27 April 2017

The slowly grinding wheels of Barnet Council

Lovely grinding stones
On 23 December 2015, yes 2015, Mr Mustard made the following informal representations in response to a PCN placed on a car.

He was not parked outside of 33 but outside of 37 (I suspect the traffic warden counted house numbers in the wrong direction) and accordingly the alleged contravention has not occurred. The suspension sign itself was at the boundary of 33 & 35. This is a process error. Please apologise to my client. (I have just re-read the suspension sign and it is patent nonsense. The house at 33 Russell Road will be about 5m wide. You cannot therefore suspend 20m of road outside no. 33, the other 15m of suspension could extend either way along the road, ambiguity is construed against the causer in consumer law).

Incidentally, my client parked up on 23 November and was on a course on 24 & 25 November so did not use their car during that time and the suspended bay sign was not in place when the car was parked. It would appear that the requisite notice was not given.

Please cancel the PCN.

Mr Mustard then kept an eye on the balance and it remained at £110 until the last time he checked, on 18 April 17.

Then suddenly, out of the blue, came a letter from the council, dated 25 April 17, as follows:

Mr Mustard is pleased that the council have now officially cancelled the PCN and tidied up their records & wonders how many more similar PCN are stuck in the system. It is also one file fewer in Mr Mustard's live drawer of PCN. He follows everything to the end.

The council were unable to proceed to enforce the PCN as they have to issue a Notice to Owner within 6 months of the PCN being served to the vehicle, and they didn't as they got the computer stuck at an earlier stage.

The council are also under a legal obligation to consider (and thus respond to) informal challenges.

In addition guidance from London Councils is that if there is a delay of more than 6 months at any stage in processing a PCN (except with the bailiff who gets 12 months by law) the PCN should be cancelled.

So we have correct behaviour albeit very slow.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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