Taxi Liaison Group - 13/09/2007
At a MEETING of the TAXI LIAISON GROUP held at Dundee on 13th September, 2007.
DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
Lord Provost John R LETFORD
Bailie Roderick A J WALLACE
TAXI TRADE REPRESENTATIVES
David YOUNG, The Dundee Taxi Cab Company Ltd, trading as Dundee Taxi Cabs Company
Graeme STEPHEN, Dundee Taxi Association
Steve CASHLEY, 505050 Taxis
Chris ELDER, Transport and General Workers' Union
TAYSIDE POLICE REPRESENTATIVES
Bryan COLEMAN, Tayside Police (Sergeant)
Sharon LOUDEN, Tayside Police (Support Staff)
Patricia McILQUHAM, Depute Chief Executive (Support Services)
Stuart GALLOWAY, Principal General Services Officer
Brian WOODCOCK, Senior Solicitor, Licensing
Ian McCANDLESS, Plant and Vehicle Officer
Lord Provost John R LETFORD, Convener, in the Chair.
Apologies were submitted on behalf of Councillor Liz Fordyce and George Harris, Tay Taxis.
I MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minute of meeting held on 13th August, 2007 was submitted and noted for information and record purposes.
II OPERATION OF TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE CARS
The Lord Provost, John R Letford, Convener, welcomed everyone to the meeting and advised that the meeting had been called to clarify issues which had been raised by representatives of the Trade in relation to recent events surrounding the operation of Taxi and Private Hire Cars in Dundee.
(b) COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
Thereafter, Ms Patricia McIlquham, Depute Chief Executive (Support Services) reported to the Group on established complaints procedures and the role of the City Council and Tayside Police in this regard. Ms McIlquham explained that the City Council was a regulatory body and that complaints on fitness of licence holders, operators or licensed companies were submitted to meetings of the Licensing Committee for decision and that Officers worked in an advisory role to the Committee to assist that decision-making process and to thereafter act upon or enforce any decision taken. Complaints and evidence by members of the public against any licence holder should be reported in the first instance to Tayside Police who may thereafter submit a letter of information to the Licensing Committee for their decision on the matter.
(c) OPERATION OF VEHICLES BY COMPANY - JOINT ACTION BY CITY COUNCIL AND TAYSIDE POLICE
In this respect Ms McIlquham outlined the timeline and action taken by both the City Council and Tayside Police in relation to the operation of vehicles by a Company in Dundee which had recently been documented in the press and that, as the Company had taken legal action to prevent enforcement action by Tayside Police, the matter was currently subject to court proceedings. Ms McIlquham explained to the Group the legal complexities in relation to this case in the process of the matter being progressed by the City Council in the meantime.
(d) OPERATION FROM VACANT GROUND - COMPLAINT BY TAXI TRADE
In relation to the complaints which had been submitted to both the City Council and Tayside Police by members of the Taxi Trade in relation to the use of vacant ground by a company adjacent to a city centre nightclub, Ms McIlquham advised that the Planning and Transportation Department had immediately been made aware of this situation once it became known to the Council, and that Planning Officers were investigating the issue as to whether or not the Company required appropriate planning consents to allow their continued operation from this location.
The locality of the area of ground in dispute was established by Graeme Stephen of Dundee Taxi Association. Sergeant Coleman of Tayside Police advised the Group on specifics in relation to access routes within the vicinity of the nightclub.
The Lord Provost expressed his dissatisfaction that the Company referred to had not made an approach to the City Council to ensure that necessary approvals were in place prior to commencement of operations from the site for the benefit of all parties which may then have avoided representations being made by members of the Trade in objection to operations by the Company. However, a representative of the Company advised the Group that they had received guidance from their agent throughout the process to the effect that planning consents were not required, however, they would cease operations at this location should the Planning and Transportation Department find that consents were required.
(e) OPERATION OF PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES - COMPLAINT BY TAXI TRADE
In reply to questions from Erik Thoresen that Private Hire Vehicles were operating outwith the terms of the legislation from the area of ground adjacent to the nightclub and his view that Private Hire Vehicles were required to return to their base office after completion of each fare journey, Stuart Galloway advised the Group that that referred to an obsolete by-law which had since been superseded by the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. Brian Woodcock advised the Group of what the law stated in relation to the hiring of a Private Hire Vehicle to allow the driver to obtain a fare within the terms of the Act and that subject to confirmation from Planning and Transportation about planning issues that Private Hire Vehicles could conceivably operate from the area of ground in question.
Sergeant Coleman, Tayside Police requested that complaints or concerns be made known to them by members of the Trade and intimated that they would be monitoring the operation at this site, both in relation to the Company and the Trade in general.
The Group noted that the Trade Representatives present would notify their members on the position in relation to the issues raised.
The Lord Provost then closed the meeting and thanked everyone for their attendance.
Lord Provost John R LETFORD, Convener.