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GMB PERSPECTIVE


was mentioned that it was found out that Uber objected to Lewes licensed vehicles having CCTV.


Mockery of Local Licensing: Uber attends the Trade Meetings as it is entitled to under its Brighton & Hove licence and yet has disregard for local licensing to the extent that the attendance of Uber makes a mockery of the meeting which is attended by local dedicated Trade Reps.


I would go to the extent that Uber has ripped out the heart of what the trade and council has striven to achieve.


All Brighton & Hove licensed cars carry specific council livery. The hackneys are white with aqua boot and bonnets with rear plates/ rear side door repeater plates. Private hire cars being any colour but these also have rear plates / rear side door repeater plates with ‘Prior Booking Only’. In essence you know that if you get into a Brighton & Hove car you know it is fully licensed.


SO WHERE HAS ALL OF THIS BEEN HEADING?


Well, with the invitation to the April Trade Forum Meeting I had my ‘Sod it’ moment and sent an email to the council and my fellow Trade Reps based on the following which is a shortened version:





I write with reference to the forthcoming Trade Forum meeting for April 28 2021. As you are very aware the city is overrun with cars not licensed by Brighton & Hove City council. These vehicles are from Southampton, Portsmouth, Chichester, Havant and Fareham, but mostly the 500+ private hire vehicles from Lewes.


An increase of out of town cars that carry no vehicle identification so no one knows where these cars are licensed. Uber’s disregard for local licensing has dimin- ished everything that the trade and the council has worked for over the years and belittles our Blue Book of conditions of licensing.


“This means that ‘local licensing’ which was given to local councils under an Act of Parliament for the safety of the public is no longer under the control of the coun- cil thanks to the way in which Uber works.


CCTV: We have council controlled CCTV for the safety and protection of the public and of course the driver. And yet this does not apply to all of those out of town cars. In fact as we were told by Uber itself that it was against CCTV and stated at the Uber Appeal where it


MAY 2021


On this basis as the GMB rep I will no longer be attend- ing the Trade Forum Meetings all the time that Uber attends and sits with such contempt in the way that it operates on such a massive scale. Please be assured that I have not taken that decision lightly.


Future Trade Dealings: However this does not mean that communications and future consultations have ceased. Rather it being a case that all such trade matters will be carried out by other methods of communications and not at the Trade Meetings all the time that Uber attends.


I am pleased to say that I have received full support from other trade reps who will also no longer be attending the meetings on the same basis.





So there it is... after many years of the Taxi Trade Forum meetings taking place where we could throw buns at each other and have that one-to-one communication with the HCO and council these will not be attended by the Trade Reps all the time that Uber is present.


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH... AND SOD IT!


Lastly I would like to thank Sean Ridley the South East Unite rep with whom I have had the pleasure of working with as union reps over the last five years who has now decided to retire from the trade. Sean had over 35 years of taxi/PH experience with considerable knowledge of the trade and wrote many informative pieces for PHTM. Sean would mainly work the Lancing Station rank and saw the ever increasing Lewes and Chichester Uber PHVs hanging around waiting for a ping for a job - such is the way that the job has now gone and the oblitera- tion of local licensing control.


Andy Peters Secretary GMB Brighton & Hove Taxi Section andy.peters@gmbtaxis.org.uk


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