Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rochdale Council given 7 day ultimatum...Give the motorists their money back!

Letter to Rochdale's Chief Executive...7 day notice

Roger Ellis
Chief Executive
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council,
PO Box 39,
Municipal Offices,
Smith Street,
Rochdale
OL16 1LQ
30th November 2005

Dear Mr. Ellis,

The response from Kevin Mayor, Parking and Business Development Manager, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council of 15th November 2005 is far from satisfactory.

In the letter Mr. Mayor confirmed that 28,260 Penalty Charge Notices (totalling £660,052) had been issued by Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council between 4th July 2004 and 27th July 2005 under the Council's Decriminalised Parking Enforcement regime.

These PCNs contained the wording 'TO THE DRIVER' which render the PCNs 'void and unenforceable' under the mandatory requirements of the 1991 Road Traffic Act.

I have provided details of case law in communications previously, but for clarity have again included it below.1.

It is apparent that RMBC became aware of the fact that the PCNs were unlawful because the PCNs were immediately altered as a result of NPAS case number RE58 on 27th July 2005. The newly worded PCNs were used from 2nd August 2005 onwards.

The fact that NPAS failed to bring the matter to your attention at an earlier stage is an irrelevance as their incompetence is a separate matter and one which is to be challenged with a separate legal action.

It is Rochdale Council who have the legal responsibility and requirements to act within the law and that includes understanding the requirements of the legislation. The wording of the PCN is mandatory and not open to interpretation. The legislation is quite explicit in that regard...Section 66(3) 1991 Road Traffic Act.

The fact that you 'believed' that you were acting lawfully does not excuse the fact that you were not and the PCNs contained unlawful wording.

It is not possible for the driver to make any representations and there is no reference to the driver in the legislation. It is the owner / keeper who is responsible for any 1991 RTA contraventions. To make reference to the driver on the PCN is a fundamental and glaring error.

Mr. Mayor states that there are no proposals to refund the PCN income.I wish to put you on notice and have the matter placed on record that this money has been derived unlawfully and we wish for the monies to be refunded to everyone of the 28,260 motorists who have been unlawfully penalised.

I would be grateful for a response within 7 days confirming that you have raised the matter with Mr. Mayor, and confirmed the facts of the case.

I would be grateful if you would confirm that you will initiate proposals to repay the monies unlawfully derived to avoid costly litigation.

Should you fail to do so we reserve the right to pursue the Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council on either an individual or a class action basis for the recovery of the money, damages and costs.

We will also pursue the matter with regard to Misfeasance in Public Office by various Council Officers and matters arising from the receipt, by a public authority of unlawfully derived income.

I would also be grateful if you could confirm that a copy of this e-mail will be made available to all elected members and the District Auditor.

It is my intention to bring the matter to the attention of Paul Rowen, MP for Rochdale who we expect to raise the matter in the House of Commons as well as the Rochdale general public at large via the press and media.

Adherence to the law is paramount for any local authority and for an authority such as Rochdale to act in such a cavalier and dismissive fashion with regard to their legal requirements and responsibilities, especially when they employ highly paid officials who should not be making such fundamental errors, is one which I am sure will solicit a very angry response from the ratepaying public.

I am sure that you will carefully consider your response which I will await with eager anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Herron
The People's No Campaign
12 Frederick Street
SunderlandSR1 1NA
0191 565 7143
07776 202045

NOTES:
1. The effect of a council disregarding the statutory provisions set down in the Road Traffic Act 1991 for notices and time limits was considered in Moulder v Sutton London Borough Council (1994 LPAS 1940113243). The Adjudicator, G.R. Hickinbottom, following Sedley J.’s (as he then was) judgment in R -v- The London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Tower Hamlets Combined Traders Association, (1993 unreported) determined that where the Road Traffic Act 1991 stipulated that (in the Moulder case) a Penalty Charge Notice “must state” certain requirements (Section 66(3)), those requirements are mandatory. Therefore a Penalty Charge Notice failing to contain each of the requirements set down in Section 66(3) is void and unenforceable.

2. For reference: questions to / and Responses from Mr. Kevin Mayor can be viewed here

Transport Committee and the Freedom of Lack of Information Act.




Daily Express Poll - the result

Q. Should the European flag replace the Union Jack?

No - 98%
Yes - 2%

The answers from Rochdale Council over their unlawful tickets

Mr. Kevin Mayor, Parking and Business Development Manager for Rochdale Council, finally responded to the questions raised with regard to Rochdale Council's Decrimialised Parking Enforcement regime.
His answers reveal the following:
  • Rochdale Council have issued 28,260 unlawful Penalty Charge Notices which did not contain the mandatory wording as required by the Road Traffic Act 1991. As a result, income totalling £660,052 has been unlawfully derived.
  • 409 cases have been referred to the bailiffs.
  • NPAS even adjudicated in favour of the Council on 18 occasions and failed to spot the unlawful PCN. Their competence must be called into question.
  • When the illegal wording was brought to the attention of the Council in NPAS case number 58 the PCNs were immediately changed. You do not change correctly worded PCNs
  • The Department for Transport did not have sight of Rochdale's PCN in their DPE application
  • The Council have no proposals to refund the money.

Well, I am sure that there will be 28,260 who beg to differ.The full list of questions and Mr. Mayor's responses are listed below: (Herron / Mayor)

14th October 2005

Mr. Kevin Mayor, Parking Enforcement, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, PO Box 39, Municipal Offices, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1LQ

Email: council@rochdale.gov.uk

Dear Mr. Mayor

1. You stated that (regarding the incorrect wording on the Penalty Charge Notices) that you had taken advice from consultants, Argonaut on the matter and that there was nothing wrong with the PCNs which contained the wording 'To the Driver of the Vehicle'. You then stated that it was not a written opinion on the legality of the PCNs but an informal opinion. When questioned further you stated that the opinion was not from Argonaut but from someone whose name you refused to disclose.Can you please advise as to whose informal opinion you were referring to regarding the legality of the PCNs and under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 can you please provide any records of that opinion?Or can you confirm that no such opinion exists? If it is the latter, I would be grateful for a written apology for making a misleading statement.

Dear Mr Herron

ROCHDALE MBC – DECRIMINALISATION PARKING ENFORCEMENT REGIME

I refer to your letter of 14 October 2005 regarding the above and have the following comments to make on the points you raise.


1. The informal opinion was from Peter Lowe of RTA Associates (copy email of 5 October 2005 attached).

NB. This is in the form of an e-mail from Peter Lowe (plowe@rtaassociates.co.uk) to Kevin Mayor and cc'd to Gill Shore (Parking Services) dated 5th October 2005.

Kevin,

I have tried to ring but you are engaged!! surprise. Gerald is on holiday. roger Shwartz rang me back to say the response on the phone is basically, "all PCNS were issued legally in the eyes of RMBC and if anyone wants to take it further they have to write in." then let them go to court if necessary as you have done nothing wrong operationally and it is only a play on words that is causing the problem. the fact that numerous adjudicators have let them through prior to one making a fuss would weigh heavily in your favour he thinks. I know it is not much but he does not see too much of a problem defending it.

best of luck

Peter

2. You inform me that you have no website informing the public as to the nature, location and extent of Rochdale Council's DPE regime, and it will not be in place for possibly another six months. Can you please advise as to why this was not considered necessary prior to the commencement of DPE and confirm that this is an unacceptable state of affairs?


2. Whilst a website concerning D.P.E. is desirable It is by no means mandatory. Any member of the public receiving a Penalty Charge Notice will be advised of the process If they enquire. The documentation of the DPE system In Itself Informs the motorists of their rights at all stages.

3. Can you please supply a copy of the Audit Report you referred to detailing this failure to provide information?I would be grateful for the answers to a number of further questions (please treat as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 wherever necessary):


3. Enclosed Is a copy of the Council's internal audit report on the introduction of DPE in the Borough.

4. Can you please advise as to the exact date when Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council began their Decriminalised Parking Enforcement Regime?

4. Rochdale MBC began its DPE regime on 4th July, 2004.

5. Can you please advise as to when and how it was brought to your attention that Rochdale Borough Council's Penalty Charge Notices were incorrectly worded?

5. In an adjudication case no., RE58 dated 27th July, 2005 It was pointed out that the Council's PCN's varied from the Department of Transport Model Notice.

6. How many Penalty Charge Notices have been issued from the inception to date?

6. A total of 32,288 PCN's were issued between 4 July, 2004 and 30 September 2005.

7. How many PCNs were issued with the incorrect wording:"TO: THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE SHOWN BELOW"and can you please confirm the amount of income derived from these unlawful PCNs?

7. Between 4th July 2004 and 1 August 2005 a total of 28.260 PCN's were issued, the income from which was £660,052.

8. How many of these incorrectly worded PCNs have ended with enforcement action by bailiffs?

8. To date a total of 409 cases have been referred for action by Bailiffs.

(No point 9)

10. Have you now changed the wording? If so, can you please advise as to when and please supply a copy of both pre and post decision PCNs?

