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What can we do to counter the council's parking fines/car removals/etc? ** Resolved **


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I cannot beleive it an inaccurate story in the Daily Mail!!! Interesting to see the number of PCNs issued going down though.

 

Of course PCNs are going down, there are less cars in Westminster due to the congestion charge etc. Anyway, there is a finite amount of milk you can squeeze from a cash-cow. Here's chapter and verse on the blunder that lead to the extra CEOs: http://nutsville.com/?p=2317

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Of course PCNs are going down, there are less cars in Westminster due to the congestion charge etc. Anyway, there is a finite amount of milk you can squeeze from a cash-cow. Here's chapter and verse on the blunder that lead to the extra CEOs: http://nutsville.com/?p=2317

 

Green and Mean wont believe anything you or we put, as I suspect he works for a LA .... most likely in the PCN appeals dept lol ... after all, he has not confirmed or denied my request to tell us if he does or not earlier in a post.

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Of course PCNs are going down, there are less cars in Westminster due to the congestion charge etc. Anyway, there is a finite amount of milk you can squeeze from a cash-cow. Here's chapter and verse on the blunder that lead to the extra CEOs: http://nutsville.com/?p=2317

 

If you are going to try and make a cohesive argument at least get your facts correct, the amount of traffic entering the CC zone hasn't significantly declined over the past 5 years. As for the so called 'blunder' it is not really explained is it, what was the 'blunder'? Westminster decided they needed more CEOs they hadn't included in the contract so they decided to fund extra staff, you can hardly expect NSL to just employ extra staff not already included. It would be like paying a company £3m to empty the bins once a week then after a few months telling them to empty them twice a week for the same money.

You still haven't explained how this 'cash cow' business works, surely the whole idea of a 'cash cow' is to make a profit yet the figures show that even in Westminster enforcing parking restrictions has not made a profit and has increased compliance that in my book is a success. Where is this profit from parking fines....please tell me I'd love to know???

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If you are going to try and make a cohesive argument at least get your facts correct, the amount of traffic entering the CC zone hasn't significantly declined over the past 5 years. As for the so called 'blunder' it is not really explained is it, what was the 'blunder'? Westminster decided they needed more CEOs they hadn't included in the contract so they decided to fund extra staff, you can hardly expect NSL to just employ extra staff not already included. It would be like paying a company £3m to empty the bins once a week then after a few months telling them to empty them twice a week for the same money.

You still haven't explained how this 'cash cow' business works, surely the whole idea of a 'cash cow' is to make a profit yet the figures show that even in Westminster enforcing parking restrictions has not made a profit and has increased compliance that in my book is a success. Where is this profit from parking fines....please tell me I'd love to know???

 

So, you can prove this can you ? as WCC used the argument that traffic entering the CC zone has decreased in its court of appeal court case... thus, you can prove they lied ?

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So, you can prove this can you ? as WCC used the argument that traffic entering the CC zone has decreased in its court of appeal court case... thus, you can prove they lied ?

 

It has decreased since its introduction but over the past 5 years it has evened out so both statements are correct.

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As you'll see in the preceding years, that G&M so conveniently omits, over £11m profit accrued net from enforcement, towing & clamping in 3 out of four years. The worst year 05/06 was a mere £4.38m where enforcement costs stayed the same but revenue dropped. The figures are from WCC's own report.

Westminster_enforcement_profits.jpg

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As for the so called 'blunder' it is not really explained is it, what was the 'blunder'?

 

I can only assume you failed comprehend the article or you work for parking enforcement in some capacity!

 

"Last week, Cllr Melvyn Caplan (Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources) and Cllr Lee Rowley (Cabinet Member for Parking and Transportation) jointly made the decision to increase the number of on foot CEOs due to the failure of NSLs new ANPR/CCTV mobile cars to be ready in time. Caplan and Rowley approved £1.3m to fund the variation to the NSL Contract for the increase in CEOs for the period October 2010 to March 2011, and a further expenditure of £650k for the period April 2011 to June 2011"

 

AFAIK, no council has had this type of fully-automated PCNs via ANPR technology approved for parking enforcement and this was one major reason why this technology is not yet in use.

