20 July 2024

Haringey overdo it and then do the right thing.

 

Errors jump off the page at Mr Mustard. The addition error above was obvious and so was how the error had occurred. Mr Mustard decided to find out how many times this had happened so he asked questions of the council.

For all PCN Orders for Recovery issued by the council since 1 April 2023 please provide me with a spreadsheet which lists the values of any sum indicated as payable on the Order for recovery which was not £204 or £129 (the expected amounts based upon unpaid PCNs which were issued for the standard amounts of £80 and £130).

You will gather than what I am looking for is any case in the current council year where the amount demanded is unexpected/unusual/wrong as it was in a case I dealt with recently.

The reply was a complete one.

There was only one batch of PCNs affected by this incorrect value; the PCNs were registered at TEC with the correct amount; the batch became stuck halfway through the process and before we were successfully able to create the Notice of Debt Registration batch there were two more attempts to resolve the matter which led to the  adding up the 3 x £9.00 charge. Once this error was identified the PCNs were cancelled and any payments received were refunded accordingly.

Mr Mustard will reproduce below the spreadsheet he was sent. If your PCN is listed and you have not been repaid in full as per the council response, you need to contact the council for a refund.

512 PCNs at £204 (Mr Mustard presumes the council did not pay the fees to the Court three times) gives a maximum loss of £104,448 although the probable loss is likely to be lower, c £50,000 as lots of PCNs never get recovered.

Well done to Haringey Council for refunding in this situation. Mr Mustard doesn't know the trigger for that but doesn't need to be credited with being the driving force, even if he was.

The end.

 

17 May 2024

October 2022 PCN finally resolved

 

Dennis, not his real name, has a permit to park in bays in Havering in order to carry out social care tasks. He didn't realise he was in a car park, it just looks like a wide High Street. He received a PCN in October 2022.

He made another error in not telling Mr Mustard when he moved, twice.

Mr Mustard kept a constant eye on the PCN, and made a subject access request so that he had the complete file, which culminated in this email being sent in as a complaint.


Mr Mustard knows that councils don't much like criticism but fair play to Havering, they took this one on the chin. 


Of course, they may simply have realised the futility of trying to recover a PCN which Mr Mustard has completely under control and gone off to look for easier pickings.

The end.

15 May 2024

Bluff and nonsense in Redbridge

A double decker bus weighs between 11 and 14 metric tonnes. Will you therefore play chicken with it when two lanes go into one and you might end up impaled on a traffic island and traffic light? No, nor would Mr Mustard.

Miss Careful (not her real name) came to Mr Mustard for help as she had been sent a PCN for stopping in a box junction. She did stop, but to avoid being squashed and possibly killed. Redbridge Council have a video of the way in which she crossed the box which clearly confirms the facts. In order to preserve secrecy Mr Mustard is just going to give you 5 stills from the cctv, in time order, from which you can see what happened.

Where is the car? You may well ask, masked by the bus.

The car still isn't visible

Now, finally you can see the car

In this frame you can see that the car has sensibly given way to the bus

Onwards we all go

Mr Mustard made the representations as follows and set out the law to save the council the bother of looking it up:


Lots of representations get rejected for two reasons. The first is that the person considering the matter doesn't know what they are doing. The second is that many recipients of rejections worry about the discount, which Mr Mustard doesn't as he is aiming to pay nothing at all, and meekly pay up if knocked back. Mr Mustard is not meek.

An uninformed rejection duly arrived:


The exit probably was clear on entry but the cctv doesn't show it and it does clearly show bullying behaviour by the bus and that the stop was not caused by a stationary vehicle.

Mr Mustard ploughed on, much like the bus, an unstoppable force. He started an Appeal to the tribunal. Redbridge threw in the towel because they could see they were going to lose.

It shouldn't be like this.

The PCN should never have been sent. If the car was leased the PCN might have been paid by the lease company which would penalise an innocent driver.

The Notice of Rejection should never have been sent as it didn't impartially consider the facts.

The message for motorists is that if you think you are correct you should ignore the discount and continue to the tribunal stage where you will get a fair hearing from an adjudicator who does not seek to benefit from a refusal, as councils do.

The end.

14 May 2024

Enfield of London Borough

Before you think from reading the title that Mr Mustard has lost his marbles he knows the words are in the wrong order, but then so were Enfield's on moving traffic PCNs listed at all these locations:

Mr Mustard thinks that the first two descriptions are near enough but not the rest. What would an honest broker have done? - yes, that's right, they would have cancelled every incorrect PCN and refunded everyone who had paid in error (which would include some lease companies who just pay everything and pass the charge on).

