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Council pays out £11k to Stoke-on-Trent taxi drivers after losing three court battles
One driver was awarded £8,215 costs after row over transporting wheelchair users.

More than £11,000 of taxpayers' cash has been paid out to taxi drivers - after the aggrieved cabbies won court battles against a council.

Three taxi drivers received a share of the cash in the past year after successfully taking their cases to North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

They launched appeals following meetings with Stoke-on-Trent City Council's licensing committee.

The four court appeals saw:

. One taxi driver awarded £8,215 costs after the council refused his request to licence a saloon vehicle and no longer transport wheelchair users;
. One taxi driver awarded £1,262 costs after the council withdrew his licence for allegedly breaching conditions;
. One taxi driver awarded £1,800 costs after the council withdrew his licence following a conviction for child neglect;
. No costs awarded to a cabbie who got his licence back after being accused of sexual assault.

It has also been revealed that the council immediately revoked five licences between January and September. It followed allegations of rape, attempted rape, child exploitation, sexual assault and drug-driving against the cabbies.

The details emerged at a meeting of the council's licensing and general purposes committee.

Referring to the wheelchair case, committee chairman Councillor Joy Garner said: “£8,215 is a lot of money. I think the panel members make difficult decisions and take these decisions very seriously.”

Vice-chairman Councillor Chris Robinson added: “If we had the full information in some cases we may have made a different decision."

Dave Currie served as the Stoke-on-Trent representative on the National Private Hire Association. He says court costs awarded against the council are just the tip of the iceberg.

He said: "The licensing panel changes every so often and when it gets new members they're like a child with a stick - they go around hitting things and tend to shoot from the hip.

"They have little or no experience - they're just professional politicians. They are laymen and are going on instinct.

"There is only one set of people who can take plates off a driver and that's the magistrates, unless there is an extreme situation where a person has been driving dangerously."

Source: https://www.stokesentinel.co.u....k/news/stoke-on-tren

Council pays out £11k to Stoke-on-Trent taxi drivers after losing three court battles - Stoke-on-Trent Live

Council pays out £11k to Stoke-on-Trent taxi drivers after losing three court battles - Stoke-on-Trent Live

One driver was awarded £8,215 costs after row over transporting wheelchair users
www.stokesentinel.co.uk
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1 year ago Translate

Taxi drivers and door staff will be given guidance on spotting hate crime under a new Government clampdown.

On Tuesday ministers will publish a refreshed strategy aimed at improving the response to and raising awareness of offences that target a victim because of personal characteristics such as race, religion or sexual orientation.

The blueprint includes steps designed to ensure that taxi and private hire vehicle drivers identify and report hate crime in the night-time economy.

Advice will be included in the Department for Transport’s best practice guidance on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing, which is scheduled to be updated in 2019 and will be considered for adoption by all 293 licensing authorities in England, the document says.

Hate crime goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect

Home Secretary Sajid Javid

It also notes that new guidance for door supervisors sets out how they can ensure transgender people can have a safe and enjoyable time going to pubs, clubs, festivals and events.

In another step, the Law Commission will carry out a review into hate crime to explore how to make current legislation more effective and consider if there should be additional protected characteristics to cover offences motivated by misogyny or ageism.

The updated action plan is being published as the Home Office releases the latest annual statistics on hate crime in England and Wales.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Hate crime goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect – and I am committed to stamping this sickening behaviour out.

“Our refreshed action plan sets out how we will tackle the root causes of prejudice and racism, support hate crime victims and ensure offenders face the full force of the law.”

Spikes in reports of hate offences have been registered following events such as the Brexit vote in June 2016 and the Westminster terror attack last year.

There were 80,393 hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales in 2016/17, an increase of 29% compared with 2015/16.

Hate crimes and incidents are defined as those perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.

Five strands are monitored centrally: race or ethnicity; religion or beliefs; sexual orientation; disability; and transgender identity.

Some forces log other types of hostility under the hate crime heading, including reports of misogyny and incidents where victims were targeted because of their age or membership of an “alternative sub-culture”, such as goths.

The new action plan says there has been a “welcome increase” in reporting, reflecting improved identification of hate crime by the police, willingness of victims to come forward and an overall improvement in crime recording.

The increase in reporting is also thought to reflect a genuine rise in hate crime around specific events, the document says, adding: “We continue to see a gap between the occurrence of, and reporting of, hate crime.”

Other new measures include a nationwide public awareness campaign, extra funding to support communities and specialist training for police call handlers.

