1 April 2016

Can't see, can't read, can't win

Mr Mustard has just written to the council's monitoring officer as an innocent error (possibly but why are errors by traffic wardens in the council's favour?) has turned into something which may be more sinister.

Dear Ms Fiore

On 14 February 2016 my client 'Mr S' parked vehicle AB12CDE in a bay in Page St which does not have, and did not have on the day in question, a time plate (and seems never to have had one since the Event Day zone was introduced). The bay is therefore a free bay and not valid for enforcement action.

Before issuing a PCN it is the duty of the Civil Enforcement Officer to check that signs and lines are correct.

In this case the CEO, whether deliberately or negligently, did not carry out such a check, and the photographs taken by the CEO on 14 February 16 are attached. They disclose no signage.

My client made an online challenge to the PCN in which the lack of a sign was pointed out. The matter should have come to an end at that point. Instead the challenge has been denied (in the name of John Wild but the decision is unlikely to have been his) and the point about there not being a sign adjacent to the bay has been ignored. Whilst the failure of the CEO could of itself be excused as an oversight the second failure by the back office staff to properly consider the challenge changes the scenario to one of deliberately denying the facts in order to obtain payment of the PCN. This amounts, in my view, to an attempt by the council (acting through its contractor for whose actions it is liable) to obtain a pecuniary advantage by deception and given that you are the monitoring officer, responsible for ensuring that the council uphold the law, then you should investigate, along with your colleagues in CAFT, to see if this same combination of circumstances has occurred before and thus establish if there is a course of improper dealings where this particular bay is concerned.

For the avoidance of doubt this is a complaint that the council are trying to obtain monies from my client to which they are clearly not entitled.

Yours sincerely

Mr Mustard

Doubtless it will all be a big misunderstanding and the facts won't have happened before and it's not a fraud and doesn't need investigating, officers have been retrained etc etc

If you think that you have been diddled by the traffic warden, at the very least you should make a complaint through the usual complaint channels (first.contact@barnet.gov.uk) as unless enough complaints are made the doubtful traffic wardens will not get identified. Honest ones have nothing to fear.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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