3 August 2016

Lovely to be appreciated

Mustard in flower in Japan
Mr Mustard is happy if his 'clients' make a donation to the North London Hospice. He is even happier when he knows they are happy and realise what a huge hole he dug them out of. In this case the lady concerned, let's call her Alice Blake, did not have English as her first language and a colleague helped her but that nearly caused a process error as there was doubt as to whether or not the Owner had made the representations. The PCN value had been increased by 50% to £172 by the time Mr Mustard was on the case. He was able to file a statutory declaration at the Traffic Enforcement Centre that on time representations were made to Barnet Council and had not been responded to (sometimes the rejection letter is genuinely lost in the post & sometimes the council mess up but plough on regardless) and at the same time he asked the parking manager one question about the correspondence. Suddenly, whoosh, the PCN was cancelled.

The car owner concerned, Alice, sent this email:

Just wanted to say thank you for the work you did regarding my parking ticket issues. I cannot express how grateful I am for your help on the matter and your continued mission to help people who have been treated unjustly by the council. The work you do is selfless and invaluable and it is truly amazing that you are able to help so many people. I have made a donation to North London Hospice and I wish you all the best for the future; please be under no illusion as to how invaluable you are to the people you help!

It is both what you know (or the unknown unknown in this case, and whom you know).

Then her son, who had not previously contacted Mr Mustard, wrote this:

We haven't spoken before but you recently helped my Mum, Alice Blake, with an appeal that resulted in the PCN being overturned. I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you for your help with this case and also your continued commitment to helping people with PCN injustices. I've read through your blog on a fair few occasions now and it's humbling to see the work that you do. Councils abuse the fact that the PCN system is an unforgiving legal labyrinth set up to be as inflexible and unaccountable as possible and seeing your work goes some way to restore my faith in humanity.

I wrote many of the emails that my mum sent to appeal the PCN and at the time I was also dealing with PCN issues down here in Brighton. The threat of bailiffs and fines of several hundred pounds caused by administration issues created absolutely awful times for me, filled with stress, anxiety and above all, anger at the insanity of council parking systems. After many months of dealings with the council and TEC and many, many forms, I can finally say the ordeal is behind me and I give credit to the work and advice that you publish as it was absolutely invaluable for me, even though my case was outside of London.

I genuinely believe the work you do has helped pave the way for a more fair, accountable and just system for parking infrastructure in London and bought it closer to what it should have always been; a system that serves the people of London. Most of all you have my utmost respect for putting up with the awful, pedantic and bureaucratic parking departments of London in the name of helping people and holding councils to account.

Whilst it is awful that such intervention is necessary, it is absolutely enlightening to see you resiliently stand by the principles of fairness and fight. I wish you all the best and my family and I will be donating to the North London Hospice tomorrow.

Gilbert Blake

This blog often has dire stories so is is nice to bring one with a happy ending.

Mr Mustard's knowledge & experience helps him to correct some wrongs.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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