Friday, February 03, 2017

Legislation, Legislation, Legislation is all you need… by Lee Ward.


So, that old chestnut legislation, you know, the thing that every politician falls back on when the industry want something changed to protect its future or indeed the public. That word legislation where they make out that a report must be done, then a consultation, then it goes through Commons and then Lords before it gets the Royal approval to become Law. We have all heard it right?
And then we go away expecting that in the background someone somewhere has started this report to get the ball rolling and in a few years’ time, if we are still around, it comes to pass and all will be well again…

Well, I will be honest, that’s how I thought it went anyway. Until today.

You see, I found out today while searching the internet as I do between jobs (yes, I have time to do a lot of surfing these days) I came across something on the Governments website and it’s to do with Legislation (http://j.mp/2ky8d0t)

Delegated Legislation
Delegated or secondary legislation is usually concerned with detailed changes to the law made under powers from an existing Act of Parliament. Statutory instruments form the majority of delegated legislation but it can also include Rules or Codes of Practice.

What delegated legislation does
Delegated legislation allows the Government to make changes to a law without needing to push through a completely new Act of Parliament. The original Act (also known as primary legislation) would have provisions that allow for future delegated legislation to alter the law to differing degrees.

These changes range from the technical, like altering the level of a fine, to fleshing out Acts with greater detail; often an Act contains only a broad framework of its purpose and more complex content is added through delegated legislation.

So, let me get this right, all those issues about Cross Border Hiring, Hackneys working as Private Hire Vehicles hundreds of miles away from where they are licensed, an App being legal or not and even capping of licenses could be dealt with easily because all that was needed was the 1976 Act needed ‘fleshing out’ with more detail, detail that would clarify what the intention of the Act was in 1976 before technology blurred the borders of one area to the next simply because the industry no longer relies on a radio waves ability over distanceto transmit the information to the mobile radio in a driver’s car…

Wow, it’s that easy to deal with, and so difficult for the people that we vote into power to explain to us and then kick into gear. All we needed was someone who is an MP and a Lawyer to know this, hands up if anyone is both of these…


And we have a winner !!!
 
So answer me this then, why does it take a humble, uneducated (scratch that, for a change I will not lower myself, I deserve more than that even if I say it myself) hard working driver to find these solutions when the people that get paid the money will not come forward with the answer to the problem.

As usual I dug further on what I have found and I came up with this in regards to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters
23 changes and effects yet to be applied
Commencement Orders yet to be applied to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
3 Commencement Orders yet to be applied.

So it is and can be done, as shows with the TWENTY SIX changes to the 1976 Act that governs our industry that I doubt very few had even been aware had changed, apart from perhaps Section 61 as amended by Section 52 of the Road Transport Act 2008, I assume you all know about that one, it is 8 years old after all.

I mean, you guys know all about the changes to the LGMPA 1976 because in 2016 they introduced the Immigration Act and all the changes that it made to the LGMPA 1976, didn’t you?

Well have a look, it shouldn’t take long, because we would have known all about it, or they would have at least the decency to deal with the issues of our trade in 2016 while they had their thinking caps on and quills at the ready (http://j.mp/2kymDgP)

Calmed down yet? Or did you dare not look….


So we have a problem, and we need a solution, I believe this solution is found by the following Formula
 


Therefore, my proposals by using the Delegated Legislation to the LGMPA 1976 would be as follows, and I have put what I propose in red for ease of reference

47​Licensing of hackney carriages.

47​Licensing of hackney carriages.

(1) A district council may attach to the grant of a licence of a hackney carriage under the Act of 1847 such conditions as the district council may consider reasonably necessary. 
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing subsection, a district council may require any hackney carriage licensed by them under the Act of 1847 to be of such design or appearance or bear such distinguishing marks as shall clearly identify it as a hackney carriage. 
(3) Any person aggrieved by any conditions attached to such a licence may appeal to a magistrates’ court.
 
48 ​Licensing of private hire vehicles.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a district council may on the receipt of an application from the proprietor of any vehicle for the grant in respect of such vehicle of a licence to use the vehicle as a private hire vehicle, grant in respect thereof a vehicle licence: 
Provided that a district council shall not grant such a licence unless they are satisfied— 
(a) that the vehicle is— 
(i) suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle; 
(ii) not of such design and appearance as to lead any person to believe that the vehicle is a hackney carriage; 
(iii) in a suitable mechanical condition; 
(iv) safe; and 
(v) comfortable; 
(b) that there is in force in relation to the use of the vehicle a policy of insurance or such security as complies with the requirements of [F2Part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1988], 
and shall not refuse such a licence for the purpose of limiting the number of vehicles in respect of which such licences are granted by the council.

