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Newton Abbot taxi firm takes on 15 Romanian drivers despite red tape row

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

Comments (25)

A NEWTON Abbot taxi firm has taken on 15 drivers from Romania, claiming it has struggled to find committed staff locally.

Teignbridge Taxis, which has been running for six years and has a fleet of around 30 vehicles, said it had tried to recruit locally, but failed.

Managing director Daniel Hooper said: "Employing people in the area is like banging your head against a brick wall.

"We didn't want to bring drivers in from Europe but we had to. We need drivers who want to do the job and do it well.

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"The majority of the drivers that we've come across locally didn't seem to want to work the anti-social hours or put themselves out for the customer.

"Our Romanian staff go the extra mile for the people they drive. The economy is shot in their country, so they are eager to make a life here.

"We now have customers requesting our Romanian drivers."

The firm started looking into employing Romanians last Autumn and signed up with an agency who recruited and trained the new drivers.

Mr Hooper has had to overcome several hurdles to obtain permits from Teignbridge District Council.

He says the process has been a 'nightmare'.

Mr Hooper says he was asked to supply the council with various documents, including medical and good conduct certificates, which had to be approved by the relevant bodies in Romania.

But he claimed the council was concerned about their authenticity when he presented them and he was advised to visit the Romanian Consulate in London with his foreign workers to obtain more documents which left him with a £1,600 bill.

He claimed the documents provided in London were 'identical' to those he had already tried to hand over.

"All the council had to do was call London Transport to find out what they accept as official documents when employing taxi drivers," said Mr Hooper.

"Instead I had to go to London and incur this cost which was unnecessary."

Cllr Mike Walters, Teignbridge District Council's Executive spokesman for corporate services, said: "As a local licensing authority Teignbridge has a legal obligation to make sure that information contained within any license application is genuine.

"The Romanian applicants provided certificates of good conduct and medical certificates but we could not be 100 per cent certain of their authenticity.

"We spent considerable time clarifying the position with advice from the Romanian Embassy, the Romanian Consulate, the Department of Transport and another licensing authority in Devon.

"Our view was that it was essential to make sure the applications were genuine in order to protect the council, the Romanian nationals and the general public.

"We go to great lengths to ensure we have Criminal Records Bureau checks and medical history records from UK citizens who apply for a licence, so it is only fair we should do the same with other EU citizens who have just arrived in the country.

"The proposal to amend our policy for licensing foreign nationals as hackney carriage/private hire drivers, which goes before the Regulatory and Appeals Committee at its meeting on January 31, is aimed at making this process clearer.

"We appreciate Mr Hooper's situation but these things always take a certain amount of time."

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25 comments

  • omnivore23  |  February 01 2013, 11:44PM

    You know - I am feeling childish today Sidney - and why not. Trying to have a discussion with you based on logic, reason, and boring old facts is like urinating on a frog. Mildly amusing for a short while, but ultimately pointless. So - been down the circus yet 'ave we sir? Eh? Eh? Cor!

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  • SidneyNuff  |  February 01 2013, 8:13PM

    Omni sounds a little childish today, David just sounds angry and confused, as usual.

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  • Dave_David  |  February 01 2013, 7:43PM

    As I understand it SidneyNuff you are Austrian, then maybe you are Scottish and there again you maybe a fibber. Are you a man or woman or are you a bit of both, maybe a cross-dresser. You used to write under different names, all Germanic, you even accused me of being a racist, which I am not. Whatever name you use the subject matter is always the same, you do not like Torbay, even Newton Abbot now, you start spurious rumours about people setting fire to vehicles in Torquay, you even said a woman was assaulted some 2 miles away from where it happen, you said it was only two minutes away from the Leonard Stocks Centre. The beaches in Torquay were full of drunks, the sand was covered in beer bottles and thousands of dogs were let loose on Abbey Sands, a new breed of dog you invented for that story, and by the way the tide was in. You were a hostess to foreign students at the time, now I find you have changed sex to that of a man. As for your latest rant about prostitutes in Castle Circus...so pathetic. If you dislike Devon so much why live here. You say your employed in the town centre, you used to manage a hotel in the town centre aswell, if you are employed then you must have a good boss to let you write on here all day and night. Maybe you work at the Grosvenor, they employ people such as you. GO AWAY.

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  • omnivore23  |  February 01 2013, 2:38PM

    Ok so it seems I can't say the word that means the whole most of us evacuate our food from (and Sidney talks from) But it''s OK for the site to offer us (presumably paid-for) links to articles that not only use the word repeatedly but also shows us in graphic detail a man pouring vodka into his rectum through a pipe. If I pay - does it mean I can say it? How about bottom hole? It might be helpful if we knew what we can and can't say? Unless we pay.

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  • omnivore23  |  February 01 2013, 2:31PM

    So, the "from the web" pages offer us among other things, "top ten ugly celebs" and photos of men pushing things up their **** (yes indeed) And Sidney can post constant attacks on English people, scouters, public sector workers, etc etc But we can't say billicks What a load of nonsense. P.S Is it Ok to say "****"?

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  • awheeler  |  February 01 2013, 1:08PM

    ineedtherapy :-)

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  • ineedtherapy  |  February 01 2013, 12:05PM

    The moderators must have been asleep - either that or not yet born...when the Sex Pistols hit the headlines with "Never Mind The B**l***s" then....

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  • SidneyNuff  |  January 31 2013, 11:25PM

    Nice cv karate. But 'drive a car' covers everything doesn't it.

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  • omnivore23  |  January 31 2013, 11:01PM

    What does Sidney do? Click on his posting history and see for yourself. ....and he/she accuses others of sitting on their backsides doing ****all. Sidney - being a twitching freak is not a job.

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  • karate  |  January 31 2013, 10:54PM

    oh wow, a response from the boss himself. i will leave sidney or should i say dan?? you are clearly fighting the cause for teignbridge taxis but are only being seen as moronic in your arguments. the skills possessed by a taxi driver? i drive 70+ hours a week on the road, this greatly increases my chances of an accident, and increases my encounters with less skilled drivers, yet i avoid collisions with sharp judgment and reactions. i deal with disabled people daily and assist them in their travel needs. i take children with special needs to school and provide them with the appropriate mixture of interaction and distance. i manouvre drunk people every weeknight and when they fall into the road and no doubt i have assisted you over the years. i have to deal with confrontation only the police and bouncers see, yet i have no defense training. please inform me what you do? i doubt it compares

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