18 August 2016

Wing on a prayer

Wing Parking seem to have become the default solution to councils in London to 'manage' parking on council estates (by 'manage' I mean to dish out Parking Charge Notices and, to be fair, to issue permits upon request, but the profit in this type of contract is in issuing as many penalties as possible).

Unfortunately the person who let the contract at Barnet Homes, had not seen a letter of advice from Sir Robert Goodwill MP:

Just to be clear the Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) (a misnomer if ever Mr Mustard saw one) which was introduced to bring in a less harsh system than clamping (debatable if it has had that outcome what with private ticketing having become a growth industry) allows for parking charge notices to be issued on private land which is 'relevant land' and Barnet Council owned land simply isn't.

These are extracts from POFA which confirm what Mr Mustard has just written.

clearly as Barnet Council are the Highway Authority for the borough and as Barnet Homes manage the estates owned by Barnet Council what they should have done, and what other local authorities have done, was to introduce a CPZ for each housing estate so that only residents and their visitors can park there, which is the aim. For some reason councils tenants are only charged £15 for an annual permit whereas residents who live within a CPZ have to pay £40 / £70 / £100 (an emissions based charge which is itself unfair as only 10% of residents live within a CPZ, the rest can have a 5 litre engine if they wish) so either council tenants have been under-charged or CPZ residents have been over-charged, or both (or both overcharged? - in Newham the first permit is free - putting the community first).

Here is an extract from a recent witness statement made in a case which is ongoing at POPLA. You would hope that the Assessor would notice the illegality but they tend to decide only on points of appeal that are raised with them - this one is now being raised. Mr Mustard expects that a private parking expert who has good contacts at high level with POPLA will be bringing this matter to the attention of the chief assessor.

so Barnet Homes agree that the land belongs to the London Borough of Barnet, who are the traffic authority, so this is not 'relevant land'. The witness is a Neighbourhood Housing Officer who clearly doesn't know what she is signing.

Mr Mustard has heard on the grapevine that Wing have been banned from accessing the DVLA database because they are issuing PCN which are legally defective. If that is the case you can park freely on a council housing estate mismanaged by Wing and ignore the Notice to Driver (keep it safe in your glove box) as a Notice to Keeper will never arrive as Wing can't find out who the Keeper of the vehicle is. (It would be unhelpful to deliberately park in this way).

If you have received a Notice to Keeper, had your challenge rejected and are now heading towards POPLA then this should be the grounds of your Appeal, that the land is not relevant land. You should also complain to the DVLA about the release of your data.

Complaints Team

They like to use web forms rather than email (Mr Mustard hates web forms as he can't save them to his computer for his own records) but if you phone 0300 790 6802 you could ask for a real email address, one which ends in .gov.uk probably. If you give it to Mr Mustard he will edit this blog.

Just about everything is wrong with the use of Wing. Mr Mustard's final beef is the use of a PCN which looks like it was issued by an official body and Codes of Practice require that private parking companies do not pass themselves off as having any official status.

Mr Mustard notes that the Penalty was issued before the 15 minutes stipulated in the Contract. Barnet Homes not auditing their suppliers then?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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