Seven-year ban for County Connect and Directors

first_imgRevocation and seven-year disqualification come after numerous offences, including the use of a photocopied vehicle discThe international licence held by Sevenoaks-based County Connect has been revoked, and the company’s Directors Alexander Edwards and Jordan Cousins have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a PSV O-licence for seven years.The revocation and disqualification comes after the use of a fraudulent PSV O-Licence disc, using more vehicles than authorised, failures to operate local services, maintenance problems and breaches of the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules.  In addition Traffic Commissioner (TC) Sarah Bell disqualified Mr Edwards from acting as a Transport Manager (TM) for a similar period.Where an operator failed to produce records it was an aggravating feature because it deprived the enforcement agencies and TCs of finding the full extent of any wrongdoingThe company, of Wrotham, Sevenoaks, which held a two-vehicle licence, had been called before the TC at an Eastbourne Public Inquiry but failed to attend. A request to surrender the licence was refused by the TC.In her decision the TC said that Mr Cousins had been a Director of the company at all times, either formally or as a de-facto director when removed at Companies House to assist obtaining finance. The company had failed to keep authorised vehicles at the nominated operating centre when not in use, and had failed to notify material changes within 28 days, i.e. change of maintenance arrangements, operating centre and the re-appointment of Mr Cousins as a Director. Mr Cousins failed to produce his Driver CPC card at the roadside. The company had used more vehicles than authorised on the road at the same time, and had used a vehicle displaying a photocopied vehicle disc with intent to deceive. The company had failed to produce to DVSA all records required under numerous notices and the records, which were sent, were only received after the deadlines, and had also failed to comply with a number of undertakings on the licence in relation to the maintenance of vehicles and drivers’ hours and tachographs, including the offer of a cash incentive to breach the rules. The company failed to operate local registered services and failed to cancel local registered services.This was a bad case. Where an operator failed to produce records it was an aggravating feature because it deprived the enforcement agencies and TCs of finding the full extent of any wrongdoing. The explanations provided by the company in relation to the use of a photocopied vehicle disc and the use of three vehicles were neither compelling nor credible. The Directors each stated they ‘assumed’ the other had photocopied and displayed the vehicle disc.The company claimed to use two vehicles for nine local bus services, including school runs, Monday to Friday and a third vehicle on tour work most weekends through Kentish Tours, of which Mr Edwards and Mr Cousins were Directors. That explanation was incompatible, by way of example, with the third vehicle displaying an original disc on Monday 12 September. Further, Mr Edwards had to concede that when that vehicle was used on Friday 11 November, the company had three vehicles on the road.She noted that it was the company’s intention for Andrew Kelly to ‘run’ the coach side of the operation. Mr Kelly was variously described as General Manager and Operations Manager. The Traffic Examiner’s second meeting with the company was at Mr Kelly’s home.Mr Edwards, the nominated TM, claimed that he relied on Mr Kelly’s ‘expertise’ when the maintenance was taken in house. She did not accept that Mr Kelly left the company due to various ‘illegal ongoings’. The facts indicated an ongoing, close working relationship. As at the date of the hearing Mr Kelly and Mr Edwards remained directors of Kelly and Sons. She did not accept the suggestion that Mr Kelly ‘hired out’ or used a coach without the company’s knowledge.Melanie Hafner, a director of Jewel Tours, produced an invoice to the TE from Kelly and Sons for the hire of a County Connect vehicle on 8 November. She confirmed her company was the user of the vehicle on that occasion as its vehicle was off the road. She subsequently produced invoices from Kelly and Sons for sub contract work on weekdays.The company continued to pay Mr Steele’s invoices for driving that vehicle even on days when it alleged it had no knowledge of the journeys. There were some cases where it is only necessary to set out the conduct in question to make it apparent that a licence should be revoked and the operator put out of business. This was such a case.Few features diminished the gravity of behaviour of Mr Edwards and Mr Cousins, since the grant of the licence in 2015. The history of the company and its Directors was such that they must be removed from the system for a period to protect the public and the legitimate industry and for them to fully appreciate the consequences of their conduct.As TM, Mr Edwards failed to exercise continuous and effective management of the compliance systems and instead used part of that time to manipulate the system for commercial gain. In so doing, he had shown a reckless disregard for road safety, fair competition and the regulatory regime as a whole.Finally, the TC directed that if Mr Kelly sought to be involved in any application or entity, which held or obtained a licence in Great Britain, it must be referred to a TC.last_img read more

