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.