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• Maintenance problems led to the curtailing of the seven-vehicle licence held by Richard Watts, trading as Southport Skip Hire, so it now expires next January instead of October 1996.
DOT vehicle examiner David Alcock said that an examination of six vehicles in December led to the issue of three immediate and two delayed prohibitions. The other vehicle, which had been tested earlier that month, was given a defect notice. Alcock said maintenance facilities were inadequate and Watts was "unable to cope with seven vehicles".
Two vehicles in use carried expired tax discs. One of those vehicles was stopped at the roadside in February and was still untaxed, Richard Watts junior said he was involved with the business while his father was in hospital. Facilities at the current operating centre could not be improved due to planning problems, and the family is in the process of negotiating the purchase of new premises with electricity water and garage facilities for up to four vehicles. They had taken on two new fulltime fitters and a qualified transport manager.
Albu said it seemed that steps to right the situation were being taken. He wanted all the vehicles to go through an annual test before January, when he would also want to see the latest accounts.