Home Office letter re Freedoms Bill/keeper liability

Came across this letter from Home Office Minister concerning amendments to the misnamed Protection of Freedoms Bill:

http://www.parliament.uk/deposits/depositedpapers/2011/DEP2011-1499.pdf

It's clear that the government continues to follow the BPA line. ANPR enforcement is now to be allowed. Also the provision has been extended to trespass as well as contract.

The "concessions" on signage and a ridiculous change involving having an appeal mechanism ("Appeal Denied") are nothing of the sort. The government does not get it and one hopes that once again their Lordships can be relied upon to protect the interest of the public.
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  • vax2002vax2002
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    MP's will never vote against anything that could offer them an opportunity to dip a hand in a till.
    They know there is good money to be made here and once it is ratified in Parliament the crooks they supported will be swept aside like flies and up will spring new companies and guess whos hands will be in the till ?
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  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Still can't see anything about being forced todisclose the drivers name.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • trisontanatrisontana Forumite
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    And what's all that talk about a "penalty"?
    What part of "A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boo" don't you understand?
  • The_Slithy_ToveThe_Slithy_Tove Forumite
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    Maybe we should ALL write to Mr Brokenshire ([EMAIL="james.brokenshire.mp@parliament.uk"][email protected][/EMAIL]) and put him straight about PPCs, the BPA, and how dishonest and discredited the entire industry is, pointing out Shedule 4 etc is nothing to do with the effective control of parking on private land and everything to with using underhand, dishonest, agressive and borderline illegal practices in order to make money.
  • edited 30 September 2011 at 10:23PM
    Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    edited 30 September 2011 at 10:23PM
    We need to bombard them with emails this week! Well before 10th October as mentioned on there. So THIS WEEK.

    PLEEEEASE NO MENTION OF THE SHORTHAND 'PPC' as this is a forum shortening which is not a generally understood outside of forums.

    Here you go, found all this with a quick Google:

    http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/commons/scrutinyunit/written-submissions/



    'Your submission should be emailed to [EMAIL="scrutiny@parliament.uk"][email protected][/EMAIL], making it clear to which Bill it relates.



    Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee.



    Any queries?
    The Scrutiny Unit can help with any queries about submitting a memorandum to a public bill committee and about the evidence-taking stages of Public Bill Committees. Contact details are as follows':
    Telephone: 020 7219 8387
    e-mail: [EMAIL="scrutiny@parliament.uk"][email protected][/EMAIL]

    'Ideally, submissions should be in electronic form: Word, WordPerfect or rich text. A summary should be provided. Paragraphs should be numbered, but there should be no page numbering. Essential statistics or further details can be added as annexes, which should also be numbered. To make publication easier, please avoid the use of coloured graphs, complex diagrams or pictures unless absolutely essential. As a guideline, submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.

    For data protection purposes, you should also include a separate covering letter or email containing the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the submission. The submission should be dated.'





    Let's do emails this weekend - here are some basic ideas to copy/paste or as food for thought:

    Even simple objections due to the fact that 'private companies cannot issue penalties' and 'the Bill seems to ignore privity of contract' and 'isn't this supposed to be a Freedom Act and yet you are allowing the BPA (who are NOT a regulator, just a members club) to dictate what their members want to help them rip off the public?' would be better than silence!

    Or 'do you realise that most fake PCNs are given to legitimate customers in retail car parks where they are allowed and invited to park? Or people who live in blocks of flats and have been tricked into a permit scheme they do not need just to make money for a private parking company?' 'This is NOT simply a landowner issue, this is not a trespass issue in most cases, and this is not a 'penalty' or 'fine' issue as private companies cannot issue fines.'

    And how about 'private parking companies already have a perfectly sound method of chasing up a 'parking charge', it's called Small Claims Court. Same as any other company who allege a person owes them money.'

    Or 'When is a parking charge not a parking charge - when it's an inflated made-up amount, copied from a Council PCN and typically 10,000% more!!! than is possibly owed (£1 parking fee suddenly becomes £100 made up 'parking charge' with nothing to support that extortionate increase, no loss, no trespass in a car park where a customer is shopping and was invited to park'). A private parking company is very different from Council and Police parking enforcement - not least because the private firm is out to make a profit - and that's the only agenda for most in this industry.'

    Or 'Why are you handing an extremely shady industry carte blanche to make money from unsuspecting people who are not trespassing and (in the case of a registered keeper, were not even in the car!) - this is WORSE than clamping.'

    And how about 'Private parking companies literally 'farm' car parks with no interest in legalities such as paying VAT on their invoices (VCS is one example of such a firm who have evaded VAT and been investigated for it so far).' Or 'Private parking companies have a terrible track record of understanding the law - ask any disabled person who has not been allowed the 'reasonable adjustment' of being allowed longer than able bodied people to park at their local Supermarket'.

    Or 'why don't you read moneysavingexpert.com parking forum for an hour or two? People are completely fed up with the private parking industry - not just clampers - and you are trying to hand them statutory powers because the BPA is somehow being allowed to call the shots! Why are you being the BPA's puppets, when the BPA have been discredited on Watchdog, are not a regulator, cannot control their membership, keep members on board even when convicted of criminal offences (OPC are a classic example) and when the BPA could not possibly ever organise an 'independent' appeals service??'

