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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:35 pm 
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Very interesting.

If anyone has got a spare few hours they can read through the reports.

https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ie ... 9350&Ver=4

https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/Pu ... Public.pdf

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Well that is an hour of my life I wont get back.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Uber says it must do better for disabled

UBER was accused of being "a company for the fit and able" by a councillor at a marathon seven-hour meeting today.

Representatives of the taxi-hailing app defended the firm in the face of allegations it was not a fit and proper entity to hold a licence to operate in Brighton and Hove, at the meeting of the city council panel to review its licence.

Uber promised it would have twenty wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) in its fleet by the time it reaches 100 cars in the city, although spokesmen failed to provide concrete plans for how they would achieve that. Uber currently has 62 drivers licensed by the city but no WAVs.

The meeting heard warm praise for Uber from customers and fierce criticism from the taxi trade.

Sunetta Kiarie, 25, a Brighton charity worker told the Hove Town Hall meeting she had always found taking an Uber to be a safe, professional and clean experience.

She added: "Brighton is a city rife with innovation which would be foolish not to take the opportunity to support this innovative company."

Resident Claire Alcock praised its convenience, real-time tracking and accountability.

Caroline Jones said: "Who cares where the drivers come from?

"I’ve never had bad service or an unlikeable driver. Uber provides what I need. It would be a shame to lose it.”

But Gerald Gourier QC, speaking for the city's taxi firms, said Uber has operated in Brighton "in such a way as to drive a coach and horses through local licensing controls" since it started operating in October 2016.

Brighton and Hove has some of the toughest taxi licensing rules in the country, known as the Blue Book, which include a requirement for cars to have CCTV and a quota for WAVs.

But Mr Gourier said there was "no point" having the Blue Book when Uber allowed cars licensed in other authorities with less stringent rules to operate in the city.

Andy Peters of the GMB union, Mark Durell of the Brighton and Hove private hire association, and Sean Ridley of the Unite union also criticised the practice and the fleet's lack of WAVs.

They slammed Uber for its 2016 data breach in which customers' names email addresses and mobile phone numbers were stolen by hackers.

Charles Holland, barrister for united taxi drivers association said Uber had not offered to help affected customers, saying: "They just don't get it."

The licensing panel of Councillor Jacqui O'Quinn (Lab), Councillor Lynda Hyde (Con) and Councillor Lizzie Deane (Green), interrogated the speakers, including with some quite basic questions.

Councillor O'Quinn asked Uber driver Peter Woodcock to explain what happens when a rider hails an Uber, and Councillor Deane asked whether the city's existing private hire firms would ever have apps of their own - which they have had for some time.

The Argus has learned none of the three councillors has the Uber app or has ever hailed an Uber, although Councillor O'Quinn has travelled in one with a friend.

Defending his client, Uber barrister Philip Kolvin said the company was not trying was not trying to “skirt round” the city’s regulations but had recently regionalised its business to prevent London-licensed drivers from operating in the city.

It has also created a £1,000 incentive scheme to get drivers licensed in Brighton.

An Uber spokesman told The Argus those policies came into being on March 14.

Councillor Deane accused the company of being "for the fit and able" and all three councillors queried the firm's promise to have 20 WAVs by the time it has 100 cars.

Uber head of cities Fred Jones said it would use a "stick and carrot" approach to hit the target, including possible financial incentives to encourage drivers to buy WAVs.

Uber drivers have provided lifts to more than 200,000 people in Brighton and Hove since it started operating 19 months ago.

A decision on the licence, which expires in May, will be announced on Wednesday morning.

But even if the panel revokes the licence, Uber cars licensed elsewhere will still be entitled to work in the city.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:19 am 
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Reading Council do not agree that U*** vehicles licensed elsewhere can work in their district when they do not hold an operator license for Reading.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:57 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
Reading Council do not agree that U*** vehicles licensed elsewhere can work in their district when they do not hold an operator license for Reading.

Don't all the licenses have to match? the drivers license, the vehicle license and the operators license have to be with the same authority. but as the law stands, those 3 don't neccesarily have to be in the area that they work.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:36 pm 
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grandad wrote:
heathcote wrote:
Reading Council do not agree that U*** vehicles licensed elsewhere can work in their district when they do not hold an operator license for Reading.

Don't all the licenses have to match? the drivers license, the vehicle license and the operators license have to be with the same authority. but as the law stands, those 3 don't neccesarily have to be in the area that they work.

