Friday, May 26, 2006
Bournemouth Council have been found guilty by a tribunal of issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) in areas that they knew to be unlawful as there were no valid TROs (Traffic Regulation Orders).
Head of Parking Services, Gary Bolland, who had already been put on notice by The People's No Campaign that Bournemouth's PCNs were unlawful told the PA to issue tickets in areas where there were no TROs 'otherwise he would have to look for another job.'
The Parking Attendant blew the whistle.
As the Council is arrogantly refusing to issue refunds, we will initiate a formal complaint and raise an action with the District Auditor with regard to the items of unlawful income within the local authorrities accounts and if need be bring the matter to the attention of the Police.
Bournemouth Daily Echo
PARKING TICKET SCANDAL
by Exlusive Report by Charis Mastris
Read the full report here
The full tribunal decision is in our hands and will be posted shortly unless one of the nationals wants to run the story.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Over the coming weeks we will be publishing information which will expose the fact that not only are they not independent of the authorities that benefit from Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) and the Congestion Charge, but they are also incompetent, inconsistent and biased.
Once the motorist is aware of the true facts then the lawless DPE and also the Congestion Charge will begin to collapse.
The clock is ticking.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Game's up, Johnny Boy.
"European Agreements Allow Convicted Paedophiles, Sex Offenders and other Criminals Unfettered and Unchallenged Access to Britain
...John Reid's Posturing Deliberately Ignores the EU. This problem cannot be solved as long as Britain remains committed to the principle of the free movement of people. "
Read the rest of the press release here
In a desperate attempt to avoid 'letting the cat out of the bag' PATAS, the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service have denied the No Campaign's request to take a photograph of the plaque in the reception area of New Zealand House.
The letter from Charlotte Axelson can be seen (left).
The reason why the request was made was because the Association of London Government Transport and Environment Committee's (ALG TEC) plaque was located above the PATAS (Parking and Traffic Appeals Service)plaque.
Why the fuss?
Well, PATAS is an independent tribunal...it is claimed.
Trouble is that Transport for London and the 33 London Boroughs operating Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) pay 'subs' to ALG TEC who in turn pay for PATAS and appoint the 'independent' adjudicators. The more Penalty Charge Notices issued, the more ALG and therefore PATAS get. Not independent by any stretch of Article 6(1) of the ECHR's imagination!
1st Floor of New Zealand House is a public building with public access.
Charlotte Axelson's attempt at intimidation using an implied threat is the akin to Mike Tyson being threatened with a good hiding by Graham Norton.
Bring it on Charlotte...we can't wait.
Question is...is there a photograph, who took it and who has it?
Breaking news that NPAS have recently adjudicated on a Carlisle City Council PCN confirmed it does not conform to the statutory wording and the appellant who appealed on the date of issue point won.
As Carlisle City Council's tickets still do not have a date of issue (their new tickets are not ready yet) then if they continue to pursue tickets they know to be unlawful then they will be putting their council officers in very serious trouble indeed.
DPE must be suspended immediately.
Monday, May 22, 2006
This is the tip of a massive national iceberg. Just follow the line taken below and we can start redressing the balance. For too long the arrogant officials have had their own way.
It's now payback time.
Meter Money Back
Monday 22nd May 2006
Council bosses are offering money back to motorists who pumped money into parking meters after they forgot to remove them.
New Traffic Regulations came into place in West Sunniside, in Sunderland City Centre on March 31.
The changes meant that waiting restrictions were put into place which superceded the old parking bays.
But it was six days after the new rules came into force before the parking meters were removed, and unsuspecting motorists had continued to put money into the machines. Now Sunderland Council has admitted there was a mistake, and is offering the £307 collected to any driver who can show they parked there during that period.
A council spokeswoman said: "Anyone who can demonstrate that they paid to park in these bays on those days is entitled to a refund. Any residual monies will be donated to charity.
The error is a the latest in a series series of problems with traffic orders since the council took over control of parking enforcement from the police in 2003.
