John Wilson MSP

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Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson (Central Scotland) (Ind)

Bearing in mind the transformed market that you have described, surely the issue around the legislation is to ensure that all cars and all drivers are licensed. Would that not be a way of getting round Uber and uberX? It would be a matter of saying that, if someone is providing a service for profit, the car should be licensed and the appropriate insurances should apply to the delivery of that service, rather than just moving towards a transformed market in which anybody can use an app and hail a car to come and pick them up. The individual does not know whether the driver or the car is licensed. They do not know whether the car is fully equipped to deal with its passengers or, more important, whether it is insured in the event of an injury or other incident arising from its use.

10:00  

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

You referred to the current enforcement regimes and the fines applied. You said that Uber had picked up some of the fines that had been imposed on drivers in other jurisdictions. Are the fines sufficient? Do you think that there is a way under the present regime of international legislation of fining Uber itself?

You said that Uber claims to be a technology company but it contracts drivers to deliver a service for the company, so I do not regard it as a technology company. I regard Uber as a business that uses drivers. Are we tackling the issue correctly by fining drivers? Should any legislation that is introduced be able to target the company, which is, in effect, undermining the existing legislation of a region or area? You also said that Uber is a new entrant to the market, but you are giving me an image of a company that is undermining legislation and acting illegally, and will do so for future legislation.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

Thank you.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

I will follow up on that, Dr Cooper. You referred to the competent authority. Mr Coffey’s example was a good one. Suppose that someone applying to operate a licensed car decides not to apply to one authority because they have been told that its licensing regime is tough and takes cognisance of, say, reports from Police Scotland, whereas the licensing committee in a neighbouring authority may not be as stringent. What would you say about those circumstances? How can we ensure that there is a level playing field across Scotland?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

I will try to clarify the point. My understanding is that, at present, if a Police Scotland report appears before a licensing committee, the committee can take cognisance of the report or set it aside. Is that the situation?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

I want to pick up on a couple of the responses that we have heard so far. I seek clarification from Mr Woodburn about the issue of private hire drivers signing up for Uber. You gave the impression that private hire drivers could sign up for Uber as well as being members of Edinburgh City Private Hire. Is that what you were implying?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

I thank Mr Woodburn for that clarification. However, our understanding—which might be a misconception that arises from the material that is publicly available—is that Uber comes in and recruits non-licensed drivers—



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

Let me finish, Mr Woodburn.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

Uber comes in and recruits non-licensed drivers with non-licensed cars. The examples that we have heard about in other jurisdictions worldwide show that Uber tends to attract individuals who are not existing drivers—private hire or hackney cab drivers—to operate the service. Would it not be a major worry for the black-hack companies and the private hire companies if Uber were to come in and say, “We’re not going to recruit or use any of the existing licensed cars or drivers; we are going to recruit publicly to build our own business that has no current association with any of the licensed cars or drivers”?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
John Wilson

Mr Woodburn, you referred to the booking office scenario, and said that Uber would have to operate a booking office. My understanding is that, at present, someone who operates a taxi firm—whether it is a private hire or a black-hack firm—has their booking office in the premises from which they are licensed to operate by the local authority.

Uber, as I understand it, would not, as an app system, have 32 booking offices throughout Scotland to coincide with the licensing authority areas. It would, if it had a booking office at all, have one operational centre and apply the app to the whole of Scotland. How does that fit in with the current legislation, and with the proposed legislation whereby booking offices are associated with the licensing authority?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
AbstainCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12095.2 Alex Johnstone: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095.1 Willie Rennie: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095 Alex Neil: Tackling Inequalities—That the Parliament agrees that a strong, sustainable eco
>> Show more
YesCarried

Selection of John Pentland MSP for appointment to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12060.2 Hugh Henry: Commending the People who Keep Scotland Safe in Emergencies—As an amendment
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12045.3 Shona Robison: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-12045 in the name of Rich
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12045.2 Jackson Carlaw: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-12045 in the name of Ric
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by John Wilson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11816: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11521: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11520: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11247: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11246: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11245: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11213: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 15/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11208: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 14/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11105: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11009: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 25/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by John Wilson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23345: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23341: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23344: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23343: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23340: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23342: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23145: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03723: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 11/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23043: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23044: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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