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Many Blackpool council PCN's void because their bays are too small


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Got a letter from the bailiffs (unpaid parking tickets, illegally worded so void) :

 

"Dear Sir/Madam

 

We recently attended your premises but failed to receive a reply and were unable to return later in the day as expected. Unless you now settle this account IN FULL our:-

 

SENIOR BAILIFF MANAGER

AND

APPOINTED REMOVAL CONTRACTOR

 

will re-attend on or after 25 December 2006.

 

They have been instructed to remove your vehicle or sufficient household goods etc....blah blah blah."

 

 

The point of the thread is this: OK we all are probably aware by now that they cannot attend on a Bank Hoilday, but how many people are there out there whose Christmas is now going to be ruined because they are either scared to death that the bailiffs will be calling on Christmas Day, or end up using their "Christmas money" to pay the 'fine' and extortionate costs involved (and please let's not get into the debate about if they had the money they should have paid).

 

Surely this is illegal? It's certainly disgraceful. I feel desperately sorry for those people out there who this will affect. :-x

 

Incidentally, if they did attend recently they didn't push a letter anything through the door.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Sounds to me like there trying to make you believe that they will come and take all your brand spanking new Christmas presents away ... trying to scare you into paying.

 

Cant actually help except to say that unless you let them in they cant come in (unless they have been in before as I understand it) if they do turn up tell them to go away and If they wont phone the police.

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Yes, don't worry about that I know exactly how to handle them. My concern is for the thousands of people out there that don't. This is an absolute scandal.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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I doubt there is much we can do for them. With a bit of luck the plan will back fire as people will spend Christmas around someone else's house to avoid the bailiffs . In fact I suspect that quite a few people will be away from home for quite a bit of Christmas day regardless.

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If that letter is from a debt collection agency, which I suspect it is! then they have no right to send bailiffs to your home and certainly do not have the right to either enter or remove any of your property. Its an idle threat intended to scare you into paying, they are highly unlikely to send anyone and I doubt they came to your house at all first time around.

 

Only a bailiff instructed by the courts with a warrant can legally enter your home in order to remove goods, and this is usually on things like unpaid council tax/fines and/or unpaid CCJ's. I assume you do not have a county court judgement on this debt? or that is it related to one of the matters already mentioned? If so it doesn't sound like anything to worry about to me, I have had loads of these letters.

 

If anyone does knock your door tell them to F*** off and call the police straight away. Let them explain to the police under what authority they are menacing you for money and provide a copy of the court order.

 

See this factsheet from citizens advice bureau:

 

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/d_bailiffs.pdf

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Guest MizzPiggy

How I would love to get a hold of that letter!

 

No they won't call Christmas day.

 

Firstly I find it amusing that is the "Senior Bailiff Manager", which would be open for interpretation in that either you are honoured, or perhaps the rest of the Bailiffs aren't doing the job properly so the Senior guy is out, but that would be all said with slight sarcasm.

 

Trust me, they will not visit Christmas Day. My thought though, is to immediatly place a stat dec and out of time declaration in NOW, so that it will cover you anyway and deal with the matter in the new year.

 

These can be found by phoning the Northampton County Court bulk centre or downloaded from our site. Then have them faxed over and make sure you are covered for no visits for now.

 

Give the council a tad extra work over the new year, and it does immediatly cease action rather than finding your car missing or new Xmas presents gone!

 

Can I ask what Council?

 

Alison

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Guest MizzPiggy

Nasty letter but gets your attention.

 

I have written my thoughts above and would file with Northampton County Court the forms as I said, but if not, I would question the fees.

 

They are to send a letter first which would have only cost you around £13.20 added to the fine. Remember though, that the fine trebles in 60 days! Then add £5 costs for the debt to be registered and warrant to be issued.

 

So I think the amount demanded is unreasonable unless they are claiming they have visited, to which it is up to them to prove.

