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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Jenny, I have been in dispute with my local authority taxi

Customer Question

Hi Jenny, I have been in dispute with my local authority taxi licensing office for 18 months. I live in a residential area where the council granted a licence to a local company to open a taxi office. The licence excluded them from parking as it is a residential area with permits. They ignore this! i have for 18 months sent photographic evidence as proof of blocking road, driveways and causing traffic problems. Although the licensing office has made an occasional visit and issued warnings, the problem still remains. The council seem afraid to do anything about this, so I want to shock the council into taking action by giving them notice of legal action. Have they breached the contract between residents?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. Jenny is off-line at the moment and and I see that you’ve been waiting some time. You can wait for Jenny to come back or I can deal with this for you. The choice is yours. Kind regards

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Stuart,I am happy for you to deal with the question.RegardsBruce
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Although you can take legal action against the council, either by applying for judicial review of their decision not to bring enforcement proceedings or breach of statutory duty not to allow nuisance, that legal action is not going to be cheap and it’s not going to be risk-free. You could be looking at several thousand pounds.

If there are lots of people in the same situation, you may get other people to join in any legal action with you but if everyone else simply refuses to contribute, and you go it alone, then anyone not contributing gets the benefit of any outcome without having the burden or risk of paying any money.

My suggestion in circumstances like this if you don’t want to pay all risk a lot of money is to use a more practical rather than a legal solution.

As many people as possible should write to the chief executive of the local authority by names asking him for his help. Please note, this is not a complaint because you are “appealing” to him to assist. In my experience, these kind of appealing letters get passed down the line because it comes from the chief executive, those lower down the food chain will sit up and take notice and take action.

If that doesn’t work, the other thing that you can do which is free of charge and also is likely to produce a good result without cost or risk is to make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. My first port of call would be the chief executive of the council written to by name.

The more people that write to the chief executive (or to the Local Government Ombudsman) the better. Please note that this should not be a standard letter if possible but should be their own letter in their own words. The letter should be sent individually because then they will carry more weight than if a bundle of letters is presented in one lump. For the same reason, getting everyone to sign a petition carries much less weight than individual letters. Anyone will sign a petition thrust in front of them and hence, in my experience (and opinion) petitions are a waste of time.

There is one other thing that you can do (preferably as a group) although once again this is going to cost money and that is you can issue court proceedings against the taxi company in private nuisance (you personally) or public nuisance (the area collectively). A solicitors letter threatening the application for an injunction to stop the nuisance may have effect or limited effect or no effect at all. If you do end up going to court, then once again it’s going to cost you money and there are risks involved.

Does that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points arising from this?

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Kind regards