It has been revealed that Brighton and Hove Council have refused to renew Uber's operator licence.
The panel of council members made the unanimous decision focusing heavily on the high profile 2016 worldwide data breach, which the ride-hailing company attempted to cover up.
The panel also cited a lack of commitment to use only local Brighton and Hove licensed drivers.
Chair of the licensing panel, Councillor Jackie O’Quinn, said: “When making Hackney Carriage and Private Hire operator licensing decisions, our priority is the safety of residents and visitors and, due to the data breach and the lack of commitment to using drivers licensed here, we were not satisfied that UBL are a fit and proper person to hold an operator’s licence in the city.
“All Brighton & Hove private hire and Hackney Carriage drivers in the city operate under the same licences and guidelines contained in the Blue Book and undergo the same background checks, whichever company they drive for. In the original application in 2015, UBL gave a firm commitment to adhere to the standards set out in the Blue Book and only to use Brighton & Hove licensed drivers. We do not feel the spirit of this commitment has been kept to. In the panel’s view, large numbers of taxis operating in the city that do not meet our Blue Book standards puts the safety of residents and visitors at potential risk.
“We recognise there are strong feelings on this issue and would like to thank all those who took the time to make submissions to the hearing.”
The hearing was held in public to make the process as open and transparent as possible. As well as representatives from Uber, the panel heard views for and against renewing the licence from interested parties, including residents and the local taxi trade.
If Uber decide to appeal against the decision, their drivers licensed with Brighton & Hove can continue to operate in the city while the appeal is heard. Any appeal must be made to the Magistrates Court in Edward Street, Brighton within 21 days of notification of this decision.