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  • FIRST POST
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 12th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
    • 38Posts
    • 9Thanks
    hartynoll
    Gladstones LBC help please!!
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
    Gladstones LBC help please!! 12th Jan 18 at 2:18 PM
    Hi Guru's

    First of all, I have read through the Newbie's thread and googled for a few hours but I am not 100% sure what action to take next so please accept my apologies if you feel that you guys are repeating yourselves.

    First of all, I parked on an unfinished housing site in July 2017, along with about 30 other parents who had been asked to attend a meeting for the kick off of the local rugby elite u16s squad.

    When I returned to my car, I along with most of the others, had PCNs from Millennium on our windscreens. I must say, as others have posted, the signage was tiny and I didn't notice them when driving in.

    I sent them an email on 6th July 2017, which I copied from the NEWBIE thread stating that the signs did not adhere to the large lettering etc etc and requested a POPLA code, or cancel the charge.

    ON 21 July, I had a response from MPG and suprise surprise, I did not get the charge cancelled but neither did I get a POPLA code. They referred me to the IAS, which I can see from here is a waste of time.

    I subsequently had 3 DRP letters, followed by 2 Zenith letters which I have ignored but kept.

    This morning I had a letter from Gladstones Solicitors with a 'Letter Before Claim' heading. Please note that the reference begins with '1' and it asks me to pay the solicitors directly, rather than a DRP.

    I understand that I must now respond to the solicitors, but the examples I have found on here have suggested that MPG or Gladstones provide me with all evidence etc, which they kind of already did in the response to my initial letter.

    Also, there was some regulation change in October 2017, but as the incident was prior to that, should the regulation still need to be followed?

    Thank you for any advice guys, these things really get me down and affect me.

    I also find it strange that the solicitors have only asked for the same amount £160 as MPG did, with none of the usual admin fee or markup that I would have expected
Page 3
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 13th Jul 18, 10:59 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    Ok, here's my first draft, how does it look? I need to add some more info about how I have been fully compliant with all correspondence etc..

    IN THE COUNTY COURT - Claim No.: XXXXX

    Between

    XXXXX(Claimant)

    -and-

    XXXXXX (Defendant)
    ____________________________
    WITNESS STATEMENT
    __________________________

    I, XXXX of XXXXXX, am the defendant in this case.

    1. The facts in this statement come from my personal knowledge. Where they are not within my own knowledge there are true to the best of my information and belief.

    2. I am not liable to the Claimant for the sum claimed, or any amount at all and this is my Witness Statement in support of my defence as already filed.