10. The PCN's were changed on 2 August, 2005, copies of both are enclosed.

11. Can you please confirm that all of the PCNs issued with the above incorrect wording are 'void and unenforceable'?

In order to assist you with this I have copied below an NPAS decision from 25th May 2000

Mr. C v Hastings Borough Council

Case Number: HS0013

The effect of a Council disregarding the statutory provisions set down in the Road Traffic Act 1991 for notices and time limits was considered in Moulder v Sutton London Borough Council (1994 LPAS 1940113243). The Adjudicator, G.R. Hickinbottom, following Sedley J.'s (as he then was) judgment in R -v- The London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Tower Hamlets Combined Traders Association, (1993 unreported) determined where the Road Traffic Act 1991 stipulated that (in the Moulder case) a Penalty Charge Notice "must state certain requirements (Section 66(3)), those requirements are mandatory. Therefore a Penalty Charge Notice failing to contain each of the requirements set down in section 66(3) is void and unenforceable. Since Paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 6 of the Acts sets out the requirements to be contained in a Notice to Owner in the identical words, namely,"A notice to owner must state",it follows that the requirements are mandatory. Any Notice to Owner that does not comply with those requirements is void and unenforceable.

11. The Council do not accept that the PCN's are void and unenforceable

12. In the Rochdale Observer (4th October 2005) you were quoted as saying, "Since DPE was introduced in Rochdale, the ultimate liability has always been with the registered keeper of the vehicle. There has never been a fixed legal wording of notices." (my emphasis).Can you confirm that this statement in bold type is incorrect?

12. No.

13. You then go on to say, "Penalty Charge Notices issued before this time have been accepted by the National Parking Adjudication Service."Can you please provide details of the following:(i) The number of PCNs which have been appealed to NPAS and their outcomes?(ii) Whether the incorrect PCN was included in the evidence bundle from Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council(iii) Can you please confirm that Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council received the 'Recommendations/Guidelines’ that NPAS have issued to all local authorities since the inception of NPAS, and can you please provide a copy?(iv) Can you please confirm how many tickets have been refunded to date and the amount?

13 (i) Prior to NPAS case RE58 the outcomes were as follows:­
29 cases not contested 18 Appeals refused
9 Appeals allowed
2 Appeals withdrawn.

(ii) Copies of the PCN's are always included in the evidence pack. Two copies of the PCN are printed at the time of issue. The duplicate is sent to NPAS.

(iii) NPAS Circulars can be accessed on the NPAS website; accordingly copies are not enclosed because they are reasonably accessible by other means (i.e. Via the NPAS website).

(iv) No PCN payments have been refunded as a result of NPAS decisions. No payment is made prior to an NPAS appeal.

14. Can you confirm that steps will now be taken to immediately refund all the money obtained unlawfully by contacting the motorists directly and issuing notices to the press and media?

14. There are no proposals to refund PCN income.

15. Can you please confirm that Rochdale Metropolitan Borough's Treasurer will be informed that there are unlawful items of income contained in the Council's accounts, and confirm the amount, and provision will be made to ring-fence this unlawful income in order to protect the monies to be refunded?

15. There are no proposals to ring-fence income in the Council's Accounts.

16. Can you please advise as to whether the DPE application made to the Department for Transport to create Statutory Instrument 2004 No. 1402 'The Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale) Order 2004' included a copy of the proposed PCN?

16. No PCN was submitted with the DPE application to the Department of Transport. None was requested, only information on the proposed PCN level.

17. Can you confirm whether there was an inspection carried out of all the relevant Traffic Regulation Orders, signs lines and plates and proposed PCNs prior to the implementation of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement? If so by whom, and were all the recommendations acted upon?

17. There was an independent inspection made of all the lines and signs in Rochdale MBC by the Greater Manchester Transportation Unit acting on behalf of the Council.
Recommendations arising from the inspection were dealt with by a new Consolidation Order with amendments which was advertised and made prior to the commencement of DPE.

18. Can you please confirm receipt of this e-mail and confirm that you will provide the Chief Executive, Treasurer, Head of Legal Services and the Leader of the Council with a copy along with all of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council's councillors?I hope that Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council accepts full responsibility for its actions without the need for a protracted internal or external investigation involving the expenditure of more public money and look forward to Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council doing 'the decent thing.'

18. The content of your letter has been circulated to all relevant Council officers and appropriate Council Members briefed.

I apologise for not replying earlier, please confirm that you are now withdrawing your complaint under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I hope this letter is helpful.

Yours faithfully



J K Mayor
Parking and Business Development Manager

Can this really be the end for the St George flag?

Outrage over Euro Banner
by David Pilditch and Mark Blacklock
Daily Express
Saturday November 26, 2005

A fresh attack was launched by the Government yesterday on the Union Flag.
It wants to give the European Flag the same status as our treasured national symbol, the Daily Express can reveal.
The contraversial move could spell the end of the four flags for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The European symbol could soon replace our national flags flying outside public buildings.

And yesterday one council moved to take down the flag of St George and replace it with the blue EU banner with its ring of yellow stars.

Critics bitterly condemned the Government move as a disgrace.

The news comes after the Express revealed yesterday that Eurocrats are trying to force Britain's merchant navy fleet to fly the European flag.
Critivs say that this could relegate the traditional Red Ensign - under which the merchant ships have sailed to war - to history. Under British law all non-national flags are classified as "outdoor advertisements". The EU's uninspiring flag can only bt flown above public buildings with planning permission from local councils.
Two authorities and a police force in England have been forced to take the flags down from their buildings after complaints from campaigners.
At one stage the European Commission's London office was ordered to remove the banner.
Last month Wear Valley District Council in County Durham was forced to take down the EU banner from its headquarters after being told that it was flying illegally.
After the error was pointed out the standard was replaced with the flag of St George.
At a cost of £265 the council then applied to its own planning committee for permission to restore the EU flag.
This week the planning committee approved a revised application to fly the flag applying for "advertisement consent".
Despite 19 objections put forward all 14 councillors on the committee supported the application.
Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's office admitted it is introducing rules next year which will raise the status of the Euro flag.
Angry anti-Europe campaigner Neil Herron said: "It is illegal to fly the European flag without planning permission. At present the European flag has the same status as the Jolly Roger. But at least the people who flew that flag were honest about their intentions.
"The Government's proposal will give the European flag the status of our national flags. In the case of local authorities this is a contentious issue because the EU flag is not the symbol of a nation state but of a political project.
"It falls foull of local government guidelines which state you cannot use public money to promote a political issue.
"This is a disgrace. It's being done through the back door."
Tory Peer Lord Waddington condemned the proposal, saying the EU flag had "the same status as the skull and crossbones - which some might think appropriate".

The end of parking fines may be in sight

The end of parking fines could be in sight after the outcome of two legal challenges are known.

The cases, one brought by a Bosham man and the other by a man in Worcester, are using ancient laws to challenge the legality of parking fines and local authorities’ ability to impose them.

Those behind the cases believe if they succeed the revenue from car parking fines in Britain - estimated to be worth £1bn - will be dramatically reduced.

Lt Col Tex Pemberton, the West Sussex County Council transport chief, has called the challenges ‘potential showstoppers’.

The basis of the challenges is that in law, councils operating decriminalised parking schemes do not have the power to issue ‘fines’ - only courts have the power to do so.

If successful, it could have major implications in this area because West Sussex County Council is due to begin decriminalised car parking on January 23.

Former Chichester parliamentary candidate, Douglas Denny, of Sunnyway, Bosham, who is challenging his case over a parking ticket he received in Portsmouth, said: “The law has been ignored for years and (the authorities) have got away with it. Now it is being tested.”

Mr Denny’s case has progressed only as far as Portsmouth City Council’s head lawyer, who has said he regards it as being ‘interesting’.

But in Worcester last Friday Robin De Crittenden, of Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, took Worcester City Council to a tribunal hearing.

He and Mr Denny are both arguing their cases using the 1689 Bill of Rights which says parking ‘fines’ can only be imposed by a court of law.

Part of the Bill they refer to says: “All grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.”

Mr De Crittenden said at the tribunal that Britain was drifting towards a police state and said: “The public are faced with a vast money-making machine that is a disgrace to each of the local authorities.”

A decision from the tribunal is not expected for weeks as the National Parking Adjudication Service reserved judgement and said it will announce its decision by the end of November. (note - decision made known this weekend - appeal allowed - by default as Worcester City Council failed to appear to put their case )

Mr Denny began his case, which is identical in most ways to Mr De Crittenden’s after receiving a parking ticket in Auckland Road East, Southsea, on October 29.

He paid the £30 fine to the council but appealed at the same time that was unlawful.

Portsmouth City Council’s Head of Common Law, Gordon Barratt, said in a letter to Mr Denny: “I must say the issues you have raised certainly do appear interesting from a lawyer’s perspective.

“If Portsmouth City Council was ordered by the courts or legislative amendment to reimburse any parking charges levied then, subject to appeal, it would of course comply with such a requirement.”

Nothing is likely to happen in Mr Denny’s case until the tribunal in Worcester is resolved.

Mr Denny said: “The levying of fines without recourse to a court of law is illegal under the Bill of Rights Act.

“There is no question about it - it is illegal.

“To put it simply, the law has been ignored for years and they have got away with it. Now it is being tested.

