Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Davidmc1948
    • By Davidmc1948 17th Sep 13, 1:34 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 13Thanks
    Davidmc1948
    Mr McDonald
    • #1
    • 17th Sep 13, 1:34 PM
    Mr McDonald 17th Sep 13 at 1:34 PM
    Hi my wife is a blue badge holder and was admitted to a hospital on the 3/09/2013 the car was parked in a Blue Badge bay for some time, I have since received a fine from Parking eye I have been in touch with the health trust and asked if it is compulsory to register the blue badge, they replied that they have installed registration # plate cameras and if the Blue badge is not registered then you will have to pay for your parking is this legal talk about NHS privatisation this world has gone mad.

    Thank you David
Page 6
    • martmonk
    • By martmonk 17th Dec 13, 9:31 AM
    • 818 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    martmonk
    Charges applied Aug - Oct
    So after a bit of back and forth on the FOI request for information on the charges issued I've finally had an answer - initially the trust said they didn't hold this information - until I pointed out that the contract stated that the specification must be met in full and that in there was a requirement to provide a monthly breakdown.

    The report I've been sent was generated by Parking Eye https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1jXc1Lz6E7eUm5WUzlCUWlnbG8/edit?usp=sharing
    (hopefully that works)

    The salient points;

    across the 3 sites (Hexham, Wansbeck and North Tyneside)

    Aug
    Issued - 3948, Paid 1332, Cancelled 2153

    Sept
    Issued - 3580, Paid 1330, Cancelled 1680

    Oct
    Issued - 3651, Paid 1192, Cancelled 1185

    If we say everyone who paid did so at the reduced rate (just to keep it simple) then the above represents £154,160 paid by motorists to PE in just 3 months.

    If we say that 50% paid the reduced rate and 50% the full £70 then that's over £210,000 !!!

    The trust are claiming they don't pay the VAT but if they do then that is min £30,000 for three months - £120,000 for the year.

    All to save the £70,000 (presumably plus a much smaller £ for annual maint) it would have cost to keep the previous barrier system in place!!!!!

    Separately (when I was challenging the initial response to this FOI and discussing some others), the Communications Manager accused me of putting the trust under a "barrage" of FOI requests and said they were close to a solution which I "would be happy with", that was on Nov 13th and I've heard nothing.

    I will be contacting them again with comments like the above on the financials and copying in my local councillor and MP who have shown an interest.
    • Stroma
    • By Stroma 17th Dec 13, 10:29 AM
    • 7,919 Posts
    • 8,408 Thanks
    Stroma
    The October figure is out by the way

    Edit
    In fact all the figures are out
    Last edited by Stroma; 17-12-2013 at 10:31 AM.
    When posting a parking issue on MSE do not reveal any information that may enable PPCs to identify you. They DO monitor the forum.
    We don't need the following to help you.
    Name, Address, PCN Number, Exact Date Of Incident, Date On Invoice, Reg Number, Vehicle Picture, The Time You Entered & Left Car Park, Or The Amount of Time You Overstayed.
    Anti Enforcement Hobbyist Member
    • martmonk
    • By martmonk 17th Dec 13, 10:43 AM
    • 818 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    martmonk
    The October figure is out by the way

    Edit
    In fact all the figures are out
    Originally posted by Stroma
    In what way?
    • Stroma
    • By Stroma 17th Dec 13, 10:48 AM
    • 7,919 Posts
    • 8,408 Thanks
    Stroma
    Issued - 3651, Paid 1192, Cancelled 1185

    That figure for cancelled and paid comes to 2377, what has happened to the other 1274 ?
    When posting a parking issue on MSE do not reveal any information that may enable PPCs to identify you. They DO monitor the forum.
    We don't need the following to help you.
    Name, Address, PCN Number, Exact Date Of Incident, Date On Invoice, Reg Number, Vehicle Picture, The Time You Entered & Left Car Park, Or The Amount of Time You Overstayed.
    Anti Enforcement Hobbyist Member
    • bod1467
    • By bod1467 17th Dec 13, 10:50 AM
    • 14,799 Posts
    • 13,457 Thanks
    bod1467
    The balance are tickets that have been ignored/pending payment?
    • martmonk
    • By martmonk 17th Dec 13, 10:55 AM
    • 818 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    martmonk
    The balance are tickets that have been ignored/pending payment?
    Originally posted by bod1467
    ^^^^ that's my interpretation too
    • nigelbb
    • By nigelbb 17th Dec 13, 11:06 AM
    • 1,902 Posts
    • 2,643 Thanks
    nigelbb
    Normally as health is outside the scope of VAT there could be no reclamation of the VAT paid but I understand that the VAT rules allow the Trust to reclaim VAT paid for a service that has been outsourced. So the result is fiscally neutral but the VAT is actually paid then reclaimed not just ignored. Finding out exactly how much VAT the trust paid should reflect exactly 20% of the money that PE has obtained from motorists.
    Last edited by nigelbb; 17-12-2013 at 11:09 AM.
    • martmonk
    • By martmonk 19th Dec 13, 4:42 PM
    • 818 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    martmonk
    Email to CEO, MP, Councillor and local press
    Way back on page 3 (post #46) I emailed the CEO and copied the local MP and councillor.