The authority has already agreed to pay back £34,367.36 in fines it collected without the legal powers to do so, and has admitted a string of mistakes when the regulations wwere set up.
Campaigner Neil Herron said yesterday: "The shambles continues. It will be very interesting to find out how the council are going to track down everybody who's put 50p into that meter."
The council said that drivers who want to apply for a refund should call 0191 553 1521
21st May 2006
"You rightly say that "the only way to remedy judicial decisions that defy common sense is to opt out of the European Convention altogether".
But why stop there?
European law frequently defies common sense.The only way to re-establish the connection between the democratically expressed will of the majority and the law of the land is by repealing the 1972 Act of Accession which made Parliament's law subservient to Brussels law.
(Lords) Tebbit and Stoddart, House of Lords, London SW1
Saturday, May 20, 2006
A squad of witnesses and observers attended. We entered the first floor waiting area to be met by security guards...they remarked that we looked like the heavy mob turning up. While we were signing in we heard the guards talking..."It's that parking lot off the telly."
PATAS are billed as independent adjudicators...unconnected with all parties in the hearing.
First mistake spotted before we even entered the hearing.
Two name plaques were on the wall. One was for PATAS. The other belonged to the Association of London Government, whose Transport and Environment Policy Department was based on the same floor.
ALG funds PATAS. Transport for London and the London Boroughs fund ALG.
My request for a photograph was declined. I took one anyway.
We entered the hearing room. It was just big enough to take the mob. The adjudicator, Joanne, introduced herself. She appeared nervous. She indicated how proceedings were to proceed.
"I am an independent adjudicator..."
She was politely interrupted and asked to qualify the statement. She confirmed that she was paid for by ALG.
She was not aware that they had offices on the same floor. First blow.
She was not aware thast Transport for London funded the ALG. Second blow.
"PATAS is a tribunal established by law..."
She was asked to confirm whether PATAS had the status of a court of law. She confirmed that it did not and they could not represent themselves as a court of law. I asked whether she was aware of NPAS who had the same status. I asked whether she was aware that they misrepresent themselves as a court of law. She looked shocked. Listen to the NPAS claim here
There was a bit of presentational jockeying until she finally allowed me to deliver the case in the carefully prepared format.
Alan made his statement.
This was followed up by a detailed point by point analysis of why he wouldn't be paying the Comngestion Charge:
- why the DVLA has misinformed 35 million motorists of their rights and obligations. Colin Moran gave detailed evidence. We are preparing case papers against the DVLA.
- Why the tribunal was unfair under Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case will be taken to the ECHR and the ECJ if necessary.
- Why PATAS was neither independent nor impartial, in which over a hundred pages of evidence was submitted showing administrative and financial complicity between PATAS, ALG and Transport for London.
- Simon Aldridge of the London Motorists Action Group presented evidence regarding the incompetence and lack of professionalism of PATAS and its adjudicators. In between the proceedings to add to this he went and assisted five other appellants who had appeals regarding Westminster tickets. He won every won on the date of issue point. Trouble is for PATAS that Simon's decision that Westminster's PCNs were invalid, was a month before and there had been adjudications since which found in Westminster's favour!
- Then Barrie Segal of AppealNow cited further cases.
By now the adjudicator appeared stunned. Never had such a case been presented. The implications of the evidence will rock the Congestion Charge to the core. Decriminalised Parking Enforcement is on the ropes nationally and as more evidence of corruption, collusion and criminality come to light involving enforcement agencies, the local authorities and the adjudication service it is only a matter of time before we see criminal charges surrounding this whole issue.
- The Bill of Rights argument rounded off the case, but not before Alan Parker had a muscle spasm and knocked the jug and half a dozen glasses of water over the computer and the paperwork.
The full case papers are held in a members area of The People's No Campaign. Anyone donating to the Campaign can access the full submission. It will assist in every DPE and Congerstion Charge defence.