“What is interesting is how the authorities are going to get out of it - as try they will – because there are millions of pounds of revenue at stake per annum.

“They are already trying to make out that the fines are not really fines after all but are parking charges.

“The trouble for them is they have tacitly been called fines from day one and are still called fines at all levels of local authority government.

“If it looks like a fine, acts like a fine and smells like a fine - it must be a fine.”

County council cabinet member for transport Lt Col Pemberton said: “This is a potential showstopper.

“We hope it is not a showstopper but we will have to wait and see what happens in Worcester before we react. It may well be that we have to change all the wording to ‘charges’ instead of fines.

“But as far as I’m concerned I am telling all my people to carry on work as normal because we have to put a stop to illegal parking in West Sussex.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Transport Committee puts its hands in its ears and whistles. Herron refused opportunity to give evidence.

It seems that the Transport Committee is desperate to keep the information that we have from the official report.
Evidence is being given from all the usual suspects.The establishment is closing ranks to protect itself.

TRANSPORT COMMITTEE
Committee Office
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London
SW1P 3JA

Enquiries 020 7219 6263 Fax 020 7219 0909 E-mail transcom@parliament.uk
http://www.parliament.uk/transcom
Committee Office Information Line for recorded information about Committee meetings: 020 7219 2033

PRESS NOTICE
EVIDENCE SESSIONS
FINDING A SPACE FOR PARKING POLICY
The Transport Committee previously announced its intention to inquire into the current effectiveness and quality of parking policy and enforcement. Oral evidence sessions will be held for this inquiry on 7 December and 14 December 2005, and the witnesses will be as follows:

Wednesday 7 December 2005
2.45pm British Parking Association
National Car Parks Ltd
3.30pm Association of London Government
Westminster Council
Local Government Association
Manchester City Council
Winchester City Council
4.30pm Institution of Highways and Transportation
Technical Advisers Group
Living Streets

Wednesday 14 December 2005
2.45pm RAC Foundation
AA Motoring Trust
Freight Transport Association
Brewery Logistics Group
3.30pm National Parking Adjudication Service
Chief Parking Adjudicator for London
4.15pm Ms Karen Buck MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport

The evidence sessions will take place in public, unless otherwise decided by the Committee. Because the meetings may be moved from the Palace of Westminster to Portcullis House, those wishing to attend the meetings should check the venue by contacting the Committee Office Information Line on 020 7219 2033 on the day before the hearings.

Press Notice 16/2005-06
28 November 2005
John Patterson
Clerk of the Committee

More news and press reports in brief

Council flies flag in Europe row read..
BBC News Manchester (metric martyr, Neil Herron)
25/11
09:00
A council has given itself planning permission to fly the European Union flag from its County Durham offices....fly the flag applying for "advertisement consent". Anti-EU campaignerNeil Herron, who made the complaint, said he was determined to pursuehis...
Report from agent de Crittenden (2 matches) Period: 25/11 08:30 - 28/11 08:30

Parking Rebel Fights On read..
Sky News (de Crittenden)
27/11 08:12 A motorist who successfully appealed against his parking ticket hopes to set a legal precedent that could see such fines declared illegal. If he does, the court ruling could save motorists hundreds of millions of pounds every year....motorists hundreds of millions of pounds every year. Robin de Crittendenwon his appeal to the National Parking Adjudication Service against...

Battle over unpaid parking fines read..
Express & Star (De Crittenden)
25/11 16:48 A serial parking offender from Willenhall has invoked the 1689 Bill of Rights in his battle against Worcester City Council over a £60 ticket. Pensioner Robin De Crittenden has also raised the ancient law against Sandwell and Sunderland councils....Worcester City Council over a £60 ticket. Pensioner Robin De Crittendenhas also raised the ancient law against Sandwell and Sunderland councils.

EU commissioner critical of British accounting read..
Irish Examiner (metric system)
25/11 14:24
EU Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite slammed Britain's defence of its EU rebate today, saying London was using "creative accounting" in its arguments to keep the multi-billion-euro payback.driving on the left side of the road and refusing to adopt the metricsystem. The former Lithuanian finance minister also was critical ofBritain's...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Eu flag remains down

Northern Echo
Saturday 26th November 2005

EU flag remains down
The flags were flying proudly over a North East civic centre last night - but not the European Union flag that has caused so much fuss.

Wear Valley District Council faced criticism for spending £265 to fund a planning application so it can fly its council flag and the European Union flag over the Civic Centre, in Crook, County Durham.

The authority was forced to take down the EU Ring of Stars after complaints from the People's NO Campaign Group, which said it was illegal to fly a political symbol.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

We'll keep the Blue Flag Flying

Olive Brown can be contacted at
o.brown@wearvalley.gov.uk

You can post a comment at the Wear Valley DC Forum here

It appears as though my Freedom of Information request with regard to the EU flag issue 'went missing' and was only found after the planning committee meeting.
However, the EU Flag still needs permission from full council and this is a policy decision the debate for which takes place on 14th December.
We will be publishing a full list of all the councillors involved in the Committee as they will need to be lobbied.

Sunday Telegraph
Christopher Booker's notebook

(Filed: 27/11/2005)

'We'll keep the blue flag flying
Olive Brown, the Europhile former leader of a Co Durham council, hopes to replace the flag of St George currently flying outside her council offices with that of the EU. To the chagrin of Ms Brown, a member of the EU's Committee of the Regions, Wear Valley council had to haul down the "ring of stars" on one of its three flagpoles, when it was pointed out that this was illegal without planning permission. On Thursday the council voted unanimously to give itself permission to fly the EU flag, although 19 members of the public had lodged objections, with none in favour.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Press Release: Robin de Crittenden wins Appeal...now the High Court

Press Release: Immediate

The People's No Campaign

"Notice of Announcement of High Court Appeal following Robin de Crittenden's Bill of Rights Parking Ticket Victory"
...Government and Local Authorities facing a loss of £1 billion a year in parking fine revenue



Photo Opportunity: Robin de Crittenden and People's No Campaign Directors Neil Herron and Colin Moran with Court papers
Location: Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London.
Time:11.00 am Monday 28th 2005

Verdict: Appeal Upheld.

Robin de Crittenden beats Worcester Council

The case of:
Robin Decrittenden v Worcester City Council

was heard at the Fownes Hotel in Worcester on Friday 18th November 2005 by Mr. Prickett of the National Parking Adjudication Service, the 'Independent' Tribunal that receive 60p from every Penalty Charge Notice issued.

The hearing in Worcester was the first public airing of the use of the Bill of Rights Defence against a Penalty Charge Notice issued, in this instance, under Worcester City Council's decriminalised parking enforcement regime.
Two hundred members of the public packed the venue.
The potential of the case is that it could expose the fact that the Government, and Local Authorities operating decriminalised parking enforcement regimes, are acting unlawfully. The consequence could be that they have no legal authority to impose 'fines' thereby threatening a massive source of revenue which is now approaching £1,000,000,000 per annum!
The Tribunal heard evidence that the Bill of Rights 1689 is a constitutional statute that has not been 'expressly' repealed by the 'ordinary' statute, the 1991 Road Traffic Act.
This requirement for ordinary Acts of Parliament was confirmed in the judgment of Thoburn v Sunderland City Council heard in the High Court in February 2002 and commonly referred to as 'The Metric Martyrs Judgment.'
Fundamental to the case against Decriminalised Parking Fines was that the Bill of Rights states:
"that all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void."
Decriminalised Parking Enforcement does not allow access to a Court of Law.

The Tribunal heard evidence of many instances of failures by the NPAS to request evidence from Local Authorities and failing to inspect evidence, yet still they still against many motorists.
Evidence also was cited, which included cases in Sunderland where £35,000 has had to be repaid to motorists with another £2.5m pending. Rochdale Council has issued over 28,000 Penalty Charge Notices with unlawful wording and the sum which will have to be paid back is over £660,000. In many instances NPAS had wrongly adjudicated.

Evidence was submitted to the Tribunal which exposed the Chief Adjudicator making prejudicial remarks about the Bill of Rights defence exposing a bias against ANY appellant.

The Tribunal also heard of manipulation and altering of NPAS and Government websites to remove the word 'fine' and replace it with 'charge' and it appears that Mr. Prickett, when making reference to the Bill of Rights, conveniently omits the 'and forfeitures' in a further attempt at obfuscation (if a PCN is not a fine then it is most certainly a forfeiture).

Mr. Prickett allowed the appeal but on a technicality...that Worcester Council had conveniently failed to supply any evidence of a Traffic Regulation Order. If that was the case then the hearing should have taken two minutes and not four hours.

It is therefore the intention to appeal the successful appeal to the High Court on a point of law in order to expose the fact that ALL decriminalised parking fines are unlawful and ALL motorists are being unlawfully persecuted by local authorities operating decriminalised parking schemes.

