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LGO report....LB of Redbridge in relation to the enforcement of PCN where notices were sent to previous address

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Yesterday the Local Government Ombudsman issued a public report against London Borough of Redbridge in relation to a complaint.

 

A link to the full report can be found at the bottom of this post.

 

 

 

The basis of the complaint is that in May 2011 the complainant received a PCN after the Council’s CCTV saw her committing an offence. She moved home the day after the contravention. LB of Redbridge applied to DVLA a few days later and naturally DVLA provided her previous address. As a result, she did not receive any of the notices. A warrant of execution was authorised and passed to their bailiff provider; Newlyn Plc to enforce. Her car was located by way of the bailiffs ANPR equipped vehicle and clamped. To avoid the removal of her car she was forced to pay £741.

 

The warrant issued to the bailiffs had the previous address for Miss X but, before the first visit Newlyn’s records showed that they carried out a DVLA search on the vehicle. This search would have revealed the new address for Miss X.

 

It would seem that the bailiff knew that a new address had been provided by DVLA and in fact, the hand written receipt the bailiff gave to her had the first part of her previous address and this was crossed off by the bailiff and replaced with her current address.

 

The Ombudsman refers in her report to Civil Procedure Rule 75.7(7) which outlines the procedure that must be followed if a bailiff identifies a new address....which is.... that if a local authority wishes to continue to enforce the warrant it must apply to the Traffic Enforcement Centre to have the warrant reissued to the new address.

 

(Note:CPR 75.7(7) is very specific on this point in that a warrant may only be reissued in the very rare cases where the address changed after the date that the warrant had been issued).

 

Miss X then filed an Out of Time witness statement which LB of Redbridge so fit to reject!! She applied to have the decision “reviewed” and had to pay a fee £80 to file an N244. The District Judge overruled the decision of LB of Redbridge and cancelled the warrant and revoked the Order for Recovery. LB of Redbridge repaid £172 to Miss X which represented the amount of the PCN.Miss X approached Redbridge to refund the bailiffs fees. They refused and stated that they had no legal duty to do so and they quoted legislation that had been repealed under Schedule 12 of the TMA 2004 (full details are in paragraphs 21-23 of the report).

 

The Ombudsman stated that:

 

· “Once discovering that the address on the warrant was different to the complainant’s current one, the bailiffs should have released the vehicle without charge and returned the warrant to the council for further action”

 

In addition,the Ombudsman decided that the council was dismissive of the complaint and they initially insisted the complainant was at fault for not notifying the DVLA of her new address when they had in fact done so, and it quoted outdated legislation as justification for refusing to refund the bailiffcharges.

 

The Ombudsman also refers in her report to sections 10.68 and 10.69 of the Department for Transport’s Operational Guidance to Local Authorities under theTraffic Management Act 2004.

 

On the procedure that should be followed if the address on the warrant is different from the defaulters current address the Ombudsman stated that the bailiff should:

 

· “Stop action, unclamp the car, not charge any costs and return the warrant to the Council”

 

and that:

 

· “Failure to do so in this complaint was administrative fault” which “led to injustice”

 

When the complaint was being investigated by the Ombudsman, LB of Redbridge responded to the enquiries to effectively lay blame on Miss X and stated that:

 

· “It is the responsibility of the motorist to ensure that address details held by the DVLA are correct at all times.”

 

And that:

 

· “In this instance the fees were incurred as a result of what can best be described as an oversight by Ms Young in failing to advise the DVLA of her change of address.”

 

LB of Redbridge failed to provide any evidence to support this “oversight” but shockingly, even after the Ombudsman suggested that Redbridge should settle the complaint, they continued to blame Miss X by suggesting that she was to blame as she should have arranged for her post to be redirected !!

 

From the evidence provided to the Ombudsman it was clear that Miss X had indeed advised DVLA of her change of address almost immediately.

 

Astonishingly, Redbridge also stated to the Ombudsman the following:

 

· “Whilst we appreciate that [the bailiffs] acted as our agents in this matter we cannot be held responsible for their oversight in failing to advise us of the change of address when they became aware of it.”

 

The Ombudsman disagreed and stated in her report:

 

"When Ms Young complained to the Council about what had happened it should have recognised the fault, apologised, instructed the bailiffs to refund the fees and costs, and ensured that they acted correctly in future.

 

The Ombudsman’s conclusion was Maladministration and Injustice.

 

 

 

http://www.lgo.org.uk/news/2013/mar/redbridge-council-asked-review-bailiff-procedures/

 

.