    That prompted a meeting with the Estates Mgr and the Communications Mgr. After that meeting I summarised what was outstanding and had no response other than the one where the Comms Mgr claimed I was putting them under a barrage of requests and that they were close to a solution (that was Nov 13th).

    In the meantime I've had FOI responses as mentioned in previous posts, one of which I've complained to the Information Commissioners Office on.

    I've decided here to link the redacted contract https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1jXc1Lz6E7eSlpOSjZyNktZNFU/edit?usp=sharing

    and the response which shows the clause giving authority https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1jXc1Lz6E7eRmo5RlJqTUgzTzA/edit?usp=sharing

    Today I've sent another missive to the CEO, MP, Cllr and local paper which I'll post below. If I receive any response I'll share it here.
    • martmonk
    • By martmonk 19th Dec 13, 4:48 PM
    • 818 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    martmonk
    Mr XXX,

    Further to the below your XXXX and I met in the last week of October and discussed some of the points raised along with XXX. I sent a thank you note following the meeting (I'll be happy to share that with you if requested), which summarised what was discussed and outlined outstanding items from the initial email I sent you below.

    Since that time I have also had responses to FOI requests which I would be glad of your comment on.

    Firstly the items which remain unanswered from my initial email to you and conversation with Steven;

    1 – Pre-Estimate of Loss

    As yet no answer has been forthcoming which addresses the question I set out below – namely for the Trust to explain the £70 (£40 in 14 days) charge levied by Parking Eye on behalf of the trust for each alleged contravention.

    When I met Mr Bannister he advised that Parking Eye had said this was ‘industry standard’ - I would point out that there can be no industry standard – each private car park in the country would have its own consequential loss flowing from any breach of contract (if we assume one exists – as stated I would argue it doesn’t). In the case of the Trust, as I previously mentioned, this ‘loss’ would be the parking revenue available if the ‘contravention’ had not occurred. This is £4 for 24 hours parking, or if taken to extremes 24 x individual £1.20 and therefore £28.80.

    I have, in an email to Mr Bannister, referred the trust to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals) service decisions where ‘Genuine Pre-Estimate of Loss’ is raised by the motorist. This is Parking Eye’s record at POPLA (up to Dec 9th) when costs are called into question;

    (Parking Pranksters Table inserted)

    That’s 67 appeals upheld and 0 ‘wins’ for Parking Eye so again I ask – how is the figure of £70 arrived at?

    2 – Evidence of the ‘rigorous debates’

    I asked what, if any information was available that documented the “rigorous debate, held at all levels of the trust, from the estates committee through to the executive management team and full trust board before any decision to proceed was agreed.” Please can you advise whether this is available or whether I need to raise an FOI request for it?

    I mentioned originally and above the FOI requests I had placed on the trust, the answers to which have raised further concerns which I would appreciate your thoughts on;

    1 – Contract

    The contract with Parking Eye includes what I interpret as contradictory clauses and I’d be grateful if you could explain which takes precedent in the view of the trust. These are;

    (2.1)The Authority appoints the contractor to provide the services;

    (2.1.6) as agent, to pursue the outstanding parking charges by any method up to and including by way of legal proceedings to recover these sums due from motorists for unauthorised parking.

    And;

    (39) Relationship of the parties

    (39.1) The Contractor shall not incur any liabilities on behalf of the Authority or, as the case may be, any Beneficiary: or, make any representations or give any warranty on behalf of the Authority or, as the case may be, any Beneficiary: or, enter into any contract or obligation on behalf of the authority or, as the case may be, any beneficiary.
    (my bold)

    It would be my interpretation that clause 39.1 says that Parking Eye cannot enter a contract with a motorist on behalf of the trust and therefore there are no terms and conditions to 'breach', which makes 2.1.6 void as no contract can be formed in the first place. Please provide your comment.

