Social, cultural and economic opportunities in London (Supplementary) [10]

Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Question By: 
Jennette Arnold OBE
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Thank you for that and that, without doubt, is a really good programme of activity that you've embarked on in your delivering for women. But you know what I'm going to say - but I would say to you the point that I'm picking up, going across London and meeting with women, is that that is not enough and what they're particularly concerned about is the serious delay that has occurred around the minicab licensing process.

Now, that isn't a question that is on the paper, but I think you could start to talk about that given that the figures that I have suggest that 233 sexual offences took place in 2001/2002 - so far this year - and that's compared with 155. Now, what that means is that women, with those sort of figures around, with that level of fear, are restricting their movement more and then, if you like, the disadvantage in terms of their engaging economically, socially and to just enjoying London, is really something that you could do something about because you could place this matter higher up the agenda. What actions can you take about bringing forward the work on the minicab licensing process?


Answer for Social, cultural and economic opportunities in London (Supplementary) [10]

Answer for Social, cultural and economic opportunities in London (Supplementary) [10]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The problem with the minicab licensing was that those powers to licence minicabs were withheld by the government after the GLA was established and passed to us just after the government had started licensing the owners and I could not understand why the whole lot just wasn't passed over at the beginning. I then discovered that there were no resources to licence anybody, i.e. that no one had established a minicab licensing office - it was work simply to be added to the existing work of the Public Carriage Office, which was already understaffed.

So, we have set about the licensing of firms. We have licensed 1,600 minicab firms in London. That means for women that, if they use one of the licensed firms, we know the name, address and National Insurance number of every driver. The firm has to record the details of each journey so we know which driver is taking which woman where and that should provide massively increased security for women. The details of all those 1,600 firms are available on the TfL website, will shortly be available on the GLA website and can be obtained by phoning the TfL hotline.

The second part of this strategy is what I have discussed earlier with members on the previous question. Now we have a Policing Unit that is starting to be assembled, one of their tasks will be to crack down on illegal minicabs and that is where I think the biggest danger lies.