    3. I assert that I am the registered keeper and the driver of the vehicle in question in this case.

    4. I confirm that on the date mentioned, I was attending a parents’ meeting for the Ospreys under 16s elite squad in the Llandarcy Academy of Sport, of which my son is a member of. Upon approaching the academy, stewards were stopping vehicles from entering the car park, so I was required to find alternative parking.
    5. As I was also travelling with my 11 month old disabled son, who was reliant on Oxygen at the time, I had to seek parking that was in close proximity to the Academy.
    6. The road leading to the land at Heritage Gate, Neath appeared to be a public road, without curb-side markings, thus I had no reason to believe that there was any restricted parking at the kerbside.
    7. I noted when exiting the car and walking to the meeting, that a number of other parents’ cars were parked and present in the same location, with more arriving as I left the area.
    8. Upon returning to my vehicle, approximately an hour later, I found that a Parking Charge Notice from XX (also known as XXXXXX) had been affixed to my windscreen, advising me of my “contravention” for being “Parked without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket or permit”
    9. I noted at least 20 other cars also had ticked affixed to their windscreens. I did not, however, notice any wardens present who had or were issuing tickets.
    10. After noticing the note on my windscreen, I looked around the site for appropriate signage that refers to the parking restrictions. I can confirm that signs were present, but were sparse in number and insufficient in size for ease of visibility. I refer here to paragraph 108 from The Beavis Case judgement, proving the claimant understands the importance of clear and prominent signage. The sign referred to in the Beavis case is enclosed as Exhibit IL5. When compared to the excel car park sign – Exhibit IL8, I submit that no reasonable person would agree that their terms are brief, clear and prominently proclaimed
    11. After approaching the signage and studying the text, I noticed a number of confusing statements. Firstly, the sign stated that “Permit Holders Only” were permitted to park. This is prohibitive and suggests that Non-Permit Holders therefore cannot be offered a contract. This is referred to in the decision recorded by DJ Iyer in the case of Pace v Lengyel dated Exhibit.
    12. Furthermore, the “Terms and Conditions” of the signage state that “Vehicles must park within a marked bay”. At the time of the incident, no bays were marked on the site, making compliance with this term impossible, even with a valid permit.
    13. On 6th July 2017, I completed an appeal to XXX, as advised in the Parking Charge Notice, outlining the lack of clarity and size signage. Exhibit This appeal was subsequently rejected by XXX on 21st July 2017 and a letter was received by myself advising me of the fact. Exhibit
    14. Subsequently, I received debt recovery letters from “Debt Recovery Plus” on 12th September 2017, 27th September 2017 and 12th October 2017 Exhibits requesting immediate payment of the charge. The charge had been increased from £100 to £160 in these correspondences.
    15. I then received more letters on 30th October and 13th November 2017, this time from “Zenith collections Exhibits . I would like to draw the court’s attention to the wording toward the bottom of the letters which state “A court judgement or decree against you could seriously affect your ability to obtain credit in the future” I find this sentence both threatening and misleading, as to my knowledge neither a court judgement nor decree is applicable in this process, regardless of the outcome.
    16. I have very serious concerns about how XXX have handled my personal information by allowing these two companies, who I know nothing about and have no connection with, to, not only know my personal details, but to have enough information about my case to be able to send such letters.

    17. On 5th January 2018, I received a ’Letter before Claim’ from Gladstones Solicitors, on behalf of MPS. I replied by letter on 19th January Exhibit , requesting further copies of evidence in line with the protocol which came into force on 1st October 2017, in order to assist me with the claim in further detail. In particular, I was keen to understand details of landowner agreements in place with MPS, which would establish them as “the creditor”.
    18. However, a response from Gladstones dated 19th February 2018 Exhibit advises that believed that their LBC is compliant with the up to date version of the Practice Direction for Pre-Action Protocol, and no further information was offered.
    19. Again, on 25th April 2018, after receiving the claim form from the Court, I sent a letter Exhibit to Gladstones confirming my intention to contest all of the claim, and as a request under CPR 31.14 for the disclosure of documents mentioned in the claim. In particular, copies of the contract between XXXX and the landowner and proof of planning permission granted to XXXX for the erection of signage, under the Town and Country Planning Act 2007. To date, no information or acknowledgement of my request has been received.
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 16th Jul 18, 4:36 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    Right, I have settled with this:

    IN THE COUNTY COURT - Claim No.: XXXXX

    Between

    XXX (Claimant)

    -and-

    XXXX (Defendant)
    ____________________________
    WITNESS STATEMENT
    __________________________

    I, XXXXX, am the defendant in this case.

    1. The facts in this statement come from my personal knowledge. Where they are not within my own knowledge there are true to the best of my information and belief.

    2. I am not liable to the Claimant for the sum claimed, or any amount at all and this is my Witness Statement in support of my defence as already filed.

    3. I assert that I am both the registered keeper and the driver of the vehicle in question in this case, on the material date.