 

The ticket you owe, the fees we say to everyone, you may owe but till they can prove it, we say question it and question it. Or..............pay and fight back later sadly.

 

Christmas day they won't come, however I do believe the Bailiffs will all be back with a vengence for the new year.

 

Let me know if you need any help.

 

Alison

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Everybody is completely missing the point of the thread.

 

We need to backtrack a bit to the original post. I perhaps should have explained in more detail, but there is extensive information in the "Your parking ticket may be illegal" thread.

 

I'm not remotely interested or bothered by the bailiffs threats or letters;

 

1. They can't get in the house, and it 's not my house anyway;

 

2. They can't take the car, it's on HP and,

 

3. They can't call on Christmas day (and won't anyway)

 

However the over-riding point in all of this is that Blackpool's parking tickets ARE ILLEGAL so none of this is worth the paper it is written on. They have been told in no uncertain terms by a prominent MP to stop chasing debts for these illegal parking tickets, have been defeated on several occasions at NPAS hearings because of the illegally-worded parking tickets, and have told other people that they will not pursue the debt "because it is not in the public interest".

 

From a personal point of view, I don't have a problem with them. In fact I couldn't care less! The point I am trying to get across in this thread is that this surely must be illegal intimidation, and I'm wondering where we go from here with this to bring THEM to justice and to help other people, not me but those that must be scared out of their wits when they get letters like this!

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Being a nice unsuspicious probably niave person, I think that their letter has auto generated a date 14/7 days (or something) from date of the letter and it happens to be 25th December...

 

I tend to agree with you Karnevil, but you would think they would have the decency and respect to avoid dates like Christmas day. It isnt that difficult a task to exclude certain dates.

Alliance & leicester:Settled 8/9/06 http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/alliance-leicester-successes/19700-tamadus-l.html?highlight=tamadus

Capital One:Settled 22/9/06 http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/capital-one/16644-tamadus-capital-one.html?highlight=tamadus

MBNA 2 accounts:Settled 22/9/06 http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/other-institutions-successes/13831-tamadus-mbna-i.html?highlight=tamadus

Smile:Settled 15/11/06

Egg Card:S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 2/10/06

GE Money:S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent3/8/06 LBA sent 26/9/06

Abbey:ERC prelim sent 14/9/06. LBA sent 2/10/06. Now it's getting interesting so keep watching

Barclaycard:In criminal default watch this space

Lloyds TSB:In criminal default watch this space

 

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Yes it's definately an automated letter, but that's hardly the point.

 

Apaprt from that a little more personal care would be in order at the very least considering what they add in charges, not that they will be getting it in this case.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Guest MizzPiggy

seylectric, with all due respect the thread started with Bailiff Threatening to visit on Christmas day, there was no mention of the ticket itself being invalid.

 

So to backtrack then, your options are simply to threaten them and state that you will take it to the press, or you can contact us and let us have a ball with them as we have been on this issue for 2 months now!

 

So far Hammersmith and Fullem are collecting despite 2 tickets taken back to ajudication and one only last week, but they still fight the ruling from August.

 

It amazes me that they are allowed to get away with it! Was saying that today to the local paper of the above that are doing a large story on it.

 

Tell them in a faxed letter that you will sue for damages as we have done and we have a case going in in January that is a civil claim against the council.

 

Good luck.

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Sorry for any confusion, I did state that they were "unpaid parking tickets, illegally worded so void", but I accept that it was unclear.

 

I agree with every word about them getting away with it and it's all wrong. I just don't have the time at the moment to deal with it from a legal perspective and I certainly don't have the money (more in the PM I'm about to send you) so I'm very interested in what you are doing.

 

Thanks for your support.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

...So says one of Blackpool's finest!

 

(Bit of a moan but relevant issues covered, long post)

 

 

The street on which the local Royal Mail sorting office, where people collect their undelivered parcels, is situated is a one-way street which pay-and-dispaly parking meters on one side and double yellows on the other, plus apparently pointless markings on the kerb which, according to the parking ticket office are there to let people know it is an offence to park on the footpath - that's what they told me when I phoned to complain. If you didn't, you would be blocking the road.