The Reading case is being pursued along the lines that the drivers are plying for hire, as they are advertising themselves within an area where they don't have an operator's license.

Interesting case being heard next week.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:03 pm 
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Uber accused of ‘playing it both ways’ at heated licence renewal hearing

http://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2018 ... l-hearing/

Uber was yesterday accused of trying to have its cake and eat it at a hearing to decide whether or not it should be allowed to continue operating in the city.

One on hand, Uber said its global outlook and status as a “disruptor” meant it struggled to adapt to local regulations in the UK – although it insisted it was doing its best to comply with these.

But on the other, it said that its Brighton subsidiary did not work with enough drivers to make it subject to Brighton’s requirements that 20% of an operators fleet should be wheelchair accessible vehicles if it has more than 100 cars.

Although many more Uber cars than this are able to operate in the city because of the relaxation of cross-border rules, only 62 work directly with the Brighton subsidiary.

The issue of non-Brighton licensed drivers working in the city was also raised several times, particularly in the light of what the licensing panel which originally granted Uber its licence thought was an undertaking to only allow Brighton drivers to accept rides here at the hearing in 2015.

But Uber’s head of cities Fred Jones said that his words had been ambiguous and when he realised they had been misinterpreted by the panel – when Uber applied for the licence to be renewed in October 2016 – he had written to the the council to correct this, after which the year-long renewal was approved.

Cllr Lizzie Deane, who was on the original panel which approved the licence, said: “We gave the licence in good faith after various undertakings were made at that hearing. We are not just talking about the letter but the spirit as well.

“You are playing it both ways. It suits you to say you’re a big company but when it comes to playing on a level playing field you say we are too little to do it.”

However, barrister Philip Kolvin, representing Uber, said it would be “irrational” for the panel to refuse to renew the licence on these grounds.

He said: “Uber has been operating in Brighton for 19 months. It now has 62 drivers licensed by this council, all DBS checked and driving around in vehicles licensed by this council, all fitted with CCTV and in accordance with the blue book requirements.

“As a relative newcomer in the UK, it’s had to get used to the idea that different areas have different requirements and it’s spent considerable time and in meeting these requirements.

“It’s not as much as some of the private hire companies would like but it’s far more than Uber is required to do.

“The criticism to which Uber has been subjected has been partly fair and partly unfair but it has spurred Uber on to improve its processes.

“If Uber was providing a dangerous or untrustworthy service in this city it would be very obvious by now on a statistical basis. But that evidence is not there.”

Gerald Gouriet, representing local taxi companies, raised the question of the difficulty of controlling out of areas cars, which are outside the council’s jurisdiction.

He said: “As night follows day, if you want to control local licensing control, if you feel it’s being eroded there’s all the power you need provided by the statute.

“What I ask you to avoid doing is to throw your hands up in the air and say there’s nothing we can do.

“Certainly I shout at my television often enough, the power is there.”

Chair of the panel Jackie O’Quinn also raised these concerns when questioning Uber, saying that a recent move to stop London drivers using the Uber app in Brighton had in some ways been counter productive.

She explained that many drivers had instead become licensed in Lewes, and as Brighton had an enforcement agreement with Transport for London (TfL) but not Lewes, this had actually made licensing control harder.

Barrister Charles Holland, representing the Unite taxi forum, argued that Uber drivers operate as hackney carriages rather than private hire drivers because they are hailed in a similar fashion, and so therefore Uber drivers should be subject to the same licensing conditions – including a quota and a requirement to operate in the area in which they are licensed.

He said: “Uber’s technology is a smokescreen. It says its partner drivers are in control – they have complete autonomy choosing where to work, when and which jobs to take. Nobody gives them any direction or instruction. They are the boss.

“The only difference between Uber and hackney carriage is that the display of availability is done on the app. By disrupting, all they want is to have their cake and eat it … in essence they seek to avoid local control.”

Mr Kolvin said that both Mr Holland and Mr Gouriet’s legal arguments were “nonsense” and criticised them for not having allowed him sight of them before the hearing.

Uber was first granted a year-long licence in 2015, which was renewed for another year from November 2016 because it had then only been operating in Brighton for a few weeks.

The following year it again applied for a renewal, but this was only granted for six months, with extra conditions attached, following concerns being raised by Transport for London, which had just refused Uber’s London renewal.

These concerns included its approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how medical and enhanced DBS checks were made and its failure to properly explain how Greyball, software which prevents officials from booking Uber rides, works after it was used in other countries to thwart licensing control.