    2- Revenue generated

    My FOI request (1981) shows that in the period Aug – Oct 2013 there were 11,179 (yes that’s eleven thousand, one hundred and seventy nine) Parking Charge Notices issued by Parking Eye in relation to the three trust sites. Of those (to the date of the report) 3,854 had been paid.

    If we make the unlikely assumption that all those who paid did so within 14 days then that’s £154,160(£40 x 3854) that the trust have facilitated is removed from users pockets in order to line those of Parking Eye. That’s over £600,000 per year! Change the assumption on the number who pay in 14 days and that figure will rise to closer to £1m.

    £1m from trust users in just one year in order to save the trust the £70,000* it would have cost to upgrade the existing barrier system!!!!!

    *as quoted by trust staff numerous times on the Patient Opinion website - here is one example - https://www.patientopinion.org.uk/opinions/102814

    Is it clear now why the tender from Parking Eye was them offering their services at 'no cost' to the trust? I would have thought 'rigourous debate' would have included board level individuals realising that a third party company were highly unlikely to be offering something for nothing.

    I'm guessing the offer failed to mention that it would be the general public paying close to 10 times the amount the trust would have outlayed without the 'help' of Parking Eye!

    I would be delighted to hear what the trust thinks about this?

    Do you for example believe that users of the trust are getting £1m worth of annual value from a system which simply aims to generate profits for a third party by relying on contract law where no contract exists and doesn't actually manage the car parks - how can a set of cameras manage anything?

    These revenues are not even staying in the North East so the Trust is actually draining the local economy unnecessarily.

    I would appreciate answers to the questions set out above, which for clarity are;

    1 - how is the figure of £70 arrived at?

    2- whether evidence of the ‘rigorous’ debates is available or whether I need to raise an FOI request?

    3 – Interpretation on the contract - specifically which clause takes precedent.

    Most importantly

    4 – Does the Trust believe that users of the trust are getting £1m worth of annual value from Parking Eye?

    Again I welcome comment and involvement from both Councillor XXXX and XXXX MP, both of whom are cc’d to this email.

    Best Regards
    Last edited by martmonk; 19-12-2013 at 5:01 PM. Reason: Removed names
    • bod1467
    • By bod1467 19th Dec 13, 5:00 PM
    • 14,799 Posts
    • 13,457 Thanks
    bod1467
    Since this is a public forum it may be wise to avoid naming individuals in your post.
    • martmonk
    • By martmonk 19th Dec 13, 5:03 PM
    • 818 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    martmonk
    OK I have removed names just to keep anyone who may read it happy, BUT, nobody named in that email is not identifiable with a simple search of the internet, or in most cases this thread and forum.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 19th Dec 13, 5:43 PM
    • 12,666 Posts
    • 19,441 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Well done martmonk on your impressive stamina and persistence.

    NEWBIES - wise up - DO NOT IGNORE A PARKING CHARGE NOTICE - you have been warned!

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

    Please note: I am NOT involved in any 'paid for' appeals service.
    • Parking-Prankster
    • By Parking-Prankster 19th Dec 13, 9:21 PM
    • 305 Posts
    • 1,137 Thanks
    Parking-Prankster
    Excellent research martmonk. I found this all very interesting and have blogged about it here


    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/northumbria-nhs-stiffs-patients-for.html
    Hi, we’ve approved your signature. It's awesome. Please email the forum team if you want more praise - MSE ForumTeam
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 19th Dec 13, 10:26 PM
    • 12,666 Posts
    • 19,441 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    An excellent blog from PP. Well worth a read, gets right to the nub of all this.

    Dogged campaigner martmonk has unearthed figures showing that the Northumbria NHS has targeted the sick, the injured, the elderly, new mothers and the disabled (in other words, your typical hospital patients) for an estimate annual figure of £1 million in parking fines to save the £70,000 it cost them to run a car park barrier system.
    Well done PP and well done MM.
    NEWBIES - wise up - DO NOT IGNORE A PARKING CHARGE NOTICE - you have been warned!

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

    Please note: I am NOT involved in any 'paid for' appeals service.
    • bazster
    • By bazster 20th Dec 13, 8:57 AM
    • 7,326 Posts
    • 9,448 Thanks
    bazster
    Business rates a non-issue...(?)

