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R v Liverpool Corp, ex parte Liverpool Taxi Fleet Operators

[1972] 2 QB 299

Case summary last updated at 08/01/2020 14:39 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Liverpool Corp, ex parte Liverpool Taxi Fleet Operators

A number of taxi cab owners challenged a decision of the Council to increase the numbers of hackney cabs operating in the city. At a public meeting with the council prior to the decision, the chairman had given a public undertaking that the numbers of hackney cabs would not be increased until the proposed legislation, which included provisions for controlling private hire vehicles, had been enacted by Parliament. CA (Majority) On account of this public representation, the applicants were "justifiably aggrieved" by the council's subsequent unfair conduct. Accordingly the council would be prohibited from passing the resolution needed to increase the number of cabs. 
 
Lord Denning MR: “The corporation were not at liberty to disregard their undertaking. They were bound by it so long as it was not in conflict with their statutory duty… At any rate they ought not to depart from it except after the most serious consideration and hearing what the other party has to say: and then only if they are satisfied that the overriding public interest requires it. The public interest may be better served by honouring their undertaking than by breaking it.” 

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