8 August 2016

Newham council tax payers out of pocket

The general rule is that awards for costs, for parking PCN, are not normally made. Mr Mustard has made only one such application in 2016, this one, and this is why he did:

On 28 May 2015 the Appellant, let us call him Arthur, challenged the PCN  for parking in a very faded disabled bay with no sign outside 79 Geere Rd, and asked for details of the parking regulation on which Newham Council relied.

The response did not meet the question.

On 1 July Arthur, not one to give up, repeated his question.

The response answered a different question.

On 17 August Arthur got out his pen again and repeated his question for a third time.

The response was to ignore the question and to tell Arthur to wait for a Notice to Owner (which could have been issued 3 months earlier).

On 10 October in response to the Notice to Owner, Arthur pointed out the lack of a sign on the bay.

On 10 November the council rejected the representations and said that the bay outside 81 also covered 79. Arthur pointed out that he had made 3 written requests to parking, one to his councillor and one to the call centre for a copy of the relevant traffic order.

Newham decided to contest the Appeal. In their evidence pack they produced a Traffic Management Order. That disclosed a disabled bay outside of 81 that was only 5.2m in length so could only contain one car. There wasn't a bay outside of 79. The Appeal duly went the way of Arthur.

A costs application was made on the grounds of the wholly unreasonable and/or frivolous behaviour of Newham Council. 530 minutes had been spent on the Appeal and £9.50 in travel costs. £177.33 was claimed.

Newham, in their submissions as to why costs should not be awarded, said "The bay is correctly lined & signed" which the adjudicator had already decided was not the case. The adjudicator was clearly unimpressed and therefore awarded the entire claim as set out in his decision above.

Mr Mustard had put in the claim for costs that his share, £82.80, would be donated to the North London Hospice if it was granted. Arthur has said he will do the same.

If you have paid a PCN for parking in a disable bay outside 79 Geere Rd, London E15 it has been issued in error for what the council refer to an an 'informal parking bay' which is a creature unknown to man, there is either an enforceable bay or there isn't. there isn't. The income in the council's hands is therefore illegal and you should demand a refund as you have paid under mistake.

It is worrying and deeply unimpressive that a council should argue for so long when they were completely and utterly in the wrong. It is a breach of the council's general duty at law to be fair but what do (some) councils care, as long as enough worried people pay up they are in the money. It is a numbers game.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. Newham speak with forked tongue, see patas case of Asif Nazir v Newham council

  2. Instructions:
    1. Allow the Council a generous 28 days to settle the debt
    2. Release the hounds

  3. Arthur or Albert? Identical twins get you confused?

    Beyond this minor detail the fact that people working for Newham Parking were found by the adjudicator to be acting unfairly and unreasonably should be seriously worrying to someone in charge there.
    Unless of course you are right to assume that they care only about the numbers and the fact that most people pay up to these tax farmers in their (literally) Highway robbery.

    In which case it may take a little longer before the Blake family (your previous battle) see their hopes realised for "a more fair, accountable and just system for parking infrastructure".

    My suggestion is for a change in the law so that the costs awarded in such cases should be deducted 50:50 from the allowance paid to the Mayor and the salary of the Chief Executive. This may concentrate their minds as they ensure "a system that serves the people".

  4. Oops, thank you Alan for the correction. Too much Rioja, or maybe not enough, whilst blogging.


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