    4. I confirm that on the date mentioned, I was attending a parents’ meeting for the Ospreys under 16s elite squad in the Llandarcy Academy of Sport, of which my son is a member of. Upon approaching the academy, stewards were stopping vehicles from entering the car park, so I was required to find alternative parking.
    5. As I was also travelling with my 11 month old disabled son, who was reliant on Oxygen at the time, I had to seek parking that was in close proximity to the Academy.
    6. The road leading to the land at Heritage Gate, Neath appeared to be a public road, without curb-side markings, thus I had no reason to believe that there was any restricted parking at the kerbside.
    7. I noted when exiting the car and walking to the meeting, that a number of other parents’ cars were parked and present in the same location, with more arriving as I left the area.
    8. Upon returning to my vehicle, approximately an hour later, I found that a Parking Charge Notice from MPS (also known as Milennium Door and Event Security Ltd) had been affixed to my windscreen, advising me of my “contravention” for being “Parked without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket or permit”
    9. I noted at least 20 other cars also had ticked affixed to their windscreens. I did not, however, notice any wardens present who had or were issuing tickets.
    10. After noticing the note on my windscreen, I looked around the site for appropriate signage that refers to the parking restrictions. I can confirm that signs were present, but were sparse in number and insufficient in size for ease of visibility. I refer here to paragraph 108 from The Beavis Case judgement, proving the claimant understands the importance of clear and prominent signage. The sign referred to in the Beavis case is enclosed as Exhibit IL5. When compared to the excel car park sign – Exhibit IL8, I submit that no reasonable person would agree that their terms are brief, clear and prominently proclaimed
    11. After approaching the signage and studying the text, I noticed a number of confusing statements. Firstly, the sign stated that “Permit Holders Only” were permitted to park. This is prohibitive and suggests that Non-Permit Holders therefore cannot be offered a contract. This is referred to in the decision recorded by DJ Iyer in the case of Pace v Lengyel dated Exhibit.
    12. Furthermore, the “Terms and Conditions” of the signage state that “Vehicles must park within a marked bay”. At the time of the incident, no bays were marked on the site, making compliance with this term impossible, even with a valid permit.
    21. Both the IPC and BPA state that signs should be simple and easy to read, and there should be strong colour contrast between text and background. Both also recommend black on white as a good example. Exhibits – BPA and IPC Exhibit IL6 – the IPC code of practice; Exhibit IL7 – the BPA code of practice;
    13. On 6th July 2017, I completed an appeal to MPS, as advised in the Parking Charge Notice, outlining the lack of clarity and size signage. Exhibit This appeal was subsequently rejected by MPS on 21st July 2017 and a letter was received by myself advising me of the fact. Exhibit
    14. Subsequently, I received debt recovery letters from “Debt Recovery Plus” on 12th September 2017, 27th September 2017 and 12th October 2017 Exhibits requesting immediate payment of the charge. The charge had been increased from £100 to £160 in these correspondences.
    15. I then received more letters on 30th October and 13th November 2017, this time from “Zenith collections Exhibits . I would like to draw the court’s attention to the wording toward the bottom of the letters which state “A court judgement or decree against you could seriously affect your ability to obtain credit in the future” I find this sentence both threatening and misleading, as to my knowledge neither a court judgement nor decree is applicable in this process, regardless of the outcome.
    16. I have very serious concerns about how MPS have handled my personal information by allowing these two companies, who I know nothing about and have no connection with, to, not only know my personal details, but to have enough information about my case to be able to send such letters.

    17. On 5th January 2018, I received a ’Letter before Claim’ from Gladstones Solicitors, on behalf of MPS. I replied by letter on 19th January Exhibit , requesting further copies of evidence in line with the protocol which came into force on 1st October 2017, in order to assist me with the claim in further detail. In particular, I was keen to understand details of landowner agreements in place with MPS, which would establish them as “the creditor”.
    18. However, a response from Gladstones dated 19th February 2018 Exhibit advises that believed that their LBC is compliant with the up to date version of the Practice Direction for Pre-Action Protocol, and no further information was offered.
    19. Again, on 25th April 2018, after receiving the claim form from the Court, I sent a letter Exhibit to Gladstones confirming my intention to contest all of the claim, and as a request under CPR 31.14 for the disclosure of documents mentioned in the claim. In particular, copies of the contract between MPS and the landowner and proof of planning permission granted to MPS for the erection of signage, under the Town and Country Planning Act 2007. To date, no information or acknowledgement of my request has been received.
    20. I do not believe that the charge claimed either before or after fees is fair or justifiable. In comparison, the local council fees are either £25 or £35 if paid within 14 days. Exhibit
    21. Under Lord Denning's Red Hand Rule, the charge (being 'out of all proportion' with expectations of drivers in this car park and which is the most onerous of terms) should have been effectively: 'in red letters with a red hand pointing to it' - i.e. VERY clear and prominent with the terms in large lettering, as was found to be the case in the car park in 'Beavis'. A reasonable interpretation of the 'red hand rule' and the BPA and IPC Code of Practice, taking all information into account, would require a parking charge and the terms to be displayed far more transparently and in far larger lettering, with fewer words and more 'white space' as background contrast suited to an outdoor sign.

