5 April 2014

Informal challenges and a new address

Mr Mustard has had some recent problems with his formal representations not being answered and has also had them in the past with informal challenges not being answered. He knows of 500 cases where correspondence was indexed to the wrong PCN in August/September 12. Let's have a quick look at both types of challenge:


An informal challenge is what you are making when you ask for a PCN, that has been put on your car in the last 28 days, to be cancelled. This stage is not laid down in statute but is offered on the PCN and as the council say they will consider any challenge then under their general duty at law to be fair (see Secretary of State for Homeland v ex parte Doody) they have to consider them. If your PCN reaches the PATAS stage without an informal challenge being considered the council (NSL) will argue that they don't have to. That is to ignore the Hackney Drives Association Ltd judicial review which found that they do have to be. 

The no-nonsense independent adjudicator at PATAS, Mr Anthony Chan, considered this point in PATAS case number 213043539A and found that it was a procedural impropriety not to consider the informal challenge. You can read the decision here (put 213043539A in the case reference box and then hit enter) and although it is not binding on other independent adjudicators Mr Mustard thinks they would follow his reasoning as he is much respected. Don't rely on this as your only appeal point, add all the rest that you can find.


The formal representations are the ones that you send in response to the Notice to Owner (you must send them within 28 days of receipt of the Notice to Owner). If these are not properly considered and responded to within 56 days the council are deemed to have accepted them although that won't stop the process unless you clearly tell the council they are going wrong. Tell them they are in breach of Regulation 5(5) of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 in order to get their full attention.

New address

A new address for correspondence has been brought to Mr Mustard's attention (he personally prefers to email to barnet@nslservices.co.uk as that is quicker and there is an automatically generated proof of receipt or you could use the online system and printscreen as proof that you used it) and it is

Barnet Parking Services
PO Box 197
Lowton Way
S98 1LW

Did you know that you can find the physical address to which PO Box mail is delivered by asking the Royal Mail ? Well you can. It didn't help this time as the Royal Mail simply told Mr Mustard it was Lowton Way. He looked at Lowton Way on streetmap and couldn't see a branch of RR Donnelley. What he did find, by using google search, is that there is a company called PARSEQ there and that they handle mail and cheque payments for NSL. Mr Mustard will let the Royal Mail know where to deliver the post as they don't!

Mr Mustard recalls that the tender for the parking enforcement contract by NSL rowed in their "strategic partner" RR Donnelley and that there was a month's contract start delay whilst RR Donnelley applied for membership of the local authority pension scheme.

What has happened to RR Donnelley?
Why were they disposed of, was it a service quality problem?
Does this change need a contract amendment?
How are the up to 7 staff who were tuped across affected?

Keep an eye on the paperwork you receive from now on as you should probably be writing to this new Sheffield address (jobs being moved even further away from Barnet) rather than the Worthing one. Presumably there are some arrangements in place to make sure that mail sent to Worthing is still handled promptly and properly.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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