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Publication date:- 2017-04-11

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 4.

Metro Mayor demands the Government end cover up culture

METRO Mayor Steve Rotheram has called on the Prime Minister to implement, in full, the proposed Public Authorities (Accountabilities) Bill, also known as:- 'the Hillsborough Law.'  The Bill, if passed, would compel those in Public Office to act with candour and in a way that is truthful when responding to investigations into their conduct. The Bill would introduce the option of punishment by prison sentence for those who lie or try to hide the truth. The Bill was brought before Parliament, on 29 March 2017, by the Rt Hon Andy Burnham and was approved at 1st reading. Mayor Rotheram was 1 of the Bill's 12 sponsors. It was due to have its 2nd reading on 12 May 2017, however due to the announcement of the 2017 General Election, the Bill fell following the dissolution of Parliament. Speaking ahead of the expected release tomorrow of former Bishop James Jones's report into the experience of the Hillsborough families, Mayor Rotheram said:- "Today, there is a clear and unambiguous call by HM Opposition, and those associated with the Hillsborough campaigns for Justice, for implementation of the Hillsborough Law as an instrument in restoring trust and confidence in our public institutions. In the 28 years that have passed since the Hillsborough tragedy, there have been too many occasions where cover up and secrecy have pervaded our public life when things have gone wrong. Governments of all colours have been too slow to respond to this culture, which has no place in our modern democracy. The Prime Minister must commit to the full implementation of the Hillsborough Law. With enquiries on going into historic child sexual abuse, and more recently the Grenfell Tower disaster, this law is needed now, just as it was needed 28 years ago."

Hundreds caught in Taxi Enforcement  operations

TAXI licensing officials in Liverpool have issued scores of cautions and defect notices to Private Hire and Hackney drivers over the last month, in a bid to improve standards and enforce the law. Operations by Council Officers and Merseyside Police have identified drivers from:- Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and Wirral who were committing a range of offences.  A total of 14 drivers were fined a total of ₤4,655, at Liverpool Magistrates Court, on Thursday, 26 October 2017, for offences including tyre defects, trying to pick up passengers who had not booked and driving without insurance. In addition, 118 vehicle defect notices and 57 cautions have been issued for offences such as cherry picking, parking a Private Hire on a Hackney Taxi stand, having an illegal tyre and not having their plates firmly fixed on; while a further 7 vehicles were ordered off the road immediately. And 160 fixed penalty notices have been issued to the drivers of private cars who parked illegally on Taxi Stands, taking up space meant for Hackneys. 2 other drivers; 1 private Hire and 1 Hackney; have had their licences revoked for drug related offences.  Councillor Christine Banks, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said:- "We want to make sure that our taxi industry is fair, and we are determined to crack down on those drivers who are flouting the rules. Our aim is to make the playing field for all drivers as level as it can be. Unfortunately, there are a very small minority who breach regulations, and we are committed to taking action and in doing so, send a clear message out that it is not acceptable. Passengers should always ensure they only use properly Licensed Taxis or pre-book Private Hire vehicles, otherwise they are placing themselves in danger."  The prosecutions are part of a series of measures being undertaken by the Council and Police to crackdown on taxi and private hire drivers breaking the law. The Council works with Police Officers who have been through a specialist Taxi Licensing course to help them spot vehicles that aren't compliant with the law.

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