Boris wishes RadioTaxis a very Happy 60th Birthday!
Why not join the Credit Union now! WE ARE NOW OVER HALF WAY THROUGH THE YEAR and things do not get easier with all of the financial woes going on. It is the time of the year when those Tax demands start dropping through your letterboxes again, for some a time of dread. Our Credit Union has once again been inundated with applications for loans and savings withdrawals from members, not one has been disappointed, all have great peace of mind to get over this hurdle. The concern for many of you who do not belong to the Credit Union has again caused headaches for some of you; if you need a loan you will pay an exorbitant rate, that is if you can get one. If you join now you will be eligible, if needed, to take a loan to cover this expense for the next demand in January 2014, or just save as much or as little as you like. Once again I cannot emphasise enough how useful being a member is, you may apply for a loan for whatever reason you may have, no questions asked. Apart from the tax issue you may want to take a holiday or buy items for home, or you can just save for a rainy day, your choice. Ask any of your friends who are members just how easy it was to raise money for whatever reason they may have had. Join now, it is so much easier to have money deducted from your account work than having to come in to pay, alternatively if you wish, you may pay by Standing Order direct from your Bank/Building Society, you decide how much you wish to save each month. A TYPICAL LOAN FROM RADIO TAXICABS (LONDON) CREDIT UNION LTD IS AS FOLLOWS: £1,000 over 12 months will cost you £88.85 a month, total loan repayment is £1,066.20, interest payable is only £66.20, beat that if you can. In addition to this all loans and savings are insured and fully protected in the event of an untimely death, this normally costs a great deal more with other lenders. For an application form or other information, or you just want to discuss anything relating to the Credit Union just give us a call and we would be happy discussing this with you. Call Selam Haile on: 020 7561 5180 from Tuesday to Friday, or Maria Collu on: 020 7561 5199 Monday to Friday. Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
CreditUnion Radio Taxicabs ( London) Credit Union Ltd No. 90C Mountview House, Lennox Road, London N4 3TX Tel: 020 7561 5148 Fax: 020 7561 5166
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority FRN. 213232
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: 4 Roger Sligo’s ‘Ed Lines’ Your roving reporter… reporting! 7 How the Taxi trade might look in 60 years Peter Gibson peeps into the future of London taxis 8 Light at the end of the tunnel Geoffrey Riesel is getting optimistic 10 Wraps, apps, ads, banners and stickers... Steve Cooper – the importance of promoting Radio Taxis 11 PCN’s – Some Guidelines John Vigus gives us some really useful information 12 Brotherly Love Roger Sligo tells us the moving story of Warren Lewis 14 Modern Technology – where is it going? Dan Ellis on Google glasses, gadgets and gizmos! 15 Operational update of the London Underground Account Alan Franks on the high level of service for this account 16 NFC = Near Field Communication Steve Cooper explains the wonder of it all to us 17 NEW ! Taxi’ng Times Meet Terry, the street-wise Radio Taxis cabbie! 18 Letters & Messages of Congratulations Many received, a few shown here regarding our 60 years 20 Curiosity Corner Roger Sligo on The Dog & Pot & the Michelin Man 22 Annual General Meeting Robert MacDonald Watson on what went on in May 23 Interview with Lady Victoria Borwick – the Deputy Mayor of London Geoffrey Riesel interviews her – read the full transcript 25 Tea at The Mayor’s Pantry Roger Sligo takes tea with Lady Victoria Borwick 26 Is that really them? – Some fun Twitter parodies Geoffrey Riesel the fun on Twitter that makes you titter! 27 16 Pints of Beer for a £1 Gordon Brown takes us back to life 60 years ago 28 Looking Back at Sport in 1953 Roger Sligo jogs down a sporting memory lane 29 Float On Roy Hughes on the buoyancy of our business 30 The Mountview News Caption Contest Get funny, win money (well… a £25 M&S Voucher) 30 A Special Message And an important one from Chief Rentals 31 The Mountview Puzzler Page Grab a pen and work those little grey cells
THE MOUNTVIEW NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM IS: Roger Sligo – Editor & photos / Penny Cuckston – Administration Doug Canning, DC-Graphics – Design, layout, artwork, print & distribution Geoffrey Riesel & Peter Gibson – Board production Design, Layout & Print: ©2013 / DC-Graphics / High Barnet / Herts / EN5 5TP T: 0208 440 1155 / W: www.dc-graphics.co.uk Content: © 2013 / Radio Taxis Group Ltd / Lennox Road / London / N4 3TX The information and images contained in this Newsletter are subject to copyright. Unauthorised use, disclosure or copying without prior written permission from RTG Ltd is strictly prohibited.
MeetTerry, our street-wise Radio Taxis Driver See page 17
Is Your Doctor Taking You For A Ride? BEFORE YOU CAN OBTAIN a Transport for London (TfL) Private Hire and Taxi (TPH) drivers licence you must fulfil certain criteria. For taxi-drivers it’s a sound Knowledge of London and a taxi driving test to establish your ability to drive professionally. You will also need proof that you are a fit and proper person to hold a taxi drivers licence which includes CRB checks and a medical examination by your own doctor. Unfortunately it doesn’t finish there as you will need to pay as well for the CRB check and driving licence every three years, which costs at the moment just a couple of quid short of £300. This is fair enough as it pays for the LTPHD administration – we know the costs and we all have to pay the same; except that is for the doctors medical, which has to be carried out at ages 50 – 56 – 62 – 65; then after we obtain the age of sixty five we need to have one yearly for as long as we continue as taxi-drivers. These medicals can cost anything from £50 to about £170 for exactly the same medical, depending on how greedy your own GP is. I have a few family members who are also London taxi drivers, two of them are live in Dagenham, both use different surgeries – one pays £50 the other £165 – can this be right? Some drivers may recall back in the 1980’s seeing adverts in trade papers for medicals undertaken by what was then the Chelsea Clinic in Radnor Walk, clients of theirs included footballer George Best – the charge was £25 for the taxi medical while my own GP out in the sticks charged me £60 at that time and for exactly the same examination! Until recently I was paying £135 but after challenging my own doctor as to why a seven-minute eye and blood pressure test and a short questionnaire regarding my heath history cost me so much money – he dropped it down to £65. What was in those days the Public Carriage Office, sent out warnings that only your own doctor with your medical records could perform this examination! So for drivers trying to save money it was back to uncompetitive doctors who couldn’t care less what it cost you, after all you have no choice...or have you? Doing some research I have since discovered that the medical must in fact be undertaken by a qualified Medical Practitioner (Doctor) who has access to your medical records. Some enterprising doctors usually in highly expensive surgeries such as Harley Street are, with the aid of modern technology, now able to gain access to client’s medical records,
with their prospective patient’s consent, at very competitive rates, with appointments to suit the patients! It is also the present government’s new policy to make sure doctors check with their patients as to whether they would like to allow other agencies to view their patience medical records or not, so if you are thinking of having a medical done outside of your normal GP’s practice it would probably make sense to give consent for this to happen. I found one mobile medical centre who charges only £51 including VAT for weekdays or £59 including VAT for weekends, although they did inform me; “We cannot obtain the medical records but the individuals can ask for a copy from their GP and then bring them to the medical with them.” I decided to do some further research and found out that; Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a legal right to apply for access to health information held about you. This includes your NHS or private health records held by a GP, optician or dentist, or by a hospital. A health record contains information about your mental and physical health recorded by a healthcare professional as part of your care. If you want to see your health records, you don’t have to give a reason. If you want a copy of the health records, the fee will depend on how the records are stored: • on computer: maximum £10 • partly on computer and partly in another form: maximum £50 • entirely in another form: maximum £50 The maximum charge includes postage and packaging. So as you can see it depends on how your records are stored how much you will be able to save. Most doctors’ surgeries these days, I would guess, have records stored on the computer – but do check! I decided to check out the legality of all my research with Helen Chapman, Interim General Manager of TfL’s TPH to find out if drivers can take advantage in saving some hard earned cash. I asked her if it was legal for a driver to have a doctor carrying out their medical other than their own GP – she confirmed what I had already suspected that; “Yes as long as the doctor has access to medical records its fine.” After several months of talking with drivers, I know that it is a big concern, especially those who are paying well over £100 for a seven minute check-up, with many taxi drivers over 65 having to cough up these large amounts annually; by shopping around I think you could save hundreds of pounds over a few years. THE CHIP AND PIN COVER-UP Some drivers think that putting a Sainsbury’s bag over their chip and pin machine is a good idea, although I fail to understand why! During the slack spell over the Easter holidays I pulled onto the Tate Modern rank, or what I should say is that I was over ranked, lined up behind three cabs before being able to join the official rank. Then two American youngsters came running over to my cab and before they said anything, I said they needed to go to the cab on point as I was last. The father came over to me and said that
none of the other cabs accepted credit cards, although I did see three cabs nearer the point than me with Hailo logos. “Fine jump in” I said. We were off to the Bayswater Road, Notting Hill Gate end and I felt rather pleased having just saved myself about an hour’s wait, after which I could have well ended up with a local to Southwark Underground Station for four quid. The traffic along the way was really very bad, there was a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and Park Lane was at a complete standstill, this was also because Edgware Road was closed off at Marble Arch due to a fire. I eventually arrived near the Notting Hill end of the Bays with £43.60 on the clock. More recently I picked up a fare in St James’s who was only going to the Holiday Inn Mayfair. When he discovered my chip and pin he asked if I would wait for him while he picked up his case, then could I take him to Jermyn Street, where he needed to buy something very quickly before going on to LAP Terminal 3. He told me on the way that he was pleased to pay by card as he was out of cash and did not want to change up English money which he didn’t need when getting back to the USA. The job went £83.80 with – wait for it – a £12.57 tip, together with all the cash on him – three pound coins, which gave me the grand total of £99.37 – not bad for an hours work! Many passenger ask me if my credit card machine is working, only they say lots of drivers “claim” they are out of order – sorry, am I missing something? – Hello – I only go to work to take as much as I can in as short a time as possible, doesn’t everyone? Obviously not; so if you are one of those irrational drivers, then don’t complain to me about the work.
