Dust-up at Dial-a-Cab as vote swings against float

The flotation of Dial-a-Cab, the London black taxi co-operative, has been postponed after hate mail was sent to its financial advisers, English Trust, and a 'death threat' was allegedly made to a director.

Dial-a-Cab had been due to float on the Alternative Investment Market in the spring, but a vote at a meeting on Sunday, attended by 1,290 of the co-operative's 1,628 members failed to get the necessary 75 per cent approval. Only 55 per cent of those present voted in favour of the float.

Brian Rice, Dial-a-Cab's chairman, yesterday expressed disappointment at the vote, saying that he and all other directors bar one were "100 per cent behind" the proposals. But his view was not shared by the many taxi-drivers who supported David Clegg, the one dissenting director.

One driver yesterday attributed the vote result to a lack of member consultation. "It was presented to us as a fait accompli," he said.

Discussion among cabbies of the proposals prior to Sunday's meeting was marred by claims and counter-claims of driver intimidation, apparently sparked by a change of heart by Mr Clegg. Mr Clegg originally supported the plans, but altered his stance shortly before Sunday's meeting.

"David [Clegg] didn't want to go along with the proposals, but, being on the board, he was caught on the horns of a dilemma. But we [the drivers] told him not to keep his mouth shut, but to speak up," explained one driver.

After Mr Clegg's apparent U-turn, internal debate over the conversion issue escalated last week.

"After David withdrew his support, English Trust received some hate mail," Mr Rice said. "Then an argument ensued between one of the members and David Clegg. The member made a remark to David along the lines of 'I could murder you' or 'I could kill you'. David then notified the police."

Dial-a-Cab was keen to play down the alleged death threats yesterday, which, following interviews with the parties involved, will not be investigated further by the police. "It was a figurative remark, made in the heat of the moment," Mr Rice said. One taxi-driver remarked: "The man [who made the threat] doesn't have the puff in him to do anything, quite frankly".

Mr Clegg was adamant yesterday that he would not be resigning from the board, despite a request to quit from Mr Rice. His decision was supported by many taxi-drivers. One said: "He's the only man on the board who supports our views."

Mr Rice said he would not be pursuing flotation proposals. He added: "I could do, but I don't intend to. We were 20 per cent short [of the required majority] and I don't consider that ... we could make up the ground."

The flotation issue will again be on the agenda when the cabbies convene a week on Sunday for the annual meeting.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat