Cllr.Judy Dalton is Chair of the Licensing Committee which amongst other matters oversees the issuing of Badges for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing. Former Deputy Leader of RMBC Jahangir Akhtar has a conviction for Affray and was given a CSO (Community Service Order) He lost his Council seat in the May elections and has returned to his previous job as a Private Hire Taxi driver. It is a requirement that any convictions are reported to the council before a badge is issued. Did he admit his conviction before his badge was issued? How serious must a conviction be before a badge is refused? The use of Private Hire vehicles in the CSE scandal was widespread, young girls and Class A drugs were being ferried all over the county and RMBC was paying the fares! Drivers used a code word-previously agreed with Akhtar and RMBC-to legitimise and validate their journeys before submitting invoices.
Article 15 of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. Private Hire Drivers Licences .Conditions of Licence.
15. Record Book
The driver shall keep a true and proper record of every booking of a private hire
vehicle during such time as he is the driver in respect of that vehicle. The records
shall be kept in a Bound Book provided for that purpose by the operator of that
vehicle in which the driver shall, before the relevant journey commences, record in
the appropriate spaces particulars of:-
(a) the date and time of pick-up;
(b) the means by which the booking was communicated to the driver (e.g.
personally or by radio);
(c) the place the passenger’s journey commences;
(d) the destination of passenger(s);
(e) the name and, if possible, the address of the person hiring the vehicle or the name of the passenger.
The failures of the Licensing Committee-Chaired by Dalton-is indicative of poor procedures and criminality. How much scrutiny does Dalton give to applications for a Taxi badge? Why did’nt repeated late night journeys from the same taxi companies raise any suspicions? How much of our money was paid to criminals and perverts without question?