Why join?

As General Secretary of The Scottish Taxi Federation [STF] I have been tasked with the duty of convincing what is arguably the most fiercely independent yet fragmented group of business people operating in Scotland of the benefits arising from membership of and representation by the Federation. Having been involved in the Taxi Industry for over fifty years, I have come to accept the many and diverse challenges presented, and it remains my quest to ensure that the Federation represents the views of every Association irrespective of size or location and, more importantly, irrespective of political, social or economic view. As General Secretary I will remain unstinting in my efforts to progress and represent the Taxi Industry in Scotland despite an almost nationwide sea of apathy and negativity and, in order to move forward with a fit-for-purpose organization, recognizable and capable of meeting the demands of a 21st century Taxi Industry. I ask that that you take some time to consider the text of this letter, and that you consider joining us in the Scottish Taxi Federation.

The Federation was established in 1982 following the implementation of the Civic Government [Scotland] Act 1982, when our founding members realized the benefits arising from the formation of a trade representative group, taking account of and an interest in the issues affecting the industry nationwide. Building upon the strength of shared knowledge and experience, and working on the principle of a small voice being  loudly heard when supported by a larger partner, it readily became apparent to Government bodies that no one knew better how to operate the taxi business than those intimately involved, the taxi operators themselves. In consequence, successive Governments have been convinced and have accepted that the STF is the major stakeholder and the main participants to be consulted on issues that require trade consultation. There is no other group, body or organization existing in Scotland capable of speaking with the in-depth knowledge available to the STF.

Negotiating, consulting and convincing successive Government’s has been a consistently successful aspect of the role of the STF. A surprisingly yet more seriously difficult task was and is, to convince the trade, which by its very nature remains somewhat skeptical. Unfortunately, a significant number of trade operatives will not be convinced or accept that as individuals, they did not and do not always know best. Furthermore, on occasions efforts by the STF and some of our members associations have been thwarted by such individuals fighting as a ‘one man band’: often to the distraction and detriment to the trade as a whole. I have no doubt that unity is strength and that knowledge is gained from experience. The STF provides an opportunity to pool all available knowledge and experience and presents a cost effective way for the trade to address local and national issues from a position of strength and authority. It is my  opinion and belief that for the collective good of the trade, too many individuals and individual associations outwith the STF having been addressing matters far in excess of their level of competency and would have benefited from the support and advice of the STF and member associations. In brief, their protestations have had little effect and often have served only as a distraction.

I would therefore respectfully suggest that you give serious consideration to ‘coming in from the cold’ and join with the STF, to assist in the fight for legislation and regulation that is clear, unambiguous, more easily enforced and policed and which makes clear the modus operandi of both Taxis and Private Hire Cars. In so doing, you will effectively play your part in bringing about required and positive change and ensure that breaches of the law will be vigorously enforced. This is possibly a mainstay of the STF.  Uniform and consistent regulation and enforcement. Despite my comments on individuals and associations acting independently, it is my contention that we all would agree with the principle of robust enforcement.

There is much more could be made known and discussed in these pages, but suffice to say, the Scottish Taxi Federation is a democratic body, it has a constitution, holds meetings annually or at other such times as may be required, elects democratically the officers who will represent the collective interests of its members and who’s whole being is to take the Scottish Taxi industry to a level where it is truly recognized for the work it does in the local communities throughout Scotland. It’s fine to be told we are part of the public transport system, but it would be much better if the various authorities demonstrated this by giving us the same consideration as is given to other sections of the public system of transport, including subsidies.

Membership of the Federation attracts a cost. Each association or individual member pays an annual charge of £50.00 plus £9.00 for each taxi license plate represented. In return members and member associations are provided with representation at National Government level and if required at Local Government. We also currently have a solicitor’s advice scheme (included in the fees) which provides advice on licensing matters. There is also a facility to pay fees monthly at no additional charge.

In closing, I would ask that you give this letter serious consideration and if you require any further information please feel free to contact me, Bill McIntosh, on Mobile 07947600141 or by email at enquiries@scottaxifed.org.

Thank you for taking time to consider this letter and in closing I ask also that you consider our motto “strength together.”  Never in all my years in the taxi trade has this been more apt.

Kind Regards

Bill McIntosh
General Secretary.