A private hire driver has had his licence suspended after worried officials expressed concerns at the driver’s conduct and poor level of English.
Glasgow City Council's licensing committee suspended Asim Latif's licence for the unexpired portion of its duration, after he was caught plying for hire, which is in direct contravention to his private hire licence.
The Herald reported that Latif had been approached by a group of four people while parked in Hope Street.
The group claimed that the private hire driver had asked their destination and how much they would be willing to pay. Latif was offered £12 to take them to the East End but he refused, saying he would do it for £25.
Two of the group subsequently got into a taxi while the remaining two spoke to council enforcement officers, explaining the situation.
Due to Mr Latif’s poor English, the private hire driver’s brother requested he address the committee on his behalf, saying that Mr Latif would not take a job without a prior booking as he works for Uber.
Mr Latif's brother then went on to tell the committe that his brother had refused to talk to the group and couldn't understand why they gave that account of events.
However, licensing convener, Alex Wilson, stated that he had serious problems with Mr Latif's brother speaking on his behalf and asked to speak directly to Latif, asking the driver if he could take him from the city chambers to Hope Street, saying: “He has to be able to understand me".
Mr Wilson then said: “Okay, I think that’s sufficient enough for me" when Latif was unable to respond.
Latif's brother interjected by stating that Latif used the mapping system on his Uber app to ensure a passenger reached their destination, adding that in a medical emergency he would phone an ambulance. It was at that point Councillor Aileen McKenzie asked what would happen if the Uber system wasn’t working, to which Latif’s brother claimed that he would revert to using Google Maps.
Mr Latif’s licence, which had been due to run until August 2021, was suspended with immediate effect. Four other private hire drivers were also suspended for six weeks after illegally plying for hire.
The committee's decision to suspend Latif's licence comes just a few weeks after the committee decided that taxi and private hire drivers in the city will face a test on their English skills before a licence is issued.
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