Council chiefs in Shakespeare‘s home town ban cabbie from displaying British and Polish flags in window because it‘s not ‘welcoming‘
Council chiefs in Shakespeare‘s home town have banned a cab driver from displaying the Union flag in his taxi because it‘s not ‘welcoming.‘
Greg Rojewski, 44, was ordered to remove a sticker – which shows the Union flag and Polish flags intertwined – after the council received a complaint.
Polish-born Mr Rojewski has lived and worked in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, since 2004 and put the sticker in his taxi three years ago.
He said it was intended to tell customers he was Polish and could therefore speak the language if passengers struggled with speaking English.
But Stratford District Council ordered him to remove the sticker, saying that only ‘appropriate livery‘ could be displayed.
Mr Rojewski, who has a girlfriend in Poland, said: ‘It is crazy to ban me from displaying the flags. It‘s discrimination.
‘There is another taxi with a St George‘s flag on the back window but I am the one who is told to remove my sticker.
‘The sticker isn‘t political, I had it made to help Polish customers who might not know how to speak English.
‘I have found it is very useful to people, especially if they have hospital appointments because they don‘t have to worry about being misunderstood.
‘There are a lot of Polish people in Stratford and some of them don‘t speak very good English.
‘The sticker is also meant to show the lifelong friendship between Poland and this country.
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‘Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain and all over the world to help everyone‘s freedom.
‘If I had painted my cab red and white in the national colours of Poland then I might understand the decision but it‘s not nice to be treated like this.‘
Mr Rojewski moved from his home in Parczew in east Poland to find work in the UK and he says he considers the country his home.
He added: ‘I‘ve now worked in this country for longer than I did in Poland and I‘m staying here because it‘s my home.‘
Stratford District Council defended the sticker ban and say Mr Rojewski should have written to them for permission before displaying it in his taxi.
A spokesperson said: ‘A complaint from another driver was raised against this driver for displaying the Polish flag on the rear of his vehicle.
‘The Stratford-on-Avon District Council taxi policy prevents the display of any livery on licensed vehicles unless written approval has been obtained from the district council.
‘The driver has not sought approval for his chosen livery and so has been asked to remove it.
‘Any request for a display of symbols, written words, pictures or similar on a licensed vehicle is carefully considered with a view to ensuring that the display of such an item
is appropriate and that the taxi fleet remain welcoming in appearance to all passengers whom may wish to use their services, regardless of nationality.
‘On this occasion the district council has received no request for consideration so can only enforce the licence conditions which require any livery to be authorised in writing.‘