Just before we had finished, the adjudicator said that she had better have a look at the PCN to check that it was correct...and then something jumped out. There is a flaw, and a massive and potentially prejudicial one at that. More will be revealed in time but the point is one which could collapse every PCN on this point alone.Again, this information is available to anyone donating to the campaign.
As Transport for London had not attended, the adjudicator adjourned for fourteen days ... to allow them to submit further response and a challenge to our claims. Could you imagine any case going before a Magsitrates Court where the prosecution decided not to turn up?
This does however, allow us to submit the further point regarding the validity of the PCN.
I suspect that there is one adjudicator, who is also a Magistrate, who has a great deal to do. She is aware that the case does not stop here, and that her decision will be examined and scrutinised and any whiff of a cover-up or collusion exposed.
We left and went for a well earned pint cheered on by the security guards.
There was gentleman who turned up and asked to attend as an observer, his name was Richard. He said that he would like to hear the case as we had been very helpful to him.
He had never paid a Penalty Charge Notice. All had been cancelled by Transport for London. In every instance he had simply downloaded the Bill of Rights Defence from our website and sent it off.
We are in the process of preparing a pro-forma defence available to everyone.
As you will appreciate, the campaign needs funding to continue.
Please spread the word.
Friday, May 19, 2006
The full decision will be posted as soon as we have it.
We will be submitting further evidence, but meanwhile if anyone has an imminent Congestion Charge appeal then please contact us. We wish to hit the adjudicator with one single evidence point.
Tel. 0191 565 7143
Mob. 07776 202045
19th May 2006
CARLISLE could be set for a parking free for all after campaigners today claimed that parking tickets issued by the City Council are illegal and unenforceable.The council disputes the claim but, if it is correct, motorists will be able to ignore fixed-penalty notices until the wording is changed to conform with the 1991 Road Traffic Act.
That means drivers could ignore yellow lines, park indefinitely in council car parks and ignore restrictions in residents' parking areas.
Neil Herron, the North-East campaigner against enforced metrication and elected regional assemblies, has studied the decriminalised parking enforcement schemes operated by many local authorities.He says the tickets issued by Carlisle City Council fail to comply with the 1991 Road Traffic Act because they don't have a date of issue on, only the date of the offence.
Mr Herron said: "People need not pay the penalty charge notice if the ticket doesn't have a date of issue."It's a technicality but we're dealing with the law."Carlisle City Council have sent us a letter saying that they will alter their tickets to conform with the 1991 Act."But, and the council are fully aware of this, if they continue to issue tickets [without a date of issue] they are breaking the law."They should suspend all enforcement operations until the new tickets are done or they will commit a criminal offence."The trouble with local authorities is that they think they are above the law."
A council spokeswoman said it was reviewing the wording on its tickets to avoid any potential legal challenge.But she disputed Mr Herron's claim that, in the meantime, the old tickets were illegal and could not be enforced.
She said: "The penalty charge notices follow government guidance and are designed to comply with relevant legislation."Their validity has never been challenged [before]."We are reviewing the contents of their documentation but at this stage have no reason to doubt the validity of the notices being issued."
The council has been responsible for parking enforcement since 2001 on behalf of Cumbria County Council.It issues around 20,000 tickets a year, raising around £400,000 revenue in fines.Allerdale, Eden and Copeland councils operate similar schemes and Mr Herron says he is checking if their tickets comply with the law.
He is critical of the whole decriminalised parking enforcement system, which he says is a licence for councils to "fill their boots".
He says it is wrong that motorists who want to contest fines have no recourse to a court of law.The only appeal is to an independent adjudicator, who is funded by revenue from parking fines and therefore, Mr Herron argues, cannot be truly impartial.Once the adjudicator has found against the motorist, the council can send in bailiffs to collect the fine without applying to a court.
Political EditorNews & Star/
The Cumberland News
45 Lowther Street
Tel: 01228 547277
Fax: 01228 595692
Thursday, May 18, 2006
The People's No Campaign
18th May 2006
Carlisle City Council issuing Parking Tickets it knows to be unlawful.
Campaign Group demands parking enforcement to be suspended immediately.