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I can only assume you failed comprehend the article or you work for parking enforcement in some capacity!

 

"Last week, Cllr Melvyn Caplan (Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources) and Cllr Lee Rowley (Cabinet Member for Parking and Transportation) jointly made the decision to increase the number of on foot CEOs due to the failure of NSLs new ANPR/CCTV mobile cars to be ready in time. Caplan and Rowley approved £1.3m to fund the variation to the NSL Contract for the increase in CEOs for the period October 2010 to March 2011, and a further expenditure of £650k for the period April 2011 to June 2011"

 

AFAIK, no council has had this type of fully-automated PCNs via ANPR technology approved for parking enforcement and this was one major reason why this technology is not yet in use.

 

I can read but I cannot see the word 'blunder' used or any indication that the contract was agreed on the basis that the ANPR would be used by a set date or it was NSLs fault anyway all it says is the ANPR was delayed so they took the decision to employ more staff in the interim period. You can keep quoting from your propaganda but it doesn't change the fact that the CEOs are not employed by WCC as you originally stated.

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  • 3 months later...

TheBogsDollocks, you are the.. dogs bollocks!

 

My mum in law got her refund and I am very grateful for you help.

 

I wrote to my local MP and her reply was arsey, arrogant and she didn't answer most of the questions but what do you expect from a politician. They are all full of it and can now do one!

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TheBogsDollocks, you are the.. dogs bollocks!

 

My mum in law got her refund and I am very grateful for you help.

 

I wrote to my local MP and her reply was arsey, arrogant and she didn't answer most of the questions but what do you expect from a politician. They are all full of it and can now do one!

 

Glad to have been of some assistance. I doubt very much the council accepted the argument. Most likely they provided no reason for cancelling or they conceded a minor error.

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From Nutsville.com:

 

Yesterday (30th Nov 2011) Westminster City Council published its parking report prepared by the councils Strategic Director for City Management Leith Penny (download here: http://nutsville.com/download/4_Item_4_Parking_Report.pdf)

 

The public finally get to know that Westminster City Councils last CCTV spy camera bungle cost the taxpayer £6m when an unnamed council officer forgot to get a certificate for their spy camera network.

 

Leith Penny admits in the report “It will be recalled that during this period the Council was obliged to suspend its parking CCTV operation, following a failure to obtain certification from the Vehicle Certification Agency, to enable it to upgrade the system. This resulted in a £6m reduction in PCN income as compared with that profiled in the budget.”

 

The report makes for dire reading as it exposes not only the gross incompetence of Westminster City Councils parking department, but also a year on year over estimation of how much money the council expected to rake in from its parking operation.

 

Penny coughs up saying “there has been a gap between estimated and actual surplus in each of the last three years, with a particularly marked drop in 2009/10.“

 

The drop he refers to is from Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) which for yellow line contraventions fell by an amazing 46%.

 

Penny puts the drop into figures stating “Of even greater impact, however, was an unprecedented £18m difference between profiled and actual income, of which some £17m related to PCNs, with a further £2m attributable to a reduction in the number of suspensions (which may have been the result of the downturn in the economy), and a £1.9m operational overspend” referring to the budget of 2009/10.

 

Things got better this year

 

Things got better the following year with the department being only a mere £6.4m out on its guesswork.

 

Penny says; “In 2010/11there was again a gap between profiled and actual income, but action to reduce costs, the resumption of CCTV operations and an upturn in casual income reduced reduced the difference between budget profile and actual income to £6.4m.”

 

Yeah things are so good he gets excited saying ‘reduced’ twice. Penny provides various explanations for providing wildly estimated budget figures for each of the last three years. Figures which were so far off the mark they might as well be describing parking on Mars.