Robin Decrittenden states,"They are running away because they know the law is bigger than they are hence the situation in Worcester where the Adjudicator admitted that he had failed to inspect Council documentation in the past but is now saying that Councils have the job of proving their case."
People's No Campaign Director, Neil Herron states, "This is the first head on conflict exposing the highly suspect Metric Martyrs Judgment. If the Judgment is correct then decriminalised parking fines cannot be levied. Alternatively, the Metric Martyrs were wrongly convicted. It is our intention to put an end to the unacceptable and unaccountable governance and this decriminalised parking is simply an unlawful stealth tax on the motorist."
ENDS

Contact:

Neil Herron
tel. 0191 565 7143
mob. 07776 202045

Colin Moran
mob. 07802 448 635
metricmartyrs@btconnect.com

Robin Decrittenden 01902 417 045

More information to be posted at:
www.neilherron.blogspot.com and www.thepeoplesnocampaign.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Press Release from Worcester Hearing of 18th November here

Full text of the National Parking Adjudication Service decision here

Press Statement from Robin de Crittenden for 28th November 2005 here

The People's No Campaign has grown out of the Metric Martyrs Campaign which successfully halted the Government's persecution of traders for using imperial measures.
The campaign team ran the successful No Campaign in the North East referendum defeating John Prescott's proposals for an elected regional assembly.
The campaign has grown to oppose the European Constitution and has recently forced local authorities to remove the EU Flag from public buildings.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Decittenden v Worcester...Decision to be announced

We will be announcing the decision from the Decrittenden v Worcester Parking Appeal case at a Press Conference at 11am outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.

The press release is being prepared (will be circulated at 6pm tomorrow) and the implications of the decision by Adjudicator, Mr. Prickett, will have a knock-on effect for all Decriminalised Parking Enforcement local authorities as well as the National Parking Adjudication Service.

Needless to say, the decision is precisely what was expected...more to follow.

Herron on TalkSport...Parking Fine Mess

Neil Herron is on the Mike Dickin Show on TalkSport this Sunday evening 11pm - 2am (1053 - 1089 mw).
The subject...Parking Fines and out of control local authorities...a stealth tax on the motorist.

We will be exposing the illegality of decriminalised parking enforcement.

We will be exposing local authorities acting illegally.

We will be exposing rogue companies exploiting the sytem without any checks and balances.

The last time the show ran the subject the switchboard lit up like a Christmas Tree.

Should you wish to call the programme the number is 08704 202020

Opponents pole-axed in flag row

The Journal
Friday, November 25, 2005

A council which was forced to stop flying the European Union flag after complaints from a protest group, last night granted itself the go-ahead to resurrect it.

County Durham's Wear Valley District Council pulled down the EU Ring of Stars after complaints from two members of The People's No Campaign group. North-East 'metric martyrs' Neil Herron and Jim Tague argued it was unlawful for a local authority to fly the political symbol in front of its public buildings.

But last night, Wear Valley's development control committee unanimously voted to give the authority permission to re-erect it at the Civic Centrem in Crook.

The decision came despite a raft of objections from campaigners, including a drive to replace it with England's national flag, the Cross of St George.

They also criticised the council's use of public money to fund the application for a flag.

One complaint said: "If the council has surplus money the following flags should be displayed as a priority: Union Jack, Flag of St George, Flag of Scotland and Flag of Wales."

Another added: "I strongly object that you wish to use taxpayers' money to unlawfully promote a political project."

In a statement before the application was passed, Mr Herron said: "The issue of our membership of the EU is politically contentious and one for national Government and not for promotion by local authorities.
"Their limited resources would be better spent on issues which are important to the local community, not for political grandstanding."

The group added that even if the council pass the application, they believe it will still be unlawful.

But last night Wear Valley District Council development control committee member Ron Grogan said he objected to the matter being debated at all.
"They are complaining about the council paying £265 but I have asked our planing officer to calculate how much this has cost in terms of officers' time.
"Many of the political points they raised were not relevant to the committee meeting."

Eurocrats ban our Red Ensign

Shameful insult to our brave merchant sailors
Daily Express
Friday 25 November, 2005
By David Pilditch and John Ingham






They insist British ships fly the EU flag instead

Brussels bureaucrats are tryins to force Britain's merchant fleet to fly the European flag instead of the historic Red Ensign.

The proposal was condemned last night by politicians and war veterans.

EU officials want ships from member states to fly the blue European flag with its ring of yellow stars, claiming it will improve the image of the fleet.

But veterans insist there is no greater emblem of excellence than the Red Ensign, which has been the official flag of the Merchant Navy since 1864. Before then, the flag, affectionately nicknamed the Red Duster, was flown by Royal Navy warships as far back as 1627.

The timing of the proposal - after Britain proudly celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar - was seen as a calculated insult.

Former Royal Navy commander Eddie Grenfell, who survived the sinking of a merchant ship in the Arctic in May 1942, said: "The Red Ensign should never be changed. In every war the Merchant Navy play a prominent part. They are tremendous, loyal people who never give up. they have lost thousands of men all around the world and the Red Ensign is a flag they are proud of."

Merchant Navy Association chairman Captain John Sail said: "It is terrible that they should try to alter such a symbol of British success.
"The EU has nothing to do with our history of extreme bravery during conflict."

Today the Red Ensign is flown by nearly 600 ships registered in the UK. During the war the Merchant Navy had a higher ratio of casualities than any of the Armed Services.

Nearly 32,000 men and women helping to transport vital supplies of ammunition, food and fuel were killed. And nine merchant seamen died in the Falklands War when the Atlantic Conveyor was sunk.

Merchant Navy Association national secretary Tim Brant said: "If it hadn't been for the merchant service in the Second World War we wouldn't have the freedom we enjoy today. Every one of the merchant seamen who lost their lives signed up tp serve under the Red Ensign." The plan to scrap it comes two years after Eurocrats were forced to abandon a separate attempt to tamper with the flag.

The idea then was to replace the Union Flag in the corner of the ensign with a European Union emblem. Now the European Commission is accused of trying to resurrect the idea through the back door.

It says the move would help recognition at sea of vessels meeting the strictest European safety standards. The plan has been put forward for EU transport ministers to consider. But Shadow Transport Minister Julian Brazier said: "This is a silly proposal. The Commission should drop it." And British MEPs vowed to fight the proposal.

Tory Geoffrey Van Orden said: "We want our ships to fly our national flag. The idea of flying an EU flag is offensive and defies common sense and centuries of tradition."

Numast, the Merchant Navy officers' union, insisted any attempt at establishing a European fleet would be resisted. Spokesman Andrew Linnington said: "There are very powerful reasons for retaining a national merchant fleet. During the Falklands War we had more than 50 merchant ships that supported the Royal Navy. I can't imagine a European fleet would have sailed there."

The Department for Transport said: "We are not going to get rid of the Red Ensign. We see neither need nor advantage in a European flag."





"It is so terrible to alter a symbol of British success"

Wear Valley District Council...Unanimous decision to betray England

Last night 14 Wear Valley District Councillors voted unanimously to approve planning consent to fly the EU Flag.
The People's No Campaign had previously forced them to remove it as they were not legally entitled to do so.
Since it was removed the Cross of St. George has been proudly flying. Now the Council intends to remove the English Flag and replace it with the 'Ring of Stars.'

The arrogance of these elected individuals is staggering...
'Our aim - to be the best District Council in England'

Read the BBC coverage here

It is important that this betrayal of England and the flag in favour of the corrupt, unaccountable and undemocratic EU is spread as far and wide as possible

Leave your comments here on the Wear Valley website:

The letters page for the Newcastle Journal is jnl.letters@ncjmedia.co.uk and the Northern Echo is echo@nne.co.uk and it is important that public revulsion is articulated.

We will continue to pursue the Council as it still has to make a policy decision...to use public money to promote a political project...and this falls foul of the Section 19 of the Local Authority Guidelines on publicity.

Rights to fight parking ticket

Rights to fight parking ticket
The Times
November 19, 2005

A pensioner aims to use the 1689 Bill of Rights to overturn a parking ticket. Robin de Crittenden, 67, from Willenhall, Wolverhampton, is fighting a £60 fine issued by Worcester City Council and has taken his case to the National Parking Adjudication Service. He believes that fines issued before conviction by a court are illegal under the Bill of Rights. The NPAS adjudicator reserved judgment on the case and is expected to notify the parties of his findings this month.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Press Release:- Wear Valley Council and that EU Flag

Wear Valley District Council would like comments on their forum. Tell them what you think here
Press Release
The People's No Campaign
Thursday 24th November 2005


"Wear Valley District Council desperate to remove the English 'Cross of St. George' Flag
...and replace it with the European Union 'Ring of Stars."


Wear Valley District Council is tonight attempting to seek planning permission to fly the EU Flag after previously being forced to remove it by People's No Campaigners, Jim Tague and Neil Herron.

The planning application, using £265 of public money appears to be a desperate attempt to legitimise the flying of the EU's 'Ring of Stars' after being embarassingly caught out flying it illegally.

However, it is still not lawful to fly the flag because it is not the flag of a nation state but of a political project and thus they would fall foul of Section 19 of the Local Authority Guidelines on Publicity..." you cannot use public money to attempt to persuade the public on a question of policy."

Neil Herron states, "The issue of our membership of the European Union is politically contentious and one for national Government and not for promotion by Local Authorities. Their limited resources would be better spent on issues, which are important to the local community and not for political ‘grandstanding’ on behalf of elected members who are in favour of the ‘European Project,' including former leader Olive Brown who is the North East alternate member on the EU's Committee of the Regions.
Quite why WVDC Council, the Council which states on its website, 'our aim – is to become the best District Council in England’ wishes to have the English flag removed therefore is quite beyond me."


