Valerie A Dodds, Solicitor, Head of Legal Services
Chief Executive’s office
Civic Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE99 2BN
Tel: 0191 232 8520 ext.25175. Fax. 0191 277 7127
Direct Line 0191 211 5175 DX No. 62552 – Jesmond.
Our Ref: NA/PGK00239
This matter is being dealt with by Nasreen Akhtar
29 March 2005
Mr N Herron
Dear Mr Herron,
RE: Car Parking Ticket 96256134-Stadium Car Park (OFF)
Thank you for your letter date 7th March 2005, received 10th March 2005, I note the content. In response to the matters you raise I would firstly point out that my letter to you dated 15th February 2005 was within the 15 Working day response period stipulated within the Complaints hand booklet. Your letter dated 24th January 2005 was received on the 27th January 2005, therefore by my calculations you received a response in 14 working days. I enclose for your attention a copy of the Council’s complaints hand booklet.
In relation to a notice being sent out to you under s108 Road traffic Regulation Act on two occasions, you will find that you are once again mistaken in that the notice was initially sent out to the registered keeper of the vehicle Mr Moran who in turn provided your details. I am sure you would no doubt feel it was unfair that solely upon the information provide by Mr Moran we accepted that you were the driver of the vehicle at the time of the parking contravention, without seeking confirmation of this from you.
I do not wish to re-iterate the content of previous correspondence to you concerning “your rights to challenge the alleged offence through the court process” as I can see we are not going to be able to explain matters to your satisfaction. I stand by our position in that the Road Traffic regulation Act 1984 allows us, as a Local Authority, to make provision as to the charges to be paid in connection with the use of a parking space.
The relevant section of the Bill of Rights has not been breached in that a fine has not been imposed under criminal law. A penalty charge notice is purely and simply an administrative procedure under which a person suspected of having contravened a parking regulation can discharge their liability. You have been offered an opportunity to pay a penalty charge and as you have thus far refused you leave us little alternative but to issue criminal proceedings against you. I can confirm you will shortly receive a summons to attend court regarding this matter.
In relation to your request for copies of all communications, received and sent, from the issue date of the parking ticket I have been advised that all such correspondence is available to you on your website http://www.neilherron.blogspot.com/, I therefore, do not propose to provide you with father copies of this information. You have been informed that this matter is currently subject to pending criminal proceedings, I trust you will now remove from your website any information concerning this case until the criminal process had reached a conclusion.
In relation to your request for copies of all internal communication passing between departments regarding this matter, I would advise you that any such information passing between the Parking Control Department and the Legal Services Department is legally privileged information which we are not under obligation to disclose, nor would we propose to do so.
Finally, your request for other information under the Freedom of Information Act is currently being looked in to by the Parking Control Department and I am advised that you will be receiving a response to your request in due course.
I do not wish to engage in any further protracted correspondence, as I do not envisage an amicable resolution to this matter. Rather than incur further expense in writing or considering lengthy, repetitive correspondence I would suggest this matter be left for a criminal court to adjudicate upon. If you wish to pursue a complaint to the Ombudsman please find enclosed the relevant guidance leaflet explaining the process.
(Miss) Nasreen Akhtar
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