(2) A district council may attach to the grant of a licence under this section such conditions as they may consider reasonably necessary including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this subsection, conditions requiring or prohibiting the display of signs on or from the vehicle to which the licence relates. 

(3) In every vehicle licence granted under this section there shall be specified— 
(a) the name and address of— 
(i) the applicant; and 
(ii) every other person who is a proprietor of the private hire vehicle in respect of which the licence is granted, or who is concerned, either solely or in partnership with any other person, in the keeping, employing or letting on hire of the private hire vehicle; 
(b) the number of the licence which shall correspond with the number to be painted or marked on the plate or disc to be exhibited on the private hire vehicle in accordance with subsection (6) of this section; 
(c) the conditions attached to the grant of the licence; and 
(d) such other particulars as the district council consider reasonably necessary. 

(4) Every licence granted under this section shall— 
(a) be signed by an authorised officer of the council which granted it; 
(b) relate to not more than one private hire vehicle; and 
(c) remain in force for such period not being longer than one year as the district council may specify in the licence. 

(5) Where a district council grant under this section a vehicle licence in respect of a private hire vehicle they shall issue a plate or disc identifying that vehicle as a private hire vehicle in respect of which a vehicle licence has been granted. 

(6) (a) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, no person shall use or permit to be used in a controlled district as a private hire vehicle in respect of which a licence has been granted under this section unless the plate or disc issued in accordance with subsection (5) of this section is exhibited on the vehicle in such manner as the district council shall prescribe by condition attached to the grant of the licence.
(b) If any person without reasonable excuse contravenes the provisions of this subsection he shall be guilty of an offence. 

(7) Any person aggrieved by the refusal of a district council to grant a vehicle licence under this section, or by any conditions specified in such a licence, may appeal to a magistrates’ court.
 
Hold on, have I not just dealt with Cross Border Hiring and the drivers who go and get a Hackney License somewhere that’s easy to obtain and then work as a Private Hire elsewhere?
Well, lets be safe about the Hackneys working as Private Hire shall we.

67 Hackney carriages used for private hire.
(1) No hackney carriage shall be used in the district under a contract or purported contract for private hire except at a rate of fares or charges not greater than that fixed by the byelaws or tables mentioned in section 66 of this Act, and, when any such hackney carriage is so used, the fare or charge shall be calculated from the point in the district at which the hirer commences his journey.
(2) Any person who knowingly contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) In subsection (1) of this section “contract” means—
(a) a contract made otherwise than while the relevant hackney carriage is plying for hire in the district or waiting at a place in the district which, when the contract is made, is a stand for hackney carriages appointed by the district council under section 63 of this Act; and
(b) a contract made, otherwise than with or through the driver of the relevant hackney carriage, while it is so plying or waiting.
 
But, lets be clear on the Operators also, it would be only right, after all

56 Operators of private hire vehicles.
(1) For the purposes of this Part of this Act every contract for the hire of a private hire vehicle licensed under this Part of this Act shall be deemed to be made with the operator who accepted the booking for that vehicle whether or not he himself provided the vehicle.
(2) Every person to whom a licence in force under section 55 of this Act has been granted by a district council shall keep a record in such form as the council may, by condition attached to the grant of the licence, prescribe and shall enter therein, before the commencement of each journey, such particulars of every booking of a private hire vehicle invited or accepted by him, whether by accepting the same from the hirer or by undertaking it at the request of another operator, as the district council may by condition prescribe and shall produce such record on request to any authorised officer of the council or to any constable for inspection.

(3) Every person to whom a licence in force under section 55 of this Act has been granted by a district council shall keep such records as the council may, by conditions attached to the grant of the licence, prescribe of the particulars of any private hire vehicle operated by him and shall produce the same on request to any authorised officer of the council or to any constable for inspection.

(4) A person to whom a licence in force under section 55 of this Act has been granted by a district council shall produce the licence on request to any authorised officer of the council or any constable for inspection.

(5) If any person without reasonable excuse contravenes the provisions of this section, he shall be guilty of an offence.
 
And that’s just clarified the acceptance of bookings made by Apps.

This brings the LGMPA 1976 into the modern world while keeping the true intentions of the Act safe and secure, now who wouldn’t want that?

Granted, I am not a legal eagle and maybe my wording would need a slight tweak here and there, but it cost me a total of 2 pint cans of Stella Artois and 6 cigs to sort this out, now that’s a Yorkshireman’s budget if ever there was one.


So it was that easy Wardy? Yes mate, it was…..