A recent Freedom of Information request Carlisle City Council has revealed that they are aware that they are issuing parking tickets (Penalty Charge Notices) that they know to be unlawful.
The letter to Neil Herron states, " NPAS ( National Parking Adjudication Service) have recommended changes to the terminology. We have accommodated those recommendations."
However, the new Penalty Charge Notices have not yet been prepared and so Carlisle City Council are issuing tickets they know to be unlawful.
This is a very serious matter and as Carlisle City Council are attempting to obtain monies from motorists with such documents that are not correctly worded then the council officers could face allegations of Misfeasance in Public Office.
Campaign Director, Neil Herron has issued the following order to the Council (copy of the communication is attached):
"I wish to put Carlisle City Council on notice that the Decriminalised Parking Enforcement regime being operated must be suspended forthwith as you are aware that the Penalty Charges issued by Carlisle City Council are unlawful and do not comply with the requirements of Section 66(3) of the 1991 Road Traffic Act."
Neil Herron states, " many local authorities are jumping on the Decriminalised Parking bandwagon as it has effectively given them a licence to print money. As they can now keep the money from fines and the motorist has no right of appeal to a court we are coming across many cases of abuse by local authorities. Their contempt for fairness, justice and the law is quite staggering. If Carlisle City Council do not comply with the above request then we will assist anyone who has a PCN and will consider legal action against the Council as well as raising the matter with the Police."
The People's No Campaign
12 Frederick Street
Tel. 0191 565 7143
Mob. 07776 202045
Notes for Editors:
Reliance is placed on the decisions in MacArthur v Bury (National Parking Adjudication Service Case Number BC 188) and Al's Bar and Restaurant Ltd. v London Borough of Wandsworth (Parking and Traffic Appeals Service Case Number 2020106430) and Aldridge v City of Westminster ( Parking and Traffic Appeals Service Case Number 2050479095 ).
Questions to raise:
(i) What is the number and value of PCNs issued by Carlisle City Council since the inception of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement.
(ii) the number of PCNs which have been appealed to the National Parking Adjudication Service which did not bear a date of issue.
(iii)The date Carlisle City Council received a copy of the NPAS Circular MacArthur v Bury
(iv) What happens to the 4791 cases referred to Northampton County Court and the 2439 Bailiffs Warrants considering the primary piece of evidence resulting in such actions, the PCN, is unlawful?
1. MacArthur v Bury
2. Al's Bar and Restaurant Ltd. v London Borough of Wandsworth
3. Aldridge v City of Westminster
Monday, May 15, 2006
As this means that they were not correct in the first instance then it looks like another batch of refunds is on the way in Sunderland. It also means that the Consolidated Order, which contained the incorrect St. Thomas Street Order, is not in force...and therefore more fines fall.
Not much hope left in Sunderland who have now simply battened down the hatch on the bunker.
With more evidence coming from within NCP and the Council of 'malpractice' the evidence file is getting thicker and thicker. The District Auditor is going to wish he had conducted the investigation a bit more thoroughly.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Britain's angriest man, Mike Dickin, has parking campaigners, Neil Herron (The People's No Campaign) and Barrie Segal (AppealNow.com) on the programme from 10pm - 1am this Sunday evening.
Get ready for more examples of the motorists fightback.
As the parking situation gets worse in Sunderland the BBC crew are filling their boots with cracking footage.
NCP think we have a radio and so all communications are being conducted via PAs mobiles (they didn't believe that we could overhear them in the street! Perhaps it would have been cheaper to tell the new PAs to turn the volume down. It is amazing how many people are aware of our office and pass on information. Even information such as the two PAs who clocked off early at the beginning of the week in the Civic Car Park. A function in the Winter Gardens had meant some guests were none too pleased when they returned at 8.30pm to find their cars trashed. The Parking Attendants had left an hour early.
Yesterday we were filming in St. Thomas Street.
We were aware that NCP had stopped issuing in St. Thomas Street (noisy radios).
