Future engagement between the London taxi industry and its regulators Transport for London (TfL) could be in danger after a row over a new Engagement Policy erupts.
At least two taxi driver representative groups have warned they will no longer attend future Senior Representatives meetings with TfL when the new Engagement Policy arrives in 2022.
The RMT are calling for minutes to be taken during the meetings between taxi and regulator officials. It is hoped that the process could help with transparency and accountability between both parties.
The United Cabbies Group (UCG) have also raised objections and they too may not participate in future meetings. Multiple concerns have been raised over the new policy which includes a lack of two-way negotiation, a newly created taxi bookings tier and the absence of minutes taken.
The UCG Committee has now asked its members whether they should withdraw from attending future Senior Representative meetings with TfL.
Paul Bond, Chair of 0930 RMT London Taxi Branch, said in a statement which covered several topics: “We have since meeting with TfL requested that accurate minutes of proceedings are kept so that we can hold them to undertakings they have given and for members to clearly identify what their representatives are doing on their behalf.
“No one should have anything to fear from transparency and accountability, TfL have a ‘Quasi-Judicial’ function as our regulator yet hearings and meetings with the trade are not accurately recorded and a less than satisfactory system of actions points exists, all of course of little validity should any legal challenge come about.
“TfL have issued a new Engagement Policy which does not address these concerns despite the need being supported by the GLA following the ‘woefully inadequate’ report on Taxi and Private Hire (TPH), TfL have ignored that.
“Therefore reluctantly it has been decided that RMT London Taxi Branch will no longer attend Senior Representative Meetings until such time accurate minutes are taken (subject to branch endorsement as soon as practicable) to attend unminuted meetings would endorse TfL apparent reluctance to be accountable.
“Member representative work and responses to consultations will continue as we have a clear audit trail for those.
“If, however TfL agree to minute meetings then we will of course attend.”
A UCG spokesperson said via social media: “The UCG have raised objections to TfL’s proposed new engagement policy. Once again consultation not negotiation, meetings not minuted, and this newly created tier Taxi Booking platforms.
“The UCG are balloting the membership on whether to participate or not.”
TfL have been approached to comment.