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Have seen the future, recently had a drive in the new Skoda Roomster, this is a great compact five seater with good luggage space and a great variety of engines and gearboxes. Probably the pick of the range the 1.9 diesel. Of course for the finest deal on this car phone Alan McGinness at the Taxi Centre 0141 334 3999. Don't forget to take out the GMBPDB deal, free gap insurance, half price credit protection and a free year's union membership.

GMB Professional Drivers Branch Column by Terence Flanagan Branch Secretary: 07958 275 339

Irecently drove up to Glasgow something I have never done before but was impressed by the scenery. Particularly in the border areas, must say I made a point of avoiding the Blackpool turnoff as have the Labour party this year, they are in Manchester. So has the penny dropped Blackpool clean your act up. When I was in Glasgow I picked up a Skoda Superb 2 Ltr. TDI, great car which averaged 45 miles a gallon on the return journey and I wasn't perambulating! After my trip to Glasgow I was down to Brighton for the TUC conference, enjoyed Blair getting the treatment thankfully he won't be polluting any more of our conferences. This leaves us to consider his successor, surely not the smirking reptile from the Orange Lodge Gordon Brown. My choice would be John McDonnell, at least he is some way to the left not as far as required but if he was to get a three year shot at it and honour his promises I am sure we would see another Labour Government, and I don't mean New Labour, Maggie Thatcher's best creation, she thought.

Whilst in Brighton met with our Private Hire members who flagged up their concerns on Tuk Tuk's, (Motor tricycles) vehicle age limits and school transport. The leader of Brighton Council was available for a meeting on these issues unfortunately I and the drivers couldn't make the meeting time but we are assured of a meeting in the near future. Membership in Brighton is increasing, they have realised that the GMBPDB influence open's doors previously closed . So wherever you are, EVEN BLACKPOOL, we can help and influence. In fact if we could get the council to tidy up the town and win some conferences that would mean extra work for the drivers, don't know about the plastic sheets though!

When I was in Brighton, where the PHV have access to bus lanes, I was told of a lovely little scam by Hackney Carriage plate holders, where the plate holder doesn't drive themselves but rents the cab out to two drivers. Now of course these drivers have no rights and are entirely at the mercy of the plate holder. Subsequently these drivers get the treatment, in Brighton plates exchange ownership for sums of up to 40,000, seems a bit of a scam to me. Would delimitation solve this problem, ? I've been told that it would. There is an organisation, which calls itself national and based in Carlisle, yeah that's right Carlisle, run by a clot who calls himself Captain Cab thinks 40,000 plates and Limited plates is a great idea. What do you think ? a free market economy or being crapped on by the Captain and his motley crew ?

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