The story of the bailiff acting on behalf of Harrow Council taking a car from a new owner three owners on from the person who was sent the PCN is currently the third most read story in the Harrow Times
Mr Alhaad wrote to all councillors to try and get some help. Instead, he got this dismissive and unhelpful email. Red type is by Mr Mustard.
From: Barry Kendler <firstname.lastname@example.org> (not a council address?)
Date: 18 August 2014 at 10:24
Subject: Harrow Council - Impounding of Car AB01CDE (registration amended by Mr Mustard)
Cc: David Perry <email@example.com>, (leader of Harrow Council)
Varsha Parmar <firstname.lastname@example.org>, (Harrow councillor)
Maria Amadi <email@example.com>, (email for Cllr Mrs Chika Amadi?)
Nitin Parekh <firstname.lastname@example.org> (Harrow councillor)
Dear Mr Alhaad,
Thank you for your email and your request for assistance. (almost none will be provided)
My friend and colleague, Cllr C Amadi has supplied you with the Council's position on this matter (not yet seen) and it is powerful that your complaint has been referred to the Local Government Ombudsman who has found that the Council has acted correctly. The LGO investigate on very narrow grounds and do not decide if a decision was right or wrong, only at the way the council went about it so they do not decide if a decision was correct or not. As it happens the bailiff has since returned the car without any payment being made. If that isn't an admission of guilt, Mr Mustard doesn't know what would be.
What appears to have gone wrong here is that your company purchased a car that had an outstanding PCN on it and you appeared not to have the credit and other checks done to see if there was a problem. Oh dear, credit checks only confirm if there is an outstanding loan on the car. There is no check that can be done that would tell you if a PCN was unpaid for the vehicle as Harrow Council will not tell you and there are hundreds of councils who could issue a PCN and the register of PCN debts at the Traffic enforcement centre at Northampton County Court is not a public register.
Surely this is a case of caveat emptor or buyer beware. Buying a 2nd hand car is always a tricky process and it has be done in an extremely careful way especially when the purchase was to be a business asset. Nonsense, people buy and sell cars without problem every day. A to Z managed to buy 9 others without them being seized by bailiffs.
I am really sorry that your business has lost the car but surely you should have paid the Council fine then argued as to who should've paid the fine after the event. Why would you pay a "fine" (actually they are penalties not fines) that was not your liability and was caused 4 months before your company even existed? Paying a PCN is an admission of guilt and closes off all further avenues of appeal.
I think Cllr Amadi's response shows the Council are not at fault here and I cannot criticise the Council who I believe have acted reasonably throughout this unfortunate matter. Mr Mustard does not agree that taking the car of the third subsequent owner is reasonable or beyond reproach.
If you feel aggrieved I suggest you seek legal advice and try to get legal redress from the former owner at the Small Claims Court. The best bit of advice in this email which is being followed up.
Cllr Barry H Kendler
Edgware Ward 2014 - 2018 (until 2018, presumptuous?)
Mr Mustard thought that this ward councillor should be forgiven for not knowing about the finer detail of parking penalties but then he made the mistake of looking at this councillor's entry on the Harrow Council website.
Mr Mustard could have excused Mr Kendler if he didn't have responsibility for the management and control of parking. He is new to council and Mr Mustard suggests that instead of swallowing wholesale the self justifying tales that officers (staff) tell him he learns a bit more about parking enforcement and writes less unhelpful emails in the future.
If you get any more complaints about Harrow Council, Mr Kendler, Mr Mustard will, with the agreement of the motorist concerned, armchair audit them for you.
The Harrow Council parking department would benefit from closer inspection.
In the wiser words of Cllr Richard Cornelius, the leader of Barnet Council, "it's parking Mr Mustard, you'll be right won't you. Let me sort it out."