29 August 2015

Brighton doesn't rock

You are a kind person, you lend your battered old Citroen to a 'friend' who parks in a less than satisfactory manner in Brighton and picks up seven PCNs in a fortnight, not for parking on the pavement, as that isn't a problem in Brighton, although it really should be, but because of the double yellows which extend in enforcement terms from the middle of the carriageway to the building line (not many people know that). The double yellows turn out to be the saving grace. Another car length and the double yellows finished so rather surprisingly the car would not have been in contravention unlike in Greater London where this sort of parking is frowned upon.

The vehicle owner was at risk for £490 (only £420 once the driver had paid one PCN). Not much reward for lending your car out.

Mr Mustard set to work, Brighton Council were helpful and engaged in the process outside of the formal procedure so full credit goes to them.

The very first PCN each week was correctly issued. The others not as each week was one continuous contravention and so only one PCN should have been issued each week (assuming the car was moved at the weekend). Strangely, most of the PCNs went missing. Traffic wardens in Brighton must have large pockets on their work wear? Brighton's reasons for cancelling included that they were out of time for responding to formal representations (56 days) even though they weren't but Mr Mustard has seen councils make up face-saving reasons to cancel before; he doesn't care why only that they do cancel.

The driver paid the first PCN in the second week. Mr Mustard expects that the Owner will be demanding £70 from the driver for the first week, although Mr Mustard has asked for a Review of the Adjudicator's decision as two serious substantive points from his Appeal do not appear to have been considered. Reviews, and even more so, successful reviews, are rarer than hen's teeth.


The alternative is that the driver could have used Just Park and avoided any risk of a PCN. A mere 700m away, in Central Brighton, there was a private car parking space for a mere £44 for the week



which has got to be well worth thinking about for peace of mind and a guaranteed place to park your car & which is also likely to be safer than on the public highway, or pavement come to that.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

26 August 2015

The Flying Car comes to Barnet

I don't think so
The evidence packs that Barnet Council / NSL submit to London Tribunals for consideration by an independent adjudicator usually contain a site map.

One particular adjudicator hates Barnet's evidence as it is such evident nonsense, like the above photograph showing where my client was parked. What this evidence does is then cast doubt upon the rest of the council's evidence.

Mr Mustard's client doesn't always manage to park very well but he hasn't yet managed to park half way up a lamp post.

There isn't a PCN contravention code for parking in mid air.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


25 August 2015

Brent Council talk ball (joint)s




Mr Mustard's client challenged a Brent Council PCN on the grounds that the ball joint had failed and so he left his car in a residents bay for a short while until a mobile mechanic came and fixed it, the car not being drivable.

A copy of the repair invoice was sent to Brent Council and contained the following detail.




Brent Council have rejected the challenge, as follows:

How could they make a decision based upon a false factual statement?

Ball joints get inspected annually as part of the MOT.

Toyota only require them to be inspected every 15,000 miles.

The council have not got the maintenance record to refer to.

There is no actual maintenance schedule, only an inspection schedule.

Brent don't know their ball joints from their hose elbows.

PCN clerks are probably not mechanically qualified. Clearly they all have cars which never breakdown when they least expect and none of them are therefore members of the RAC or AA (other breakdown services are available).

Anyone would think that they were trying to put the motorist off the idea of challenging the PCN. Mr Mustard will see you Brent, in due course, at London Tribunals (formerly PATAS).

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Don't you know who I am? Why? don't you? Haringey Council know now.

extracts of Barnet Council's ludicrous attempt to nobble Mr Mustard in 2011







Haringey Council wanted Mr Mustard to prove he was one and the same as Derek Dishman, or the other way around, before answering his questions about what, if anything, the parking department had written about either of them. It would have been a data breach for Haringey Council to phone Barnet Council and ask who I was but that sort of thing does not (oops) go amongst councils. Searching on google for "Derek Dishman Mr Mustard" also brings up ample proof in a second.

Anyway, as he is so helpful, he did prove it.


Dear Ms Pietikäinen

I refer to your below email.

I prove that Mr Mustard is my nom-de-plume by the following methods:

·         I have placed your below email on the Mr Mustard blog

·         Your chief Executive, Nick Walkley, can confirm my identity

·         I attach a complaint made to the ICO, which was not upheld, by Barnet Council which understands that Mr Mustard is Derek Dishman and that the blog should have been registered under Data Protection Act.

·         Derek Dishman as his character Mr Mustard has been seen on BBC1 in the programme Parking Mad. The following iPlayer link will work for 2 weeks http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041d6z6

·         Derek Dishman as Mr Mustard was seen on C4 news which you can watch on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfJ6QOz-iC4

·         Derek Dishman mentioned Mr Mustard is his evidence to the transport select committee (PE33) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmtran/118/118vw29.htm


I look forward to my request now being complied with.