    'Are you aware that this industry has BPA members who avoid VAT - which they are liable for as their made-up 'parking charges' have been held NOT to be exempt 'fines' (please read the investigation against VCS). Are you aware that such BPA members ignore the Equality Act 2010 by 'ticketing' disabled people who are entitled to use the reasonable adjustments provided, then harassing them with a series of very threatening debt collector letters? Are you aware that OPC were allowed to operate again just weeks after their owner was found guilty of criminal charges - the BPA decided that was OK.'

    And finally 'scrap schedule 4 or rogue clampers will be laughing all the way to the bank when they simply move on to made-up ticketing, pursuing registered keepers who were never party to any contract and cannot answer questions about it. Schedule 4 is ridiculous, fatally flawed and an open invitation for this industry to carry on clamping (just without the metal, they will just be clamping their hands around the throats of the motoring public, with no comeback).'



    Ooooooooo final thought. Let's all copy in all the National newspapers' parliamentary newsdesk email addies. And the AA and the RAC.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • well, I'll give it a go, coupon but I have my doubts.

    I could use the old guy fawkes joke about politicians ('the only man to have entered parliament with honest intentions') but that's a little harsh, even after the expenses scandal. it's the naivete thing that bothers me; surely it's not beyond the ability of just one committee member to spend a couple of hrs - as you say - browsing the 3 main sites tackling the injustices of this 'industry'? surely he/she could then report back to the committee with: 'guys! guys! listen up y'all! we've listened to the BPA's eloquent representations but I've discovered a shedload of public disquiet/disgust at the way private parking co.'s. operate. all you've got to do is use something called 'the internet' (sally in the office will help you with this one) and you'll see what I mean. after all, before we make any decision it's only right that we have all the facts in front of us'.

    or maybe I'm the naive one.
  • esmerobboesmerobbo Forumite
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    or maybe I'm the naive one.

    I don't think you are, I don't think many politicians have even looked at this clause. I know the few I talked to last week did not know much about it.

    I know the lords don't represent constituencies but it may be worth picking out a few and copying them in on any letters or emails!
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Sent, thanks for the link and the copy.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Thanks to those who have already emailed - all you need to do is copy & paste something into word or write your own submission, number the paragraph etc. as per their guidelines, then attach it to an email with your details as stated on that link. Make it clear it's re the Freedoms Bill.

    For me the most alarming thing was this:

    Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee.

    To think we wrote to MPs and to the Dept for Transport - and it all counts for nothing. That's why we need to inundate the scrutiny email addy with submissions against schedule 4 this coming week! And copy in any newspapers of your choice - email addies for their newsdesks are easily found online - if just ONE national paper took up the gauntlet it would make a difference, get the word out about this whole farce.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • edited 2 October 2011 at 7:56AM
    robredzrobredz Forumite
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    edited 2 October 2011 at 7:56AM
    just sent this to some National newspapers, see if they bite

    Good Morning

    There is an interesting part of the Freedom Bill that will apparently give private parking companies a CIVIL right to harrass vehixcle keepers for drivar details similar to the CRIMINAL provision of S 172 RTA where a keeper has to name the driver or get fined and points themselves.

    They will apparerntly legalise the £75 or so unlawful unenforceable CIVIL Penalty invoices, which bear no relation to any consequential loss.

    There is debate on this asking people to lobby MPs on the MSE forums here:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3519097

    This ill thought our pandering to the unaccountable and dodgy BPA is repugnant. These PPC's with small print that attempts to bind even a finance company into an inferred contract entered on their behalf by a driver who parks in a car park prowled or run by them. Without their knowledge or control

    It runs a dagger through the concept of Privity and it may spill out into general Contract Law when used by an astute or speculative lawyer in an unrelated contract issue, say assigning a debt to grandchildren or a utility pursuing a debt forcing a new occupant to "inherit" a utility debt at the property for example. Knowing how the use of precedent and legal reasoning in a case and judgments works, this IS NOT FAR FETCHED, it could actually happen



    There are many issues where disabled people are harassed by these clowns, for ridiculous amounts for overstaying by minutes in a Free car park.

    Parking Eye are one of the worse companies and they will aggregate the time of several visits on one day and will then invoice a courier or taxi driver if they go in at 9 am, go off at 9:05, then say come back at 3 pm. Parking Eye who are being investigated by Aberystwyth trading Standards, for just this trick will then aver the 2 hour limit was breached as they only log the final exit , therefore invoicing on a non existent 6 hour stay, being an overstay of 4 hours over their 2 hour limit.



    What the Freedom Bill Schedule 4 backed by and lobbied for by the Parking Industry, a misnomer if ever there was one, as what do PPC;s actually produce? Will do is legalise unlawful and sharp practice every bit as repugnant as the actions of the cowboy clampers they have purported to have banned.

    It would be good if one of your team could investigate this as it will cause much grief in the future if the Nodding Donkeys in Westminster sleepwalk this one in.




    Now to send another letter to my MP

    Hopefully they will see the PPC's for what they are, but ..
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