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Edited by tomtubby

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Well! It's nice to see they're getting exposed – slowly but surely, one by one.

 

There's more behind why councils are like this (and they're all the same). I don't believe office staff have a say in it, unless of course they're willing to risk their jobs. The ones in the top jobs getting the biggest financial benefits are responsible.

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For my 1000th post. This was Fair Parking's role in this and the implication of Redbridge (and others) making up legislation. For the rest you will have to visit the website and look up 'Comment'.

 

 

Local Government Ombudsman Concurs With Fair Parking

Over Revocation Orders

22nd March 2013

On 12th March the Local Government Ombudsman released a report concerning a compliant made by a client of ours. Fair Parking recommended the use of the Local Government Ombudsman's office rather than the county court, as its recommendations have a far greater impact on local authorities as they set precedents that directly concern local authorities.

In the end the LGO report was scathing about the London Borough of Redbridge and recommended that the client be refunded £569 being the full amount of bailiff fees taken, £80 court fees, £224 professional fees (only £99 applied to Fair Parking) plus compensation of £150. LB Redbridge accepted the criticism and agreed to pay £1023. The LGO understands that a cheque was sent a week later.

Following a Revocation Order issued by the Traffic Enforcement Centre, LB Redbridge had previously refunded the ticket value of £172, (£130 + 50% £65 and £7 registration fee) but had refused to refund the bailiff’s fees, somehow believing that the Revocation Order did not cover this and as such the matter of a further refund was nothing to do with them. LB Redbridge had quite lazily and wrongly argued that it was not legally bound to refund bailiff fees. In common with several other London boroughs, LB Redbridge even quoted Section 8 (5a) of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003 as its reason.

Crucial to the LGO decision was the input from Fair Parking which brought to the attention of LB Redbridge and subsequently the LGO that a Revocation Order required the local authority to refund all fees in full. Fair Parking also respectfully pointed out that Section 8 (5a) never existed. LB Redbridge failed to respond and its subsequent apathy over this point of law was also criticised by the LGO.

This case is covered in more depth in our ‘Comment’ section, though it may come as no surprise to learn that despite assurances to the LGO from LB Redbridge that it would change it s practice, nothing has changed at all. It is still apathetic to addressing legal obligations brought to its notice as our last emails of 19th & 20th March to LB Redbridge in two other cases have shown.

One thing that has changed is the fact whilst several other councils have stood by the belief that they need not refund money unlawfully taken from innocent people whom they immorally imagine should stand such an unlawful loss for no explained reason, the Local Government Ombudsman has made it plain that a Revocation Order requires all local authorities to refund not just bailiff fees, but court fees and professional fees also.

As Fair Parking has been advising local authorities for years and contributing to several positive county court judgments in this area, ignoring the lawful obligations of a Revocation Order is not an option. That position has now been officially sanctioned by the Local Government Ombudsman.

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Until someone gains a CCJ against the council and bailiffs and sends bailiffs on the bailiffs to collect nothing will be done, now let me see, police called to a fracas, CCJ for refund of fees against marstons, and JBW trying to enforce, so the Marstons berlingo is clamped, police arrest all the bailiffs for breach of the peace and take the bailiff vans to the police pound. I wish...


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When a warrant of execution is authorised by the Traffic Enforcement Centre all bailiff companies are allowed to approach DVLA to ascertain whether. the VEHICLE involved in the contravention is still owned by the debtor ( the warrant has the vehicle registration number involved in the contravention).

 

Until about 6 or 7 years ago, all requests to DVLA by bailiff companies were submitted in WRITING or by FAX. Then everything changed at DVLA.....

 

Requests are now made electronically but the DVLA computer system is unable respond to an enquiry ONLY about the VRM and instead, the response will include details of any updated addresses since the PCN had been issued.

 

The implications have been so damed serious and the people who are affected are the LAW ABIDING members of the public who DO update their address with DVLA when they move.

 

The bailiff companies PAY a fee of £2.50 to DVLA to access the keeper details. These searches provide a SUBSTANTIAL source of additional revenue to DVLA.

 

My personal opinion is that anyone affected should be making a Formal Complaint to the Data Sharing Team at DVLA.

 

I would hope in light of this damning LGO Report that DVLA will now reconsider the whole system of the way in which they SELL their keeper records.

 

One point that I would make here is that as mentioned above, bailiffs companies submit their enquiries to DVLA electronically. However....some larger companies have direct ONLINE access to DVLA records and pay a yearly fee to DVLA for this.

 

Once such company is NEWLYN Plc who are the bailiff company involved in this LGO public report.