I rang Parking Services and Mr. Belshaw confirmed that there was a valid TRO and they had not stopped issuing.
We collected the TRO and it is a joke, crossing two main roads and including 'No Waiting at Any Time' 'Loading Bays' 'Parking Bays. Yellow lines simply stop abruptly and then continue without reference to the TRO.
The TRO simply refers to 'Restrictions 8am - 6pm'
NCP and the Council are confident that they are correct. So, I have parked there for two days and have yet to receive a ticket.
BBC filmed it yesterday. This is one of the most prolific streets in Sunderland. PAs reckon on 1500 tickets per annum. This would equate to nearly 5000 since the beginning of DPE. Even at £30 per ticket it is £150,000 that will have to be repaid.
However, that is the least of their worries. The TRO is contained in the City of Sunderland (South Sunderland) (Waiting / Loading and Parking) (Consolidation) Order 2001 and, as the legislation, The Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 clearly states:
Traffic signs 18.—(1) Where an order relating to any road has been made, the order making authority shall take such steps as are necessary to secure—
(a) before the order comes into force, the placing on or near the road of such traffic signs in such positions as the order making authority may consider requisite for securing that adequate information as to the effect of the order is made available to persons using the road;
(b) the maintenance of such signs for so long as the order remains in force; and
(c) in a case where the order revokes, amends or alters the application of a previous order, the removal or replacement of existing traffic signs as the authority considers requisite to avoid confusion to road users by signs being left in the wrong positions.
If this Order is not 'in force' then all the other restrictions are not correct and every PCN has been issued illegally in this area.
Now come back to the application to the Department for Transport by the City of Sunderland and approved by the Secretary of State. They told him that all the lines, signs and TROs would be correct and in force by 3rd February 2003. All of these mistakes were pointed out in a report prepared by consultants in 2001 at a cost of £60,000. The council never acted on this report, such was their haste to implement the DPE cash cow.
It is only a matter of time.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
However, what they got last week was priceless and the word from inside NCP is that they are consulting their lawyers to prevent the programme being aired.
Foyle Street is one block away from our office. Regeneration works in West Sunniside has meant that the road was partially, and now fully closed. The yellow line restrictions are obliterated by the roadworks for 50% of their length.
It has also been disclosed to us by an NCP insider that even before the roadworks the yellow lines were so bad on the cobblestones that there had always been problems over enforcement. I had parked there on numerous occasions and not received a PCN but when parking 'another' car (mine is recognised by all PAs) I had been hit. The appeal went in and alerted the Council that something was afoot so they began issuing to my vehicle.
However, this suddenly stopped. I parked my vehicle as usual and returned some hours later with the TV Crew to show my car parked unticketed on double yellows. As luck would have it a PA passed as we were filming.
I asked why I was being treated as an exception. It was a new PA. She had obviously not seen the last eighteen months publicity.
"We have been told not to issue to that vehicle."
I asked for a supervisor.
NCP manager, Tony Cotesworth came round. All of this was caught on camera and he spoke freely for around twenty minutes fully aware that there was a camera recording him from six feet away.
He said, " We have been told by the Council not to enforce in this street because of the roadworks."
I pointed out that the roadworks had been there weeks and they had been issuing. We had made representation to the Council bringing it to their attention but they still continued targeting other vehicles. We had the evidence and the photographs.
The producer was quite amazed that we had caught all of this. He was further staggered when we caught more PAs on camera engaging with me in chat.
Catching the Council works van enjoying lunch in a disabled bay was sweet, as was catching the roadline marking vehicle dripping yellow paint from the latest batch of corrections (remember DPE powers were only granted to Sunderland because they told the Department for Transport and the Secretary of State that all their lines, signs and TROs were correct in their DPE application).
The next day I parked in the same location. Remember, I had been given express permission by a Senior NCP official that the restrictions were not in force.
I was issued a ticket!!!
The camera crew returned and recorded more evidence of what can only be described as entrapment. Add this to the fact that there is substantial evidence of PCNs being issued in areas where no TROs exist and money taken from motorists that the Council and NCP knew was unlawful was not repaid until we exposed it some two years later.