 

Before we get to the main event - my complaint - there are already a couple of contentious issues here. First of all, I referred to the markings as apparently pointless as according to local rules it is an offence to park on any footpath anyway, so they say. So all footpaths need to be marked, or none of them!

 

Secondly it is interesting to note that they refer to this misdeameanour as an offence. Since parking is council controlled, and thus decriminalised, it isn't an offence, a point of major contention in Blackpool at the moment - they are still pursuing people for unpaid fines even though they have now lost several cases at NPAS because their parking tickets referred to an offence and so were illegally worded (I believe they have now changed the wording).

 

The parcel collection office is a particularly busy one, you can often be queing for at least ten minutes but being in the town centre the pay-and-display bays are usually occupied all the time (used to be free to park until the council spotted the money-making potential) and people collecting parcels park partly on the footpath opposite for a few minutes. No big deal, preventing an obstruction, no damage to the low kerb and plenty of room for pedestrians. Of course you're a prime target for a ticket and it's patrolled regularly. No need, just a money-making [problem] but we have all sort of got used to it and have to put up with it.

 

However on the Saturday before Christmas, Christmas Day of course being Monday, the parcel collection office was very busy and there were long queues. The council's answer? To position two trafiic wardens outside all day, so people could not park outside the parcel office without getting a ticket.

 

I myself had gone to collect a parcel, parked on the footpath before I saw the wardens which were ahead of the car parked in front of me. One warden appeared immediately and said, "Shift it - now!". I got out of the car and spotted the second warden. He was arguing with a woman who was in tears, in some distress actually, seemed she was protesting at the fact that she had a large parcel to pick up, had been driving around the block for an hour waiting for a bay, and finally gave up choosing to accept the inevitable ticket to collect her parcel, no doubt a Christmas present. However she was being told that a tow truck was on standby to tow away offenders who deliberatley ignored them.

 

I turned back to my car to see the first warden writing out a ticket. I then asked him if he knew the laws relating to parking on double yellow lines. he of course said he did, so I asked him why he was giving me a ticket. Before he had the chance to answer, I pointed out that there was a break, in fact several breaks in the yellow lines. I then pointed out that this rendered them basically non-existent and that nobody was commiting an offence by parking there, and they were wrong to stop them, let alone book them.

 

I deliberately said offence to gauge his reaction. He initially said, "What break? I can't see any break in any lines so you're commiting an offence. That's why you have got a ticket. You were warned."

 

Really? I then pointed out the breaks, about 4ft from where we were stood (remarkably he still couldn't see them the first time) and told him that I had no problem winning my appeal at NPAS. I then questioned that if he knew the laws he must know that he has just given me a ticket KNOWING that I am not illegally parked! I told him that if he didn't know he should resign because he obviously wasn't up to the job, and if he DID know he should resign because he was booking people illegally! He saud that he was well aware of the law and a break in a double yellow line "had to be at least a car length long". Obviously this is boleaux but I would love to know how the Road Traffic Act defines a "car length". Interestingly, no mention was made of parking on the pavement.

 

Not until I phoned up to complain that is. My complaint was about the attitude of the warden that ticketed me (I could have avoided it, yes, but I'm not bothered about that, that's not the point here). My point is WHY is there a need for such overzealous regulation anyway? Couldn't they have turned a blind eye for one day instead of making the last shopping day before Christmas into a lot of hassle for people? And they can't understand why town centres are dying!

 

Think about it - we hear a lot on the news about town centre stores losing out to internet retailers but I wonder if a lot of the reason for it is the fact that you can't park in or near town centres without paying for it or risking a ticket. Those retail parks are always heaving because it's free to park and no worries about fees or fines or your car being towed away. The likes of Tesco etc. seem to be making fortunes and one of the main attractions is free parking where you want to be, are councils ever going to wake up and realise that it is THEY who are killing High Street trade?