 

Penny’s excuses/explanations are put down to:

introduction of the Congestion Charge (an annual favourite, even though it started in 2003)

Car ownership (he doesn’t say if there is more or less)

condition and costs of using the public transport (dam those poor people)

more pesky cyclists (and we thought that was a good thing)

the economy (anyone see that coming)

people reading the councils park right booklet (the cheek of them)

the increase in PCNs charges (which the council lobbied for)

 

Penny seems to finally throw in the towel saying “Whatever budget is ultimately set for the year ahead, it will involve a high degree of uncertainty and risk.” No **** Sherlock!

 

So the fact that income from parking revenue is down, which a significant proportion of which is made up from PCNs doesn’t seem to be seen as a good thing. This is odd when the councils stated aim of parking enforcement is to issue zero number of PCNs, presumably when everyone starts parking correctly.

 

Joke spreadsheets

 

To back up the report are two spreadsheets which ignore the accountancy convention of marking negative figures with brackets, as most of the figures are bracketed. The spreadsheets have glaring numerical inaccuracies which again puts into question the validity of anything the parking department claim to be fact. Download here ( Spreedsheet one Spreadsheet two: http://nutsville.com/download/6_Item_4b_Appendix2.pdf )

 

For one example we turn to the income from motorcycle parking which Westminster City Council told the High Court was making a loss. Penny’s spreadsheets show income from motorcycle parking in 2009/10 was £1,100,150M falling back slightly the following year to £1,018,170M. For this year Penny suggests that the council only expects to make £975,000. The motorcycle parking scheme remember was as the council were keen to stress at its introduction, not about revenue raising. It can’t be, because according to Dr Leith Penny’s figures the expenditure for running the motorcycle parking scheme this year is a whopping £2,134,200M

 

Can it be that Westminster City Council hate motorcyclists so much that they are happy to spend over a million pounds of taxpayers cash to keep the charging scheme in place?

 

Now before you get all excited about the above figures we will say that although they are accurately copied from the two council supplied spread sheets, they are incorrect along with other inaccuracies in both worksheets. That’s just in our opinion, as we are not professionals like Dr Leith Penny, but then neither have we forecast revenue out by millions for the last three years. Neither have we forgotten to get a certificate for our CCTV spy cameras costing the taxpayer over £6m.

 

But because in our opinion Leith Penny gets paid far too much for doing such a half arsed job, we will leave him to work out where he’s gone wrong…..this time!

 

We look forward to hearing Penny’s explanation for the dodgy spreadsheets, and if you want to see if they are changed on-line follow this link to Westminster’s website.

 

Lastly if we are right and the councils spreadsheets are a pile of cack we might start calling ourselves consultants and booking ourselves out to Westminster Council at £1000 per day plus free HobNobs.

 

 

I await comments from our 'in-house parking industry representative' :roll:

 

Blunder (aka bungle)="a failure to obtain certification" It seems that Medway and Richmond are also prone to 'blunders' :jaw: You'll find http://www.NoToMob.co.uk and http://www.nutsville.com quite informative on such matters. Of course, "a failure to obtain certification" is proving a very successful ground of appeal at PATAS. Nigel Wise on the NoToMob forum rarely loses a case, so well worth asking for advice and he might even champion your case if it is suitable.

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I don't understand your argument...

 

I'm not sure you do either...

 

Firstly, you say.

they make a £36m profit.

then it's a £6m loss.

except it's not even a loss, in the strictest sense.

it's a loss in revenue. (it's also not a cost to the tax payer)

 

it's the difference between the loss a shop makes when it's closed due to bad weather (making a loss in the sense that it's not making profits.)

compared to a shop being closed due to bad weather having ruined stock, (making a actual loss of the value of the stock that can no longer be sold.)

 

besides which... if the council were making a 36million pound profit.

then that 6 million pound loss would have already been accounted for.

it would have been 42million but was only 36million profit because of that technical oversight.

 

As for the argument that Westminster council made a 36m profit from parking tickets in the last year

you fail to grasp even basics there too...

I sort of agree that a profit is made somewhere, and that it's the PCNs that allow this profit to be made, at least if the money was just going into a slush fund... but it's not. helpfully the accountants at the council don't just count money in and money out, they also seem to like to let you know where all that money has come from...