 

In light of this damning LGO report I would hope that DVLA withdrawn this privledge access from this company immediately.

 

PS: DVLA are aware of the LGO Report ....

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....Once such company is NEWLYN Plc who are the bailiff company involved in this LGO public report.

 

In light of this damning LGO report I would hope that DVLA withdrawn this privledge access from this company immediately.

 

PS: DVLA are aware of the LGO Report ....

 

I notice Equita and Newlyns are both used by Redbridge, does one specialise in Council Tax and the other in parking offences?

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"Requests are now made electronically but the DVLA computer system is unable respond to an enquiry ONLY about the VRM and instead, the response will include details of any updated addresses since the pcn had been issued. "

That is very damning indeed. A victimised new owner should obtaining the facts for the DVLA. When the request was made, when the answer was supplied and the contents of the answer. This may well be part of good grounds against Bailiffs who blithely ignore new owners and just use the vehicle as a means of extracting money from an innocent third party.

Such a response from the DVLA removes all 'assumptions' that Bailiffs try to hide behind.

 

 

"The bailiff companies PAY a fee of £2.50 to DVLA to access the keeper details. These searches provide a SUBSTANTIAL source of additional revenue to DVLA."

 

I know better than to question you tt but I have to on this point. Are you sure ? The Local Authorities do not pay £2.50 per request and in the instant examples the Bailiff is acting for the Local Authority. Is this a case of the DVLA grouping such bailiff requests in with the PPCs. If so surely the bailiffs have to be in the ATA or they will not be granted the electronic access. A quick review of the AOS list shows the absence of many of 'our friends'. As you can see its the access conundrum I am questioning rather than you.

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I think I need to make it clear that there was no genuine warrant in this case. The 'warrant' sent by the complainant to Fair Parking was also printed on the the old style template withdrawn by the MoJ in April 2011 and which contained the following gems - 'Authorised by the Traffic Enforcement Centre 23/04/12' - that's six months months after it was enforced and 'Issued to the Enforcement Officer 14/09/11'. That's nearly seven months before it was authorised. It was sent to the new address without any name on the envelope and despite the name and old address still being written on the enclosed 'warrant'.

 

This joke of a document was never prepared by the local authority - in this case LB Redbridge - and that only leaves one other source.

 

I should also add that the Revocation Order was dated 13th January 2012, three months before this joke 'warrant' was issued. Thus either LB Redbridge was so inept that it prepares warrants after it has received a Revocation Order or by a another party who knew nothing about the Revocation Order and ignorantly printed with realising that the gun was pointed at the feet of LB Redbridge and itself. Newlyn has the software. All you have to do is to work out the most likely scenario.

 

The Revocation Order granted by the judge cancelled the Notice to Owner and Charge Certificate and revoked the Order for Recovery. It did NOT cancel the warrant which as it did not need to to. The Revocation Order renders any genuine warrant null and void and therefore it does not need to be cancelled.

 

I should add that the complaint was about the failure of LB Redbridge to refund following the Revocation Order. The 'warrant' wasn't commented on as there was no complaint made about it as it first appeared four months after the complaint was made.

 

If ever a case highlighted the murky 'smoke and mirrors' procedures adopted as normal 'practice' by local authorities and their bailiff companies, this would be it.

 

If I could offer one final comment, whenever anybody mentions 'warrants' on a forum, it may be better if scepticism is applied rather than the unversal acceptance that they exist.

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That edit button is missing again. One word missing 'it' and one too many words later 'which' and one ketter 'i'.

 

Put it back please administrators.

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This LGO report concerns London Borough of Redbridge and their bailiff provider Newlyn Plc.

 

Almost 2 years ago Redbridge and in particular; Newlyn Plc were made aware of the procedures that MUST be taken if a new address is identified by a bailiff.

 

In February 2011 a new "working party" was set up consisting of members from the following:

 

The Ministry of Justice

 

London Councils

 

The British Parking Association

 

The Traffic Enforcement Centre

 

Local Authority and Bailiff Working Party

 

In March 2011 the "working party" issued a notice to all local authorities and bailiff companies regarding changes that had been made to the wording on the "warrant of execution" and the procedures that MUST be followed if a bailiff identifies a new address for the vehicle keeper.

 

You will also see from this document that it "warns" the bailiff companies and local authorities that failure to adhere to CPR 75.7 (7) could invalidate the warrant and potentially expose the Ministry of Justice to JUDICIAL REVIEW.

 

On page 2 the authors of the document have highlighted the words MUST.

 

I would like to stress that this document is NOT confidential and is readily available on the web.