    22. I refer the court to the recent discussion in the House of Commons regarding a proposed Bill by Sir Greg Knight in relation to a new mandatory code of practice for private parking companies. In the discussion of 2nd February 2018 in the House of Commons, a number of MPs agreed with Sir Greg that the current situation was unacceptable and that people were being penalised for driving by such parking companies. Exhibit


    23. I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.


    ……………………………………………………………………!!!65533;
    !!!65533;…. (add name and sign)
    ………………………
    (add Date)
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 16th Jul 18, 5:05 PM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 4,761 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    It isnt a defence statement. Its a witness statement
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 16th Jul 18, 5:15 PM
    • 3,363 Posts
    • 2,319 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    of which my son is a member of.
    also had ticked tickets affixed
    See changes shown
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th Jul 18, 5:27 PM
    • 64,041 Posts
    • 76,675 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    23. I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.
    Wot nosferatu1001 said!
    15. I then received more letters on 30th October and 13th November 2017, this time from !!!8220;Zenith collections Exhibits . I would like to draw the court!!!8217;s attention to the wording toward the bottom of the letters which state !!!8220;A court judgement or decree against you could seriously affect your ability to obtain credit in the future!!!8221; I find this sentence both threatening and misleading, as to my knowledge neither a court judgement nor decree is applicable in this process, regardless of the outcome.
    A court judgment is applicable after a claim is made, but never by a debt collector for a parking firm, because they can't. So you can say it is misleading coming from a debt collector as they cannot litigate.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 16th Jul 18, 5:50 PM
    • 3,769 Posts
    • 6,189 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Love the WS as it shows what can be done with a clear statement of events rather than a sterile template.

    There are technical/editorial issues such as the comment above but one of the much better WS's seen.

    Now to put the cherry on the cake, put in a costs statement so you can get the judge to award them
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5760415
    2. Template defences that say nothing https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5818671&page=5#86
    3. Forgetting about the Witness Statement
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 17th Jul 18, 9:14 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    Thank you so much, you are all so kind to help.

    Can I just check, do I send my WS and all Exhibhits etc to the claimant or their solicitors, or both? (obviously I will send to the court as well)
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 17th Jul 18, 10:31 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    Just a really quick question - how to I evidence the relevant cases? DO I provide the case numbers and print out the entire case to go along with it?
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 17th Jul 18, 2:28 PM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 4,761 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    1) You send to their solicitor. If you pay a solicitor you pay them to handle everything .
    2) You give the case ref and excerpt of the bit that supports your claim.
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 20th Jul 18, 12:27 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    HI All, received the WS etc from Gladstone's today.

    They have sent 2 WS, with exactly the same evidence, which is weird.

    Can I put it on dropbox or something for you guys to look at? Should I remove all data such as names, car reg etc?
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 1st Aug 18, 12:33 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    OK Gladsonte's WS is here

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/e7r30a6rvhi47uv/Gladstones%20WS%20docs%20BLANK.pdf?dl=0
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 1st Aug 18, 1:09 PM
    • 3,769 Posts
    • 6,189 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    It all turns on the top pic of page 45. The pic is of such poor quality it is difficult to come to any conclusion. Are there signs there?
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5760415
    2. Template defences that say nothing https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5818671&page=5#86
    3. Forgetting about the Witness Statement
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 1st Aug 18, 4:41 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    In the paperwork sent to me you can see a white sign but not much else, no writing etc. Also the sign on the non-green boarding is easily missed due to the pattern of the board
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 1st Aug 18, 5:18 PM
    • 3,769 Posts
    • 6,189 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Their argument is explained in para 5 of their WS and is based on the key case of Vine v Waltham Forest where it was held that if signs are there, there is an obligation to check them. However Vine won as the signs were there but difficult to read (Spurling v Bradshaw [1956]).