Alan Bennett – The British playwright and actor
BEYOND THE FRINGE During those long slack days at the end of July, I was lucky enough to pick up an account job at the National Theatre stage door. As the details loaded on my screen I saw the passenger’s name was Alan Bennett (above), the great British playwright and actor who started his career back in the 1960’s with the first of the satire shows “Beyond the Fringe” – a British comedy stage revue written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller. It took London and the world by storm and was probably along with The Beatles, responsible for making England in general and London in particular, the centre of the swinging sixties. Although I haven’t seen much of Alan Bennett in films or on TV lately, and he is approaching his eightieth year, he was still in pretty good shape and is a very nice person to talk with. As I drove him home I asked which play in his long career was his favourite – he said it was his first play “A Day Out” made for the BBC in 1972 a black
and white piece of nostalgia about a Halifax cycling club pedalling to Fountains Abbey in 1911, before the First World War, featuring Bernard Wrigley playing the mentally handicapped Ernest riding the tandem with his dad. These wonderful TV plays are unfortunately a thing of the past, with reality shows taking up much of prime-time TV nowadays. Alan was a real gentleman who was kind enough to let me take his picture for Mountview News. As soon as I got home that evening I watched his first TV film “Days Out” – on “YouTube” and ended buying a box set of his early BBC plays from Amazon – there were still a couple left if you’re quick enough! DAY-TRIPPER TO WORTHING
John Wynne and friends
The week prior to the 65th annual outing to Worthing on Tuesday 11th June, the weather had been very nice and warm, which gave us all false hopes that we might be taking our buckets and spades with us on the outing this year! The only buckets we got to see were the buckets of rain that greeted us on our long journey to Worthing. I picked up Tracey Fuller manager of Drivers Services, in North London, before arriving at Kentish Town to collect John Wynne, our veteran for the day. As we headed south through London, exchanging the built up city for the leafy suburban countryside, we got to find out more about our passenger John. He told us of his service in the Royal Air Force during the 1950’s and about his love of aeroplanes. Just after half past nine we arrived for breakfast at South Holmwood Village hall, where we gathered with over one hundred other cab drivers also going to Worthing. While lining up for our teas we met with our Chairman Geoffrey Riesel, his wife Jacquie and with Radio Taxis’ Penny Cuckston who also works with us on Mountview News. Geoffrey told me that as a young taxi driver almost 40 years ago (1974) he first went on this outing and that he has supported it ever since and that his wife Jacquie’s late dad, Freddie Franks was a former secretary of the association. By 10.30am we were all back on the road to Worthing with all the taxis arriving at Worthing Town Hall shortly before noon. Cadets from the Merchant Taylor’s School were on hand to escort our veterans from the taxis. Once everyone was seated in the Civic Hall for lunch, Mr Melvyn Zeff, (Radio Taxis V146) Master of Ceremonies, called for a minute’s silence in remembrance of those no longer with us. Mayor Councillor Robert Smytherman then spoke welcoming us all to Worthing; he said that he hoped we would all have an enjoyable day. While lunch was being served Mr Phil Kelsall MBE entertained us with tunes played on the Wurlitzer organ, rising out of the stage, cinema style. The Secretary of the London Taxi Benevolent Fund for War Disabled, Mr Paul Davis read messages from Her Majesty the Queen, from HRH Prince Charles and from the Duchess of Cornwall, wishing everyone well and expressing the hope that everybody would have an
A vintage Austin on the beach
enjoyable day. After lunch the Master of Ceremonies announced the Chairman, Mr Richard Hudd, of the London Taxi Benevolent Fund for War Disabled and who then welcomed us by announcing; “With us today we have two people who went on the very first outing 65 years ago back in 1948 – one is our President Mr Harry Joel MBE and the other is Mr Bill Moylon who is now a resident at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. A glass taxi was presented to Bill Moylon. The Chairman then thanked Mrs Audrey Sherry for her donation of fuel money for the drivers which was greatly appreciated. The guest of Honour was General Sir Redmond Watt KCB, KCVO, CBE, DI and he is Governor of The Royal Hospital Chelsea. He went on to say how many of the pensioners receive free taxi-rides from us London cabbies. He also said London taxi-drivers were always welcome to visit the hospital. After a good meal many of us went for a walk to the pier although it was a little windy and the grey skies had turned to rain on our way back. Whilst we were walking I managed to have a word with our Radio Taxis Group Chairman, Geoffrey Riesel who told me how proud he was to see so many of our Radio Taxis Group drivers giving their time and energy taking part in such a worthwhile event. Indeed many of our drivers are key members and organisers of this and other charities including fund raiser Dennis James U069. Once back in the hall, again it was time for some entertainment with afternoon tea. The new forces sweetheart KAS (Kelly Ann Sprout) was there to entertain with some of the classic war songs. As popular as ever were The Jive Aces who got everyone’s feet tapping, with some of the veterans bopping it up on the floor with KAS.
The Jive Aces rocking the joint!
KAS on stage
The Mayor with The Jive Aces
After the show I chatted to lead singer Ian Clarkson, who said that originally most of the band were from Essex, but Ian went on to say they have got a bit “posher” and now live in Kent and Sussex. They have a new album out at the moment called “King of the Swingers” Their version of “Bring Me Sunshine” is also the theme tune used for the Joanne Good Show on BBC Radio London. At the end of the evening the band was in the foyer lined up with veterans and guests, wanting to have their
photo taken alongside the group. I managed to get hold of the Mayor of Worthing and asked him to pose for a photo with a veteran and the Jive Aces, which he was pleased to do. After all this it was back to South Holmwood Village for some more tea and food before we all finally said goodnight to one another and headed back home. Thanks go to all the hard work of the organisers, South Holmwood Village for providing breakfast and evening tea, The Worthing Mayor Robert Smytherman and Mayoress Norah Fisher and special thanks to my veteran for the day Mr John Wynne for his lovely set of pictures. Roger Sligo. KAS dancing with a veteran
Peter Gibson takes a daring look at how the London Taxi trade might look in 60 years from now... London Taxis... 2073 RADIO TAXIS IS CELEBRATING 60 years of business in December 2013 having been founded in 1953. Throughout this year we have been marking the past 60 years in various editions of Mountview News and on line E-View. At an editorial meeting for this edition someone suggested that we look forward another 60 years and try to visualise what being a taxi driver or a Radio Taxis driver may be like in 2073. All of what this article contains is what I think might be in place in some form or another in 60 years time – it doesn’t mean that I think it’s a good thing. December 2073 – coming up to Christmas. Some of the older drivers are still bemoaning the amalgamation of Licensed Taxis and Private Hire drivers licensed back in 2048 even though it was some 25 years ago – older drivers have longer memories. The Knowledge had been reformed in 2022 after a two year transition period whereby “Knowledge Boys” with more than two years invested in The Knowledge were given “Transitional Licenses” allowing them to work certain areas at certain times for two years and then qualified for a full London Taxi Drivers License. As this touted change had been “common knowledge” there were some 6000 candidates that flooded the taxi driving market in two years as so many Private Hire drivers had signed onto The Knowledge knowing that they could benefit from the “short cut”. So in January 2026 there were some 32000 licensed taxis working the streets of London. The Knowledge now took one year for 85% of candidates and up to 18 months for the other 15%. Because of the changes in The Knowledge testing procedure the balance between Taxi Drivers and Private Hire drivers changed and there were 75000 minicab drivers in 2026 which was 5000 less than three years previously. Fast forward 20 years or so and there are two years of demos, lobbying and protests about the proposals to “merge” Taxis and Private Hire licenses into a single GTL (Ground Transport (London) License). This battle was lost to the Taxi trade and in October 2048 London woke up one morning with 136000 GTL drivers – who, theoretically, could all pick up from the street. There was a transitional period whereby the vehicle type determined whether you could ply for hire on the streets of London or not that lasted for four years. This was the beginning of “Silver Service” which is the equivalent of the “Black Car” industry in New York. Mainly silver Jaguars (remember when it was always Mercedes?) operate a “chauffeur” or “pre-booked” service – there are about 60.000 Silver Service Cars that can (and do) pick up off the street but mainly the workhorse of the London streets these days is the MosDrosh (the Russian taxi that started life in Moscow back in 2060) and the “Batcab”, so called
because of the prominent logo on the front of the vehicle looks like the “Batman” logo, both are hybrid electric/fuel cell, so the cabs carry a reserve tank of hydrogen in case the vehicle exceeds its 1000 mile range on a single charge and both are capable of carrying two wheelchair bound passengers. The Knowledge, as it is still known, is now just a customer services module, an English speaking test and proof of operational knowledge of the in vehicle manual Satellite Navigation system just in case the live automated system fails. All vehicles now have live traffic data feeds that will map the most efficient route for any trip because it knows where the current “pinch” points in traffic are. All wheelchair accessible street hail taxis are sponsored by digital media and the all-over exterior livery changes to advertise something in the vicinity that the vehicle is located or is travelling to. Passenger fares now represent 50% of the drivers income as advertising revenue makes up the other 50%. Radio Taxis Group Ltd is one of the many payment facilitators that drivers can elect to use. Most drivers have a dozen or so Trip Providers (these used to be called Apps many years ago) and they do approximately 75% of their work from the Trip Providers like Google, Radio Taxis, Aviva, CabForce etc and 25% street work. RTG is one of the Trip Provider consolidators and creates a daily payment file for the 42000 drivers that subscribe. The subscription of 1% enables all Trip Provider journey payments into the driver’s bank account. These payments are fares, advertising royalties, all insurance and vehicle tax payments deducted and paid on behalf of the driver. A completed annual tax submission file. Loyalty motoring and battery replacement/recharge discount card and payments deducted. The cost of replacing the battery packs on a taxi, every ten days or so, is now approaching Euros500. There is pressure on manufacturers to lengthen the life of a CabPack battery to 1200 miles to make them similar to the industrial battery packs that have a lower tax rating. Finally, London was again the recipient of the Taxi Globe award for 2073. This award is an award that is competed for by all of the capital cities of the G50 richest counties in the world. Travelers’ vote for the best taxi service using set criteria and after losing out over the past three years to Stockholm, Canberra and New Delhi it has returned home to London – the best taxi service in the world. Peter Gibson. RTG’s Group Strategic Director.
