process.

The Council prosecuted Call a Cab Limited for operating without a licence under section 46(1)(d) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, together with its director for aiding and abetting the commission of the offence. The company claimed that it was not an operator but an intermediary, acting as a taxi management service, finding operators to meet the customer's journey requirements rather than accepting the booking itself. According to the Council, even if this was true, it did not change the company's status as an operator, given the definition of an operator in section 80 of the Act as someone making provision in the course of business for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for a private hire vehicle. Furthermore, said the Council, not all customers would have been aware that they were dealing with an intermediary rather than a taxi operator.

However, the company argued that it was an essential element of the offence under section 46(1)(d) that the operation occurred in a controlled district, defined in section 80 as an area for which the Act was in force by virtue of a resolution passed by a district council. The Council produced a resolution passed 24 years earlier on 8th March 1989, but the company argued that upon construction it did not amount to a proper resolution for the purposes of the Act.

The company had another string to its bow. Following the House of Lords judgment in Boddington v British Transport Police [1999] 2 AC 143 it argued that it was entitled to show on balance of probabilities that the resolution was procedurally invalid. Section 45(3) provides that no resolution should be made unless the Council has placed a statutory notice of intention to adopt in a local newspaper and has served the same on parishes and parish meetings in its area. In the case of Aylesbury Vale there are 85 parishes and 27 parish meetings. While it was accepted that newspaper advertisements had been placed, the company did not accept that notices had been duly sent, let alone received. It argued that non-receipt by one parish was sufficient to vitiate the resolution.

The Council had the difficulty that it had long since destroyed its correspondence files and so could not bring evidence that the notices were sent.

The company, on the other hand, had researched Buckinghamshire County Council archives and discovered the parish records for 12 of the parishes, whose detailed minutes did not demonstrate receipt of any such notice, even though the minutes apparently recorded all manner of information from the trivial to the important. The Council argued that an absence of note in 12 sets of minutes out of 85 parishes did not amount to proof that the notices had not been received at all. The company argued that if a random sample of 12 had no record of receipt, and the records were (as they appeared to be) a complete account, then given that the Council itself had no evidence that the notices were sent, the conclusion on balance must be that they were not.

The Council also argued that, since the case of R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Jeyeanthan [2000] 1 WLR 354, the Courts have not treated every procedural lapse as nullifying the administrative act in question. However, the company pointed to the words of Lord Woolf MR in that case, namely that one has to focus on what Parliament considered should be the result of non-compliance. In the case of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, section 45(3) amounted to a prohibition on passing a resolution unless the procedural requirements had been met.

District Judge Pattinson accepted the company's arguments and therefore did not find it necessary to rule on the other procedural and substantive points arising in the case. He dismissed the prosecution and made a Defendant's costs order in favour of the company.
Philip Kolvin QC acted for Call a Cab Limited.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:15 pm 
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So here’s the bit he’s referring to
47.—(1) A district council may attach to the grant of a licence of a hackney carriage under the Act of 1847 such conditions as the district council may consider reasonably necessary.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing sub-section, a district council may require any hackney carriage licensed by them under the Act of 1847 to be of such design or appearance or bear such distinguishing marks as shall clearly identify it as a hackney carriage.

Any person aggrieved by any conditions attached to such a licence may appeal to a magistrates' court.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Are they requiring an all over livery?
Because if you impose an all over livery you effectively ban advertising which has always been a source of income for taxi drivers.
This is why there are no words in the legislation to allow the prohibition of signs on taxis


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:50 pm 
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[However, the company argued that it was an essential element of the offence under section 46(1)(d) that the operation occurred in a controlled district, defined in section 80 as an area for which the Act was in force by virtue of a resolution passed by a district council. ]

That's a good find. So if it isn't a controlled district because it wasn't advertised properly, the 76 Act doesn't apply?

Also, they are allowing advertising on the "teal". I think it's more a green than blue colour. Either way, it's horrible.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Dear Sirs

Re s45 Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976

Could you let me have by email, a copy of the resolution under this section, and any notices published in that connection and any evidence that parishes had adopted the Act of 1847 prior to the adoption by Guildford Borough Council of the Act of 1976?

Many thanks
Mark Rostron


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:23 pm 
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MarkRGuildford wrote:
Dear Sirs

Re s45 Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976

Could you let me have by email, a copy of the resolution under this section, and any notices published in that connection and any evidence that parishes had adopted the Act of 1847 prior to the adoption by Guildford Borough Council of the Act of 1976?

Many thanks
Mark Rostron


Think you also need the adoption papers,notices and minutes to prove they had adopted the 1976 Act correctly.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:30 pm 
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Dear Sirs

Could I also have by email a copy of all adoption papers,notices and minutes to prove the 1976 Act was adopted correctly?

Thanks
Mark Rostron


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