Party poopers

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Williams and Halep chase milestones in Wimbledon final

first_imgLONDON (Reuters) – Serena Williams no longer wants to obsess about elusive Grand Slam “number 24” and Simona Halep is desperate to win Wimbledon more than to stop the American reaching that milestone but there will be no place for either to hide in today’s final. No matter who wins the title decider on Centre Court, the one thing for certain is that it will be a historic occasion.The 37-year-old Williams is chasing an eighth All England Club singles crown which would see her match Australian Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 major singles titles.Simona HalepNational pride will be at stake for Halep as she bids to become the first Romanian to win a singles title at the spiritual home of grasscourt tennis. Halep said if she dwelt on Williams’ records over the past 21 years it might be game over before she stepped on court for a contest compatriot and gymnastics great Nadia Comaneci said would be “watched by every Romanian alive on the planet”.“I will focus on myself. I’m not thinking about her record. Her records are huge already. It’s nothing about that. It’s just a tennis match, big challenge, a great match. So I will try just to give my best,” said Halep, who has lost just one set so far.A quick study of their rivalry would also suggest Williams will probably be the one holding aloft the Venus Rosewater dish considering she has won nine of their previous 10 meetings. The 27-year-old Halep’s only victory over Williams was almost five years ago, while the American has won all three of their Grand Slam clashes, including at Wimbledon in 2011.So which memory from those tussles will Williams rely on as she gets ready for what could be one of the most memorable days in the history of women’s tennis?BIGGEST KEY “The biggest key with our matches is the (6-0 6-2) loss that I had. I never forgot it,” said the 11th seed, who is also bidding to become the first mother to triumph at Wimbledon since Australian Evonne Goolagong beat American Chris Evert in 1980.“She played unbelievable. That makes me know that… she can get there again. So I have to be better than that.“There’s so many impressive things about her. Obviously her tenacity, her ability to find power. Can’t underestimate her. She’s like a little powerhouse. I feel like she’s back. She wants to prove that she can do it again.” Halep will also take heart from their battle at this year’s Australian Open being a close one and the fact that she has more than just an A-game in her repertoire.“I have a better game these days. I can play everywhere, against anyone. When I go on court… I know how to change some things when (other things) don’t work very well,” said the 2018 French Open champion.“Now, I believe that I have my chance to win against her. I respect a lot what she has done and what she’s doing. But I feel mentally stronger facing her.”A ‘Plan B’ or even ‘Plan C’ could come in handy for Halep as Williams was at her devastating best in a 59-minute destruction of unseeded Czech Barbora Strycova in the semi-finals. Moving as smoothly and striking the ball as crisply and as powerfully as at any time in her career, the American has so far unleashed 45 aces and won 83 percent of her service games.Playing mixed doubles with Andy Murray, albeit in a losing cause this week, has also helped her to sharpen her volleys – an ominous sight for anyone on the opposite side of the net.Williams has already had two failed attempts in finals to win that 24th major – after contesting last year’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open showpiece matches – and, regardless of what she says, everyone knows the American wants that record. “I just trained and I trained and I trained to get physically more fit. So I’m definitely at a different place,” said Williams.“It’s really not about 24 or 23 or 25. It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what. No matter what I do, I will always have a great career.”last_img read more