Light at the end of the By RTG Chairman & CEO Geoffrey Riesel. I THINK THERE IS BEGINNING TO BE SOME LIGHT at the end of the tunnel. All of a sudden over the last six months, our sales people are coming back to base with anecdotes of “victories,” both small and not so small. One former client who last year decided to close their account to go to Addison Lee has now sensibly decided that actually they should re-open all the accounts for their most senior personnel because, we imagine, cars are late arriving, PH drivers don’t know where they’re going, they can’t use the bus lanes – oh and probably they’re not really cheaper in any case. As long as that light in the tunnel isn’t a train coming towards us. And “the sales pipeline”, said one of our guys is “as big as England.” So if they then convert some of those into real revenue for our drivers (which is already happening) maybe then all this optimistic talk is being vindicated. Let us hope so, it’s been a long and rough ride.
LAW COMMISSION There has been a lot of “background” noise recently in the trade press about the “Law Commission’s report. Indeed some sections of the taxi trade are worrying us, suggesting that it could be the “end of the trade as we know it” So is that a real possibility? Well it’s a thoroughly complex issue, with numerous potential pitfalls for the trade and for London in general, but do I think it will spell the end of the trade? No I don’t. In terms of the direct impact there will be on London’s taxi industry I don’t expect any significant changes at all. Radio Taxis has presented evidence directly to the Commission and I am pleased that they have listened to us and as a consequence they have said that they do not propose any changes to the way in which London’s taxi industry itself is regulated. This means that TfL will continue to have control over the extent of all licensing standards including the driver’s knowledge and the quality of the fully accessible, purpose built or specialist vehicle. These factors are key ingredients in making the service we offer admired the world over. So why are some of the trade bodies unsettling us all? There are some areas where we believe there is still some concern for the Taxi industry in London. It is likely that we will again speak to the commission themselves before their final report is published, due at the end of this year. Those issues are the proposed introduction of National Standards for Private Hire for services. The commission recommends “that national standards should apply to private hire services.” The commission goes on to say that; “We appreciate the concerns of those who thought that local knowledge tests and signage should be retained, but (we) think that appropriate national standards, including driver training, and vehicle signage, can address these concerns, alongside added customer protection through up-front pricing requirements for private hire journeys.” This of course would mean that TfL would no longer set the
standards, and while we might at times wish they (Private Hire) had more rigorous standards, a national standard could potentially see these standards diluted even more with the likely (but not certain) relaxation of two areas The first area is in respect of signage rules, currently advertising of anything but especially of the company’s name, in London, is only allowed on the rear of PHV vehicles. Throughout the country wherever signage has been permitted, the more signage they have the more evidence shows that PH drivers are tempted to illegally pick up off the street. This is because the public at large don’t understand (and mostly don’t care) about the difference between taxis, immediately available for hire and Private Hire – pre booked only. That is the first risk for London. The second area of risk is that although PH drivers, in London, only need a CRB check and to demonstrate local topographical knowledge (currently deemed by TPH to be map reading) it is conceivable that a national minimum standard could be even less of a topographical test than they do now. This would be the further possible consequence alongside the danger of losing added customer protection through up-front pricing requirements for private hire journeys. From TfL or LTPHD’s point of view, that leaves the Mayor and TfL with the potential of no longer being the authority to set their own standards for PHV’s in London. Boris, in my observation, will certainly not welcome a loss of powers. And from our perspective while we might at times wish they (PHV’s) had more rigorous standards, a national standard could, on the contrary, see these lessen even more with the possible relaxation of signage rules and topographical testing. That would of course make the already uneven playing field tilt even further in favour away from the taxi industry.
tunnel So we continue on our quest of quietly talking to the commission and then to the legislators should it become a draft bill at some stage, which at this point is still not by any means certain.
WEST END COMMISSION (WEC). In the latter part of 2012 I was approached by the London Chamber of Commerce, to speak for both the Chamber and for the taxi industry as a West End commissioner (no connection whatsoever to the law commission at all) looking at the future of the West End. I was duly appointed as a West End Commissioner alongside luminaries such as Chairman Sir Howard Bernstein (Leader of Manchester city council and probably among those responsible for the stadium which held the commonwealth games and Manchester’s amazing regeneration) and also legendary music promoter and West End resident, Harvey Goldsmith. There were professors and specialists from every area of city planning, business and governance.
The commission spent its first six months gathering evidence in a series of hearings, listening to all from housing associations, local government officers and local councillors from Westminster, Camden, from BIDs (Business Improvement Districts), from the GLA and TfL. Some of the most prominent public figures came down to give evidence to the WEC which included for example Michelle Dix, MD Planning TfL and Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy. The report of the commission was publicised in April this year and is available online http://www.westendcommission.com/Report.html For me the central issue for a successful West End, for our industry, for business, for tourism etc is this. The West End is made up of a number of Boroughs, primarily Westminster and Camden. But also Kensington and Chelsea border on to it as do Southwark, the City of London and others. So while for example the City of London has a defined strategy and a single voice, it
has been able along with Manchester to establish a special deal with the Treasury where some of the business rates (which currently go directly into the Treasury) are retained in order to fund and (re) generate the strategy for success of those areas. Some of those areas are transport, the roads, housing, planning. The obvious thing that became apparent was that when you add, TfL, the Mayor and the GLA to the general melee of voices of the different boroughs who have an interest in the West End, you have a perfect storm or a Tower of Babel. It’s a wonder that anything ever gets done, let alone a strategy to improve the area and to get a special deal with government. With a clean sheet of paper you wouldn’t start with a system like that. The main recommendation of the Commission was that the governance of the West End be reformed and that a West End Partnership be established, including personnel from all of the surrounding or interested boroughs, so as to synchronise the strategy (currently none exists!) and indeed to help to form a strategy, as well as to interface with the Treasury so as to get a special city deal. From our specific point of view in the taxi industry, everyone on the Commission wanted Pedicabs banned; all of us felt that there were far too many empty buses along Oxford Street and that it was being used as a logistics rolling bus garage; pretty much the whole commission felt that the taxi industry does an excellent job, there was however, a ‘broad church’ of opinion on pedestrianisation. Both myself and Harvey Goldsmith spoke passionately about how pedestrianisation was a total abject failure, only causing traffic holdups, turning areas into run down seedy parts of town (eg: Leicester Square) and making the point that the flow of traffic is the “life-blood” of any area. The temporary, but very limited, street closures for festivals and events was a compromise reached as being beneficial in terms of attracting people to Central London at the weekend. However in these cases the use of mixed areas (cars and pedestrians) was commended such as Exhibition Road. Subsequently Leader of Westminster Council, Phillipa Roe thanked us all for the extracurricular and non-partisan work we had done with a New West End partnership being formed as a consequence. I am glad that I was able to be there to put the case for our industry, which frequently gets forgotten, unless one of us is there reminding all and sundry about what a good job the London taxi trade does. Geoffrey Riesel Chairman & CEO.
Wraps, apps, ads, banners and stickers... THE LAST FEW YEARS have seen a number of opportunities come to the trade that can generate additional income for taxi proprietors and for drivers alike. I’m thinking of super side adverts, taxi wraps and rear window adverts and more recently rooftop advertising. If that’s how drivers want to build their income that’s fine however, there are far too many radio drivers displaying advertising for alternative taxi booking services. I have had to remind a number of drivers that Radio Taxis has a policy that requires the fleet to carry Radio Taxis branded logos and that in promoting an alternative booking service; this is in direct conflict with the company’s interest. I have been astounded by a few drivers that say they don’t understand why it’s inappropriate to display promotional material that competes with the excellent service that you provide to your account base. I have also had occasion where a (Xeta) driver has allowed his taxi to be liveried by an app company and fails to acknowledge that it’s not appropriate (no pun intended) as we despatch work to him from accounts that these app companies would give their right arm to be able to service and he then arrives outside the account clients premises in a vehicle that would purports to appear to be provided by a third party company. That is just not on. Although this instance of a full livery is an exceptional example it is only a couple of steps removed from displaying a window sticker or tip up seat advert. Let’s face it, who would think it appropriate for a footballer to play a match in another team’s kit or emblem? In conclusion being part of a radio circuit like ours, which prides itself as being driver friendly and that looks to provide drivers with quality work at the best rate we can achieve in the current market place. It also requires commitment from you as drivers to support the service that we provide and it does not deserve to be cheapened by the actions of a few. Any driver needing his logos replacing should call in to Station Road where we will get them fitted with the minimum of downtime. All the best for the up coming busiest time of the year.
think it ld u o w o h w … “ tballer o fo a r fo te ia r approp in to play a matckhit?” another team’s
Steve Cooper Driver Services Manager.
