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FURIOUS cabbies have hit out after being blocked from voicing their concerns about a new taxi dress code for the Olympics at a council meeting.
Taxi drivers in Slough will be told to clean up their act during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a new Slough Borough Council code of conduct.
A licensing committee met on Wednesday last week to discuss the plans.
However Paramjit Badial, chairman of the Slough Taxi Driver's Association, said he was appalled council officers refused him the chance to speak at the meeting.
He believes the guidelines, which ask cabbies to wear ties, could be dangerous.
Mr Badial said: "We were very upset we couldn't speak at the meeting. Why were we not allowed to speak?
"We decided to boycott the meeting and won't be wearing ties. We're very angry.
"We're not private hire - we don't know the details of passengers getting into our taxis. We don't know who we are picking up and somebody can strangle you by a tie."
However council officials said the taxi drivers had already been consulted and had their say on the guidelines.
They also reiterated the code of conduct is only a guideline and won't be enforced.
Cllr Roger Davies, committee chair, said: "I was advised it wasn't necessary for the drivers to speak.
"They had already been consulted. If they don't wish to follow the guidelines they don't have to.
"Every time we have a meeting, if it affects them we always invite them to talk at meetings."
The code of conduct will apply to Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers and operators between July 27 and September 9.
A letter informing all vehicle licence holders and drivers of the new conduct rules will be sent out after the meeting.
This article appeared in Slough Observer 31 May 12