A five-day court hearing of Uber’s appeal against Tfl’s refusal to renew its operators licence in London is due to take place in June.

Yesterday’s panel also heard from three women customers of Uber who were supporting its application.

Sunetta Kyrie, 25, who moved to Brighton two years ago, said: “Brighton is a city rife with innovation and it would be foolish not to take the opportunity to support this innovative taxi company.

“As a woman I experience a very safe experience with Uber. I’ve used both local companies and Uber and I think they’re equally as good.”

Claire Alcock, a marketing director who moved to Brighton last year, said: “When we moved I was delighted to discover that Brighton offered the same range of options as London.

“I didn’t have to go to the trouble of finding a local taxi company number or asking for recommendations, I could just instantly tap into a network of drivers.”

And writer Caroline Jones, who lives in Brighton with her husband, Noel Gallagher’s keyboard player Mikey Rowe, said she didn’t care where drivers came from.

After explaining how the app improved their family’s quality of life by making it easier to move around the city, she said: “I don’t care where the drivers come from – often they come from Sudan and I spend time chatting to them about their life there.

“In terms of my freedom and my desire to use this service, it doesn’t matter to me. I have never had an unlikeable driver or an unsafe journey with Uber.”

Peter Woodcock, a hackney carriage driver who is licensed in Lewes but rides via Uber in Brighton also spoke in support of the application.

A decision was initially expected to be announced tomorrow. However, the panel was not able to reach a decision yesterday and will reconvene later this week in private to consider the large amount of representations made. An announcement should be made soon afterwards.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Quote:
Gerald Gouriet, representing local taxi companies, raised the question of the difficulty of controlling out of areas cars, which are outside the council’s jurisdiction.

He said: “As night follows day, if you want to control local licensing control, if you feel it’s being eroded there’s all the power you need provided by the statute.

“What I ask you to avoid doing is to throw your hands up in the air and say there’s nothing we can do.

“Certainly I shout at my television often enough, the power is there.”


:roll:

Quote:
Barrister Charles Holland, representing the Unite taxi forum, argued that Uber drivers operate as hackney carriages rather than private hire drivers because they are hailed in a similar fashion, and so therefore Uber drivers should be subject to the same licensing conditions – including a quota and a requirement to operate in the area in which they are licensed.

He said: “Uber’s technology is a smokescreen. It says its partner drivers are in control – they have complete autonomy choosing where to work, when and which jobs to take. Nobody gives them any direction or instruction. They are the boss.

“The only difference between Uber and hackney carriage is that the display of availability is done on the app. By disrupting, all they want is to have their cake and eat it … in essence they seek to avoid local control.”


Don't think local PH ops will be asking Mr Holland to represent them in any case concerning their drivers as self-employed contractors.

Quote:
And writer Caroline Jones, who lives in Brighton with her husband, Noel Gallagher’s keyboard player Mikey Rowe, said she didn’t care where drivers came from.

After explaining how the app improved their family’s quality of life by making it easier to move around the city, she said: “I don’t care where the drivers come from – often they come from Sudan and I spend time chatting to them about their life there.


Think Ms Jones has missed the point about the cross-border hiring issue :-s


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:05 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
But Uber’s head of cities Fred Jones said that his words had been ambiguous and when he realised they had been misinterpreted by the panel – when Uber applied for the licence to be renewed in October 2016 – he had written to the the council to correct this, after which the year-long renewal was approved.

At the Panel Hearing in 2015 Uber's legal team told the Panel they would only use B&H licensed vehicles within the licensing district of B&H.

Mr Jones later said what they meant was that they would only use B&H licensed vehicles under the license.

However that is the law anyway, so why would Uber say to the Panel that they are going to obey the law, the have no choice in that matter.

In my view yet another case of Uber being 'false and misleading'.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:11 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Quote:
And writer Caroline Jones, who lives in Brighton with her husband, Noel Gallagher’s keyboard player Mikey Rowe, said she didn’t care where drivers came from.

After explaining how the app improved their family’s quality of life by making it easier to move around the city, she said: “I don’t care where the drivers come from – often they come from Sudan and I spend time chatting to them about their life there.


Think Ms Jones has missed the point about the cross-border hiring issue :-s

She didn't give a f***.

What the woman also didn't grasp is that the three large companies have better apps than Uber's.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:20 pm 
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Five minute Oral Submission from the local PH Ass

On behalf of the Brighton and Hove Private Hire Association I’m grateful to the panel for allowing me to speak today.