Jim Tague states, " In light of the Council's wish to become the best District Council in England I trust they will be consulting the whole of the District on their preference of which particular flag they would like see flying...the Cross of St. George or the EU's Ring of Stars. Surely a council with such aspirations would not fear the outcome of full public consultation. After all, as servants of the people I am sure that they would not wish to be seen as acting as our masters."

It is expected that this issue will have implications for all other Local Authorities who are also unlawfully flying the EU Flag and I am sure that our pro EU Government will be watching events very closely.

G K Chesterton in his poem 'Secret People' states:
"For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet."

If Wear Valley District Council and other Local Authorities continue with their arrogant affront to England and the English people then they will find that the people who haven't yet spoken are ones to be feared when they do find their voice.

Ends:

Contact;
Neil Herron
0191 565 7143
07776 202045
http://www.neilherron.blogspot.com/
http://www.thepeoplesnocampaign.co.uk/
Jim Tague
07704 664 223




Notes to Editors:

Committee Meeting takes place at 6pm 4th Floor Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Crook, County Durham, DL15 9ES.

This Campaign is part of The People's No Campaign initiative to force the removal of the EU Flag from all public buildings.
The successes have previously been reported in the Christopher Booker Column in the Sunday Telegraph but this is the first instance where an authority is actually spending money to effectively remove the English flag in favour of the EU 'Ring of Stars.'
Booker Report of 2nd October when the EU Flag was removed here


The full submission to Wear Valley District Council Development Control Committee 24th November 2005
By Neil Herron
can be viewed here

Wear Valley Council desperate to fly the EU flag

However, their incompetence knows no bounds and on a technical point, their application is about as legal as the flag that they are attempting to get permission to fly!
You would think that they would be grateful that we won a No vote in last year's referendum 'cos if we hadn't they would have been abolished in the Local Government shake-up...

Submission to Wear Valley District Council Development Control Committee 24th November 2005
By Neil Herron


Introduction

Firstly I would like to thank the Committee for allowing me the opportunity to present evidence against the application for the proposals by Wear Valley District Council to fly the European Union flag.

I wish to have it placed on the record that I have no objections to the flying of the Wear Valley District Council flag nor the flags of any nation state, and it has been particularly heartening to see the English flag, the Cross of St. George, flying especially at a time when our national teams appear to be doing so well.

The objection is that the EU Flag is not the flag of a nation state but of a political project, and a highly contentious one at that. I object to the fact that by flying the flag, Wear Valley DC is promoting and giving credence to that political project and using public money to do so, which is a breach of Section 19 of the Local Authority Guidelines on Publicity.

Our issue of our membership of the European Union is one for national Government and not one for promotion by Local Authorities whose limited resources would be better spent on issues, which are important to the local community and not for political ‘grandstanding’ on behalf of elected members who are in favour of the ‘European Project.’

Why WVDC Council, the Council which states on its website, “our aim – is to become the best District Council in England’ wishes to have the English flag removed therefore is quite beyond me.

As I am aware that there is a time constraint I would like to introduce the following written evidence to the Committee.

I also would like to thank the elected members who have offered their congratulations to the campaign that achieved the historic ‘No’ vote in last year’s elected regional assembly referendum and who have acknowledged that if it hadn’t been for the No Campaign Wear Valley District Council and the elected members’ days would most certainly have been numbered.

Neil Herron



The Submission

A request was made on 12th September 2005 by Mr. Jim Tague asking for sight of WVDC planning permission to fly the EU Flag, and on 22nd September 2005 it was acknowledged in a written response 1. that there was no permission or consent.
WVDC submitted an application on 26th September 2005. 3.

The Objection:
Advertisement Application WVDC ref. 3/2005/0850
" I am aware that WVDC has attempted to fly the EU Flag for several years without prior consent....
I am now aware that you wish to use taxpayer’s money to fly the EU Flag.
As a Wear Valley ratepayer I strongly object to the fact that you wish to, and have already used taxpayers money unlawfully in an attempt to promote a political project."
2.

However, there are also some procedural problems with regard to the planning application, which will require a maladministration complaint for not following the correct guidelines if the application is not withdrawn:

The wording of the application (3/05/850) 3.states:

Type of Application
"Flying the EU Flag, other Nations Flags and Wear Valley Council Flag."

Objections to this application were invited and a number were received.
I received a response on 14th October 2005 to the Proposal "Flying the EU Flag, other Nations Flags and Wear Valley Council Flag," thanking me for my letter of objection of 11th October 2005.4. (all objectors do not appear to have received this information).
However, the proposal that is being put before the Committee is an application, which has been amended:

This proposal and the application for consideration by the Committee differs substantially from the original application.
This amended proposal states:
"Flying the EU Flag and Wear Valley District Council Flag"

The correspondence of the 16th November 2005 5. was a perfect opportunity to inform ALL objectors as to any amendments to the original proposal.
Therefore, this greatly affects the application as the initial proposal has been substantially altered.

David Townsend, Head of Development and Building Control confirmed that the application would be amended (Ref DKT/CF/REG1 on 24th October 2005) 6. and yet confirms by e-mail (21st November 2005) 7. that no amended plans have been received but the objectors have not been informed of this amendment.
Does this mean that someone has altered the original application without going through the correct procedures, which would inform all of the objectors.

It is my view that a new, correctly worded application should be submitted.

As anyone who has submitted a planning application to Wear Valley District Council will confirm, they do insist on the correct procedures being followed. However, what is sauce for the goose does not appear to be sauce for the gander.

Sometimes this Council's incompetence does come back and bite them as in the case of Derek Jervis where WVDC were forced to pay £15,000 in compensation. The case was reported in the Northern Echo 8th November 2004. 8.

I also wish to raise the point to the Committee that to date my Freedom of Information request (11th October 2005) 2a. with regard to copies of all the internal communications regarding the flying of the EU Flag and copies of all costs incurred to date in relation to the flying of the EU Flag have not yet received a response.

ENCLOSURES:

1. Written response WVDC to Jim Tague 5th October 2005
2. Objection by Neil Herron 11th October 2005
2a. Freedom of Information request
3. The WVDC Application
4. Response from WVDC to Objection 14th October 2005
5. WVDC written response 15th November 2005
6. David Townsend letter to Jim Tague 24th October 2005
7. E-mail Townsend to Tague 21st November 2005
8. Northern Echo Article 8th November 2004

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Zoe Hughes Column: Transport Committee...Dunwoody v Herron

Zoe Hughes Column
The Journal
Wednesday November 16, 2005


Mention his name and it will send a shudder down the spine of any Sunderland City Council official. However Neil Herron seems to be having the same impact on clerks in the House of Commons - after they secretly changed details of a transport enquiry into parking penalties. Mr Herron is renowned across the North-East folowing his battle in Sunderland over its decriminalised parking enforcement system and wanted to share his indepth knowledge with the Transport Select Committee due to investigate the issue later this year.

They had after all invited submissions from interested parties amid fears that public perception could be damaged unless action was taken to "promote the legitimacy of parking control".

However it has now emerged the committee quietly amended its original press release inviting submissions, which had stated that £1bn was raised from parking "fines" changing it to say simply that money was raised from parking "charges" instead.

A tiny but telling change, but for Mr Herron it was a blatant attempt to get councils off the legal hook.

Mr Herron has now made a formal complaint to the committee, demanding they release internal communications over the drafting of the press release.

We can't wait for Mr Herron to come face to face with the committee's chairman - none other than Labour firebrand Gwyneth Dunwoody

Road problems? You should have voted for the regional assembly

Oh Mr. Prescott, what contempt you have for democracy. The crash when you fall will be a mighty one...

Deputy PMs jibe provokes fury
The Journal
Saturday, November 19, 2005
by Guy Basnett

Deputy Prime Minister John Precott laughed off the North-East's road problems yesterday, quipping: "You should have voted for a regional assembly."

Speaking at a lavish corporate champagne opening, he joked with onlookers that the region needed a water bus - "to avoid the congestion on your roads".

He then scoffed: "Perhaps if you had an elected regional assembly you might have done better."

The comments provoked fury from business leaders who estimate a freeze on developments by the Highways Agency has cost the region 10,000 jobs.

The North-East Chamber of Commerce also believes it has lost the region £1bn.

Chamber chief executive George Cowcher said: "It's a very serious problem and a very serious issue. It's worrying when ministers treat it lightly."

Hexham Conservative MP Peter Atkinson said: "It's usual foot-in-mouth stuff from Prescott. He should think about what he's saying before he opens his mouth."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Robin Decrittenden v Worcester City Council...Questions to be raised to the Lord Chancellor

Request from Robin Decrittenden for a line of questions for the Lord Chancellor from members of the public:

1. Why did the Adjudicator prevent the recording of the proceedings -

WHEN THE LITERATURE & SERVICE CHARTER OF NPAS CLEARLY STATE THAT PROCEEDINGS MAY BE RECORDED!
WHAT CAN IT BE THAT NPAS & ITS ADJUDICATORS WISH TO HIDE FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC - & WHAT DEFENCE CAN THE LORD CHANCELLOR OFFER TO THE VERY SERIOUS PUBLIC ALLEGATION THAT IS FOLLOWING ON FROM THE EVENTS
OF 18th NOVEMBER - ie. THAT IT MUST BE THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF THAT IS TRYING TO PREVENT THE PUBLIC FROM RECEIVING THE INFORMATION THAT THE PUBLIC IS ENTITLED TO HAVE!


