Taxi drivers are among the most staunch Conservative supporters. London cabbies had an important role in securing the election of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London last year – even giving out receipts including a Back Boris message.
But Newport Council, a Conservative led authority with Lib Dem support is unfortunately in dispute with its local taxi drivers. This is because they are changing the rules on the age of vehicle in a move that threatens to put 60% of the city's taxi drivers out of business. The Council has ruled that private hire vehicles should be no older than eight years and Hackney carriages no older than 10 years as of August 1 2010.
The Council cite health and safety. Cabbies says it is to "spruce up" Newport for the Ryder Cup. Either way it sounds a pretty unfortunate move at a time of recession. Shouldn't this be a time when Councils are looking to relax these regulations rather than tighten them?