Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bournemouth Parking fiasco...staggering response from Council Leader

Bournemouth Council were put on notice a few weeks ago that their PCNs (parking tickets) were illegally worded but arrogantly dismissed representations. A freedom of information request is still outstanding.
Perhaps the reasons for Parking Services Gerry Bolland's off-handedness was the fact that he was facing allegations of bulling a Parking Attendant who had refused to issue PCNs in an area where there were no Traffic Regulation Orders, and therefore parking restrictions could not be legally enforced.
He was told to issue or look for another job.
The PA won his case for unfair dismissal and was awarded £20,000 compensation.
However, the Council is refusing to refund any money it took illegally from the motorists at the locations with no TROs.

You can read the full article here

But the arrogance of the Leader of the Council is quite staggering. The Bournemouth Echo reports:

"Cllr Richard Smith, leader of the council, said the matter had already been reviewed.
"The council could spend all day every day having inquiry after inquiry looking into this and into that," he said.
"We have the 15th fastest growing economy in the UK, that is what's important. The town is moving forward.
"But all that seems to happen is that everyone's interested in looking into the past.
"As it turns out, there's a technicality with one or two of the TROs but we issue hundreds of the things. It's human error.
"Yes an error has happened, the council has rectified the error, let's move on."

Sorry Councillor. It is not a technicality. It is the law...and your Council has taken money it was not legally entitled to, and so all motorists must be traced and their monies must be refunded.

However, on a more serious note, Council Officer Gerry Bolland KNEW there were no TROs in place yet still insisted that PCNs be issued.
Misfeasance in public office is essentially a claim that a public official has intentionally abused his powers with the aim of damaging others.
Motorists were fined illegally, and the public official knew that was the case.
Once we know the amount of money involved we will then decide on the next course of action.

Meanwhile, the opposition councillors on Bournemouth Council have been given the background information.

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