2. Can the Lord Chancellor explain why it is that a Senior Official of NPAS failed to attend and give evidence to a tribunal hearing, in response to the evidence offered to the tribunal which confirmed that the official concerned had made wilful attempts to prejudice the conduct & result of the tribunal -

BEARING IN MIND THAT THE ADJUDICATOR APPOINTED BY THE LORD CHANCELLOR WAS OPENLY & PUBLICLY ASKED TO ISSUE A WITNESS ORDER REQUIRING THE ATTENDANCE OF THE OFFENDING OFFICIAL -AND REFUSED TO ISSUE THE REQUIRED ORDER!

Are NPAS Officials and Adjudicators now conspiring together to prevent the proper administration of justice &/or to pervert the course of justice -

AND WILL THE LORD CHANCELLOR NOW DIRECT THAT FULL RECORDING FACILITIES BE ALLOWED TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AT ALL NPAS TRIBUNAL HEARINGS, FROM THIS TIME FORWARD?

3. Can the Lord Chancellor confirm that a full investigation into the disgraceful conduct of Caroline Sheppard, NPAS Chief Adjudicator & Andrew Barfoot, NPAS Tribunal Manager, will now take place - as a result of the evidence of misconduct that is now entered into the proceedings of an NPAS tribunal -
and in accordance with the formal request that was made to the adjudicator, by the appellant, during this tribunal hearing ?


and will the Lord Chancellor give instructions that this investigation be conducted in public?
(Bearing in mind that the Adjudicator has been asked to refer the entirety of the evidence received by him to HM Judges - for all purposes of arriving at a resolution of the Constitutional Issues now brought into question).

4. Evidence now entered before an NPAS tribunal that serves to confirm that fines in excess of £3 million have been taken from members of the public unlawfully - and that bailiff action has been taken unlawfully in more than 2000 cases -

All of this within a relatively small area of the country!

Can the Lord Chancellor explain why it is that adjudication proceedings undertaken by NPAS adjudicators have failed to uncover these unlawful activities?
and why it is that members of the public have been forced to investigate the unlawful conduct of the offending councils?


Can the Lord Chancellor explain what is being done to ensure that controls on the conduct of local authorities are more rigourously enforced by all processes of adjudication for the future?

Can the Lord Chancellor confirm that offending Councils will be obliged to return to the members of the public all of those fines that have been unlawfully imposed/collected - and that compensation will be paid to those members of the public who have been unlawfully subjected to the activity of bailiffs?


6. Can the Lord Chancellor now confirm that all appeals heard by NPAS adjudicators - from the inception of decriminalised parking in 1991, and to this present date will now be subjected to a complete audit of records, by an official body that is completely independent of NPAS - and responsible only to parliament itself - with a view to establishing all Local Authority & Adjudication Error throughout England & Wales, including London ?

7. Can the Lord Chancellor confirm that NPAS will now be subjected to a most rigourous overhaul of its funding arrangements; objectives; organization and conduct - with a view to ensuring that the public is provided with a truly
independent service that is capable of performing its functions in a manner
that is both efficient and acceptable to the people?

8. Can the Lord Chancellor confirm that all Councils now operating decriminalised
parking regimes will be required to attend; make their case and be subjected
to cross-examination on the evidence that these Councils provide to the tribunals responsible for hearing the appeals made by members of the public -
as is normal process in the lower courts of HM System of Courts?

In the case of the tribunal at Worcester, the local authority failed to attend the
hearing after providing the appellant with an assurance that there would be
attendance - and as a result of this failure, it proved impossible for the appellant
to cross-examine the representative of the Council on the evidence provided by
that Council -

The adjudicator at this tribunal freely admitted to the Appellant that he (the adjud-
icator) had not asked to see the TrafficRegulation Orders that were applicable to all
of the previous cases of appeal that he (the adjudicator) had heard in Worcester -

and ss a consequence of this admitted failure in the adjudication service, there
iremains the risk that appellants in Worcester may well have found their appeeals
dismissed - in spite of failures by the Worcester City Council to establish any
lawful reason for the appellant/s to pay the relevant Penalty Charge/s.

Can the Lord Chancellor now confirm that evidence relating to the Traffic Regulation
Order that is applicable in any case of appeal will be inspected for error by the
adjudicator who is made responsible for the hearing of any appeal - and that this
inspection process will be made mandatory for all parts of England & Wales,
including London.l

9. Can the Lord Chancellor confirm that all adjudicators appointed to the panel of independent adjudicators maintained by NPAS will, for the future, be required
to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown - with a further Judicial Oath - before
hearing any cases of appeal - with both oaths being taken after a sensible period
of training in the relevant forms of judicial process?

10. Can the Lord Chancellor confirm that the process of Judicial Review will be most carefully described to the general public by NPAS and NPAS adjudicators - both of which are currently advising the public that there is no process of appeal from the decisions made by NPAS tribunals and adjudicators?

The arrangements made for the proper administration of the Queen's Justice may not
be regulated or in any way hidden from the subjects of the Queen by any independent
adjudication service!

I hope that these questions are clear enough for use - and these side-results from 18th November hearing can be very useful ammunition in their own right -

Please do everything possible to turn these side-results into matters of public interest -

because within these questions may lie the seeds that will destroy the corrupt NPAS & PATAS
Organization!s!

God Bless - talk soon, I'm sure!

Robin.

NPAS Adjudicator Andrew Prickett to be given 'assistance' with his determination

The NPAS Adjudicator in the case Decrittenden v Worcester City Council is to be given 'assistance' in his determination of the Tribunal Hearing.
Sources connected to a Senior High Court Judge have revealed that Mr. Prickett, who is believed to have been a Prosecutor for the South Wales Constabulary, would be given 'assitance' with his deliberations and would be expected to seek opinion.

The opinion, the Judge goes on, will have to take into consideration the constitutional significance as it well set a precedent...despite the fact that a 'precedent' (the Sefton Decision) has already been circulated to all DPE authorities.

*One point to note here is that NPAS Adjudicator, Mr. Prickett did not know what a 'DPE Authority' was during the Tribunal hearing. It was pointed out to him that a DPE Authoity was a Council that was operating Decriminalised Parking Enforcement under the terms prescribed in the 1991 Road Traffic Act...the legislation which allowed him to do what he was doing!

The question which must be asked of Mr. Prickett when he arrives at his decision will be 'have you had any assistance in arriving at your determination?'

One point which is of significance is that the legislative authority for Worcester City Council to issue the Penalty Charge Notice at the location it did was missing. There was no TRO in the evidence bundle supplied by the Council.
Mr. Prickett did state that he has failed to ask for this evidence on previous ocassions.

Seems like a pretty basic position to begin...check to see whether the Penalty Charge Notice is valid ( the Adjudicator missed this in 57 Rochdale cases before it was picked up and immediately altered) and to check whetehr the Traffic Regulation Order was valid and eforceable under DPE powers.

What a shambles!

The death knell has sounded for the 1991 Road Traffic Act and the casualties of all of this will not just be decriminalised parking but also the Congestion Charge.

Evidence Submission by Neil Herron to the Worcester Hearing

NPAS Pre-Tribunal Review...18th November 2005,
Fownes Hotel Worcester.

Robin Decrittenden vs Worcester City Council

EVIDENCE: TO BE SUBMITTED BY NEIL HERRON

I. Thoburn vs City of Sunderland 18th February 2002

Commonly known as the 'Metric Martyrs' Judgment...reaffirmed the 'constitutional' status of certain Acts of Parliament including the Bill of Rights Act 1689. (Sections 62 and 63).
ENCLOSURES:
1. Thoburn v City of Sunderland 18th February 2002

II. National Parking Adjudication Service (NPAS)

A. NPAS officials dismissing and 'pre-judging' the Bill of Rights
On 23rd August 2005 a telephone call was received by Neil Herron from Andrew Barfoot, NPAS Tribunal Manager. Neil Herron had offered to supply substantive evidence detailing malpractice by Sunderland City Council. This was declined by Mr. Barfoot.
Mr. Barfoot, who had made the official call from a mobile telephone, had failed to terminate the call and his conversation was overheard and recorded.
Mr. Barfoot was overheard in conversation with Chief Adjudicator, Caroline Sheppard and the content of the conversation was offensive and appeared to be pre-judging the Bill of Rights issue. Mr. Barfoot is overheard calling Neil Herron 'mad.'
ENCLOSURES:
1. Letter from Neil Herron to Andrew Barfoot 24th August 2005
2. Letter from Neil Herron to Caroline Sheppard 24th August 2005
3. Letter from Neil Herron to the NPAS Joint Committee24th August 2005
4. Response from Andrew Barfoot to Neil Herron 30th August 2005
5. Response from Caroline Sheppard to Neil Herron 30th August 2005
6. Response from Bob Tinsley to Neil Herron 30th August 2005


B.NPAS Misrepresenting Its Legal Status and its independence
In a telephone call to NPAS their operative advised that 'they were a Court of Law' and the adjudicators had 'the status of High Court judges.'
The NPAS website states (flash video presentation by Sian Cole) that 'this is a court of law.' However, a written response from NPAS states that they are not a court of law.
She also states 'I am a solicitor and completely independent' yet evidence confirms that NPAS receive 60p per PCN issued and therefore there is a direct link between the local authority and the adjudicator.
ENCLOSURES
1. Letter to NPAS from Neil Herron (13th June 2005) questioning statements made in the telephone conversation with Paul Griffiths.
2. Response from Paul Griffiths NPAS (14th June 2005)
3. Letter from Neil Herron to NPAS (12th September 2005) querying the misrepresented legal status.
4. Response from Bob Tinsley, Service Director 15th September 2005 in response to legal status challenge.


