Saturday 22nd August
After kissing my wife goodnight and checking my boys were safely asleep, I left the house in the late hours of Friday evening to meet up with a pair of friendly and accommodating young women.
Jessica & Leena run the Licensing Section of Surrey Heath Borough Council and, as Vice-Chairman of the Borough Licensing committee, I had arranged to join up with them to observe the trials and tribulations of making sure that the Borough's taxis were all operating within the terms of their respective licences.
As ever, a night out in Camberley town centre was entertaining to watch from the sidelines and I was able to observe not only the behaviour of the (largely compliant) taxi drivers, but also that of the late night revellers.
What was clear to me was that when there are no taxis to take revellers home, the likelihood of anti-social behaviour increases. Ranks are currently fettered by people parking in them all night and the taxi drivers are in breach if they alight anywhere not set out as a rank. It seems that between them, the Borough & County need to provide more ranks in the town centre and ensure that the existing ranks are then properly 'policed'. Its something I shall be looking into this coming week.
Thanks to the Licensing team for providing the opportunity.