The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) have announced they will be terminating their commercial relations with GPC Computer Software Limited (t/a Autocab) upon the conclusion of existing contractual agreements.
A statement released by the LPHCA says: ”Following discussions at a recent Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), followed by a members vote, a clear majority of LPHCA members voted in favour of ceasing the commercial relations, therefore the LPHCA has now been formally mandated to do so.
“The LPHCA has a long-standing, publicly stated, position regarding Uber. It reflects the mandated majority view of our membership who object to the LPHCA engaging, directly or indirectly, with Uber.
“This decision has no bearing on the support for our members who are Autocab customers, many of whom continue to call us for help and advice.
“The LPHCA remains committed to undertaking its important day-to-day work, with its main purpose of supporting all our members, as we always have been.”
HOW THE DECISION CAME ABOUT;
Since the announcement of Uber's acquisition of Autocab, the future relationship between the LPHCA and Autocab has been a contentious issue, with a variety of viewpoints from their membership. As some members called for the LPHCA to terminate its relationship with Autocab, they undertook a poll of member's initial views on 10 August.
Following the poll, the LPHCA issued the following statement on 28 August: "Feedback, based on responses, does not definitively favour termination at this time. The poll constituted a simple survey and was never intended to be used for the purpose of obtaining a binding mandate.”
Matters being unresolved, the LPHCA sought to present the facts, enhance understanding of the situation, and establish member's wishes for the resolution of this issue. Therefore, an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was arranged to be held on 30 September. All members were officially invited to attend the EGM in writing and the obligation to give 14 days' notice was met on 15 September. Due to the current constraints of the pandemic, the meeting was then undertaken virtually via video conference call.
Upon discussion of the current contractual arrangements between the LPHCA and Autocab (at the EGM), there was agreement that the LPHCA should see out its contractual obligations.
Following the EGM, a delegated Platinum Member’s Committee agreed a mandate proposal, in the form of a binary (yes / no)question, to put to a full membership vote.
The question put to LPHCA members was as follows: Should the LPHCA cease all commercial relations with GPC Computer Software Limited (t/a Autocab) upon the conclusion of existing contractual agreements?
All members were written to and votes were limited to one per company/member. Emailed reminders and calls were made to ensure knowledge of the vote.
Whilst the vote was private it was agreed at the EGM that the outcome would be independently audited and ratified.
Autocab became an LPHCA Platinum Partner on 27 April 2020 (alongside many other industry product suppliers). For clarity, they have never been an LPHCA Member (something that is only available to Licensed Private Hire Operators).
Uber are not LPHCA Members, they had previously applied to become a Member of the Association, however their application was refused.