Our view is that Uber are not ‘fit and proper’ to hold an operator’s license here, and had licensing panel members been aware of all the facts at the time, we believe Uber wouldn’t have been issued an operator’s license in 2015, or subsequently had their license re-issued.

In 2015 Uber’s first application was heard before a licensing panel. Most, if not all, of the non-Uber people at that hearing left with the firm view that Uber had promised to use only Brighton and Hove licensed vehicles and drivers, within the licensing district of Brighton and Hove.

How wrong were they?

In time the city was flooded with hundreds of vehicles licensed from the four corners of the country. We had drivers sleeping in their cars, we had drivers living in their cars. This is the Uber way.

However, those misled at that panel meeting were not alone. At the same time Uber was engaged in correspondence with TfL, in respect of the legality, or otherwise, of their booking process.

That correspondence ended with TfL refusing to re-issue Uber with an operator’s license. In the refusal letter TfL concluded that Uber had given them materially false and misleading answers.

Anyone present at the licensing panel meeting in 2015 would not have been shocked at TfL’s conclusions.

When Uber’s 2016 operator’s license application was determined, Uber neglected to share with the council that they had had a massive data breach where details of 57 million people were stolen from Uber’s data banks.

Uber tell us that only the boss and a few security people knew about it. In our view that matters not. Blaming those that are no longer around might be very convenient, but that is not, nor should be, an easy kop out for Uber’s current management.

There can be no excuse for holding back such important information from those who re-issued the license. I ask how could the council fulfil its legal duty if serious unlawful acts by the applicant are withheld from it?

I doubt there is anyone in this chamber who doesn’t think that Uber’s data breach, and the subsequent cover up, wouldn’t have impacted on that decision to re-issue the license.

I have a confession to make, I was one of those 57 million. Did I receive an apology, the answer is no, nothing at all?

All I learnt was that Uber had not only held back information of this massive breach from the proper authorities, but that Uber had rewarded the crooks who stole the data, my data, a nice $100,000 bonus.

I ask, are those the actions of a ‘fit and proper’ operator?

Last November the council renewed Uber’s operator’s license for a further six months. At that time everyone was aware that Uber had had their application for renewal in London refused, but other than a brief press release from TfL little was known as to exactly why TfL had taken such drastic action.

We now know that TfL were minded to think that Uber’s business model did not comply with the 1998 London PH Act, that Uber had used ‘unacceptable and inappropriate’ processes to assess the medical fitness of 800 prospective drivers, that Uber had not been reporting allegations of serious criminal offences by its drivers to the Metropolitan Police, that Uber’s then senior management were aware that Greyball technology was being considered as a means of evading regulatory enforcement.

I struggle to see how any official, how any panel, how any committee or council would choose not to follow TfL’s lead and refuse to renew.

I’ve heard mention that Uber London are a different entity from Uber non-London, but I believe you should have none of that nonsense.

My thumb is a different entity to my fore-finger, but they are both controlled by the same hand.

Having read Uber’s submission to today’s hearing I wonder if it was authored by Hans Christian Anderson.

One example, I note that Uber are making a claim that they are, ‘being a leader in improving air quality’. This so called green claim from a firm that has added 40,000 extra vehicles to the streets of London, and 100s of extra vehicles to the streets of our city. I ask do those cars run on fresh air?

I would like to finish by mentioning a regular comment I hear and read, in that Uber are not a normal operator.

I actually agree with that comment.

No normal operator would give their licencing authority ‘materially false and misleading answers’.

No normal operator would withhold the data loss of 57 million people from the proper authorities and pay $100,000 to hackers.

No normal operator would use ‘unacceptable and inappropriate’ processes to assess the medical fitness of prospective drivers.

No normal operator would withhold allegations of serious criminal offences by its drivers to the Police.

And no normal operator would have in it’s arsenal a piece of software that can be used for evading regulatory enforcement.

The not normal comment is often followed by the ‘we should allow them the flexibility to operator the way they do’ comment.

On that point I disagree.

In 1976 Parliament laid down a law that allowed councils to license normal operators.

There are no exemptions for those that due to their size, their power, and their money, can do whatever they want and operator however they wish.

Under those circumstances I request this panel refuse to re-issue Uber a Brighton and Hove Private Hire Operator’s license.

Thank you.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Quote:
Five minute Oral Submission from the local PH Ass


Brighton breezy ?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:43 am 
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Any news on this??

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:24 pm 
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skippy41 wrote:
Any news on this??

Decision possibly Tuesday PM.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Brighton and hove council refused to renew Uber’s license

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