PCN’s – Some Guidelines DURING THE COURSE OF DEALING WITH the PCN’s that are issued to RTG drivers in the course of making contact with our account passengers, it has come to my attention that there is another initiative that relates specifically to parking on private land. To differentiate between a Penalty Charge Notice and a Parking Charge Notice, JOHN VIGUS, RTG’s advisor on all things parking related, has put in writing the following guidelines for PCN’s issued while parked on private land. PARKING ON PRIVATE LAND ENFORCEMENT Parking on Private land legislation was introduced under the Protection of Freedom act 2012. Under this Act, the clamping of vehicles parked on private land was made illegal. However, if a car park on private land has a barrier then that barrier may be locked even if your vehicle is on the land. A release fee is not payable immediately but the parking company may issue the vehicle with a parking charge notice.
There has been a big increase in parking companies using this legislation to issue tickets to vehicles parked, this is in contravention of the terms of parking which must be displayed prominently on signs on the relevant land. Many of these companies use Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology (ANPR) at the entrances and exits and there will be either a time limit for free parking or there may be a charge. Where this is the case the parking charge notice is sent by post to the registered keeper. Some private land car parks are patrolled and vehicles allegedly parked in contravention of the terms and conditions are issued with a parking charge notice which will give the driver the opportunity to pay the charge. If the driver ignores the notice then the parking company will send a parking charge notice by post to the registered keeper giving 28 days
to give the name and address of the driver otherwise he (the registered keeper) is liable for the charge. These companies must have an appeals procedure and if an appeal is turned down then you have the right to appeal to an adjudicator at POPLA (parking on private land adjudication service). Appeals to the adjudicator are dealt with only by post. There are no facilities for personal hearings and the assessor will make a decision on the written evidence as to whether or not there is a liability to pay the charge. If he/she decides that no liability arises then the parking company must cancel the notice and that is the end of the matter. If however he/she decides that there is a liability then it is the land owner who must then take further action to recover the charge. This is where the legal position becomes more complicated. In the English law of trespass, the land owner is entitled to recover his loss but how can he determine what that loss actually is? Also, the registered keeper may not have been the driver at the time and therefore was incapable of ‘making a contract’ by reading the signs and agreeing to the terms and conditions.
SO WHAT THEN IS THE LEGAL POSITION? This is a grey area because there has to be certain terms in the contract between the parking company and the land owner which would allow the parking company to take the matter to the County Court on their behalf. If no such term exist, then the parking company has no legal standing and has no right to collect from the alleged offender. They will however send threatening letters from debt collectors and solicitors who also have no legal standing. They have simply been asked to write these letters using big red threatening words in the hope that the recipient will be frightened into paying up. There are a number of standard appeal letters which can be found on the internet but ignoring all correspondence usually works just as well. Alternatively, you could respond by saying that you have spoken to the person who was driving the vehicle at the time and they are willing to compensate the land owner for their loss which we estimate to be £1. There is no simple way of dealing with these notices so to avoid having to do so, it is advisable that drivers should be aware that they may be on private land, to look out for notices containing the terms and conditions and comply accordingly. Examples are Ealing Broadway station, McDonald’s car parks, shopping centres, motorway service areas, airports, industrial estates, and business centres. Hope that is helpful. John Vigus.
WARREN LEWIS, a Radio Taxis driver for more than thirty years, had been working late that Saturday night in 2003 and well into the early hours of Sunday morning. As he lay sleeping in bed at his Redbridge home, his wife Janice was woken-up at 7am by the repeated chimes of their door bell. She was surprised to find one of Warren’s cousins standing on the doorstep asking to speak urgently with Warren. The cousin had come all the way from North London, so at this early hour of the morning Janice thought maybe someone had died so she asked what was wrong? The cousin would only say they wanted to speak to Warren urgently; Janice said he was sleeping and she was not going to wake him after his late night unless she knew what it was all about first. Still the cousin refused to say anything so Janice called her son Adam, who lived a few streets away; he came by within a couple of minutes. What was about to be revealed would not only change the life of a Jewish taxi driver from London’s East End, but also that of a Baptist minister born in the Welsh countryside. Derek Overfield was born in 1944 in a small mining community in South Wales where his father Albert worked in a colliery and his mother Elsie was always in bad health, from Derek’s earliest recollections. By the time Derek was fourteen his mother Elsie had died and by the time he had turned nineteen his father died too. Derek spent most of his childhood being brought up by an aunt and uncle which he confesses were the unhappiest years of his life. His aunt just could not relate to having a teenager around the house, having had no children herself. When Derek’s father died his aunt asked him to leave, already deeply unhappy, he was about to be dealt another blow! In order for Derek to claim his inheritance he needed a birth certificate, the local solicitor Mr Griffiths sent off for a copy and then called Derek to his office. As Derek entered the office on a cold January expecting to receive his inheritance money he was informed that they did not know who he was. He discovered there and then that he, Derek Overfield did not exist. It was like someone had cut away nineteen years of his life, left in a daze and not knowing where to go. If Derek Overfield did not exist then who was he and why had he been taken in by the Overfields? Mr Griffiths the solicitor began making inquiries about Derek in the village and he was given various suggestions including that Derek’s mother was older than his father and being a virile young man he was off having affairs. Mr Griffiths uncovered a document drawn up by the man Derek thought was his father, it appeared however, to confirm that Derek was not even his own son! Since then Derek had been searching a long time for his identity, when in 1983 he got hold of a birth certificate of a child born on the same day as himself, in a hospital in South Wales not far from where he was brought up. The child on the birth certificate was Peter Lewis, Peter Lewis’s mother was recorded as being Hester Cohen (Lewis) and his father was reported as being Dick Lewis, although Dick was away in the Army fighting in the war at this time and had been for some years. The person in charge of Peter Lewis was recorded as Fanny Bernstein, Cohen and Bernstein were Jewish names which suggest the child was Jewish. When Derek came to live in Hampshire in 1997 he went on the internet and started searching for Jewish family websites. It was on one of those sites that Derek’s second cousin found connections with the Cohen’s and Bernstein’s, which he emailed to Derek. There was a discovery of a family member who was just fourteen at the time of the pregnancy when she was evacuated along with Hester Lewis to South Wales. Derek explained; “My mother Hester had come to Wales from London to avoid the bombing and had brought with her three of her nephews and nieces the oldest of which was fourteen at the time and of course she remembered my mother, she told us what had happened, that Hester fell pregnant and in due course a child was born. Peter was given away for ‘adoption’ and the cousin was warned not to tell anybody and she didn’t, she kept the secret to herself for fifty-nine years.” Derek went on to say “The cousin with the secret was discovered living in Israel when she was contacted by us in November 2003. We explained there was a problem; we had found someone who claims to be a member of the family. She ultimately divulged her secret that Peter or Derek as he was now called was the first born child of Hester
The Lewis/Overfield family picture – Left to Right: Derek’s wife Hilary – Warren Lewis – Reverend Derek Overfield – Warren’s wife Janice – Derek’s daughter Carys.
Cohen and that he also had a brother Warren who had been born after the war and that was it!” After the discovery was made Derek travelled the 180 miles from Andover in Hampshire to meet with his long lost brother Warren. “Although we are really half brothers Warren and I count ourselves as real brothers. Our immediate family, Warren’s wife and children and my wife and our daughter regard us as full family members.” Speaking to both Warren and his brother Rev Derek Overfield, a retired Baptist minister who now works as a chaplain to the head quarters of the British Army; he is also chaplain to the Ministry of Defence as well as the Hampshire Fire Service, I found they both have no remorse at all towards their mother. Warren said he was disappointed that his mother did not leave a message with solicitors or a letter with someone to explain what had happened and Derek is still left wondering who his real father is. When Warren’s daughter Laura married son-in-law Daniel, Uncle Derek Overfield blessed and married them in a civil service. Warren told me a story of his son-in-law Daniel’s father who’d had a major stroke about nine years ago. Before his stroke he had been fit and healthy working as an engineer with Coca Cola. “Daniel’s family are not Jewish, not that it makes any difference” he recalled. “As Daniels father Andrew was lying critically ill he asked me if Derek would say a prayer for him. I got Derek on the phone and he spoke to Daniel’s dad for two hours, remarkably, since that call, Andrew has made an amazing 85% – 90% recovery. He has since met Derek on many occasions.” Warren’s son Adam married the daughter of Radio Taxis long term Mountview driver and erstwhile despatcher Ray Waxman. Recently Warren and wife Janice celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a family get together at the Morello Restaurant in Woodford, which of course included Derek and his wife and daughter. Warren told me “People often ask if I keep in touch with Derek, well of course I do! You know one of the funniest things to have happened; just after the TV documentary called ‘Becoming a Jew’ was shown, I was on the rank at Victoria Station, when a cab driver “built like a proverbial brick-house” came over to me and said; ‘I want to talk to you – I saw your film on TV and I just wanted to give you a big hug’ and he picked me up off the ground. He was a complete stranger to me and do you know what? I have never seen him again!” Roger Sligo Postscript: BBC Channel 4 made a TV documentary about Warren and Derek “Becoming A Jew” which was first broadcast on 12th October 2004. Directed and filmed by Emily Conroy.
Modern Technology– where is it going? Technical Report by Dan Ellis. MODERN TECHNOLOGY AND THE latest gadgets, will this affect me or will all this skip past me and I won’t even notice? Maybe you think that you don’t want this new technology, but lets have a look at some things you may already have that you didn’t think you would want when they first came out.
video on demand, social networking and instant messaging. Some Smart TV’s even have full internet browsing and come preloaded with everyone’s favourite topic of the moment, App’s, such as iPlayer and YouTube. So from now on you could be watching the football and order a pizza for halftime all from your TV while sitting on the sofa.
