In 2007 Ken Livingstone introduced a scheme and funding for minority groups to help them study the “Knowledge of London.”The scheme has now been scrapped at a cost totalling close to £2,000,000.
Below is a quote by Ken Livingstone taken directly from the LDA website:
“The black cab is one of London’s most instantly recognisable trademarks and is an incredibly important part of London’s transport network.This project will help address the barriers to employment that currently exist for women and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities to participate in this important part of our city’s life.”
This is the latest statement issued by the LDA:
“The BAME and Women Taxi scheme was started in 2007 to provide training so that 400 Londoners would obtain the Knowledge/Green Badge by 2010. However to date the project has not achieved more than 10 people completing the knowledge and funding to September would only ensure that 50 people would pass the knowledge, the LDA cannot justify an investment of £1,997,780 for only 12.5% of those on the scheme achieving the knowledge accreditation, this is not good value for money, especially when 30% of all Knowledge students are now from BAME groups.”
As you can see from the latest press release by the L.D.A the “Ethnic Knowledge” scheme has had their funding stopped. It is worth pointing out that the LCDC were the only Trade Association to strongly object to this scheme, and held a very high profile demonstration outside the Palestra building with many drivers and knowledge boys in attendance.
“This was no more than a cynical ploy by Ken Livingstone to entice votes out of the ethnic community in London. There was and still is no barrier in place to stop anybody from applying to do the knowledge, and he knew this.”
Grant Davis. Chairman LCDC
A response to the LCDC protest at the time issued by Bob Hewlitt, UNITE Central London Cab Section, was published in the morning star and it said:
‘The aim of the LCDC is simple – keep the London cab trade white, middle aged and male. Their demonstration brought shame on the whole trade.’