|More than a tweet required in Islington|
Mr Mustard has been consulted about a PCN debt problem in Islington. A vehicle owner was being chased for £662 for 4 PCNs which had all been registered as debts at the TEC (Traffic & Enforcement Cetre located at Northampton County Court) which is always followed by bailiffs being instructed.
He decided to find out what the theory was in order to compare it to actual practice. This was it as obtained under Freedom of Information legislation.
This is what Islington Council were told about the debtor (the vehicle owner & also the driver on the 4 occasions in question) by a concerned family member (Mr Mustard isn't certain they had any authority to get involved). Let us call the vehicle owner 'C'
- the address the council have for C is out of date by many months
- he moved to another borough for a while
- he was made homeless
- he slept in his car for some weeks
- he slept on the floor of a church charity for a while
- the car has been scrapped
- he is mentally ill
- he has paranoia & psychosis
- he was sectioned for 4 weeks
- he is not yet fully recovered.
Islington Council were asked to 'look into the matter'. You, dear reader, faced with this awful situation would either close the PCNs if you believed the account or if sceptical you would ask to see a hospital report to evidence the sectioning and then write off the debt, would you not? Well, you might, but Islington Council didn't.
- all statutory notices were sent to the known address as per the DVLA.
- they made offers to settle at the 50% rate which were not taken up for one PCN.
- none of the letters for the other 3 PCN were returned
- the comments were noted
- all the PCNs were correctly issued and must be paid in full
- £452 will be accepted in settlement (100% + £8 for each PCN)
- this is the very last opportunity
- if unpaid after dd/mm/yy bailiffs will be instructed
- further fees will be added.
You will be shocked and appalled by the callous inhumanity and indifference shown by the council but sadly Mr Mustard isn't. He sees this sort of thing all the time and is inured to it but hopes that one day the repeated exposure in his blog will do some good and bring about change. He can't of course suggest putting the affected people in the newspapers as their medical condition makes it unfair on them.
He advised the family member thus:
- it is not their debt so do not pay a penny
- the bailiff will search for the car & not find it
- goods are rarely taken and C will not have any in any event
- the bailiff will not find C
- just forget about it and/or ask Islington Council what they are playing at.
The rather vague policy of Islington Council that each case will be decided upon its merits is just empty words & they wouldn't 'expect' to sent the case for warrant collection (i.e. to a bailiff) means they would expect to. The utter futility of Islington Council suggesting the use of bailiffs is obvious but what they are hoping for is to get some income from the concerned family member which is why they offered a reduced sum.
It really is all about the money in parking. PCNs are more important (to councils) than your mental health.