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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I've had a similar debate with a traffic warden regaarding the gaps in double yellows being at least a car length. I was parked over a mini-sized gap in the double yellows in my Toyota Camry (think about two mini's long). He elected to let me just get out of his sight before he changed his mind, which suited me as my mate had just picked up our takeaway.

 

A car-length is a very subjective measure.

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There is no such requirement - for any break to be at least an car length - therefore any debate as to what constitutes a car length in this context is sterile.

 

The regulations are absolute and require that the lines are continous and terminated with a T-bar. There are no permitted variations.

 

Many Councils and, indeed, some adjudicators will quote "de minimis" (In fact, de minimis non curat lex = the law does not concern itself with trifles) and state that a reasonable man would recognise that the lines existed. However, there is established case law that says that if the signs are not as prescribed (and road lines are signs) then they do not exist and cannot therefore be contravened. This strikes down any test of reasonableness (which doesn't exist in the legislation anyway)

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That's really what I was getting at, not only are they fleecing the motorist at will, they are now LYING to the public in order to attempt to justiy to the public what they are doing there in the first place.

 

The whole thing is a disgrace, as I said if either the warden doesn't know the law or is blatently lying then he should resign. Chances are though that he is making excuses such as this with his department's blessing!

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I pointed out to a traffic warden that there was no T bar on the double yellow lines so I was not illegally parked as he stated .He laughed sarcastically and said well watch I'm still going to give you a ticket anyway . I said what with the disabled badge correctly displayed on my car and all these witnesses watching your actions .He laughed again but just then walked away .

I regretted having the disabled badge on show as there where many witnesses so I'd of prefered to of got the ticket and challenged it / him , because of his attitude.

When you want to fool the world, tell the truth. :D

Advice & opinions of Janet-M are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified insured professional if you have any

doubts.

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  • 1 year later...

I have received a notice through the door this morning for an unpaid council-issued parking ticketlink3.gif stating "amount now due - £473, we will call again tomorrow etc...", usual stuff.

 

10 minutes later the bailiff was back with a "Notice of seizure of goods and inventory" notice, which states that they have seized the car (which is parked on the road). Both notices were pushed through the letterbox of the house (not owned by me), each time the bailiff did not knock.

 

However I have heard that (a) the cannot legally take the car if I need it for work (I'm self-employed) and (b) that there is a limit to what they can charge, and © that any statement must be itemised. Is this correct, and if so what can I now do about it?

Edited by seylectric

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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I have received a notice through the door this morning for an unpaid council-issued parking ticket stating "amount now due - £473, we will call again tomorrow etc...", usual stuff.

 

10 minutes later the bailiff was back with a "Notice of seizure of goods and inventory" notice, which states that they have seized the car (which is parked on the road). Both notices were pushed through the letterbox of the house (not owned by me), each time the bailiff did not knock.

 

However I have heard that (a) the cannot legally take the car if I need it for work (I'm self-employed) and (b) that there is a limit to what they can charge, and © that any statement must be itemised. Is this correct, and if so what can I now do about it?

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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While you are correct about (a), Bailiffs often seize first and ask questions later. It's not how they're supposed to operate.

 

With regards to (b) there are set fees that they can charge for each visit and so on. You should contact the bailiffs and request a breakdown of their charges.

 

Our bailiff experts should be able to help with that.

 

I assume this is the first you have heard of this ticket. If it is then you should be able to complete a statutory declaration at your county court and file it with the Traffic Enforcement Centre in Northhampton. You can do got an Stat. Dec. sworn at your local county court for free.

 

If your Stat Dec is accepted then that should halt bailiff action and return the enforcement activity back to the Notice to Owner stage, at which point you can either pay up or appeal.

 

You may find this link useful. Info about - County Court Bulk Centre - Traffic Enforcement Centre

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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