What do people think of the following draft informal representations?
I wish to make the following informal representations against the PCN that I received on 21 June 2018.
1) There was no contravention of a prescribed order.
The PCN states as follows:
If neither payment nor representations have been received before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of this notice, a Charge Certificate may be sent to the keeper which increases the amount of the full penalty charge by a further 50% to £195.00. If the Charge Certificate is not paid, the increased amount will be registered as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement (Bulk) Centre and a warrant may be issued for Civil Enforcement Agents to recover.
However, the above is legally incorrect.
I believe that a charge certificate cannot be sent to me before the end of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the PCN (rather than from the date of the notice).
The relevant law is under Schedule 1 to the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003 (the “2003 Act”), including more specifically paragraph 5(1) and 5(2) which state that a charge certificate can be served if the PCN is not paid and no representations have been made before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with “the date on which the penalty charge notice is served” (para 5(2)(a)).
Your legally incorrect wording means that you might send out a charge certificate to me after 10 July 2018 (this is 28 days from the date of the notice) whereas you are not allowed to send out a charge certificate to me until after 18 July 2018 (this is 28 days from the date of service of the notice
– I received it on 21 June 2018).
This is crucial because I am legally allowed to make representations until the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the notice (paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 1 to the 2003 Act).
However, I would be at risk of receiving a charge certificate before I had had the chance to submit my representations – for example, if I was going to submit my formal representations on 17 July 2018 (which would be within the 28 day period from the date of service which was 21 June 2018), by this time I might well have received a charge certificate as according to you, you can serve it after 10 July 2018 (which is wrong as mentioned above).
In addition, your legally incorrect wording means that I am losing out on 8 days in which I could have spent writing and submitting my formal representations as, in light of the illegal wording, I would have to submit my representations by 10 July instead of 18 July to avoid the possible charge certificate being incorrectly (prematurely) sent out to me.
Given that I am dyslexic, this policy puts me at a particular disadvantage compared with those who are non-dyslexic as I require additional time to read and digest what I am reading.
Therefore, the council is also in breach of section 19 of the Equality Act 2010 (indirect disability discrimination) in applying this illegal policy of sending out a charge certificate too early and thereby shortening the time within which I can make representations.
Furthermore, given that I only received the PCN on 21 June 2018, but I still only have 14 days from the date of the notice within which to submit informal representations, this has only left me with 6 days in which to read and compile my informal grounds of appeal rather than closer to 14 days had the PCN been sent out after it had been produced.
Again, the policy of delaying the sending out of the PCN is indirectly discriminatory under section 19 of the Equality Act 2010 for the same reasons as stated above. Please could you confirm the date on which the notice was sent out and why you waited potentially 7 days before sending the notice first class (assuming it was sent on 20 June 2018).
2) Other compelling reasons
I would add that this is the first PCN I have received in this council’s area and, at the time, I was dropping a colleague home from work, which I was doing as a favour.
In light of the above, I trust that the PCN will be cancelled.
I look forward to hearing from you.