 

 

the report that YOU linked proves that you are wrong. (first you talk about a 36million pound profit, then when it's pointed out that PCNs made a loss you start shouting over the last six years.

 

the figures are: (for 2009/10)

revenue from tickets (PCN) ~20m

revenue from paid for parking ~ 35m

revenue from permits ~10m

 

expenditure on tickets PCN ~26m (6m loss)

expenditure on paid for parking ~ 4m (31m profit)

expenditure on permits ~2m (8m profit)

 

if you count the six years...

in total...

profit on tickets is: 20,391,000 over six years (3.3 million pounds per year profit average)

profit on paid for parking is: 149,931,000 (almost 25 million pounds in profit per year)

profit on permits is: 51,539,000 (8.5 million per year)

 

so, not that the council don't care about the average 3million a year profit from employing wardens to issue PCNs, you'll see that comparatively it's pretty chicken feed compared to the 25million a year that they get from car parks...

 

AND...

if you bother to read the report properly, you'll see that the profits on PCNs were only made in years when yellow line fines were up.

the footnote says:

The overall volume of PCNs issued in 2009/10 fell by 27% compared to 2008/9, with the largest

shift being in yellow line contraventions (down 46%). Throughout the year, the Council took on

board feedback regarding its current policies and continued to make amendments where it was

deemed appropriate to ensure policies were ‘firm and fair’.

so it sounds like the council heard what you were saying, and issued less PCNs for yellow line offences. (160 thousand less yellow line tickets)... and yellow line tickets are what? people parked on double yellows.

 

even if 50% of those tickets were issued because of genuine mistakes, that still leaves 871,059 tickets where people genuinely knew the score and decided to stop anyway. that's more than three quarters of a million people who over the course of six years just couldn't be bothered to find a parking space. (remember I already accounted for a 50% miss rate for tickets.)

 

if you look at PCNs issues in car parks that's 1.04 million tickets over six years. I can only guess that's people can't be bothered to park in the lines and prefer to take up two bays. or people can't be bothered to pay for parking, or don;t make an effort to get back to their car on time.

again even if you say 50% of those people meant to get back, that's still half a million people who can't figure out how a car park works.

 

it's like green and mean said, there are some people who just seem to attract those little yellow envelopes. whilst others seem to have no problem at all!

 

(I have gotten a ticket once, but that was cancelled after I said to the council, Yes, there was a single yellow line, I looked up and down the street for a accompanying sign, and couldn't see one, so I assumed that the restriction would be the same as other places in the city (e.g no parking between 8am - 9:30 and 4:30 - 6) -that was in Bristol and that was cancelled)

 

I'm no fan of traffic wardens, but it does seem like you're painting this a little unfairly...

 

On the odd occasions that I work in London, I often see the WCC wardens out, giving tickets, again and again and again to the same cars and vans, who day after day after day decide that double yellow lines don't apply, that they can just stop and get a sandwich as they'll only be quick. and it is the same people, I stand outside the office smoking at lunchtime thinking to myself, look that black merc with the personal plate is getting another ticket.

 

are you the writer of the nutsville piece?

if so I think that you need to go and check your facts!

 

For one example we turn to the income from motorcycle parking which Westminster City Council told the High Court was making a loss. Penny’s spreadsheets show income from motorcycle parking in 2009/10 was £1,100,150M falling back slightly the following year to £1,018,170M.

 

really? 1.1 trillion pounds income from motor cycle parking...

 

if not check your facts then at least quote them correctly.

 

you do understand that things loose credibility when they are written in such a rabid fashion that they miss calculate numbers be factors of a thousand? and that is your credible source?

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Glad to have been of some assistance. I doubt very much the council accepted the argument. Most likely they provided no reason for cancelling or they conceded a minor error.

 

I'm not sure to be honest. All I know is that she got a letter and it had a telephone number which she used to provide her bank details. If I get more info I will pass it on. :)

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