 

This new LGO Report concerns London Borough of Redbridge and their bailiff provider Newlyn Plc. It is clear from this report that Newlyn completely ignored the document that can be read by opening the link below. This point is very significant indeed because, when this document was distributed, Mrs Cheryl Vickers was a Director of both Newlyn Plc and............The British Parking Association !!!!!

.

 

http://www.britishparking.co.uk/write/Documents/Library/Execution%20of%20Warrant%20Information%20Note%20f%20doc.pdf

Edited by tomtubby

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The problem is will the bailiffs and councils pay heed to this , or will it be business as usual?


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As we know from this forum some local authorities are refusing to abide by the previous LGO report regarding Blaby District Council and the "levying upon a car not owned by the debtor"........"charging multiple fees" and the charging also of a "Head H fee".

 

If you read the BPA document in the above link it warns bailiff companies and local authorities of the risk of Judicial Review.

 

It would be very foolish for LA's to ignore this report against LB of Redbridge.....and if they did, then debtors MUST write to the Chief Executive at the relevant local authority.

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Or the S151 officer possibly.

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So once again the 'moderators' decided to censor my post - again without any notification or the courtesy of an explanation. A lot of hard work went into getting the LGO to side with the ordinary person in what was monumental breakthrough achieved not only by hard work but extensive knowledge. Despite my severe reservation on CAG philosophy on censorship, it was given the opportunity to carry this extremely important report

 

Despite my misgivings about the philopshy of this site, I decided that in such exceptional circumstances when a genuine breakthrough has been achieved through this forum was given the chance to appreciate this accomplish which cannot be explained in a few paragraphs thus the link to my site which explains offers a detailed overview.

 

Somebody has wrongly and self righteously convinced themselves that this was commecial instead of being helpful. Fair Parking does not need CGA to promote its service and has never attempted to do so.

 

As dogma has once again been placed in front of knoweldge, there will definitely be no more posts.

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For the record, re post #14, no edits have been carried out by moderators or admin on this thread.


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So once again the 'moderators' decided to censor my post - again without any notification or the courtesy of an explanation. A lot of hard work went into getting the LGO to side with the ordinary person in what was monumental breakthrough achieved not only by hard work but extensive knowledge. Despite my severe reservation on CAG philosophy on censorship, it was given the opportunity to carry this extremely important report

 

Despite my misgivings about the philopshy of this site, I decided that in such exceptional circumstances when a genuine breakthrough has been achieved through this forum was given the chance to appreciate this accomplish which cannot be explained in a few paragraphs thus the link to my site which explains offers a detailed overview.

 

Somebody has wrongly and self righteously convinced themselves that this was commecial instead of being helpful. Fair Parking does not need CGA to promote its service and has never attempted to do so.

 

As dogma has once again been placed in front of knoweldge, there will definitely be no more posts.

 

Sorry, but you have lost me here. If it is simply the the withdrawl of the link to your own site then that is down to the on-site software because as you know links to Commercial sites are not allowed.


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This seems to be a common practise wit baliff companies, I too have just taken Newlyn to court and won regarding baillff charges. I was given a ticket which was ligit but no visits were made charges were put on the ticket (common theme) when I asked what colour the door was when they visited i was told blue, well my door is grey i told them this and was told i had recently painted my door and they had statements from the court bailiffs to this effect. I now knew that they had made faulse statements under oath. What newlyn did not count on was as a leaseholder my external painting works are done by the council and this includes front doors. Hackney council had only undercoated my door so I had taken a picture of my grey door in 2008 and sent to them to reduce my service charge bill. Hackney investigated the matter with their leasehold team and this was confirmed so they instructed Newlyn to refund my charges paid, that was in March 2012 I wrote and asked Newlyn for my money and was told through stage 1,2and 3 complaints the visiting charges were lawful and they did not have to refund a penny even after being told to do so by Hackney I went to the CIVEA which in my view are just there to protect enforcement companies and they are far from impartial!! I was left with no choice but to take the matter to small claims court and Newlyn instructed solicitors who then tried to get very heavy handed threatning massive legal costs if I lost but I carried on still. Newlyn solicitors sought to get the matter struck out and it was going to happen until I asked for copies of the correspondence they sent newlyn when instructing them to refund my money. They sent this and i sent to the court who straight away ordered Newlyn to refund my money plus costs and intrest and to submit a revised defense in 28 days. The above must stop as they do it all the time dont visit but add charges and most people cannot prove the colour of their door but people do not give up and persist in youractions!!!!!! well done to the lady for not giving in and getting her money back Bless

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