Thursday, 5 February 2015

Minibus Special 2

A few weeks ago the blog was accused of being obsessed with minibuses and I did a special on 15th January. The issue has only arisen as a result of TR and privatisation of the CRC's, but gets a regular mention here still:- 
"An Update: If any Community Payback minibus driver has not completed the CPC training they are not driving legally! Possibly no insurance as well. NSCRC have now suspended all driving with minibuses.

Sorry, forgot to add, the CPC applies to minibuses MADE or adapted to carry 8 or more passengers. If you take seats out it makes no difference. In fact by taking seats out it changes the seat belt requirements. They would all have to meet the standard for motor cars, that is not seat mounted seat belts but floor and pillar fixings."
Clearly it's another one of those things the MoJ never thought about, as mentioned in a postscript here on the politics.co.uk blog from Monday:-  

"A small example of the kinds of problems you get when you start privatising things and don’t pay attention to what you're doing. Over the weekend, I'm told offenders doing unpaid work in a number of areas, including Avon and Somerset, were stood down. The nine-seater buses which take them to and fro require a certificate of professional competence. Probation was exempt from this rule as it's not a commercial operation, but now that they’re run by private firms the rules have changed. Of course, many providers didn't realise and now staff can’t drive people until they get a certificate, which involves a five-hour training session. Factoring in the requirements of commercial operation is one of the most irritating, nit-picky bits of privatisation. You really need to be on top of it and there's little to suggest that's the case. Those unpaid work hours are unlikely to be fulfilled anytime soon."

So, I wonder what the position is, given the follwing twitter exchanges today:-

"Apparently the MoJ are in talks with the DoT to try to get an exemption! Over zealous traffic cop might enforce"

"UPW staff here advised to continue as usual while MoJ and DoT sort it out! No joke!"

19 comments:

  1. It was the same with those massive coal lorries during the 1984 Miners Strike. Half of them were not roadworthy but the authorities turned a blind eye because the politics demanded it.

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  2. Just wondering! Have all these mini buses been registered with the dvla as having new oweners? Or are they to remain under MoJ ownership where private companies get the use of government equipment at the cost of the 'hard working taxpayer' and a drain on our 'long term ecconomic plan'?

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  3. yet another example of " why did no one bother to ask the people who do the job"?????
    Bloody Grayling and his MOJ idiots
    God know what else they've missed

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    1. " why did no one bother to ask the people who do the job"?????

      I doubt that anyone who does the job even knew this would be an issue...I don't know many people who understand the esoteric world of vehicle licensing laws. In the grand scheme of TR this is a minor irritant at most. I heard that one new owner just provided a whole new fleet of smaller vans to overcome the problem.

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  4. As has been said a million times this is not an issue in most places as they just use smaller vehicles. Not difficult.

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    1. Hardly comforting for those offices which don't have smaller vehicles to use, is it?

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  5. Is it not incumbent upon us to report the matter to the Police if the vehicles are being illegally driven? It's possible that any illegality may impact on the insurance which, if someone is hit, killed or maimed, may leave them unable to seek recompense.

    You can report offences online. If you don't wish to do it, then a friend or family member can.

    I've just reported my office!

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    1. Brilliant - maybe it'll lead to the arrest of a colleague! Then you can strut and preen, and hopefully restore a bit of your flagging self esteem that way! Good job!

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    2. The answer is quite simple - staff have a duty to refuse to drive vehicles they are not qualified for and management have a duty to only allow qualified drivers to take vehicles out - anything else could potentially lead to serious trouble.

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    3. Drivers insurance may already be compromised. It should be clarified as a matter of precaution anyway.

      What insurance do I need?

      It is vital that your minibus is insured correctly as driving under a standard business use motor policy could leave you uninsured. Where you transport service users (even if no fee is charged) you could be deemed to be carrying them for 'hire or reward'. Employers must recognise, that a paid member of staff who drives a minibus without the correct driving licence is breaking the law and the terms of the vehicle insurance.

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    4. @19:30
      If I knew an offender was driving without insurance then I would report them to the Police. I'm fairly sure no one wishes to preen as you put it but we cannot be seen to be arbitrarily upholding the law. As Jim points out, staff and managers know what they are doing is illegal; there can be no justification.

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    5. Surely a better approach might just be to inform your colleagues (assuming they don't know already), that they are within their rights to refuse to drive it?

      I suppose I was just irked that the proposed action of informing the Police, and possibly getting co workers into needless trouble is just another symptom of the divide and conquer approach that has allowed the MOJ to roll over us - it's still not too late to show a little solidarity with each other, even this late in the day. We've still got a job to do, and regardless of some of the attitudes showcased on this blog, differences have been, are being and will be made to help people change their lives for the better as a direct result of the work we do.

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  6. I'm sorry to be off topic but have been looking through twitter wondering what Tom Rendon's up to nowadays and found this from April 2014. What did Thompson's say about it all? As a member I don’t recall hearing the outcome and 4 weeks later Rendon resigned:
    Tom Rendon ‏@RendonTom • Apr 24 @HoAnnewright @Suzze05 @IlawrenceL it's with lawyers- am abroad til Monday- can you phone me on tues at Chivalry Road?
    Anne wright ‏@HoAnnewright • Apr 24 @NapoMcr @awomaninwinter @Andrew_S_Hatton @AnarchistPO interesting info from lawyer which has now been passed to Thompsons napo sol.
    Anne wright ‏@HoAnnewright • Apr 24 @NapoMcr @awomaninwinter @Andrew_S_Hatton @AnarchistPO Lawyer thinks Thompsons can run test case as po's prof qual undermined.
    Anarchist@probation ‏@AnarchistPO • Apr 24 @HoAnnewright @Suzze05 @RendonTom @IlawrenceL This needs testing out without delay & info communicated to membership.

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  7. Also off topic, but it makes my blood boil. Today Grayling refused to action a review into joint enterprise. His reasons?

    He said: “The question of whether the law should be reviewed and clarified in statute will need to be considered carefully by Ministers in the next Parliament.“It would not be appropriate for me to ask the Law Commission to launch a review prior to the General Election, as this would effectively tie incoming Ministers to a particular course of action.

    And 10 year TR contracts do not tie Ministers to a particular course of action???

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  8. Let's start up a snitch line like true holy than thou new breed 'offender manager's!!!!

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    1. Oh fuck off you stupid twat. And take your 'wasn't me guv some big boys did it' attitude with you. And when you get to where you've fucked off to, fuck off some more. And keep on fucking off until you end up back here and I can tell you to fuck off again.

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    2. My friend that is one EPIC putdown :)

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  9. Hidden agendas aside, I am concerned to note that, days into this, we are already seeing the integrity of Probation in jeopardy. Companies with dubious histories, illegal sentences, perverse decisions arising from misinformation, misrepresentation, misdirection and incompetence, each borne of the reckless pace of changes. It bodes badly for the future.

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  10. Anon 19.22.

    To pharaphase Shakesphere badly. Oh brave new world that has such creatures as this in it. No doubt if the driver had been stopped you could comfort yourself by telling yourself that you had preformed your civic duty ( I doubt that you have ever reported a service usuer to the Police ) I am glad that you can rest your head on your pillow knowing that really it was only a CP Supervsior so what the heck. Disgraceful

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