A telephone call to NCP brought a response from manager Kelvin Gilderoy that the Council had told him that the restrictions were in force. They have continued to ticket me on a daily basis ever since.
A letter came from NCP cancelling the PCN issued the day after the conversation with Mr. Cotesworth.
It stated, "As you believe that you have been misled..."
No worries Mr. Gilderoy...not only do 'I believe' but we also have it on camera!!!
Heard over their radio yesterday that NCP were to stop enforcing in St. Thomas Street. It appears that there are question marks over whether a valid TRO exists.
I parked there all day and did not receive a ticket in order to stand the story up. The word is that this is the most prolific street in the city. Could be thousands of PCNs issued in this one location. The press has the story.
Further trouble is that it is within the City of Sunderland(South) Consolidated Order which cannot come into force unless ALL the lines, signs and TROs are correct. Looks like another nail in the coffin of the Sunderland Parking corpse.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
A software engineer was arrested, fingerprinted and forced to give a DNA sample and kept in a police cell for five hours after being accused of criminal damage valued at 4 pence. Geoffrey Hibbert, of Farnborough, Hampshire, was detained for cutting four plastic cable ties to remove a sign that he claims was put on his property without his permission. He said that the arrest was a "complete waste of taxpayers' money".
The large yellow sign, giving warning that cars parked illegally would be clamped, was attached by Tango Security, a clamping company, to a road sign that in front of Mr Hibbert's garden wall. Mr Hibbert cut it down, then rang Tango Security, telling it to collect its sign and six new cable ties which he was offering in replacement for the severed ones.
Tango Security reported Mr Hibbert to the police. He refused to accepta acaution and the matter was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service which threw out the case.
(The Times newspaper, May 6th at page 29)
Friday, May 05, 2006
They took legal advice and knew they were wrong but instead of doing the decent thing and telling everyone who had received an unlawfully worded PCN they said nothing.
We are aware of NPAS' absolute incompetence and their lack of independence but they cannot fail to rule against High Wycombe.
We await the outcome with bated breath.
I like the quote from the Council "...the advice that we have been given is that there is nothing to worry about here."
The Council refused to tell the press how many unlawfully worded PCNs they had issued.
We will of course be using the Freedom of Information Act to find out. Who on earth do these public servants think that they are?
'It's gone way out of control ' - Wayne takes on parking giants
By Paul Leat
Making his case: Wayne Pendle
A MOTORIST has taken on the might of parking bosses by claiming that every ticket issued in the last nine years is invalid.
Wayne Pendle, 33, from Acorn Close, High Wycombe, put his case before an independent parking adjudicator this week in a bid to expose a major error in parking enforcement. If he is proved right, every motorist with an outstanding ticket could have a case for a refund. The hearing could even spark a legal challenge to force Bucks County Council to pay back every ticket handed out since they took control of parking in the town with the introduction of a Special Parking Area (SPA) in May 1997.
Mr Pendle believes the tickets are illegal because they only state the date the ticket was issued and not the date of the parking offence. A similar point has been used to successfully challenge tickets in other parts of the country. He said: "Although in most cases the date you get the ticket is the day of the offence, the two are not the same. There are examples where a registered owner of a vehicle has not seen the PCN for a number of weeks, and will not know when the offence occurred."
In October Mr Pendle set out to get a parking ticket, known as a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), just so he could contest it and reveal the error.
He said: "Parking enfor-cement has gone way out of control."
Mr Pendle revealed to the National Parking Adjudication Service hearing on Tuesday, that since April 20 this year the PCNs in High Wycombe have started to carry the previously missing date of offence, known as the date of contravention. He said: "It would appear Bucks County Council have chan-ged their policy to cover this point."
Anne-Marie Goodbody, from the county council, said the change had been made after a conversation with a motorist. She said: "We took legal advice that said the date of notice complies with regulations. Nevertheless we always take into account comments we receive from drivers. We decided this would further clarify the position."