C. Rochdale Case
Evidence of a major flaw in evidence which was not picked up by NPAS.
In the case of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council this local authority began Decriminalised Parking Enforcement on 4th July 2004. Between this date and 1st August 2005 they issued 28,260 Penalty Charge Notices (income derived £660,052).
All of these PCNs issued during that period contravened the legislative requirements contained in Section 66(3) of the 1991 Road Traffic Act.
The wording which was incorrect was that the PCN stated 'To the Driver' and not 'To the Owner' or 'To the Registered Keeper.'
RMBC changed the wording of the PCN on 2nd August 2005.
It was NPAS who had brought the issue of the PCN to their attention in case RE58 on 27th July (* this will be required to be submitted as evidence)
The competence of NPAS must be called into question now as they had deliberated on previous cases involving PCNs with the same wording (confirmed by Kevin Mayor, Head of Parking Services, RMBC that PCNs had been supplied in the evidence bundles) yet NPAS had deliberated and found in favour of the council in 18 cases.
What was it in this case that prompted NPAS to inform Rochdale and for Rochdale to immediately change the wording?
ENCLOSURES
1. Questions submitted to Kevin Mayor, Head of Parking Services, Rochdale Council by Neil Herron on14th October 2005.
2. Kevin Mayor's response of 11th November 2005, which was a response to the supplementary question, in which he stated all the PCNs were submitted in the evidence bundles to NPAS.
3. Full response from Kevin Mayor 15th November 2005 (response to 1)
4. Evidence of Penalty Charge Notice...altered 2nd August 2005.


D. The Sunderland Case
In this specific case (SX23) heard on 13/10/03 by adjudicator Mark Hinchcliffe the appeal was not allowed and NPAS found in favour of Sunderland Council yet the Traffic Regulation Order supplied and relied on by the authority was pre DPE and contained no DPE powers.
The general overview and evidence of the Sunderland DPE and the local authorities unlawful practices was offered to Andrew Barfoot NPAS on Monday 22nd August 2005. In the telephone call of 23rd August he stated NPAS did not want to get involved.
An internal and external investigation is being conducting with substantive evidence of malpractice regarding Traffic Orders and signs in Sunderland. This evidence will be introduced in a separate bundle if required.
ENCLOSURES:
1. NPAS case history including decision.


III. Bill of Rights Act and Parkwise
To be submitted with details of the case by Alan Waring using the Bill of Rights Act defence in Chorley. Parkwise (the DPE enforcement authority) confirms that the Bill of Rights Act is correct and fines can only be imposed by a court. They then go on to state that a Penalty Charge Notice is not a fine. Substantive evidence, including Chorley's own website, exposes this as nonsense. Evidence is to be submitted by others that NPAS have altered their own website and removed references to parking fines since the Bill of Rights Act defence became an issue.
ENCLOSURES:
1. Chorley and Parkwise communications with Alan Waring.


III. Further Evidence
Will make available further sample evidence of NPAS not being a competent or independent body to adjudicate fairly.

IV. Further Legal Points
Evidence to be made available regarding case law of secondary legislation conflicting with primary legislation...would mean that only the London authorities detailed in the RTA 1991 are valid. All the other Special Parking Areas have been created by secondary legislation.
Case of Haw v Westminster Council.

An end to Counties? Political Vandalism by New Labour

East Anglian Daily Times
Minister refuses to defend counties *
by Political Editor GRAHAM DINES
November 17, 2005 10:31

A GOVERNMENT minister yesterday refused to deny that county councils could be axed under a proposed shake-up of local government in England which is being considered by Whitehall.

More than a century of county administration in Suffolk and Essex is under threat from the plans, which are believed to have the blessing of David Miliband, the Minister for Communities in Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's office.

In the Commons yesterday, Tory MPs who think that counties themselves could be wiped off the map said axing England's ancient shire county system would be an act of political vandalism.

The claim follows reports that the Government is considering replacing the two-tier system of district and county authorities with unitary authorities.

A confidential Whitehall report obtained by a Sunday newspaper proposes the scrapping of the 34 shires, many of which date from Anglo-Saxon times.

In parliamentary questions yesterday, Tory James Gray (Wiltshire North) criticised the merger of county-based emergency and planning services into larger, regional unit and challenged Mr Miliband:
"Will you not express your strong support for the county council structure across England which has served the test of time?"
He replied:
"There is a strong commitment on the part of this party to make sure that the regional voice that exists is that of local people and that is what we are doing."

Another Conservative, David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells) launched a stinging attack on the Government's local government strategy. Referring to the South West regional assembly - an unelected body -
Mr Heathcoat-Amory protested:
"Are you aware of what a useless and time-wasting body it is with its totally artificial boundaries stretching for more than 150 miles from Penzance up to the North Gloucestershire boundary?"'

He challenged Mr Miliband to comment on reports that shire counties could fall victim to the Government's Ĺ’mad¹ regionalisation strategy.
"If you do contemplate an act of political vandalism like that will you put it to an early referendum in the South West when you will get exactly the same result as you did in the North East last year when it was rejected by 78%?"

Mr Miliband defended regional assemblies because "for the first time they gave local people, local councillors and local business people the chance to have a say''.

END THE COUNTY BOUNDARY BOTCH - JOIN THE ACTION WITH COUNTYWATCH
01279 635789 or 01480 435837

Misfeasance in Public Office...Oh Dear, Sunderland Council...another cover-up?

Further allegations are surfacing of yet another cover-up by Sunderland City Council officials with regard to their Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) regime.
The silence from the internal investigation is deafening. Whispers coming from within the Civic Centre is that there is expected to be a whitewash.
NCP are confident that 'the Council will do the necessary.'
Let us hope that Paul Davies, Head of the Internal Audit, is doing what is required for the people of Sunderland.

However, one point which they could not have legislated for is for a 'whistleblower' with substantive evidence.
One of our 'whistleblowers' is a former Senior NCP Parking Attendant and has given evidence to a solicitor in advance of any Police investigation. The PA is fully aware that the evidence indicates serious criminal malpractice and is preparing to go to the press as the Council attempts more cover-ups.
Lines being corrected and overpainted.
Traffic Regulation Orders being 'revised.'
Signs being erected and moved.

...and now, it transpires that PCNs (over 600) were issued on 'Lower Roker Promenade and Marine Walk' from February 2003 to June 2004 ....without ANY TRO being in place for the double yellows. The PA confirms that this was 'happy hunting ground' as there were many tourists, fishermen and transient visitors and they could hit the same patch repeatedly due to the fact that many errant motorists were just leaving the vehicle for a walk along the promenade.
It is alleged that Sunderland Council offical, Earl Belshaw, told NCP to stop issuing but not to tell anyone that there was no TRO in place otherwise the cat would have been out of the bag and motorists would have demanded their money back.
NCP were told to issue warning notices (for which they get paid £1 each from the Council) but anyone getting repeated warnings would realise that there was no TRO in place...so quietly NCP backed away.

But the problem is that Sunderland City Council again did not refund the money, nor did they come clean when they were forced to with the Taxi Rank and Blue Badge Holder refunds.
The Council officials did not mention this and it is not known yet whether the Internal Investigation has had this evidence laid before it.

Northumbria Police are on the fringes ready to be called in. As the evidence grows the position of some Sunderland Council officials looks very serious indeed.

502 (from Archibold's) Misfeasance in Public Office:
"If a person suffers loss or damage as a result of administrative action known to be unlawful by those persons taking it, and those persons knew or were recklessly indifferent that the claimant would suffer loss, this is a tortious wrong. Proceedings may be taken either against a public body or against an individual official."

A copy of the letter sent to the Director is copied below:

Phil Barrett,
Director of Development and Regeneration
City of Sunderland
Civic Centre
Sunderland
SR2 7DN
21st November 2005

Dear Mr. Barrett,

We have been supplied with evidence indicating officers of Sunderland City Council were aware of yet another instance where PCNs had been issued unlawfully but officers of the council again chose not to make this public.

Can you confirm that on or around June 2004 Sunderland City Council became aware that it had been unlawfully issuing Penalty Charge Notices in the area known as 'Lower Promenade Roker and Marine Walk?'

