All the signs are encouraging, the Commissioners are on to sorting out the licensing of taxi drivers.
There are three issues that remain to be addressed and will require decisive action, after the further exposure of wrongdoing connected to the Rotherham taxi trade!
The first issue concerns the scheme, for the accreditation and inspection of operators. The fact that Venture taxis of Wath were able to operate for so long, ‘under the radar’, before it was realised they were operating without benefit of an operators licence! This is a major area of concern for citizens and the sooner this is addressed the better.
The second issue of major concern are the arrangements for the inspection of taxis (MOT). There are significant conflicts of interest concerning the complex ownership arrangements, overlapping with the ownership of taxi firms. This must be resolved as it is unacceptable and corrodes confidence in the safety of the taxis themselves as most outward appearances do not inspire confidence?
The third, is the accounting for the past! We didn’t end up with the ‘wild west’ taxi trade in Rotherham, without culpability of those involved. It is my belief that there should be a police investigation into the potential for the crime of misconduct having been committed. I am sure readers will appreciate the gravity of the crime of ‘misconduct’, which carries the maximum sentence, of life in prison!
I can still recall the words of Sajid Bostan, of Rotherham Private Hire Drivers, when he told me they had “fixed the Council, fixed the Police, fixed the Advertiser and fixed the local BBC!”
It is time for Sajid to be proved wrong, by those charged with putting our taxi trade back on the right path. We are relying on them, and trust, we will not be let down.