A decision on the case is expected within a month.
After the hearing Mrs Goodbody said: "It is a legal matter being dealt with by legal people. I do not know what the adjudicator's decision will be but the advice we have been given is that there is nothing to worry about here."
Friday April 21 2006
Driver wins right to see police notes.
A police officer has been ordered under the Freedom of Information Act to hand over his notebook to a motorist who complained about his behaviour. The driver, who was cleared of a motoring offence, had asked for a copy of the notebook entry relating to the case and' a copy of the report of his allegation about the officer. Suffolk Constabulary had refused both requests. It is the first time the Act has been used to disclose the contents of a police officer's notebook
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Contained in the article was the first hint at the nervousness of the officials, and the first sign of weakness...
A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry said: "Metrication is an issue that needs extensive consideration and the aim of Government is to strike a balance between the need for change and continuing preference of much of the UK public for imperial measures.
"The European Commission will be reviewing the working of the Metrication Directives and, specifically, the question of supplementary indications. We expect they will make appropriate proposals within the next twelve months or so.
"The Government will, of course, consult widely on whatever changes may be proposed."
Therefore, we must ensure that the pressure continues to be applied and the publicity surrounding the political duplicity and deception continues to be exposed.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
BRIAN LEADING BANK CHARGE!
TWO things are still really bugging me - excessive bank charges and fixed penalty parking fines.
Let's start with the banks, no strangers to a hammering on this page, and once again in the news for over-charging.
Only this time it's good news, thanks to Brian Mullen. The 29-year-old is a people's champion, a superstar, an absolute hero, after taking on his bank over sky-high overdraft charges.
He took his local Lloyds TSB to court claiming £1,500 of penalties racked up over six years were illegal. Lloyds ignored him, the court ruled against it, and on Thursday bailiffs were due to go and seize the bank's assets.
Wahaaay! So the bank coughed up £2,000 and settled with Brian on Wednesday.
Brian told GMTV: "The charges are wrong because they don't reflect the bank's costs. Many of the ones I paid were £30 charges for letters which probably cost a few pence to send."
Many of us suffer the same rip-off, and banks want to keep it that way.
On Thursday I spoke to someone who works at a bank call centre. She said: "One of our targets is NOT to refund charges when a customer calls in. If we do too many we lose our bonus."
She also told me that rule was only "the tip of the iceberg". Nice, eh?
Which brings me neatly to local council parking schemes which turn the law on its head by accusing us of being guilty until we can prove we're innocent. They're characterised by over-zealous parking attendants slapping penalty charge notices on vehicles to make fat profits for local authorities.
They're supposed to deter drivers from preventing the flow of traffic.
Does arriving back at a parking meter two minutes late really hold up traffic? No. But it does make an extra £40 or more for the council.
Let me introduce Ashley Mote MEP, another hero. Ashley told me about the Bill of Rights of 1689, which states "...that all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void".
He says it's still law today, which means all fixed penalties are illegal.
Ashley says anyone being threatened with a fixed penalty must be convicted of an offence in a court of law first.
If he's right, we have the power to take on the banks and the councils who rob us of our hard-earned cash.
If anyone's brave enough to give it a try, let me know how you get on.
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- Parking Attendant blows whistle. Bournemouth Counc...
- NPAS and PATAS about to be challenged
- New Home Secretary John Reid tries to be 'Well 'Ar...
- PATAS threatens No Campaign with court!!!
- Carlisle City Council Parking collapse
- It's payback time for the motorist
- Lords call for repeal of the 1972 European Communi...
- London Congestion Charge Case report
- High Wycombe Parking Victory
- London Congestion Charge case...
- Carlisle ignoring the law and continue to issue il...
- Parking Tickets Illegal in Carlisle...and they kno...
- The great cover-up continues
- Herron and Segal on Talksport
- NCP in disarray in Sunderland
- NCP Entrapment caught on camera
- This is all too familiar
- High Wycombe Council...Parking Cheats ready to fal...
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