Can you confirm the date it was realised that there was no valid TRO in place and how the matter was brought to the attention of Sunderland City Council's Parking Services?

Can you confirm that Sunderland City Council officer, Earl Belshaw, informed NCP of this and that NCP operatives were advised not to bring this to anyone's attention?

How many PCNs were issued in this area and why was there no offer to refund the money?

If the evidence is correct have you or your officers made this information available to the inquiry being conducted by Paul Davies, Head of the Internal Audit?

Can you please supply a copy of the instruction (FoI request if necessary) from Earl Belshaw to NCP regarding the 'Lower Promenade Roker and Marine Walk' situation?

Can you please advise as to when the rest of the outstanding answers to questions raised to date will be forthcoming?

Yours sincerely,

Neil Herron
12 Frederick Street
Sunderland
SR1 1NA

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'll prove parking fines are illegal...Report of the Worcester Hearing

I'll prove parking fines are all illegal
Nov 18 2005
By Emma Cullwick
icbirmingham.co.uk

A MIDLAND pensioner was today attempting to prove that all parking fines are illegal.

Robin de Crittenden, of Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, was facing a hearing of the National Parking Adjudication Service after refusing to pay the £30 ticket he received for parking too long in a restricted space in Worcester.

Mr de Crittenden, aged 67, has vowed to go to prison, rather than pay up.
Now he claims parking fines are unconstitutional, and breach our historic rights.

At today's hearing in Worcester he was set to be the first to use the defence of the 1689 Bill of Rights, which he claims states that fines may only be imposed by a conviction from a court of law - not just issued by councils. Mr de Crittenden, a former private consultant, said: "The case has the potential to prove all parking fines illegal and void and could have major repercussions.
"The purpose of this challenge is to put the politicians back in their kennels by requiring them to obey the law that regulates Parliament itself."

Mark Wallace, manager of the Freedom Association Campaign, which is backing Mr de Crittenden's fight, said: "There are fundamental historic rights guaranteed to the people and this case will attempt to re-assert those freedom promised under the Bill of Rights.

"Fining people without the due process required is simply illegal. This case could put a stop to the huge quantities of money that councils take in fines every year."

Your details are sold to car park extortionists

The Mail on Sunday are just dipping their toes into this. We will be breaking a story in the coming weeks regarding misuse of the DVLA data base by Police forces across the country...watch this space.

Your details are sold to car park extortionists
by JONATHAN OLIVER and MARTIN DELGADO,
Mail on Sunday 09:54am 20th November 2005

Persecuted: Joyce Kennington was targeted by Creative Car Park Management, who backed down after she insisted she had done nothing wrong

The Government is at the centre of a 'secrets for sale' scandal after it admitted offering sensitive details about millions of motorists to private car parking companies.

A Mail on Sunday investigation found that more than 150 firms have been granted access to an official database of confidential information about Britain's 30 million drivers.

These car park operators, who are entirely unregulated, purchase the names and addresses of motorists who they wish to track down - and can then send them threatening letters to demand massive fines for alleged 'overstays'.
The revelations raise serious questions about the way personal information held by the Government is sold commercially.

They will also provoke fears about the possible abuse of Tony Blair's identity card scheme, which will create a powerful database of details about everyone in Britain.

The Government's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency last night admitted it hands out drivers' details at £2.50 a time when provided with car registration numbers.

All drivers are legally required to give the DVLA their up-to-date address, although few know this information can be sold on.

Private car park companies, however, have the right to obtain this information under obscure regulations introduced three years ago and waved through the Commons with no debate.

The Mail on Sunday investigation found one company - used by the Co-op, Kwik Save and Aldi to manage store car parks - exploits the data to send threatening letters to motorists demanding fines of up to £170. This is three times the fine local authorities typically charge motorists who fail to 'pay and display'.

Creative Car Park Management --which uses a variety of front companies to conceal its true identity and earnings - uses cameras at the entrances and exits to their sites to photograph the number plates of drivers who they allege linger beyond the 'free parking' limit.

Using the information sold by the Government, the firm sends out bills - sometimes weeks later - telling motorists they will be taken to court if they fail to pay.

The secretive company even threatens to send bailiffs to drivers' homes to recover money they claim to be owed. Many motorists, fearing the firm is working alongside the DVLA, may feel they have no choice but to pay up.
The firm has been the subject of a series of complaints from drivers. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker has been championing the cause of shoppers caught by Creative Car Park Management in the village of Polegate in his Lewes, East Sussex, constituency.

Mr Baker said: "A private company should not be allowed to obtain information about private individuals from the State. When people provide information to the Government, they do not do so on the basis that someone is going to make a profit from it.

"A huge number of mistakes have been made by the company here in Lewes, all of which appear to be in their favour. It is supposed to be free parking, but a number of my constituents have received very large bills."

He added: "£170 would be an extortionate amount to charge in Central London, let alone rural Sussex."

Motoring organisations claim there has been a boom in this form of 'ticket-less' parking fine, which has caught thousands by surprise. Since no tickets are placed on the windscreen, drivers can incur several fines before they even realise they have done anything wrong.

The DVLA said 157 private parking companies regularly apply to it for information on 'vehicle keepers'. But Edmund King, of the RAC Foundation, said: "The DVLA is behaving irresponsibly by passing on sensitive information to the wrong sort of people."

Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA Motoring Trust, said: "These companies can charge fines at what ever level they want - using personal information about motorists obtained from the Government. And there is no one monitoring what is happening."

Malcolm Heymer, of the Association of British Drivers, said: "I am appalled that the DVLA is selling this information on to unregulated private companies who demand extortionate amounts from motorists."

Under the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002, the DVLA has to provide the data assuming the companies can give 'reasonable cause' - a phrase not defined in law.

The DVLA insisted that the right of parking companies to access their database predates the 2002 regulations. However, a spokesman was unable to say exactly when the DVLA began its current practice of routinely selling data.

Flurry of complaints
Further investigation is necessary to determine when private parking enforcement companies first applied to DVLA under the 'reasonable cause provisions,' he said.

The DVLA refused to say how much money it collected from selling data. "The fee charged for information is designed simply to cover the administrative costs of dealing with the enquiries and ensure this burden is not met by the taxpayer."

The agency has a car parking code of conduct but it is purely voluntary.
The Mail on Sunday began investigating Creative Car Park Management after being alerted to a flurry of complaints from motorists who felt they had been treated unfairly.

With its fashionable name and glossy website, it appears to be a conventionally run business. It certainly gives that impression to the dozens of well-known companies which use its services.

CCPM says it monitors about 150 car parks all over Britain on behalf of retail and property companies. But its founder and owner, Gary Wayne, goes to extraordinary lengths to hide his identity.

CCPM's structure is concealed by 'shell' companies and anonymous nominee directors who play no part in the firm's management or day-today operations - a tactic that will be outlawed under the Companies Act, due to come into force in 2007.

Its registered address turns out to be an accommodation address in Mayfair where Mr Wayne pays £320 a year to rent a mailbox. In fact, the 35-year-old businessman runs CCPM from his four-bedroom, £400,000 home in Mill Hill, North London.

After initially claiming to be only a spokesman for the company, he eventually admitted to being its founder and sole operator.

He said he had always operated within the law and provided a valuable-service in preventing commuters and long-term parkers from abusing parking regulations on privately-owned land.

Signs erected by CCPM at car park entrances warn overstayers: "We will contact DVLA to obtain your details."

Referring to the car park in Polegate, East Sussex, he said: "It is for the use of shoppers to premises owned by our client who very generously allows all members of the public to use the car park for a limited time free of charge.
"However, the car park has been abused by commuters who leave their cars in the car park and then catch a train to Brighton or London.

"There is a large station car park available for commuters' use and there is no reason why they should park on our client's land - other than to avoid the station car park charges.

"Should any charge notices be issued in error, they are cancelled immediately with written confirmation sent to the vehicle owner."

Asked why he was so keen to conceal his identity, Mr Wayne said car parking was a 'sensitive issue' and added: "We wish to protect the identity and security of the senior administration of the company".

Inquiries by this newspaper, however, suggest that the group's 'senior administration' consists of just one man - Gary Wayne.

Mr Wayne's customers use him because of the convenient, no fuss service he offers. Companies such as CCPM charge their clients nothing, deriving their income from the high fines they levy on car owners.

It may come as some surprise that in the era of the Data Protection Act - the law designed to restrict access to personal details kept on databases - that the DVLA is able to sell on information about drivers.

However, the provision in the 2002 Road Vehicles Regulations giving car park companies the right to find out about 'vehicle keepers' overrides any earlier restrictions in the Data Protection Act.

The revelation will fuel growing concerns about the use of information held by Government departments. Ministers are planning a massive database of personal information about every adult in the UK as part of the planned ID card scheme.

Ministers insist access to the data will be carefully regulated - and not sold on to private companies.

However, the revelations about the way the DVLA database is exploited commercially raises fears that the much larger ID card computer could be 'raided' in a similar way.

Gareth Crossman, director of policy for civil rights group Liberty, said: "I have no doubt that once the register of personal information is in place, the number of people with access to it will increase hugely."

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