SAT-NAV CITY? Sat-Nav, judging by the amount of cabs I see with a Sat-Nav, a lot of drivers find these very useful, not so much in town, but if you are lucky enough to have a long journey the passenger can give you the post code tap, it into the Sat-Nav and away you go. Especially if the passenger falls asleep in the back or they don’t know where they are going. An electronic A-Z beats looking through a hardback A-Z in the dark with a magnifying glass; especially when with a few taps of a button you can find what you are looking for on a digital screen all lit up and you can zoom in and out easily, they can even track where you are.
THOSE CLEVER MOBILES Mobiles phones from 1990 to 2011 grew from 12.4 million to over 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, so I am confident that at least 99% of you have a mobile by now. This is going to be even more important to you now, as with our App jobs, passengers will be able to contact you directly and visa versa. So if you think we don’t have your correct mobile number, please contact us straight away so that we can update our records. Mobiles are getting even cleverer; you can now order a takeaway, book a ticket to a theatre or measure your blood pressure using your phone, not to mention book a taxi. So what will be next the next big thing?
NOW THERE’S SMART TV’s Smart TV’s are currently on sale now but what are they? A Smart TV is any TV that has internet access built in allowing it to access a range of online services including
GOOGLE GLASSES Google Glasses are still in development and likely to be launched at the end of the year at the earliest but what is it? This really is a new technology that has come straight from the pages of a Sci-fi movie. Google Glass is an attempt to free data from desktop computers and portable devices like phones and tablets, and place it right in front of your eyes. Essentially, Google Glass is a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone built into spectacle frames so that you can perch a display in your field of vision, film, take pictures, search and translate on the go. Google Glass can also provide sound, with boneinduction technology. This vibrates your skull to create sound, which is both more grisly sounding but much less cumbersome than traditional headphones. It’s still very much in the early stages, but maybe before long you will be getting your sat-nav, work dispatched, e-mails or maybe even chatting to a Chinese passenger and getting the translation of their speech instantly for you on the screen, all from your glasses. Is Glass cool and entirely novel? Yes, it certainly is. Is it a device that will change lives, or even just prove useful to the average consumer? That’s doubtful, but it could be the future.
Operational update of the London Underground Account... THE LONDON UNDERGROUND ACCOUNT (LUL) as many of you know, carries staff to and from stations when they close at night and when they re-open in the morning. Therefore it is important that we do this work as efficiently as possible. We are responsible for the stations opening and the underground trains running. So may I start by asking all of you to please make absolutely sure that you read your driver notes fully and thus pick up all the passengers? Another issue very occasionally, is that some drivers are not sending a delay advise if they are running late, this is enormously important as there may be a knock on effect to the other passengers that you have to pickup en route. Remember that the pick-up for a station is not necessarily where you think it would be and you will need to refer to your LUL calling point’s sheet. If you don’t have one or if you have a very old one, please contact driver services who will always be happy to either send or email one to you. If you have not yet given Driver Services your email address, then contact them on email@example.com It is vital that we maintain the high level of service that we give this account, they use us virtually every day of the year and provide us with much needed work, especially for you night and early morning drivers. This is particularly true at weekends when there are fewer drivers out and coverage is challenging. However, I would also very much like to direct a genuine thank-you to all the drivers that cover this account, you do a magnificent job and you do it throughout the year.
WESTMINSTER ACCOUNT The Westminster account that transports special needs children to and from school is another account that needs particular attention to the details that you receive on your terminal. Under no circumstances should you change the destination or deviate from the instructions you receive, if instructed by either the escort or the child. Only the office can authorise these changes. Again, occasionally some drivers are not sending a Delay Advise if they are running late, it is very
important that you do send one even if it is only for a few minutes as this enables the schools to take the appropriate action to safeguard these children. Again I know that you do an excellent job covering this unusual account, well done and thank you.
NEW SOFTWARE We are currently rolling out new software for drivers terminals, there is no need to come to Station Road as this can usually be done automatically direct to your terminal. We have repositioned the OK button if you receive a message during a job offer; this prevents you accidentally accepting a job unintentionally. When you receive the “Have you made contact?’’ message you now have a number of options not just “Yes” or “No” as before. When you press “Arrive” and the passenger has requested “Advise Arrival” you will not need to press AA and you will get a message saying that the passenger has been advised. If you do not get this message when you press “Arrive” and you want us to call the passenger you will only then need to press AA as you do now. There are other smaller changes to the software which we hope will further improve the service to you and to the customer. Be Lucky. Alan J Franks Group Operations Director.
NFC By Steve Cooper NO, THIS IS NOT AN ARTICLE ON PARKING – NFC stands for Near Field Communication and is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them very close, usually no more than a few millimeters apart. In other words you put your smartphone up close to an image on a label or advertisement and the phone will read the “chip” embedded in the ad and direct the phone to a specific downloadable App or web address. This is all very clever stuff to me but it’s just another day to anybody under 40 years old. We at Radio Taxis will soon be sending out NFC stickers to all our drivers with instructions about “exactly” where the stickers must be fitted (otherwise you may encounter the wrath of (PCO)TPH). These stickers will enable passengers to place their mobile device next to them and direct the device to download the Radio Taxis App. Once this App is on the phone the user will be able to order a taxi with a single press on the App button and will use our service again and again.
download the App or scan http://bit.ly/radiotaxis
The Radio Taxis NFC sticker – one to be placed on each side of the passenger compartment of your cab.
back of your taxi so that your passengers can download the Radio Taxis App. This App will bring you work so there is absolutely no reason for you not to fit these two small stickers in your cab – please do it straight away as you will be helping us to generate more work.
taxis that don’t c os al ® t utr
h eart the
Car bon Ne
So, these stickers are functional as well as promotional. As mentioned there is a chip embedded in the label and “most” smartphone users are familiar with NFC technology and how it works. Please ensure that you fit these two stickers alongside the arm rests in the
CarbonNeutral® taxis tha t do n’t c
rth e ea t th os
Letters and M
Message from Ken Livingstone I would like to wish Radio Taxis and all the staff many congratulations on its 60th anniversary. This former driversâ€™ co-operative has been invaluable to Londoners over the years and provided excellent and efficient transport throughout the 2012 Olympic Games. I am also very pleased that it was the first taxi firm to become CarbonNeutral and is a major part of Londonâ€™s transport sector.
essages of Congratulations Dear Geoffrey, I would like to take this opportunity to convey the best wishes of everyone at Computer Cab plc to the Directors, Management, Staff and Drivers at Radio Taxis Group on the occasion of the companyâ€™s 60th Anniversary. In this day and age, to mark up such a notable milestone is no mean feat, and it is a testament to all concerned in the business over the past 60 years that Radio Taxis is able to commemorate such a remarkable achievement. When the company first formed in 1953, Eisenhower was President of the United States, the Cold War was in full swing, Ian Fleming published his first James Bond novel and, of course, there was the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. In many ways the world has changed immeasurably, in other ways less so. It has been the ability of Radio Taxis to adapt to changing times that sees the firm still going strong today. Just as our Queen has celebrated her Diamond anniversary so too does Radio Taxis Group. Diamonds are renowned for their toughness and resistance to wear. How appropriate when Radio Taxis has weathered so many years of change and remains steadfast and strong. Itâ€™s important on such momentous occasions to also consider those who helped build the business over the years, many of whom are now longer with us, our thoughts extend to the families of those now departed, who should be proud of what those early pioneers achieved. Our most sincere congratulations to you all, enjoy the Diamond celebrations! Warmest Regards Malcolm Paice General Manager Computer Cab plc
Post script For 20 years, whenever any driver who has been on the circuit retires, I write to them, thanking them for their years of service as a Radio Taxis driver. Occasionally I hear back, here is a nice response from one of our erstwhile colleagues. Geoffrey Riesel
Curiosity Corner Roger Sligo on the mysteries of hidden London
The Dog and Pot
SOMETIMES NEW CURIOSITIES APPEAR overnight on our streets which were not there before, as in the case of the Dog and Pot. Since December 2012, opposite the new TfL Palestra House on the corner of Blackfriars Road and Union Street you would have certainly noticed the effigy of a dog licking inside a pot. This replica of a distinctive shop sign was well known to Charles Dickens and was therefore erected as part of the celebrations for the authors’ bicentenary year. The original sign of the ‘Dog and Pot’ belonged to the ironmongers Messrs’ J.W Cunningham & Co, trading at number 196 Blackfriars Road, from where it was mounted on a bracket that projected from this corner during the 18th century right up until 1931. Dickens passed it regularly in the 1820’s as he walked home from his work in a Blacking Factory at Hungerford Steps Charing Cross, on the way home to his lodgings in Lant Street. The ‘Dog and Pot’ images were also to be seen on the pavement outside the ironmongers, cast in their factory as coalhole covers. The sign is referred to by Dickens in a letter, which he wrote to his friend and biographer John Forster during 1847 which features in the book “The Life of Charles Dickens.” He wrote; “My usual way home over Blackfriars Bridge and down that turning in Blackfriars Road which has Rowland Hill’s chapel (Palestra now stands on the site) on one side and the likeness of a golden dog licking a golden pot over a shop door on the other.” The sculpture we see today is an exact replica of the original sign, (the original brass and wood sign was sold during the demolition work in 1931 and is now on display in the Cuming Museum) carved in wood, standing on a bracket, mounted on a tall reclaimed Victorian Lamppost. Below is an inscription incised in stone by Dickens (which I have just quoted) together with an original coalhole cover in a circular area defined by Victorian-style railings, with the gardens of Nelson Square behind: Looking much more pleasant than the hostile looking CCTV camera mounted almost opposite our canine curiosity, I wonder what the “Dickens” Charles would have written about that thing!
The Michelin Building
The Michelin Man looking out from the top window
THIS BUILDING WAS DESIGNED by a Michelin employee François Espinasse as the first London HQ, with the construction starting in August 1910, and officially opening on 20th January 1911. It served as a central London tyre fitting bay until 1985 when Michelin decided to move to a new location.