Please add to my SAR request all internal council communications with any member of the Feedback & Information Team since 1 January 2015 in my real name or nom-de-plume.

Best regards

Derek


Since doing this Mr Mustard, or his alter ego, have received an email thanking them for the £10 cheque and saying that an answer should be provided by 3 October.

It will be interesting reading.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

24 August 2015

Haringey Council got themselves into a mustard pickle



Those lovely people at the Campaign for the Freedom of Information have kindly provided some information to Mr Mustard about how Haringey Council should have handled his request.

The CFOI are battling on our behalf to keep FOI free and wide in scope and they need money to do that. Please visit their website and donate to help the cause.

The CFOI also provide training to councils, like Haringey, and perhaps instead of jerking Mr Mustard around, they might like to invest money in high quality training (there is of course the possibility that messing with the mustard is council policy)

 So here is what the experts say:

  
It actually doesn't matter what legislation you cite in the request, the authority should handle it under the appropriate legislation, whether that be the FOIA, DPA or both. The ICO advises:

Dealing with freedom of information requests for the requester’s personal data.

As mentioned above, a valid SAR may, at first sight, appear to be something else. It is not uncommon, for example, for the request to state that it is a freedom of information (FOI) request. If, in reality, it relates to the requester’s personal data, you must treat it as a subject access request.

If it is clear that the requester is merely asking for their own personal data, but they have cited FOIA, you should do the following:
• Deal with the request as a SAR in the normal way. The requester does not need to make a new request. You may need to ask for payment of any necessary fee or ask the individual to verify their identity.
• If your organisation is a public authority, the requested personal data is, in fact, exempt from disclosure under FOIA or the EIR. Strictly speaking, you should issue a formal refusal notice saying so. In practice, however, we would not expect you to do this if you are dealing with the request as a SAR.
• It is good practice for public authorities to clarify within 20 working days (the time limit for responding to FOI requests) that the request is being dealt with as a SAR under the DPA, and that the 40-day time limit for responding applies.

If the request relates to information that cannot be requested by means of a SAR (eg it includes a request for non-personal information) then, if your organisation is a public authority, you should treat this as two requests: one for the requester’s personal data made under the DPA; and another for the remaining, nonpersonal information made under FOIA. If any of the non-personal information is environmental, you should consider this as a request made under the EIR.


Simple then really. At the start Haringey Council should have just asked for £10 (or waived it as the cost of processing exceeds £10) proof of ID and got on with it. If they had done that, they would not have created a mini blog-fest dedicated to themselves.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard
 


23 August 2015

Who is Mr Mustard? - Haringey Council want proof

23 August 2015 
(yes, a Sunday, getting overtime for writing nonsense)


Dear Mr Dishman

Further to your email dated 6 August 2015. I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

If you are requesting information about a yourself using ‘Mustard’ as a nom-de-plume you will need to providence (prove?) that you are ‘Mustard’.

We can process your SAR relating to your information only – please let us know if this is acceptable.

Please not that we will take no further action until we hear from you.

Regards,

Sirkku Pietikäinen
Information Governance Officer
Haringey Council
River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

sirkku.pietikainen@haringey.gov.uk

From: Derek Dishman

Sent: 06 August 2015 16:57
To: Data Protection Act
Subject: RE: Your subject access request Dishman SAR


Dear Ms Hunt

Catch 22 I think.

I asked under FOI about the word "Mustard" in correspondence and was told it was my personal data as I write a blog under that nom-de-plume, so the FOI request was refused (and I sent a copy of that refusal with the SAR as I recall, and I also repeat it below) and I was pointed at an SAR. Essentially if the Mustard part isn't SAR it is FOI.

I think you have to answer under one set of provisions or the other, you decide which, I don't really mind as long as the answers arrive.


Best regards


Derek Dishman


From: Data Protection Act [mailto:Data.ProtectionAct@haringey.gov.uk]
Sent: 06 August 2015 16:49
To: Derek Dishman
Cc: Data Protection Act <Data.ProtectionAct@haringey.gov.uk>
Subject: FW: Your subject access request




Dear Mr Dishman,

Thank you for your request, ID and £10 fee which we received on 5 August.

You have provided information to satisfy us that you are Mr Dishman and therefore we are able to respond to your request for any personal information held about you by the Parking Service. However, you appear to be also asking for any information held relating to “Mustard”. The subject access provisions of the Data Protection Act entitle you to access information that we hold about you, but not about anyone else, so we cannot comply with that element of your request.

Please advise whether you wish to proceed with the element of your request that asks for your own personal data.