    The rateable value of any hereditament (legal name for property) is defined as:

    “The rateable value of a non-domestic hereditament none of which consists of domestic property and none of which is exempt from local non-domestic rating shall be taken to be an amount equal to the rent at which it is estimated the hereditament might reasonably be expected to let from year to year on these three assumptions:(a) the first assumption is that the tenancy begins on the day by reference to which the determination is to be made;(b) the second assumption is that immediately before the tenancy begins the hereditament is in a state of reasonable repair, but excluding from this assumption any repairs which a reasonable landlord would consider uneconomic;(c) the third assumption is that the tenant undertakes to pay all usual tenant's rates and taxes and to bear the cost of the repairs and insurance and the other expenses (if any) necessary to maintain the hereditament in a state to command the rent mentioned above."

    As you can see from the definition above, we don't have regard to the profit generated by the property, this aspect is dealt with by taxation, the more profit they make, the more tax they will pay, this is dealt with by HMRC. If Parking Eye are a public limited company you will be able to view their accounts on line and see from that how much VAT and Corporation tax they pay.
    I hope this answers your questions, but feel free to contact me if you have anything further I can help you with
    Kind regards
    Originally posted by martmonk
    No it is not a non-issue. The VOA is being as disingenuous as every other government agency.

    It's as plain as the nose on your face that the amount of revenue a car park is capable of generating affects what it could attract in rent and hence its rateable value.

    The VOA's own rating manual says this:

    "In some cases whilst there is no provision for parking charges, the operator rigidly applies a policy of penalty charges to anyone who overstays their free parking period. Where a significant income is generated from this source, there is a presumption of value; how much will depend on the facts."

    That seems to address the principle, does it not?

    If the VOA persists in giving you the brush-off then I'd suggest it's another job for your MP.
    Je suis Charlie.
    • martmonk
    • By martmonk 20th Dec 13, 9:30 AM
    • 818 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    martmonk
    ^^^^^ sent a version of that. Thanks Bazster

    and internet fame at last!

  • The Slug
    Losses/Liquidated damages by Parking Eye
    From the 2012 published accounts of PE they made a profit of £4.5m in that year. From the takeover statement of PE by Capita, PE 'regulate parking' in over 830 car parks. Thus PE derive (on average) 4,500,000/830=£5422 profit per annum from each car park.

    Thus in one day (2012 was a leap year) they derive £5422/366 = £14.80 per day per car park. Therefore to cause PE to lose £70 profit one would have to close about 5 car parks for a whole day !!!!! How then can PE suggest that a few minutes overstay in one parking space cause them a loss of £70!!!

    If one assumes, say 200 parking spaces on average, per car park managed by PE -then the loss per parking space for a whole day is 14.80/200 = £0.074 i.e. 7.4 pence a day!!!

    The charge of £70 for what is effectively a loss of 7.4 p is a multiple of nearly 1000 - Surely this qualifies as unjust enrichment from a legal point of view.
  • The Slug
    Slight Mistake in my calculation!!
    Of course loss of 7.4p per space per day is for a day. Now there are 1440 minutes in a day thus the loss per minute is 7.4p/1440=0.005p per minute for blocking a parking space.
    • bod1467
    • By bod1467 20th Dec 13, 2:27 PM
    • 14,799 Posts
    • 13,457 Thanks
    bod1467
    Very interesting, but fundamentally flawed ... you can't calculate loss on the basis of profit.
    • nigelbb
    • By nigelbb 20th Dec 13, 6:43 PM
    • 1,902 Posts
    • 2,643 Thanks
    nigelbb
    Very interesting, but fundamentally flawed ... you can't calculate loss on the basis of profit.
    Originally posted by bod1467
    Agreed. Loss is loss not absence of profit. Aside from potential pay & display charges there can never be any losses attributable to a motorist overstaying in a car park or contravening any of their other artificial rules. Fundamentally though PE never suffer any loss other than through their bizarre business model. If the parking management service they offer was efficient they would have no revenue. They only make profits (not losses) if a motorist contravenes their rules. If there are no contraventions then they make no profit at all.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,368Posts Today

6,228Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • The strange thing with a 4yr old is having to play & smile while inside feeling sick for those in trauma in my birth town #Manchester

  • Just a quick ta-ta for now. I'm taking the week off for family time with mini and Mrs MSE. So I won't be here much. Back after the bank hol

  • Ugh another one trying it! Beware https://t.co/Ab9fCRA76F

  • Follow Martin