In August 1985 Michelin House was sold to Sir Terence Conran and Paul Hamlyn for £8M. It was to re-open as the restaurant and bar Bibendum in August 1987. This glorious ArtNouveau style building still houses the Bibendum Restaurant & Oyster Bar with its beautiful tiled walls and still has that French feel with a green Citroën van that is usually parked in the old loading bay. First Published online in Curiosity Corner E-View Magazine August 2011.
Annual General Meeting May 2013 – A brief look back By Robert MacDonald Watson, Group Company Secretary IT PROBABLY SEEMS INCREDIBLE to some that this year’s Annual General Meeting of shareholders of Radio Taxis Group Limited, held on 21 May, was the tenth in the series since demutualisation in 2004. Attendance at most AGM’s of even smallish PLC’s is not typically that large even with a move towards shareholder activation over issues such as pay and pay-offs for directors. The AGM on 21 May 2013 was held, as in recent years, at Mountview House. It was attended by all the directors including non-execs Stephen Greene and Brian McBride, the latter flying in again from the USA and then Brian staying on to join us at the European Radio Taxis Association (ERTA) conference that Radio Taxis was hosted immediately after the AGM this year. Of the other shareholders attending, a handful of drivers show up and about the same number of RTG staff who are also shareholders. This small but quite intimate gathering first gets to hear the Chairman’s snapshot review of the last year. This is coupled with a glimpse of future plans and activities. It is not an occasion for speculation about what might happen as officers of companies have a duty not to misrepresent or mislead when making statements to investors and the Board are prudent in this regard. Once Geoffrey Riesel finishes his review, shareholders are then given the opportunity to ask questions relating to the review and to the resolutions. This is the point when in other well-known companies they receive publicity over shareholders complaining about directors’ bonuses, environmental issues and the sizing of clothes by retailers. However, at RTG AGM’s, it can feel more like an informal drivers’ forum. Questions seem to consistently be mostly about operational issues that are bothering drivers at the time, possibly there might be a gripe about equipment or communications problems. This of course should be the time when directors are called to report on or even, occasionally be praised for the performance of the Company as the shareholder perceives it to be. Annual General Meetings of Companies have a core of matters to consider and other items of special business that arise from time to time. The ordinary business of the meeting is as follows: • to receive the Annual Report of the directors and the audited accounts for the previous financial year together with the report of the auditors • to receive and adopt the directors’ remuneration report for the previous financial year
• to re-elect any directors who are retiring by rotation or in Accordance with the Articles of Association (this year Alan Franks and Stephen Greene) were re-elected • to reappoint the auditors and to authorise the directors to fix their remuneration All matters are dealt with by being proposed as a resolution and then being voted on by the shareholders. They may either vote in person or by sending in a proxy. The small numbers attending were augmented by the receipt of about 33% of possible valid proxies. For a shareholder register such as ours, that is fairly typical and a pretty respectable response. All the proxies and indeed all the counting of votes are handled independently by the Electoral Reform Services who specialise in the proper running of elections. All the ordinary business of an AGM is passed by ordinary resolutions requiring a simple majority of those voting in person or by proxy. Votes being on the basis of one vote for each share held. Special business might include such matters as altering the constitution of the company, others known as the Articles of Association or looking for authority from shareholders in relation to issuing further shares. Depending on the type of resolution, this may require a special resolution needing a majority of not less than75% of the shareholders voting in person or by proxy. It is clearly public policy as promoted by the EU and the government that public companies be increasingly accountable to shareholders. At RTG although it is a private company, responsibilities to shareholders are not taken lightly, not least as directors themselves have also invested their own money in shares. It is a good time to sign off one year and look forward to the future. Shares in the Company can be bought or sold by drivers on the Radio Taxis or Xeta circuits and by members of staff. This is done by participating in the quarterly share auctions managed by The Share Centre on the Asset Match share facility. All new joiners are sent details by The Share Centre.
Geoffrey Riesel interviews the Deputy Mayor of London – Lady Victoria Borwick
GR: Well, Victoria, thank you very much indeed for agreeing to talk to Radio Taxis. We wanted to ask you first about the fact that you stood for political office in London. You have got a marvellous understanding of the taxi trade through your husband who was very closely involved in the industry with his connection with London Taxi International, producing the iconic Fairways and FX4 and TX vehicles. What view did that give you of our London Taxi trade? VB: Well how absolutely vital the taxi is to transport in London. I’m very conscious that they are part of the important transport mix we have. Yes of course most people now take the tube and bus but taxis definitely have an important role to play, particularly now they are accessible for people with prams, wheelchairs or that have any mobility needs. GR: Let’s talk about your observations of 2013 and where we stand now looking to the future. What do you think the taxi industry most needs to address to remain at the forefront of London life? VB: I think it is so important to have the Knowledge. Visitors come to Britain and then they go away and they say that London cab drivers are the best in the world because they always know their way around. So, the really important point is that there must not be any reduction in standards. People have expectations; Londoners have expectations of the taxi and of taxi drivers. I think that the fact that they always know the way and that you’re safe in a taxi is so important. The first thing I am committed to is the high standards that you very much promote as part of the taxi industry. GR: Victoria, you have been involved in politics in London for many years in fact I know you stood in the original election against Boris to be the Mayoral candidate. Looking back do you believe that creating a Mayor and a Government structure, specifically for London, has been a success? VB: Well quite interestingly, if you look at the statistics, once the GLA came into creation again both with Ken Livingstone and then of course now with Boris, we have seen an upturn in London’s economy. That’s good for London, and therefore that’s good for the cab trade. We are seeing continued population growth; the population of London is now over 8 million. Yes of course, that’s brought additional problems, particularly
with housing and jobs and infrastructure, but actually London is booming in comparison with the rest of Britain, so I think this is the most exciting city, I think it is the best capital city in the world and as we know, we do more business in London than anywhere else in the country, so it is really important that we make sure that we have London’s infrastructure right. GR: What would you say Victoria are the GLA and the Mayoralties biggest priorities for now and in the immediate future? VB: Well, as an overall importance, the big thing is to improve London’s economy and to get people back to work and obviously then the most important thing is to improve London’s transport infrastructure so that people can travel easily. Then there’s the housing crisis to address, so there’s lots of quite important strategic points for Boris to work on. But if we are talking about taxis as part of the transport mix, I think we are obviously going to continue to see inevitable changes over the next few years in the emissions standards with the rules and regulations set by Europe. We are going to have to bite that bullet however much we love our older and iconic taxis, we are going to have to move forward and to see how we can help reduce the emissions and that’s also better for the driver. Drivers too are breathing in London’s air, just as much as their vehicle puts out those emissions so we must help make those taxi drivers healthier as well. GR: Can you tell us a little bit about the role of what it is like to be a Deputy Mayor, in other words, what does it entail on a day to day basis? VB: Well of course it is a fantastic honour to be Deputy Major to Boris, it is tremendous fun! I couldn’t feel more privileged. It’s very busy. Often there are things seven days a week whether it is over at City Hall, meeting and greeting people on the Mayor’s behalf. For example even yesterday we had a delegation of 50 Russians who came as part of a sort of friendship mission and learning about London government. Boris was there so we popped down to his office and said hello and he greeted them all and they sat down and asked some quite important questions about the financing of London, our relationship with London councils and the different tiers of government. Then there’s going out and meeting people. Sadly, of course, sometimes visiting the bereaved and visiting those that have been victims of crime in London. But there are fun events too; going to festivals, cultural events, all sorts of things, it is amazing. If I think back over the last week, I’ve been looking at potential sites for museums or regeneration projects, potential sites for new schools –
but at the moment I am having a great time supporting Boris. GR: We are riding in a Mercedes Vito Taxi. What do you think of the fact that there are new taxis on the streets of London other than the traditional ones?
academy’s and just generally going out. I went to see the air ambulance recently. In London we only have one air ambulance whereas most capital cities have more and so I wanted to go and have a look at that so that I could do a report for Boris on how we can help them raise some more money in order to get another air ambulance because the air ambulance saves lives. I have also been to the London Lifeboat station and you know the London Lifeboat Station, despite us being an island, the London Lifeboat is busier than any other lifeboat station around the country. So, don’t fall into the Thames anybody because they are quite busy enough! GR: Is it true to say that as Deputy Mayor you are a heartbeat away from the Mayoralty, I mean if Boris let’s say were to be ‘indisposed’, does that mean you are in charge? VB: Well yes it works rather like the American system where as you know if the Mayor is out of the country, then I so to speak, step up to the plate and obviously I was very worried that day when Boris got stuck on that zip wire but I am happy to say that it was a happy ending and Boris was back on land nice and soon so I didn’t have to step up on that occasion. GR: I want to ask you a little bit about Boris himself. Does he listen to you when you tell him to do things differently? Is he prepared to hear what you have to say? VB: He certainly always turns to me and says ‘Victoria have you got a view on something?’ If I have said, ‘Look Boris I have been to visit these people’ or I have been to talk to these people. Yes, I have not found it a problem I am rather a meticulous sort of person, I pay great attention to detail and as I think was said in one of Lady Thatcher’s speeches, if you want someone to speak ask a man, but if you want something done, ask a woman. That is very much my mantra. I do go and try to make sure that I am well briefed and therefore I can pass on any one of those briefings or any of the information to Boris which may well help him in his final decision making. GR: Plans for the future? Would you like to be Mayor one day when Boris goes off and maybe becomes Prime Minister? VB: Well that is for the electorate to decide. I am just very much enjoying the honour of being Deputy and working very hard and I am enjoying it very much. If people decide that I am a candidate well then so be it
VB: Well, initially I was a bit resistant because having always grown up with the traditional taxi I think that was where my heart lay*. (*Lady Victoria Borwick’s late father was Dennis Poore, an erstwhile racing driver, entrepreneur and owner of Manganese Bronze. Then of course husband Jamie Borwick headed up that organisation) And of course you know. But actually having got into the Vito and heard what the drivers have said I think it has been very well received. It has certainly got more room, six people can sit in comfort, the drivers enjoy driving it and I think generally it is very good. I do however, slightly resent the fact that I do not seem to be able to open the window and of course I miss what we used to have in London taxis which was a little mirror in the passenger compartment, but that is a personal point. Overall it is a great vehicle and I know that those taxi drivers that have tried them have reported back a very good service, a very good vehicle to drive around London. GR: Finally, if I may, have you got a message for Radio Taxis drivers, it’s staff and of course it’s customers on this the 60th Anniversary year of Radio Taxis’s inception? VB: Keep up the good work and I know and I want to say it again about the amazing charity work that you all do which is really valued. We are all very aware that taxis drivers have hearts of gold, you are the best taxi drivers in the world, so customers keep booking with Radio Taxis and Radio Taxis keep working as hard as you do and thank you for all you do. GR: Deputy Mayor of London, Victoria Borwick, thank you very much indeed. VB: Thank you.
