HC Deb 29 October 1985 vol 84 cc875-6

Lords amendment: No. 39, in page 18, line 28, leave out from "to" to end of line 29 and insert "the appropriate court".

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. David Mitchell)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to consider the following Lords amendments:

No. 40, in page 18, line 38, leave out from "to" to end of line 39 and insert "the appropriate court".

No. 41, in page 18, line 40, leave out "a magistrates" and insert "the".

No. 43, in page 19, line 17, at end insert— (10) In this section "the appropriate court" means the magistrates court for the petty sessions area in which the licensing authority has his office or, if he has more than one office, his principal office.

Mr. Mitchell

This group of technical amendments have the effect of changing the magistrates court to which appeals are to be made from that for the area in which the appellant resides to the court for the area in which the licensing authority has its office. It was pointed out in another place that the previous arrangement might prove inconvenient in that many taxi drivers live well outside London. That is a valid point and we are making these amendments to improve a position that has been generally welcomed.

Mr. Simon Hughes (Bermondsey and Southwark)

I am grateful that at last we shall have got right a clause which we have long needed. The House will be aware that the system under which licences were revoked or suspended disappeared into a silent mist originally in the office of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. One could never get at the facts. The system is to be moved to the Department of Transport, and with this amendment we shall get it into the court structure so that somebody who has his livelihood taken away will be able to challenge the decision in an open place, know the evidence against him and be able to argue against that evidence.

The Under-Secretary of State has cleared up the problems which rendered it inappropriate for a person's case to be determined where he resided. It is to be welcomed that it will be possible to argue a case, if someone is to be deprived of his livelihood, in the place where he earns his livelihood. I hope this part of the statute will be implemented soon. I do not agree with every part of the Bill, but I think that this part of it is good. I hope that its implementation will not be delayed after the Bill becomes law, so that taxi and cab drivers may have justice.

Mr. David Mitchell

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I think that this is a good example of the many instances where the Bill has been improved in its passage through the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 39 to 43 agreed to.

Forward to