The Government is also set to unveil proposals for future legislation to tackle illegal and harmful online content.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “It is completely unacceptable that anyone should live in fear of intimidation and violence because of their beliefs or the colour of their skin.

“We must challenge prejudice and intolerance, whenever and wherever it appears in our society.”

Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of charity Action on Elder Abuse, said: “We welcome today’s announcement that a review into hate crime legislation will consider the need for elder abuse to become an aggravated offence.

“Frankly, such a step is long overdue. Older people are being neglected and abused physically, financially, psychologically and sexually across the country every day.

“But the number of convictions for these crimes is tiny and, even when someone is found guilty, they often escape with flimsy sentences and paltry fines that do nothing to deter would-be abusers.”

Source: http://home.bt.com/news/uk-new....s/bid-to-use-taxi-dr

Bid to use taxi drivers and door staff to boost hate crime crackdown | BT

Bid to use taxi drivers and door staff to boost hate crime crackdown | BT

Ministers will publish a refreshed strategy aimed at improving the response to offences which target a victim because of personal characteristics.
home.bt.com
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1 year ago Translate

Mikial Zaman, of Village Drive, Lawley Village, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon and dangerous driving.

The 20-year-old attacked Mohammad Khan's taxi with an axe on May 20, 2017, and intentionally reversed his car at speed to hit Mr Khan's.
At his sentencing at Shrewsbury Crown Court, Judge Peter Barrie handed Zaman a nine-month sentence, suspended for two years.
The attack was caught on camera by CCTV in the area.
Steven Bailey, prosecuting, said: "Mr Khan pulled up in his taxi to get food, but before he had a chance Mr Zaman pulled up alongside him in his silver Ford and went through the window with a hand axe. He struck the rear of the taxi a number of times with the axe.

"Mr Khan got out of the taxi with what is thought to be a steering lock. We can see Mr Khan running with something in his hand towards Mr Zaman's car, gesticulating towards with him the steering lock.

"Next thing we can see happening is Mr Zaman driving his Ford car forwards at speed and driving it into the taxi. It lifted it off the ground and shunted it sideways."

Zaman then climbed through the window because the door to his car was so badly damaged and ran away, pursued by Mr Khan.
He was arrested later that day.

Resolved

Rag Chan, defending, said the feud between the two families had now been resolved and said Zaman was of 'impeccable' character.
He added: "There is no doubt this occurred as a result of tensions between the two families. I'm happy to say these tensions have now effectively disappeared and there's been a resolution.

"This is a young man who has a real future. I'm asking your honour to take a leap of faith. I'm as confident as I can be that you will not find him in front of court again."

Judge Barrie said he was minded to hand Zaman an immediate custodial sentence, but decided to suspend it because of good character reports.

"I was appalled by this serious violence that broke out in the context of a family feud," he said.

"But I recognise this was out of character for you. I am also pleased to hear you have a job and good prospects."

Zaman was also suspended from driving for two years and was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Source: https://www.shropshirestar.com..../news/crime/2018/10/

Telford man attacked taxi with axe in feud between families | Shropshire Star

Telford man attacked taxi with axe in feud between families | Shropshire Star

A man attacked a taxi with an axe over a long-running feud between two Telford families, a court heard.
www.shropshirestar.com
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1 year ago Translate

An angry mob of mourners at a Sunday vigil for a cash-strapped Uber driver who committed suicide last week called the head of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission a “murderer” as she left the solemn ceremony.

“Murderer! Murderer!” yelled one of about ten people ― made up of for-hire drivers and other union members ― who pursued TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi away from the Washington Heights vigil for tragic Uber driver Fausto Luna.

“You don’t have no heart,” another driver shouted.

Joshi said she stopped by the tribute to pay respects to Luna’s grieving relatives, but turned to leave when she realized the family wasn’t there, and the crowd started to turn on her.

The crowd tailed Joshi and an aide for a block before she disappeared into the 175th Street A-train station ― the same station where Luna, 58, leaped in front of an oncoming train last Monday.

Luna, who according to industry sources was despondent over his mounting debt, is the seventh for-hire driver to commit suicide so far this year amid financial turmoil, but the first for Uber.

The city-run TLC has been a frequent target of critics claiming that they aren’t doing enough to regulate ride-sharing companies, and help drivers grappling with financial and mental health crises.

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance union, also at the vigil, hesitated to pin all the blame on the TLC.

“It is not that simplistic. There are a lot of forces at work here, and who is mostly to blame are the companies,” she said. “You can understand the drivers’ frustration.”

