Medway Council have passed a motion to challenge Uber's legality to operate in the area. Hundreds of taxi drivers watched during a public meeting held at St George's Centre, Chatham, on 10 October.
The motion, which was suggested by councillor Dan McDonald, was agreed by both sides of the chamber following a council-funded legal investigation into whether the firm was legally or illegally operating within the Medway licensing area. Cllr McDonald said: "Taxi drivers are seeing their profession being decimated daily. "I pay tribute to MLTDA [Medway Licensed Taxi Drivers Association] for their evidence, patience and passion.
"Medway licensed cabs are fighting back but the council need to support them. "They are solid and dependable, if you don’t support them, an honest service will die and Uber will put their prices up overnight. "Mr Mayor, let's make history tonight to truly show our support to Medway taxi drivers." The decision means the council has agreed to support any moves to challenge Uber, including by way of financial backing.
Councillor Jane Chitty also worked closely on the motion and said: "It’s been incredibly complex. "There is no legal precedent for action like this. "We are pathfinders in trying to achieve a clear legal definition to show us how to act accordingly. "We want to clarify the situation and try to move forward. "The next action is in the hands of our taxi drivers and we would support them 110%. "Each step forward is a step to finding a solution to what is an enormously emotive topic, it’s about wages and being able to work fairly. "It may take time and it may be small steps but we’re determined to come to a legal decision. "We are pathfinders in trying to achieve a clear legal definition to show us how to act accordingly."
Labour leader Cllr Vince Maple added an unerring final message to the Silicon Valley tech firm, saying: "Uber your time is up, you've had your chance, we're coming for you."
Title image: Source; Taxipoint In-article images: Source; Twitter - @CllrDanMcD