Tea at the Mayor’s Pantry The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is one of London’s most popular and expensive places to live. The Town Hall takes up two streets, Hornton Street and Campden Hill Road dominating the surrounding area, even with all the large houses and shopping arcades close by. Could such a relatively new structure, which Sir Basil Spence was commissioned to design, officially opening on 31st May 1977, have anything hidden away for curiosity seekers? I was invited to visit The Mayor’s Parlour in the Town Hall by Boris Johnson’s deputy Mayor of London, Victoria Borwick. I was greeted in reception by Jim Babbington, Civil Officer and Private Secretary to the Mayor, who also has a keen interest in history and therefore a good person to show me around. He began by explaining about the Mayor’s Parlour, which was originally built very much in the style of the seventies with low chunky sofas and geometric pattern carpets. About twelve years ago it was decided it needed refreshing so it now has gold furniture and vivid blue carpets, with very adaptable space and the wooden panels being able to be moved back and forth, making much more space when needed. “You could easily do a reception for three-hundred people, on the other hand you could have a small meeting with half a dozen people
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Conference Centre
around the table, and it all works very well.” Jim assured me. The reason Kensington is a Royal Borough is because it was the wish of Queen Victoria who was born in Kensington Palace on 24 May 1819, living there until she was eighteen, when one morning two horses rode up, one containing the Prime Minister and the other the Archbishop of Canterbury, to announce that her uncle had died and she was now Queen. There are now four Royal Borough’s; Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Windsor and Maidenhead; and last
year to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; Greenwich was also made into a Royal Borough. In the Town Hall display cabinet are two Maces one for Chelsea and the other for Kensington there are also two Mayors’ chains one for each borough. “Maces date back to medieval times when the wealthy would have someone carrying a solid wood pole and they were originally used for protection. While their staff were waiting around, they would carve these things and some of them became intricate designs. Eventually they became symbols of authority instead of being used as weapons and that is why the Mayor now has one.” Jim went on to say, “On the shelf above is a wonderful silver fruit bowl which was apparently found in a skip outside the old town hall and the dish had been painted black so nobody had any idea what it was worth. It was cleaned up and given to the Mayor’s Pantry and over the course of time all records have been lost as to who had donated it in the first place!” Jim explained that “The Victoria and Albert Museum have said it is a very rare piece and dates from the middle of the seventeenth-century.”
COATS OF ARMS
Coats of arms in their collection date back to 1901 when the first Mayor of Kensington was elected. Some coat of arms have symbols added either through name or trade link. For instance E. P. Tomlin was a baker with a Wheatsheaf added on top, John Cox had an apple – Coxes Apples, Christmas had a holly. Jim said “Take a look at this one belonging to Tim Ahearn; he had a half moon added to his one. When we asked him why a half moon? He replied with; Ahearn, Ahearn-i-a scar, the half moon represents the hernia scar.” Jim said there are a few more like that where some of them are funny. Victoria Borwick explained “I like some of the older ones; the nineteen-hundreds are just fantastic. Every Town Hall has their own collection; we all have such wonderful history.” Here are also the military shields like the SAS, Special Air Service. I pointed out one with the Guinness Harp logo – “That’s the London Irish” Victoria said. I was then shown the Council Chambers which look a little like the Geneva Conference Centre with all the microphones. Once every six weeks the full council meets with the Mayor seated up on the top. “It looks really lovely when it’s set up” Victoria explained. “Councillor Christopher Buckmaster is the current Mayor. He has the honour of being one of only a few Mayor’s to have been Mayor twice, which is excellent with the significant year we have just had with the Queens’ Jubilee and the Olympics’ they wanted someone who would be a good representative of the borough, so he was chosen and both he and his wife, the Mayoress have been wonderful.” The three of us went back into the Mayor’s Pantry where we settled back with coffee, tea and biscuits with a chat before I took some photographs. My special thanks to both Victoria and Jim for making me most welcome on my visit. Roger Sligo.
Is that really them? – Some fun Twitter parodies by @radiotaxis_boss TWITTER IS A GREAT TOOL for staying in touch with news about London. I know increasingly, drivers are finding it a useful service when they are out on the road. In past editions Mountview News has given you tips about Twitter accounts to follow that provide helpful information to assist with the job of being a taxi driver and keep you on top of current events. But Twitter is also a good source of fun and entertainment and there are lots of accounts you can follow that will bring a
smile to the day. If you’re a regular on Twitter, you’ve probably come across a few famous celebrities on the social network with massive followings and verified accounts. But that’s not all there is to celebrities on Twitter. There have been some witty and creative people who have taken on the personalities of some of the most well-known celebs and fictional characters, successfully turning them into funny parodies for everyone to enjoy. Here below, Radio Taxis lists some of the more fun parody accounts for you to try:
Having given a great deal of careful thought to recommendations to increase MPs salaries, one has decided that they can sod off.
Soccer Guy – Expert soccer journalist, especially on the English EPL League
So, the Ashes are just some dead guy that got burnt real bad playing this ‘cricket’ sport, right? You Brits got some real crazy sports!
Wenger Knows Best – My players have top quality, exceptional character & an outstanding attitude. Theydrop little bit physically in the second half but have great mental strength.
We’re back in training today. I must tell you, this group has exceptional sun tans, outstanding haircuts and poses of top, top quality.
HRH Prince Charles of Wales – Future King, husband to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, father to William and Harry.
The Emir of Qatar has handed over power to his son. It’s absolutely wonderful what some parents do for their children.
Harry Redknapp – Currently the QPR manager, either until we get relegated or something better comes along.
Not been on Twitter much as I’m trying to copyright talking to people out of the car window..!
Angela Merkel (not) – Fake Chancellor of Germany, Chairwoman of the CDU, member of the Bundestag, hand gesture icon, velvet jacket aficionado, exasperated, NOT panicking.
We should definitely complain about US snooping, not getting nearly enough dirt about @FHollande
Not Roger Federer – Humble tennis player. Everybody says the best player ever and I like to agree. All opinions and tweets are #humble™
FYI everybody fans. 5 is the new number 1 #excited #seedlings
16 Pints of Beer for a £1
By Gordon Brown,Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director. FOR THIS ARTICLE OF MVN I have been asked to look at the economy in 1953 when Radio Taxis was formed. As I was still a twinkle in my mother’s eye at that time, I got some help from our friend the monolith which is Google for much of my information. So for those of you out there who can actually remember those days (and according to our records there are a few!) please accept my apologies if there are any errors. Obviously the first place to start is down the pub! A pint of decent real ale (none of this lager nonsense then) would have cost 1s and 3d (6p) which equates to 16 pints for a £1. Sounds great value, though there are two problems: pubs were only open from 11am until 2.40pm and then 5pm until 10.30pm so I’d have had to drink very fast to spend my £1. The other problem would be my earnings – the weekly wage as it was called then, was just over £9 for a 45 hour working week (for any working women it was just £5!) For the London Taxi trade – there were about 5,500 taxis at the time with only around 430 being on radio – you would have had a flag fall of 1s 3d (the price of a pint again!) for 3/5ths of a mile with each 1/5th of a mile then costing another 3d (11/4 p) for each click of the meter and similarly 3d for 21/2 minutes waiting (about 30p an hour). However, you would have earned an extra 6d for each passenger and an extra 3d for each piece of luggage. You would also have probably been driving an Austin FX3 “Gold Seal” petrol engine taxi that would have cost you £1,319 brand new if you were mushing, or probably it’s the price the fleet garages would have paid as most were rented out to journeymen. To buy a cab you used to have to leave a £10 deposit with Mann & Overton of Wandsworth Bridge Road and then wait about a year for your cab to come through. Your brand new FX3. It would have done 17 mpg and a gallon of petrol would have set you back 4s 4d (22p) Also you needed about a third deposit because of
London Taxis 1953
credit regulations, another reason why there were so many journeymen and most cabs were rented out “on the clock” back then. Also most cabs were doubled and some were even trebled. As a journeyman, it meant that you got a percentage of the fare and of the extras the “Guvnor” (or the “Master”) got the rest and to be frank, the practice of “stalking,” which was not engaging the meter for a journey, was not unheard of! The word is that one East End fleet owner said to a driver, “do me a favour Sid, do a few jobs for me tonight!” If you were lucky enough to own a home (many rented) it would have cost you £2,750 with a mortgage based on a base rate of 4%. The roads would also have been a lot quieter – there were only 3m cars and vans (now there are 26m!) though it was a bit riskier as there were just over 5,000 deaths per annum (now under 3,000) If you had decided not to become a taxi driver, then there was a very good chance of being employed as there were only 380,000 people unemployed – although this figure didn’t include most women who were regarded at the time as ‘economically inactive’. You would have retired at age 65 but with a life expectancy at 66 years (71 for women) you wouldn’t have had to worry too much about your pension! The dentistry business was probably just about to pick up as they stopped the rationing of sweets in 1953 (sugar had been in short supply) and personally I wouldn’t have recommended a holiday to Australia by plane as the flight would have taken 53 hours. Most average Britons went on holiday in this country as the package holiday and flight abroad was still more than ten years away. The last bit now – and back to business – the first credit card (Diners Club) came to the UK in 1953 and unbelievably there are a few taxi drivers that even now (they must think it’s still1953) don’t want to accept any cards today – so not much change really!