Yours,

Anita Hunt
Feedback & Information Governance Manager
Haringey Council
River Park House , 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ
anita.hunt@haringey.gov.uk



Mr Dishman submitted the same request as a Subject Access Request ("SAR") as it contained his personal data, counting Mr Mustard as an alias of Derek Dishman



29 July 2015

Dear Mr Dishman

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/4452115


Thank you for your request for information received on 13 July 2015, in which you asked for the following information:

Please provide copies of all emails sent or received since 1 January 2015 by Ann Cunningham, redacted 1 or redacted 2, all of whom are in Traffic Management, which contain the words "Dishman" or "mustard".

My response is as follows:

We consider that the information you requested above would be information which is personal data.

Requests for personal data are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act under Section 40(2) of that Act if the disclosure of the information would breach any of the Data protection principles. The first Data Protection principle requires personal data to be processed fairly and lawfully. It would not be a legitimate use of this personal data for us to process it in order to disclose it to you because that is not the purpose for which it was obtained; processing it for the purpose of responding to an FOI request would be unlawful within the terms of the Data Protection Act. The subject of this information would not expect us to disclose their personal information to a third party in this way. It would therefore be deemed as unfair for us to provide their information to you. This letter is a refusal notice as required by the Freedom of Information Act because disclosure would breach the first Principle of the Data Protection Act.

If you have any further queries, or are unhappy with how we have dealt with your request and wish to make a complaint, please contact the Feedback and Information Team as below. (Please note you should do this within two months of receiving this response.)

Feedback and Information Team
River Park House
225 High Road
N22 8HQ
Telephone: 020 8489 1988
Email: FoI@haringey.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Senior Correspondence Officer

Traffic Management - Single Frontline
London Borough of Haringey
Alexandra House
Wood Green
N22 7TR

21 August 2015

ConAll Crescent, Ealing

Mr Mustard may have got the road name wrong in the title
Yesterday, Mr Mustard and another NoToMob member, a veteran as it happens, by the name of Bald Eagle, and here is the photographic evidence of him in action

Mr Mustard was also with him that day, evidently not wise to let him out on his own, lol
decided to do something about the huge number of motorists who, by dint of habit, were missing a new "no motor vehicles" sign at the exit of Hanger Green into Connell Crescent in Ealing, near the Boden shop (suppliers of flowery shirts to Mr Mustard and shoes to Mrs Angry)

So at 3pm we started. By 4pm we had prevented 50 motorists from going into Connell Crescent when they shouldn't have, all going there by force of habit after driving down there for many years.

So that was £6,500 that Ealing Council didn't sent out demands for.

Motorists we met fell into 2 camps.

Camp 1, who have had 1,2,4,6,7 PCN here before they found out the new rules. Big thumbs up from them.

Camp 2, are you sure? Oh I see, now I see, thank you very much. We'll go along the A40 then.

About 10 motorists decided to ignore us and go down Connell Crescent despite being warned. You will all get a PCN for £130 in the post and listen to NoToMob members next time.

About 6 cars came the other way out of Connell Crescent which is fine and we met some of the residents who said that even they had not been warned about the new restrictions and some of them had been ticketed. We suggested they talk very forcefully into the ears of their local councillors. Clearly the necessary local publicity which should be a vital part of any new restriction had not taken place. We absolutely understand the need to restrict this location being used as a cut through as it is not suitable for more than light local traffic. The Ocado driver was bit hacked off at having to go the long way round but he will adjust to it.

Local business John Lewis had warned all of its drivers. The presence of the NoToMob ensured that a number of other local businesses with many drivers would now be warning them all.

3 driving instructors were prevented from entering the road and were suitably chastened (sorry if you were embarrassed in front of your students but you did save £130 apiece).

Numerous mini cab drivers didn't know about the new signs. They do now and will hopefully spread the word.

The one black cab driver who happened along wisely touched the side of his eye in a knowing manner to show that he did know.

A police car with 4 officers in it stopped for a chat. They were perfectly happy with our activities and we chatted for a few minutes during which time one car escaped us into Connell Crescent.

One driver tried to press a tenner into my hand. It was declined. He was directed to the NoToMOb site to sign up instead and so some prevention work of his own.

At 6.25 dinner was calling (7.30 at Ai Sushi in Finchley) so we mounted our bikes to leave and even then whilst parked up Mr Mustard, who could be mistaken for a policeman if you aren't concentrating, with his high-vis jacket and clear hand signals, managed to stop two more cars from entering the banned entry.

A good afternoons work with about 170 motorists who didn't commit a contravention on the day, nor will they another day, thus saving a collective £22,100 from being demanded by Ealing Council.

Who said it was all about revenue raising? NoToMob did. This coming Thursday at 22.35 on BBC1 you can see Bald Eagle and other mobbers on the tv doing their stuff.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard