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A NEWTON Abbot cabbie has vowed to fight on after being told to remove ‘local’ St George’s Cross stickers from her taxi.

Patriotic Denise Said, 56, said she will take her case to the magistrates court after an appeals committee ruled that she has to remove the stickers by Friday or have her licence suspended.

But Denise, who runs Lady D Taxis, said she will not remove the stickers.

She said after the hearing: “They are staying on the car and I will do my best to appeal the decision.

“They are not derogatory and do not offend anyone.”

The appeal to retain the signage was heard at Teignbridge Council’s regulatory and appeals committee on Monday morning.

The committee deliberated for 50 minutes and decided that the signs did not meet requirements of its Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing policy or the Equality Act 2010.

Rod Peers, speaking on behalf of Mrs Said told the committee that the stickers were not discriminatory and had nothing to do with race or nationality.

He said: “It does not offend anybody or exclude anybody but merely gives the indication that the driver is from the locality.

“It is easy to know if the driver knows the local area if you have local written on the cab.”

Mrs Said said that she has driven a cab for 12 years and displayed the specially-made stickers for the past two years after being asked by passengers if she was local.

Cllr Klinkenberg said: “Anyone who works, sets up a business or is employee as a taxi driver would obviously be living here and they would , I would assume, would drive the area and get to know it so they could also be considered as local drivers irrespective of where they had come from.”

Cllr Beryl Austen asked Mrs Said: “Anyone resident locally whether English or not could display the sign?”

Mrs Said answered: “I don’t see why not.”

Licensing officer Hayley Carpenter said that it was the combination of the flag and the words that caused difficulty.

She said: “This is not about the St George’s Flag it is about the combination of the flag with the words ‘local driver’ across it that could be saying ‘British Driver’.

In the past year, the authority has received 14 applications from EU nationals to be licensed as drivers in the district.

The authority changed its policy in January this year to ensure EU nationals are subject to criminal conviction checks.

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