Looking Back at Sport in 1953 VINCENT LOMBARDI AN AMERICAN FOOTBALL player, coach and executive is quoted as saying “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” In our 1953 sporting timeline we are looking back at some of the winners throughout that glorious year.
The 1953 FA Cup Final, also known as the Matthews Final, was the eighth to be held at Wembley Stadium after the Second World War. The football match was contested between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers, with Blackpool winning 4-3. The match became famous for the performance of Blackpool winger Stanley Matthews, after whom it was nicknamed. It remains the only Wembley FA Cup Final to feature a hat-trick, scored by Blackpool’s Stan Mortensen. Blackpool was making their third FA Cup appearance in six years having been losing finalists twice, in 1948 and in 1951. It was the first football match attended by the reigning monarch, Elizabeth II, who would be crowned Queen at her coronation a month later. The first division champions were Arsenal on 54 points with close runners up Preston North End also on 54 points and just behind on goal difference. Manchester United finished eighth. The other top London clubs, Tottenham Hotspur finished tenth and Chelsea was fourth from bottom in what was then the first division. The cricket season in 1953 saw the Australian cricket team tour Britain to play a five-match Test series against England for The Ashes. England won the final Test to take the series 1-0 after the first four Tests were all drawn. England therefore recovered the Ashes for the first time since losing them in 1934. Sir Alec Victor Bedser CBE at 35, an age by which many fast bowlers have retired from first-class cricket, demonstrated his longevity by helping England regain the Ashes by taking 39 wickets at an average of 17.48. Golf Tournaments during 1953 saw golfing champion Ben Hogan entering only seven events, but winning five of them – including all three of the majors he enters (US Open, British Open and The Masters). It was Hogan’s fourth US Open title. The 1953 Wimbledon Championships ran from 22 June until 3 July 1953 taking place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Winner of the Men’s Singles was Kurt Nielsen of Denmark, defeating Vic Seixas of the USA with a winning score of; 9-7, 6-3, 6-4. The Women’s Singles was fought by two Americans with Maureen Connolly Brinker losing to Doris Hart; 8-6, 7-5. The 1953 Grand National was the 107th renewal of the world-famous Grand National horse race that took place at Aintree Racecourse on 28 March 1953. The race was won by eight-year-old Early Mist at odds of 20/1. Early Mist was the first of trainer Vincent O’Brien’s three consecutive Grand National victories, and his jockey, Bryan Marshall, would also go on to win a second successive National the following year on Royal Tan. Pinza (1950 – 1977) was another thoroughbred racehorse and later a sire. In a career which lasted just over a year – from July 1952 until July 1953 – he ran seven times and won five races. He was the best British colt of his generation in 1953, when he won the Epsom Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was then retired to stud. The ninety-ninth Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race of 1953 was won by Cambridge, who took the eight length lead in a recorded time of 19 minutes and 54 seconds. ■ Roger Sligo.
By Roy Hughes Director of Commercial Development
WILL HUTTON writing recently about the UK economy, observed that economies are like “corks” that have “inbuilt upward momentum” and like a cork the economy will “eventually bounce back to the surface” i.e; where it would have been had the recession not happened. However he went on to say that the current recovery is “the slowest recovery for more than a century”. The ground transport market ‘cork’ is still below the surface; with demand yet to recover to anything like pre-recession levels. There are some positive signs that a limited degree of confidence is returning to the corporate market; particularly in the legal sector. The Banking and Finance industry seems to be slowly loosening their spending constraints and our sales people are increasingly busy with pricing proposals and tender submissions. There is also some evidence that ‘the race to the bottom,’ in terms of pricing, may have started to level out, with ‘quality of service’ re-appearing as a valued consideration. However there is no doubt that the ground transport landscape has changed fundamentally with stricter travel policies, mixed vehicle use, ‘best value’ and App technology, here to stay. Hailo and their App brethren have changed the game, through (principally) targeting the consumer and by default, individual corporate users anxious to capitalise on technological convenience and reduce ‘ancillary’ taxi charges. The question is, how do we respond? The group has developed a Mobile Booking App that allows corporate users to make bookings via their smartphones, providing all the convenience and benefits of a consumer app, with the significant advantage of capturing the detailed passenger journey and costing information required by corporate clients to manage their business. This mobile booking app also has the advantage of being configurable to individual corporate client business rules and requirements. In addition we are actively developing our consumer (cash and credit card) business and to this end we also have a Consumer Taxi App ready to launch, which mirrors the functionality and best features of the most successful Consumer Apps in the market (as Oscar Wilde said “Talent borrows, genius steals)”. We have also launched an online Taxi booking facility for cash and credit bookings on the Radio Taxis website. A year ago we successfully delivered a ground transport solution for the 2012 Olympic Games and subsequently we have been increasingly active in promotion and placement of our services in the public sector. After a near twelve month tender process, we have been appointed, as the only taxi supplier, to the largest local government transport ‘framework’ in London. Further news of what this will mean to you will follow before long. Additionally we have been engaged in building third party partnerships. Essentially this means working in partnership with other service providers to the public and private sectors – such as Travel and Facility Management Companies and specialist transport companies – to supply RTG vehicles to their customers. What is becoming increasingly clear is that we cannot depend on the traditional corporate ground transport ‘cork’ recovering to pre-2008 levels of buoyancy and therefore increasing diversification of our business is not only a smart move but one of necessity – float on!
The Mountview News Amusing Caption Contest And the winner of the Summer 2013 Issue was... We had lots of witty suggestions for our Summer Issue of the Caption Contest, with the winner of the £25 M&S Gift Voucher going to Tim Harlow (G54) with the caption: “I had that Sir Michael ‘You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’ Caine in the back of my cab....” Tim wins a £25 Marks & Spencer Gift Voucher. If you want a chance to win, then please send us your caption for this picture on the left along with your name and call sign by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Or send it by snail mail to: The Editor, Mountview News Caption Contest, Mountview House, Lennox Road, London N4 3TX. The winner will be announced in the Winter Issue and will receive a £25 Marks & Spencer Gift Voucher.
A Special Message Since launching our non-fault accident, vehicle replacement service to RTG drivers, we are pleased to remind you that in addition to it’s own success we are also able to extend this service to any RTG drivers’ family members and friends who should require it’s benefits. This means that should they be involved in a non-fault accident, we will provide them with a replacement vehicle so that they can continue with their daily duties, as well as managing the repairs to their own vehicle and dealing with any personal injury they
may have suffered. If you have any questions at all with regards to this aspect of our service, please contact Gavin Cooper on: 07833 474 121 or by email at email@example.com who will also be pleased to hear from any drivers with their experience of our service after having used us. Finally we would like to thank everyone involved in making this service the success it is and look forward to facilitating RTG and it’s drivers for the foreseeable future.
? ? ?
The Mountview Puzzler Page
CLUES ACROSS 6. Saloon 7. Having the form of a cube 8. Grey 10. Device for catching rats 12. Plain-woven cotton cloth 14. Move about restlessly 16. Central part of a wheel 17. Institution for mentally ill 19. Within 22. Inhabitant of Malta 24. Sealing compound 26. Pole thrown by Scottish athletes 27. Murdering
MOUNTVIEW SUDOKU Give your brains a really good work out!
CLUES DOWN 1. Helps 2. Outing 3. Extreme 4. Protruded 5. Monetary unit of Italy 8. Proclaim with approval 9. Christmas foliage 11. Ceramic ware 13. Unit of electrical resistance 14. Law enforcement agency 15. Reflect 18. Workshop machinery 20. Teat 21. Student tables 23. Apart 25. Hue
HAVE A GO AT THIS ISSUEâ€™S SUDOKU PUZZLE! The object is to write in the missing numbers in the empty boxes below. But to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3 x 3 box must contain the digits 1 through to 9 exactly once. What could be simpler? Hooked? Well you can find many more Sudoko puzzles online FREE by going to: www.sudoku.cc
CHIEF RENTALS is proud to announce that they have joined forces with Radio Taxis as their main supplier of replacement licensed Radio Taxis for their drivers who find themselves involved in the unfortunate circumstance of a non-fault accident. This specialist service enables Radio Taxis drivers who are involved in such an incident to get straight back to work and more importantly, back on the Radio Taxis circuit as all replacement vehicles supplied by Chief Rentals are fitted with a Radio Taxis terminal. Other aspects of this exceptional service also include repair management of the driver’s own vehicle as well as the handling of all personal injury claims, either from injured drivers or their injured passengers. Not only are these services available to Radio Taxis drivers, but Chief Rentals has also agreed to expand them to drivers’
families and friends who may also find themselves in a similar predicament following a non-fault accident and requiring a like-for-like replacement vehicle. Chief Rentals look forward to working with both Radio Taxis and their drivers long-term into the future and endeavour to provide them with an outstanding service that will keep everyone ‘on-circuit’ and at work during difficult times. To find out more with no obligation, please call us FREE on the number above.
Mountview News – Graphic design, layout, print and distribution by DC-Graphics, Barnet: 0208 440 1155