However, this is the world of PCNs in which honest brokers are hard to find. What did Enfield Council do? They quietly changed the descriptions and soldiered on. What did Mr Mustard do? He tore them off a strip in his skeleton argument at the tribunal. This map may help understand why being in The Crest cannot be a contravention (his client had gone wrong, in fact they had realised and reversed out but too late they were technically guilty).

 


Now follows the edited highlights (lowlights) of the skeleton argument.


 

Having spent a good amount of time producing the evidence pack Enfield did a very rare thing after receiving Mr Mustard's skeleton, they decided that rather than having all their dirty linen aired in front of an adjudicator and receiving an adverse decision they would avoid all of that and cancel the PCN which obviated the need for a tribunal hearing.

His second case, in Hamilton Crescent (as alleged but actually in Hazelwood Lane) never got as far as the tribunal. The council folded early.

If you had a PCN which you paid for any of the above locations from F0007 to F0017 then you should demand your money back if the location description on the PCN mirrors that in the first column. 

You can email PCNs or use Facebook or Twitter (@EnfieldCouncil) or simply because the council don't give out an email address for complaints send your email instead to the head honcho for the Environment, Simon Pollock to encourage them to do so (explain why).

Mr Mustard will be looking to force refunds for everyone but lots of individual requests will help.

The end (for now).


Ding ding, hold on tightly in Tower Hamlets

 

You can't just start running a bus service in London, you need a permit from TfL. That includes approval of the route. That is predictable.
 
What you can't predict is that a London borough included on the route will decide you aren't running a local bus service when you clearly are and will try to stuff you for £130 a day each way.

Here is part of the timetable for the bus in question, a bit early for Mr Mustard

 

Here is part of the route at East India DLR


The reason that Mr Mustard is writing about this is as he randomly opened the following London Tribunals adjudication decision just because he liked the name:




Don't you just love it when a lawyer rips into someone (apart from yourself):

The Enforcement Authority's submissions at to why the vehicle was not a local bus were not of great assistance.

Centaur have 100 vehicles and clearly know what they are about.

Despite the comprehensive drubbing Tower Halmets let subsequent hearings go ahead when it would have been diplomatic and sensible to withdraw. There may yet be more.


The end, for now.

9 May 2024

Haringey LTN = GBP

Mr Mustard is neither for nor against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods as a sweeping generalisation. The planned purpose is laudable but the way in which they have eliminated in some places appears to be designed to extract the maximum amount of money from the motorist. If traffic isn't wanted in them then they should be blocked, either permanently by physically barriers or temporarily by rising bollards as are extensively used in, say, France whereby delivery lorries can gain access as required by using the intercom. Yes, they cost money but that shouldn't be the primary consideration. It does appear to be when a road is left invitingly open (for emergency services and permit holders) and there are no diversion signs to direct you to the legal route, instead a camera goes kerching at every error.

Mr Mustard looks at the environment and traffic tribunal (at London Tribunals) decisions most days and clicks on the detail of any case which might be of interest. When he saw 20 refusals for the same person yesterday he decided to take a look and here is what the adjudicator said.



 
The problem for the adjudicator is that they have to apply the law, they cannot use their discretion.
 
Haringey Council can use their discretion but are blinded by the potential income of £2,600
 
It shouldn't be like this.
 
The end. 

30 April 2024

Trebles all round in Haringey

Mr Mustard's client received an Order for Recovery and when Mr Mustard looked at it he could see that something had gone wrong and he had a good idea what it was.

Mr Mustard can add up and knew that 195 + 9 was not 222, but 204. He also knew that 195 +9 +9 +9 did = 222.

He asked Haringey under FOI to explain what had happened and how many people were affected. They answered fully without trying to wriggle.

There were 512 entries in the list, which is probably the maximum number agreed with the TEC for registration in one go. Haringey have to pay a fee of £4,608 to register these PCNs, many of which will get returned to an earlier stage once witness statements or statutory demands are filed, thus burning the £9.

Having identified the error Haringey Council cancelled the PCN on which Mr Mustard was instructed and as you can read above they planned to refund everybody who paid the bogus amount. Interestingly in the file with which Mr Mustard was concerned there was a note to the contrary.


If you know anyone who had a PCN in Haringey in 2023 you should get them to check the list below and demand a refund by emailing corporate.feedback@haringey.gov.uk (not sure that is the best email for parking but Haringey Council simply don't want you to email them).


 

Haringey Council PCN Court ... by MisterMustard