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Merton Council

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
6 replies 3K views
davidgowersdavidgowers Forumite
4 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
I am a disabled driver, I have a Blue Badge, a Motability vehicle and this vehicle is tax exempt.

I went into the Peel House lower off-street council car park next to Morden Station. I had never been in there before. There are no signs outside to inform you of the Tariff or the Terms and Conditions of the car park and there is no information about disabled parking places or if you have to pay.

As I drove around, all the 5 disabled spaces were occupied and I read a sign as I drove past relating to disabled parking. It is on the main Tariff and Conditions notice board in small writing and in blue and in a poorly lit area.

I thought it said that if all the disabled bays were full, you had to pay. So with my Blue Badge on my front seat and having no change (their machines take coins only) I went to obtain some. I was gone two and a half minutes and when I came back, yes, you guessed it, a PCN.

I spoke to the CEO to ask if pictures had been taken and he said yes.

I made an informal appeal, explained what had happened and this was refused. I was informed by the Council that the sign also said that I could park free in any bay if I displayed my Blue Badge but I did not take see it as I was moving.. I waited for the Notice to Owner and formally appealed, apologising for my error however, this was refused. The Council said there was no observation time allowed, I went to get change and that was that. However, the CEO allowed me one minute of observation time.

Out of five pictures taken, only one was legible and the envelope that the PCN came in was completed so quickly that it has mistakes and the time is illegible. The CEO was fully aware that this was a disabled vehicle, as my tax disc says so.

I appealed to the Adjudicator and the Council in their evidence said there is observation time allowed but they have no writeen ppolicy on this and would not tell me or the Adjudicator how much time is allowed. In addition, they added new 'evidence' that they can offer no objective proof of and this was that the CEO was in close proximity to my car 'for several minutes'. Theere are no notes in the CEO's notebook about any of this.

The Adjudicator adjourned my case and recommended to the Council that on mitigating circumstances, they should waive the charge. The Council took one day to refuse to do this and I will be before the Ajudicator, week-commencing the 8/6/09.

Any advice will be gratefully received, however, I fully expect to have to pay this charge.

Replies

  • Neil_BNeil_B Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Morning David.

    Couple of things not quite clear. The Adjudicator asked the Council to use discretion and they refused. This would be because there was no direct legal reason to cancel but he generally agreed with you.
    Where i get lost is as to why you have a further patas hearing? It sounds to me as if the hearing was adjourned and the Adjudicator also made an interim recommendation to use discretion? Is that it? - and I'm guessing again but probably because of the introduction of new evidence?

    best answer to this would be to show the notifications from patas. ideally I need to see ALL documents you have but this forum doesn't make that easy. You could display it on PePiPoo forum.
    -
    More in a minute or two.
  • Neil_BNeil_B Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Quite a lot more to say so bear with me David.

    Ideally you want to find a reason that allows the Adjudicator to make a ruling.

    Whilst it is true that they can't rule on discretionary matters they CAN rule against a Council if at any point it is clear the Council have failed to even consider exercising discretion. Seeing your paperwork might help me decide on that possibility.

    It sounds like the Adjudicator was really trying to be helpful.

    Do you have a pic of the sign? Did you submit that and ask the Adj to consider a failure of clarity? As free BB parking in car parks is an additional exemption to the blanket national ones then it is reasonable to expect that to be clearly signed. My borough allows the same - BUT with the exception of one car park so signs are essential. As exemptions can vary from borough to borough and even car park to car park - again clear signage is important.

    On the matter of the Council failing to agree to the Adjs recommendation.

    1/. Local paper! Give Merton the publicity they deserve!

    2/. May be relevant to what i said above about failure to consider - it being such a quick response. As those recommendations go to the top of the Council, Cheif Exec office I believe, then such a swift refusal sounds suspect.

    ALL of the rest of your paperwork may reveal flaws that will help. I have a nagging memory about Merton Notice to Owner. I recommend you do as I suggested in first post and show them all on PePiPoo.
    -
    (and site owners note how your daft policy is obstructing the needy!)
  • Dear Neil B,

    Thank you for getting back so quickly.

    Being ancient (54), I will ask my daughter to assist me in letting you see the paperwork. I will send you the relevant items, however, please be patient and I will do this as quickly as possible. It will be tomorrow unless you can advise me on how to do it through PePiPoo?

    One matter that I need to let you know about is that the quick refusal came from an Administrative Assistant in Parking Services, not the Chief Executive. I do not know if the Chief Executive has even seen the Adjudicator's recommendation?

    I sent in 66 items of evidence to the Adjudicator, these included pictures, proof of where I was when the CEO said he was taking the last two pictures (they do not tally) and which he was not keen on and as far as I am aware, he only looked at a very small proportion of it.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    David
  • Neil_BNeil_B Forumite
    1.4K posts
    PePiPoo is another forum like this one but with far more advisors, full and fair moderation and a facility to post images immediately.

    i have no qualms in saying that this forum fails miserably in facilities to allow essential image posts, especially where matters are urgent.

    Google PePiPoo or, with google set to worldwide, google 'Fightback Forums' and it comes up top of the list.

    post in the parking forum and see the FAQs ''Read this first'' on how to post images. Host your images on tinypic.

    Not the 66 pages though! No surprise the Adjudicator may not have looked at all of that. Keep it relevant to essential docs and pics. If you have a problem posting images they will generally help, as they do here (but you still can't anyway here).

    When you appear there I or others will tell you what docs we need to see.
    -
  • Dear Neil B,

    I have just had my PATAS hearing re: Merton Council and I won! The Adjuducator says that Merton Council's PCNs are incorrect re the 28 day timescale and he quoted two very recent cases against the Council. Just thought you might like to know, as you were helpful when I contacted the forum in may 09.
  • Neil_BNeil_B Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Many thanks for letting us know the outcome -- and WELL DONE!

    Too many people rather rudely don't bother.
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