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Teignbridge Council dilemma over Romanian taxi drivers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 30, 2013

Teignbridge District Council HQ

Teignbridge District Council HQ

Comments (44)

A Devon council is planning to change its policy on criminal record and health checks for taxi drivers after a local firm said it wants to employ Romanian workers.

Teignbridge District Council has received driver applications from Romanian nationals who have been brought over to work in the district by a local company.

Councillors on the authority's regulatory and appeals committee have been told that as a result of the applications, in October last year, it now needs to amend its policy to deal with criminal records and medical examinations for foreign nationals.

UK citizens who want to become a taxi driver must be checked through the Criminal Records Bureau and also have their health and fitness confirmed with a medical certificate from a doctor who has full access to the applicant's medical records.

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Councillors are being advised that similar systems may not exist in other countries and the council has spent some time in contact with the Romanian Embassy to clarify matters and taken advice from the Home Office and Department for Transport.

Council officers have made recommendations to change the licensing system for taxi drivers so that checks on the background and health of applicants from other countries can be made.

Councillor Alan Connett, chairman of Teignbridge council's scrutiny committee, said he was surprised to learn a local taxi firm needed to bring in drivers from abroad.

"In the current climate, many people might be surprised, he added.

"You would have thought this is the type of work that could be recruited to locally, especially as knowledge of the area can be important and valued by customers."

The regulatory and appeals committee meets on Thursday to consider the proposals.

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44 comments

  • Station Taxis Newton Abbot  |  February 07 2013, 3:56PM

    It's disappointing to see the actions of this one particular taxi firm and their attempts to justify themselves, however New ton Abbot has many good taxi firms that employ drivers with excellent local knowledge of the area and who have had all the necessary and important background checks. Please research the internet to find one of these reliable and friendly firms and start using them as your taxi provider instead. It will only take a few minutes but will give you peace of mind that should be part of the course and it also means you will be supporting drivers, who have been serving the Teignbridge area for a considerable time.

  • AlexTLF  |  February 01 2013, 5:27PM

    Why I use taxis as little as possible: 1 - Pre -ordered taxi to go from Ogwell to Newton Abbot station. The time requested fro the taxi to arrive in Ogwell was 1 hour before the train was due. Taxi didn't arrive at requested time. Phoned taxi company - it will be with you within 10 minutes - no it didn't - called again - it's on it's way...... this went on until finally a taxi arrived 7 minutes before the train was due to depart and, yes , I caught the train as they were shutting the doors. 2 - Got a taxi from the taxi rank in Newton Abbot town centre to Ogwell. When I arrived at Ogwell I asked the driver to wait one minute (literally) as I just had to pick up a key and then wanted to go back to the taxi rank in Newton Abbot town centre Charge was £18.00 and that was in 2005. 3 - Unrelated to the above - A taxi driver stole my scooter key because he didn't like me parking my scooter next to the taxi rank. I have never been in a taxi since.

  • SidneyNuff  |  January 30 2013, 10:19PM

    I don't mind what the Romanians do with their money. If they have worked to earn it then it is theirs to do what they want with. And in these days of sat-navs knowing the area is not so important. You regularily get into a taxi in Torquay and give the taxi driver your address only to be asked in a scouse accent if that is Torquay, Paignton or Brixham.

    |   -6
  • silvermoth  |  January 30 2013, 9:17PM

    Silvermoth does not suggest anything.....Silvermoth tells only facts!!! As for you Sid you really should get your facts straight before you spout off about Romanians being better educated and more polite, half of them cant even speak very much English let alone be polite!!! None of them know the area or where they are going!!! Its wrong that local taxi guys should be pushed out of their jobs so that the bosses can make a fast buck!!! I cannot believe that people think there were no local drivers for these jobs when at least 5 people have been pushed out the door by the Romanians and as i said earlier they wont be the only ones to go i'm sure. i'm sure that people, including you Sid, would not be pleased to learn that all of the Romanians wages are sent right on back to their families, the money doesn't even stay in this country....and we wonder why this country is in such a bad way!!!!!!

    |   6
  • SidneyNuff  |  January 30 2013, 6:00PM

    You will probably find Romanians are more educated, more polite and more willing to work than the available British benefits junkie.

    |   -8
  • SunSeaandSang  |  January 30 2013, 2:46PM

    Opps seems my comment has re-appeared again, on the subject of license changes its a big NO , why should our system constantly make changes for immigrant workers that does not benefit us, if anything it burdens us. Check out the figures for immigrants in our prisons because we bent over backwards to accommodate them by changing our policies only for some of them to abuse our system or/and our people. Children and vunerable adults are involved in taxi service just like the care homes and i have heard enough stories of abuse due to unchecked staff !

    |   15
  • SunSeaandSang  |  January 30 2013, 2:29PM

    This is outrageous, i think Teignbridge taxi's should have to prove they cannot find drivers locally by having to place job vacancies with the job centre. If not they should not get the licences renewed. I am fed up of immigrants taking jobs that people locally or even in the next counties who were born here would gladly have. If that makes me a racist then i'm sorry but i am more concerned about our economy not that of other countries first!

    |   13
  • Jungle_Jim  |  January 30 2013, 2:16PM

    BTW Sid Your rather childish 'public sector taxi advert' just shows how ignorant you are of the facts. Funnily enough, I was talking to another DM reader last night, he was about as ignorant of the real world as you.

    |   1
  • omnivore23  |  January 30 2013, 2:14PM

    I wonder if a more detailed article might have unpacked this statement a little more: "Council officers have made recommendations to change the licensing system for taxi drivers so that checks on the background and health of applicants from other countries can be made" ......so it would seem that an equivalent process for checking might exist in Romania and Bulgaria, and if so, perhaps the article could have said so, and if so, what - as it is centrally important to the whole tone of the article and the debate that followed. The issue of WHY a local taxi firm is importing Romanian drivers perhaps deserves another story. If they are doing so because there is a shortage of local drivers then fair enough - if it is specifically to drive down drivers incomes and working conditions and by doing so boost their own profits, as SilverMoth suggests - then that is a very different story.

    |   7
  • omnivore23  |  January 30 2013, 1:42PM

    Well said silver moth!

    |   1

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