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Home Office letter re Freedoms Bill/keeper liability

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  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Seems like its trussed up like an xmas turkey already
    Hello Peter, Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Public Bill Committee finished it's considerations for the finished on the 17 May. This is the only stage of the process where written evidence can be accepted. The bill is just about to go into it's report stage so the only thing you can do now is actually go and lobby individual Members of Parliament who might take up your points to be raised at this stage. All the details of the bill can be found at the link below. Sorry I can't be of more assistance. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-11/protectionoffreedoms.html Kind regards
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • I have been giving some thought on how to lobby MP's on this one and make them understand the situation in respect of PPC's, the BPA and how the freedom bill will give them the potential to further exploit innocent people out of their cash!

    The thought I had was about getting posters on here (and other forums) to send truly fake (if you know what I mean) 'Parking Charges Notices' to their MP's along with a letter explaining how PPC's operate and why they should seek to amend the relevant parts of the freedoms bill.

    If the MP writes back with a favourable response and understand the issues, great, but if not then why not set up a chain of Parking Charges Notices that each person or several people could send to their MP over the course of the following few weeks demanding cash!

    So, my thoughts are this-

    I think some of the more experience posters would have to put the initial standard letter together which would have to be as concise as possible, yet obviously cover the issues in sufficient detail to try and make the MP understand the situation as fully as possible.

    Along with the letter, to grab their attention (and more over the attention of their office administrator etc) a fake 'Charge Notice' of some description, maybe a charge for replying to the letter, reduced to £50 if the reply comes in 14 and failure to reply in 28 days a charge of £100.

    Hopefully, this might be sufficient and get a satisfactory reply from the MP... however, my suspicion is that you might just get a platitude reply and that is when we should work to sit up an make them take notice!

    So, we have a series of letters and Charge Notices that are based on the more aggressive PPC's and keep sending them until the MP either gets the message or, if not, just send them a whole series. For the sake of a few quid, I would happily bombard my MP with these.

    I think we would have to keep the covering explanation letters at each stage very civil but the fake 'Charge Notices' should be just almost direct copies of PPC letter chains.

    Sorry, I am thinking out aloud here, but I do think this might a good way to go. If someone has the time to sort out the letters and fake 'Charge Notices' then we could ask posters to start straight away.

    The idea is to graphically show the MP's that don't understand, exactly how PPC's operate and hope that they get the message!

    Thoughts?
  • AlexisVAlexisV Forumite
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    This is getting interesting. So we could end up with the exact current situation, with government 'approved' signage and some silly invoice template.

    And to top off the government's cluelessness, they seem to think !!!!!! Turpin's Parking would run a genuine in-house appeals process.

    Seems like the BPA can't claim their member's system ISN'T legally legit, so the government have believed them and think it is; and think providing some signage would let them continue on as they are.

    I'd be very interested to see what the contract that the government will supply will actually be. Unless they're just going to specify typeface and size?

    It could be that the government signage will threaten a £xx penalty to the driver or keeper under the PF Act.

    Which would lead to a guinea pig parking company having to make the first county court claim based on this.

    Presumably this first company would have to prove they actually have a genuine appeals process, or else they would be in breach of the act.

    The issue would be the wording - a legitimate penalty, or the current 'parking charge' woolliness. If it stays as the latter it would be intriguing.
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    I have just re-read the letter at top, 3rd amendment only allows a "penalty" for parking on land where the driver does not have permission, that would seem fair to an MP. Unpaid parking charges (is this the £X.00 per hour charge) is still through county court, (without the addition of an extra charge?) how does this leave the parking over lines bit?
    Gosh they have made a simple thing into a pigs ear.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • AlexisVAlexisV Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    Yes, I don't understand why they have started to differentiate between a penalty and a parking charge.
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Ther are also vat differences between a penalty and a charge, be it the correct interpretation of an hourly fee to park and their made up Charge for an infringement. This could be a loophole if exploited properly.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • HO87HO87 Forumite
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    These additional amendments are starting to take on the all the makings of a train smash in slow motion. This administration may be a coalition but the coalition of what? The hopeless, mindless or just the pointless? Judged by their manoeuvrings as far as Schedule 4 is concerned its certainly hopeless - and pretty pointless too.

    Firstly they want to approve "charges" which is fine but seeing as they have already said that the law of contract will continue to obtain then there can't actually be any charges although there could be genuine pre-estimates of costs or (if we flip-flop to trespass) properly assessed damages.

    Now we are going to have penalties? Well that is something that no judge is going to allow and would set a precedent of handing quasi-judicial powers to private companies. Can you imagine what a well-known pie-man might do with powers like that?

    This is becoming so messy that I suspect that the execrable Jeremy Beadle will rise from his grave at any moment and confirm my sincerest hopes that this is just a sick p1$$-take. Then I could use the back of my shovel for what I'd intended for years if that leering, bearded prat ever showed his face near me.[/fondest_imagining_mode]
    My very sincere apologies for those hoping to request off-board assistance but I am now so inundated with requests that in order to do justice to those "already in the system" I am no longer accepting PM's and am unlikely to do so for the foreseeable future (August 2016). :(

    For those seeking more detailed advice and guidance regarding small claims cases arising from private parking issues I recommend that you visit the Private Parking forum on PePiPoo.com
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    A definition of charges would be useful to eliminate the ppc's made up charges.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • AlexisVAlexisV Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    The problem is that the act could allow private companies, who are members of the BPA and have their own appeals process, to issue penalties for xyz, and that the keeper will be liable for the penalty if the driver cannot be identified.

    Pretty much what it says for councils under the TMA 2004. Except you can't use contractual arguments for them, because statute grants them the right to issue penalties.

    So it'll be a bonanza for the PPC's (bearing in mind clear signage will reduce the number of victims) until the inevitable judicial review.
  • peter_the_piperpeter_the_piper Forumite
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    Pity they could not get them to require a ppc to publish the car park rules, in the same way a council has to with a PPO. It would at least level the playing field a bit.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
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