The TLC disputed that Joshi was chased away from the event, and blamed the misunderstanding on a small group co-opting what was supposed to be a solemn memorial.

“A group of individuals with a very different agenda hijacked the vigil with some of the most hateful and divisive language I’ve ever heard,” said TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg. “When it became clear that their activities wouldn’t allow for anyone to say or hear any constructive messages, we left so as not to allow this group to continue to detract from the unity that by all rights should have been at the center of the event.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/10/07/....cash-strapped-uber-d

Cash-strapped NYC Uber driver's suicide leads to anger at vigil

Cash-strapped NYC Uber driver's suicide leads to anger at vigil

An angry mob of mourners at a Sunday vigil for a cash-strapped Uber driver who committed suicide last week called the head of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission a "murderer" as she left the solemn ceremony.
nypost.com
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1 year ago Translate

Councils and the taxi trade have been offered guidance on the latest low emission technologies, infrastructure and policy options available to speed up the adoption of cleaner taxis.

The ‘Low Emission Taxi Guide’, published on Friday by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and Energy Saving Trust (EST) aims to support efforts to improve air quality in towns and cities.

https://www.airqualitynews.com..../2018/10/08/councils

Councils and taxi trade offered guidance on low emission models

Councils and taxi trade offered guidance on low emission models

Councils and the taxi trade have been offered guidance on the latest low emission technologies, infrastructure and policy options available to speed up the adoption of cleaner taxis.
www.airqualitynews.com
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1 year ago Translate

Furious bride is late to her own wedding after Hull taxi 'doesn't show up'
Sally Sherburn also booked several mini buses to transport her wedding guests across town
A woman has been left furious after she was made late to her own wedding because her pre-booked taxi was “running late”.

Sally Sherburn, of Willerby, was due to be picked up from the Holiday Inn Hull Marina at 1.30pm on Saturday, September 29, and taken to the Guildhall for her wedding.

However, the 52-year-old said she had to make other arrangements at the last minute as the taxi from 35 Taxis failed to show - causing her to be late to her own wedding.

“I booked the taxi on July 31, and I contacted 35 Taxis a week before and the day before to confirm,” said Ms Sherburn
“When it got past 1.30pm, I rang them five times and I kept being told the driver was stuck in Witham and the man on the phone kept asking me what I wanted him to do about it.

“It got to ten to two and I had to call another taxi who came as quickly as possible, but my wedding was at 2pm and I was ten minutes late.”
As well as booking a single taxi from the hotel to the city centre venue, Ms Sherburn and her husband Stephen Davison, also booked seven mini-buses to take their 55 guests from the guildhall to a restaurant on Hull Marina.
“We had 55 guests to transport so two mini-buses arrived and most people ended up just walking, but a lot of the guests were from Newcastle and had no idea where they were going.

"I was late for my wedding reception as well as my wedding.

“What makes it worse is the taxis from the restaurant back into Old Town, booked for 7pm, also didn’t turn up, and one taxi even dropped the guests off at the other side of town by accident.
However, she said they also did not turn up.

“The mini buses were supposed to arrive at 3pm, so I rang them just before to make sure they would still be coming because of what had happened earlier, and they just told me they didn’t have that many mini buses available and would never had allowed me to book that many,” said Ms Sherburn.

“I just couldn’t believe it. I spent my entire wedding day on the phone to 35 Taxis.

“We spent almost £100 on taxis because we had agreed £10 per mini bus and taxi, and I wasn’t given any form of discount for what had happened.”

A spokeswoman for 35 Taxis, based in Holderness Road, admitted a new member of staff had wrongly allowed Ms Sherburn to book seven mini buses, and “apologised profusely” for the problems caused.
“The first taxi to take the customer to the Guildhall was running late, which unfortunately does happen with taxi services, but the customer cancelled the service before the car got there,” said the spokeswoman.

“We had a new telephonist working with us at the time of the booking who wasn’t aware we couldn’t allow for that many mini buses to be booked for one job, but we did offer the customer three mini-buses and a shuttle service with taxis.
“I apologised profusely and felt terrible as I knew it was her wedding day but we cannot control the traffic and we are not a wedding service.

“Our drivers are self-employed so we have little control over what they do. My staff were very kind to the customer, and it is very rare we run late, but the customer was acceptably angry when speaking with her.

“Again, I could not apologise enough for what happened.”

Source: https://www.hulldailymail.co.u....k/news/hull-east-yor

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