NALEO calls for Deregulation Bill “Taxi” clauses to be dropped
The National Association of Licensing and Enforcement Officers (NALEO) has urged “every Local Authority and interested trade organisation” to lobby their Members of Parliament to have the Deregulation Bill “Taxi” clauses to be dropped when they are debated next week.
Readers may recall some time back that the DfT consulted with the taxi/PH trade on proposals to deregulate certain existing rules with regards to cross border sub-contracting, permitting unlicensed drivers to drive licensed vehicles and to make all taxi and PH licences last for 3 years.
It seemed odd that the Government would push for these amendments whilst the Law Commission is, at the same time, working a draft new Taxi Bill. The Government said, in relation to this, that it will have a whole year (from May 2014) to considering the Law Commission’s report which means that there will not be time to take forward a dedicated Taxi Bill before the next General Election hence why these changes are being introduced using the Deregulation Bill.
NALEO, writing to its members, stated that it “…believes that the clauses due to debated are not so vitally necessary that they need to be enacted ahead of the wholesale reforms due to be proposed by the Law Commission. The imminent Law Commission proposals have been extensively researched and NALEO cannot agree that more piecemeal changes are either helpful or that indeed as worded they will better ensure the safety of the travelling public.”
“The Law Commission is due to publish its report and draft Bill during May 2014. The Government will then have a year in which to consider the report and prepare a response in 2015. This time scale for considering the Law Commission’s report means that there will not be time to take forward a dedicated Taxi Bill before the next General Election. This seems a very poor reason for lessening the safety of the public at large by allowing unlicensed drivers to drive licensed vehicles!”
As a consequence, it is urging local authorities to lobby their Members of Parliament to have the Deregulation Bill “Taxi” clauses to be dropped. Given that the debate is due to take place early next week (29 April), NALEO has produced a sample template for interested parties to consider adapting to use in any representations which they may wish to make to their own Members of Parliament.