11 October 2018

Harrow Council - also suffer from 'no but yes' syndrome

Station Parade, Canons Park
In the road in front of the shops which has a name, Station Parade, the two sides have different purposes for parking. The shop side is for people who pay to park. The opposite side is for residents with permits. Needless to say quite often people pay to park and are actually parked on the wrong side. Such was the fate of Ms J. She contacted Mr Mustard. He looked at the PCN and here is the relevant part.

Mr Mustard having worked out that the description of the PCN is wrong it is invalid for want of stating the contravention accurately. The car was not in Whitchurch Lane, that being the main road that the red car was on.

Mr Mustard made the informal challenge (the one in response to the PCN) on line in the name of Ms J. It was short & simple.

A copy of the payment receipt was also sent in, to show that it wasn't a question of a motorist seeking to avoid payment. Despite being factually true the challenge was rejected.

Note that Harrow Council dance round the actual challenge, that the road name is wrong. They decide it is actually the Whitchurch Lane service road. Paf. Harrow Council decided that the PCN had been correctly issued, but they were marking their own homework incorrectly. Note the implied threat that this is going to cost you if you fight on which puts the willies up many folk.

Mr Mustard advised Ms J to sit tight and await the Notice to Owner. It arrived and the identical challenge was made, again in the name of Ms J

All of a sudden the wind had shifted.

The PCN was not correctly given as if it had been it would have said the car was in Station Parade. Councils just have to try and save face but look even more idiotic in doing so. Accepting honest errors stands you in better stead.

So here we are again, the same as the blog post of yesterday, whereby a council, Harrow this time, have rejected a perfectly good challenge and then accepted the identical one made at the next stage of the process.

The first rejection thus looks like a cynical ploy to obtain payment which is not due. They know that most people either:

- can't face the 3 rounds of the fight (the tribunal would have followed in this case if a second rejection had arrived), or 
- are afraid of losing the discount, or 
- just want a quiet life, or
- don't really understand the system, or
- assume the council tell the truth,

and so pay up. Mr Mustard isn't most people.

The same advice is offered as in the last blog. If you are fairly sure of your position, stand your ground and fight to the end.

There should be some redress available, a financial penalty worth 50% of the PCN say, if councils reject challenges made in response to an on street PCN and then accept the same challenge in response to the Notice to Owner.

Anyone would think councils were strapped for cash and were trying to revenue raise from PCNs. Perish the thought.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. I recall "Bexley is Bonkers" a few years ago alleging that something similar was going on, except it was alleged that Bexley council had an official policy of automatically refusing 100% of these appeals at the first stage (without analysis), apparently expecting that only the genuine cases would persist and go to stage 2! Or, of course, hoping that most people would give up at stage 1, no matter how wrongly they'd been fined, and thus the council would get more money...


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