Christian Eriksen blasts Wembley pitch and opens up on ‘chronic’ injury

first_imgCHRISTIAN ERIKSEN slammed the quality of Wembley’s pitch — claiming Tottenham’s training surfaces are better.The turf at the national stadium was badly damaged by three NFL games as well as an Anthony Joshua fight this autumn.7 Christian Eriksen has slammed the Wembley pitchCredit: ReutersAnd ahead of fourth-placed Spurs’ crunch showdown against third-placed Chelsea under the arch on Saturday, Danish ace Eriksen says the Wembley pitch has not been up to scratch in recent weeks.He said: “As a player, it’s not been up to normal standard. Let’s be honest and say that. I think you have seen that. They knew that.“We want to play on a better pitch than our training pitch, but sometimes the training pitch is better than the game pitch. It’s difficult.”Spurs continue to use Wembley as their home ground while their new 62,000-capacity stadium is being built amid delays.7 The Wembley pitch was badly damaged by NFL games and an Anthony Joshua fightCredit: Reuters7 NFL games left the Wembley pitch looking worse for wearCredit: AP:Associated Press7 Wembley played host to Anthony Joshua’s win over Alexander Povetkin in SeptemberCredit: Getty Images – GettyEriksen added: “We know the same as the people in the press. We don’t really know when it will be finished. Hopefully it will be soon.“People have seen pictures of the stadium and what it is going to look like — it’s going to be exceptional when we are finally in there.”As for this season, Eriksen, 26, believes Tottenham can take heart from grinding out the wins that have made them title contenders.The playmaker admits his team-mates have not been playing at the same eye-catching standard as previous campaigns.MOST READ IN FOOTBALLBRO MESSAGEBobby Charlton’s touching tribute to Jack revealed as he misses funeral serviceFRESH OUTFITMicah Richards pokes fun at Roy Keane backstage at Sky Sports studiosFALL OF TROYDeeney calls Sky reporter ‘cheeky b******’ after he asks about retirementSHOTS FIREDDenis Irwin’s son trolls Liverpool fans with savage Steven Gerrard tweetPicturedC’MON THE LADSRamos’ becomes dad again as wife gives birth to FOURTH son Maximo AdrianoVideoROY MEANKeane says ‘that’s why they never win anything’ as Villa celebrate staying upBut, he believes while all the focus has been on unbeaten trio City, Liverpool and Chelsea for the title, Spurs remain in the hunt.Mauricio Pochettino’s men — five points off the top of the table — are flying under the radar, but a crunch eight days lie ahead.After Chelsea there is a must-win Champions League tie with Inter Milan next Wednesday before a North London derby trip to Arsenal a week on Sunday.Asked if he felt Spurs are serious title contenders, Eriksen said: “We are up there so we will see where we are going to end up, but, yeah.“There is a lot of focus about the other clubs, but again we have almost similar points.“Maybe we haven’t played the best football we have showed for the last few years. But we have still got the points. Sometimes that is necessary.“That is how it goes. And at some point, if it clicks and we still get the points, then we will be different.”Spurs have already failed against the top two — City and Liverpool — at home this season.7 Tottenham have won six of their last seven Premier League gamesCredit: Reuters7 Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham are flying under the radarCredit: Getty Images – GettyBut since that 2-1 defeat by Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in September, Spurs have won six of their last seven Premier League games, grinding out three 1-0 wins against Cardiff, West Ham and Crystal Palace.That grit — the ability to keep clean sheets and collect points when the chips are down — does not tally with the traditional ‘Spursy’ label.So are the players finally putting that weak tag to bed? Eriksen, a Real Madrid target after contract talks stalled, added: “Yeah. People expect us to win every game now — even against the top six. That’s how it has turned around.“Looking at trophies, we haven’t won anything, but they way people view Spurs is completely different.”7 Christian Eriksen insists he feels fine when playing football despite his Denmark boss saying he had a ‘chronic’ abdominal problemCredit: EPAIt has been a chaotic season for the club from the delays over the new stadium to captain Hugo Lloris’ drink-driving arrest in August to a host of injuries post-World Cup.Key players Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, as well as Eriksen, have all spent time out.Eriksen’s own injury situation was highlighted by Denmark boss Age Hareide, who claimed his talisman had a ‘chronic’ abdominal problem.But Eriksen, who played twice for the Danes in the international break, added: “I feel good. I feel it the day after a game. But in the game I don’t feel anything.“Sometimes the body just needs to take a break and you need to listen. But we know the programme between now and January.“It will be games every three days, but we want to be competing on every front.”Real Madrid eye a daring £90million double raid for Marcus Rashford and ­Christian Eriksenlast_img read more