In an act of desperation Sunderland City Council have instructed QC Stephen Sauvain to present their case to the National Parking Adjudication Service.The appellant is parking campaigner Neil Herron who has attempted to get evidence before NPAS for two years to expose the illegality of the Sunderland DPE scheme. A detailed background can be seen below but the crux of the case rests on the fact that Sunderland do not have a Traffic Regulation Order for their CPZ / CPZ signs and therefore all the streets within the CPZ are incorrectly signed. Add this to the total shambles surrounding the rest of the lines, signs and TROs and the invalid paperwork it appears that the full day set aside for the hearing will be an entertaining one indeed.
The hearing on 3rd October is open to the public and Herron has already requested witnesses, including Head of Parking Services, the Director of Development and Regeneration and Head of Parking Services. The other witnesses will be a bit more reluctant having 'resigned' from the Council.
On the rather important point of the Article 6(1) breach by NPAS over their lack of independence and impartiality witnesses will also be called. They will include Chief Adjudicator Caroline Sheppard, Tribunals Manager Andrew Barfoot and NPAS Joint Committee representative Joe Lawson.
The timing of the tribunal is most fortunate. The 3rd October is the day after the explosive BBC 'Inside Out' documentary which blows the lid on Sunderland's Parking regime.
My request for an adjournment has been denied...by Caroline Sheppard. You can read the background as to why Ms Sheppard should not really be influencing proceedings here
Mr. Sauvain QC is going to be well worth his brief fee, rumoured to be between £6,000 and £9,000 a day.
It has cost Sunderland over £60,000 in refunds to date. Is this their last roll of a very expensive dice?
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