    So the issue is not whether the signs were there but could anyone find them.

    They also refer in para 5 to the checking done by "accredited trade association" which is the IPC which is run by United Trade and Industry. It had two directors - Davis and Hurley.

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08248531/filing-history

    Davis is the majority shareholder in Gladstones. Hurley is an ex-Gladstones director - but still a shareholder as far as Companies House goes. The reverse appears to be true for IPC/UT&I.

    Raise the issue of "clean hands" when in court and print out the directors details for UT&I and Gladstones. Also print out the shareholding information too.
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5760415
    2. Template defences that say nothing https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5818671&page=5#86
    3. Forgetting about the Witness Statement
    • abab1212
    • By abab1212 2nd Aug 18, 11:36 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    abab1212
    Parliament debate on July 19th, 2018 - Parking (Code of Practice) Bill (First sitting)
    This has now been re-heard in Parliament on July 19th, 2018.

    Transcripts are at :
    hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-07-19/debates/2b90805c-bff8-4707-8bdc-b0bfae5a7ad5/Parking(CodeOfPractice)Bill(FirstSitting[/url])

    Great excerpts:


    i. "The companies are jamming up parts of our legal system. When the Minister is putting the code of practice together, I urge him to consider on a cross-Government basis what we can do about roboclaims companies and solicitors’ firms that profit, often in shady ways, off the back of people who are just going about their daily lives and business."
    ii. “I now pretty much know exactly how the parking companies and in particular the IPC have been running this scam for the past 5 years. Basically both of the appeals processes are a complete and utter sham, (and part of that sham is Gladstones Solicitors itself).” I should be clear that that is Gladstones Solicitors in Knutsford—other companies might have a similar name. The letter continues: “The appeals process at Excel/VCS is run by a team of minimum wage office workers with no legal knowledge or experience whatsoever, who are given 6 minutes to read an appeal, and 12 minutes to reply. Most of these replies are obviously cut and pasted from existing templated replies (sometimes referring to issues which are not part of the motorists appeal), with a few lines added in to make it look specific to your claim."
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 23rd Aug 18, 3:08 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    Wish me luck for tomorrow, guys!

    Thank you all for your help, I will update you
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 23rd Aug 18, 3:11 PM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 4,761 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Good luck!
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 23rd Aug 18, 4:51 PM
    • 3,769 Posts
    • 6,189 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Good luck. There are likely to be others alongside yours so you may want to touch base with them.

    When you arrive, check the listings and ask the usher to point out any more cases for MPS. You should have a good go at the contract though they may have seen it before.

    Don't let them rattle you as calmness is all. A cool head also allows you to remember to ask for costs.
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5760415
    2. Template defences that say nothing https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5818671&page=5#86
    3. Forgetting about the Witness Statement
    • hartynoll
    • By hartynoll 24th Aug 18, 1:24 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    hartynoll
    Well that went well! Judge dismissed the case and awarded my costs just for a day holiday.

    So I turned up 30 mins early, then Usher advised me that the claimant was already there, but when I went to the waiting room she was not there and didn’t appear until after we were called. I assume she was attending another case in another room.

    Incidentally, the claimant’s representative was from MPS themselves not Gladstone’s, maybe they’re cutting their costs.

    The judge was really nice and kept it informal. He started by asking MPS about the claim, and then my side of it. Once I stated about the unclear signage on the entrance to the site and the signs themselves, the judge agreed that if he was the driver he would not think of the site as being private land.

    He then stated the signs themselves are not clear enough and also questioned the wording on the terms and conditions.

    Finally, he was not happy with the amount of the charge and said it bordered on extortion.

    I didn’t have to go into things such as the IPC ‘Clean Hands’ angle, nor the fact that it says permit holders only.

    So that’s that. I can’t thank you all enough and each one of you should feel proud of the help that you give idiots like me with these cases, all in your own time. If I could buy you all a beer, I would do.
    Thank you and I will keep an eye on this forum to help if I can
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 24th Aug 18, 1:49 PM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 4,761 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Thats great!
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