14 September 2012

Too busy issuing parking tickets to write statutory reports

Barnet Council Parking Dept or a Vampire Squid?

On Black Tuesday Mr Mustard wrote about the praying mantises issuing parking tickets in manifestly unfair circumstances in North Finchley. The sort where you have parked perfectly properly when leaving your car and where the tables have been turned on you whilst you are carrying out your business and you return to your car to find a parking ticket.

It's funny isn't it that the public are expected to follow thousands of petty rules about parking and if they make the tiniest mistake they get hit with a fine for, say, £110 and then have to appeal to show that what they did was not wrong (guilty until proven innocent in matters of parking) and yet Barnet Council are quite happy to ignore statutory requirements.

Mr Mustard gets the definite feeling that the council regard rules as for little people and that they, the council are the masters of the universe, are somehow above such matters as is evidenced by the "leader" Richard Cornelius opining on the pettifogging bureaucracy of the EU when it comes to procurement rules, you know the ones, the ones that open the market up to competition rather than awarding contracts, or even undocumented deals, to your favourite suppliers, and that help ensure that we get the best price, and that the service required is properly documented, and that the work will be carried out in a safe manner, all those pettifogging rules are the ones that Richard somehow doesn't like.

Council failure

"The Secretary of State Guidance to Local Authorities on the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions refers to an annual report on enforcement which should be issued within 6 months of the year end" was the preamble to an FOI question which Mr Mustard sent to Barnet Council asking to see the reports since March 2009.

Was a report written for the year ended March 2009? No.

OK then, what about to March 2010? Nope.

Maybe the council got around to it by March 2011? Not a chance.

Surely after 4 years to get their act together there would be a report for the year ended March 2012? Not yet.

The report for March 2012 had not been compiled by 3 August when he asked. As Mr Mustard has asked to see it, he hopes it will now be written by the deadline of 30 September 2012. He has made a note of this deadline and on 1 October will ask for the report. If it has not been written he will send Barnet Council a Penalty Charge Notice for £110 and he will send another every day until the report is produced. He will also be having a word with the Secretary of State about sanctions.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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