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My 74 year old father used a council car park. He had some sort of cardboard disc that he had to set and display on his windscreen. He accidentally set it incorrectly. He got back to his car inside the time he would have had had he set it correctly. He went to the council 'immediately' and explained everything. They still made him pay a £30 fine. I was outraged by this, but was suffering ill health so didn't try to intervene. My father wasn't up for a fight. This all happened about 3 months ago. Can I now challenge this for him? To be clear, the council knew - and fully acknowledged - he had done nothing 'wrong' and were basically just fining him for setting a cardboard disc incorrectly! Absolutely disgusting...

What sort of world do you want your kids to grow up in?

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Retrospective claims are extremely difficult if possible at all.

 

In the circumstances the Council should have used their discretion to cancel but there is nothing in law to make them do so.

 

The only issue I can see is your description of events. You say he went in person. Were there any written records of submissions or responses? At what point did it end up with him paying? Need exact events.

 

Oh - and what Council?

-

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Thanks for reply. Chain of events:

 

10.45 - he arrived in car park and was supposd to set disc as 10.45, the time he arrived. You have 2 hours in the car park. He accidentally set it at 11.45. He got back to the car at 12 and saw he had a ticket. Some warden had seen it was incorrectly set. If he was 'trying it on' he would have set it at 10.45 when he got there and then changed it by going back to the car at 12! Of course, they don't like to listen to logic.

 

12.10 - he arrived at the council desk and explained everything in detail. He filled out an appeal form.

 

1 week later - they wrote and told him he had to cough up. He replied by telling them he didn't have any money and was innocent of any wrongdoing.

 

2 weeks later - they wrote again telling him he had to pay up or else. You know the drill i'm sure. He was allowed to pay for his crime in £10 instalments. Charming... We have a copy of their final letter still.

 

The council is Arun District Council. I was outraged over this.

What sort of world do you want your kids to grow up in?

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show us pics of ALL the paperwork - washed of personal details. as it is district council there is a chance they have screwed up. won't go into the long boring detail here, easier to review the paperwork.

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It is indeed appalling. Happens all the time.

 

I can't think of anything in particular you can do to recover the money - as you have missed the process.

 

Some interesting things to do would be to make a formal complaint - asking why, in effect, they have called your father a liar. (that always really annoys me).

 

Also, ask them for a copy of their 'Policy' in regards to exercising discretion in considering appeals - and particularly in regard to Blue Badge holders.

 

Ask for the training and qualification details of whoever dealt with each appeal.

 

Publicise it too - local press.

 

Although a bit late - would be interested to see those rejection letters and even better - for my interest to add to data the PCN if you still have it (All of it both sides pls)

It may not help you but may help others or yourself in future.

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All I have is their final letter saying you are wrong and we are right. It just says:

 

 

I refer to the outstanding amount of Excess Charge due on the above ticket.

 

As agreed no recovery action will be taken provided the following payments are made to clear the outstanding charge:

 

(List of £10 payments with dates)

 

If the payments are not made by the due dates the Council will commence legal proceedings. Should you have ay further enquiries regarding this matter, please contact the Car Parks Section as soon as possible.

 

 

 

It just has my father's name and the ticket number at the top of the letter. My father binned everything else in disgust. I managed to grab hold of the last letter for possible future reference. If I had anything else I would post it up. I can be very clear on one thing. When I phoned up and complained and spoke to the 'Head Of Appeals' or similar title the guy told me he was being fined for incorrectly setting his cardboard disc and that was the end of it! Like innocent or not it doesn't matter. In effect, I suppose they didn't actually call him a liar. I will certainly ring up the local press on Monday and see what they say. I will also ring up the council again with the other queries you raised. My father is nearly 75. I think they should have let him off this one.

What sort of world do you want your kids to grow up in?

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I sympathise, I really do, but the contravention is for not displaying the correct permit (I assume). He is 'guilty' of this, whether it was accidental or not.

 

Yes, they could let him off due his condition, but they're equally within their rights not to. The whole process is about dealing with facts.

 

I'm really sorry, but I don't think you'll get very far with this one at all.

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Similar sympathy.

And frustration with a system that is constantly being abused in its workings by Local Government departments and their Civil servants whose only aim is to gain revenue sooner than properly serve the actual needs of the people they are paid to serve.

 

Odd, and contradictory, thoughts on the basis payment was actually made (not positive from above) -

 

A. Does the act of payment constitute full and final acceptance of the contravention and liability?

 

B. Can claims be made that the payment was made under duress (of increasing penalties and/or legal proceedings) and as such does not constitute the acceptance?

 

Whatever the answer(s), I don't know. But maybe a claim for repayment of the money can be persued through County Court system on the basis of having only been paid under duress.

 

Only an idea.

Others here will know better than I and hopefully will assist you in achieving Justice sooner than Arun's bureaucratic victory.

 

Personally I like Ting's suggestion of seeking their policy of discretion (which I believe exists under Regulations) and add the hint of maximum local publicity if a satisfactory reply is not promptly forthcoming.

 

Probably a No-No for relationships (and as he is still driving), but can you claim that your Father paid not only under duress but also because he was not 'compus mentis' at the time/circumstances? (and I resent this path, being myself only 11 younger than him!)

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Cheers for the replies guys. I will put the effort in and see what happens. After the dust settles I can reappraise the situation. My thoughts are the disc is there to stop the abuse of the parking scheme. If, with common sense, it is ascertained on appeal that there is significant evidence that the spirit of the scheme was not abused the ticket should be withdrawn. I don't think they gave a hoot about our appeal. It almost felt like we were dealing with a bank! :lol::lol::lol:

What sort of world do you want your kids to grow up in?

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  • 2 weeks later...
It is indeed appalling. Happens all the time.

 

I can't think of anything in particular you can do to recover the money - as you have missed the process.

 

Some interesting things to do would be to make a formal complaint - asking why, in effect, they have called your father a liar. (that always really annoys me).

 

Also, ask them for a copy of their 'Policy' in regards to exercising discretion in considering appeals - and particularly in regard to Blue Badge holders.

 

Ask for the training and qualification details of whoever dealt with each appeal.

 

Publicise it too - local press.

 

Although a bit late - would be interested to see those rejection letters and even better - for my interest to add to data the PCN if you still have it (All of it both sides pls)

It may not help you but may help others or yourself in future.

-

 

All done. I will post up any updates and the original PCN when I get it through.

What sort of world do you want your kids to grow up in?

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All done. I will post up any updates and the original PCN when I get it through.

 

It is not a PCN. Therefore the 'normal' appeal process up to and including the adjudicator is void here. There is no mechanism for allowing payment of a PCN by instalments.

 

From the Council's response

I refer to the outstanding amount of Excess Charge due on the above ticket.
Any appeal would have to be made to a Magistrates' Court - very, very difficult after the event.
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And frustration with a system that is constantly being abused in its workings by Local Government departments and their Civil servants

 

There are no civil servants working in local government. Local government employees are very definitely not civil servants.

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I sympathise, I really do, but the contravention is for not displaying the correct permit (I assume). He is 'guilty' of this, whether it was accidental or not.

 

 

As it is an excess charge, there is no contravention; there is only an offence. In such cases the only formal appeal is to a Magistrates' Court as the offence is a criminal matter.

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