Monday, December 17, 2007

Another council. Another blunder. More refunds to come.

Press Release: Immediate

Christmas Present for Motorists ... Thousands in line for Parking Ticket refunds.

Parking Campaigner Neil Herron who runs the online website Parking reveals another blunder by a North East council which will mean that thousands of motorists unlawfully fined will be entitled to refunds.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council first became aware of the problem with the wording of their Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) after losing an adjudication at the National Parking Adjudication Service over two years ago. They did not correct the mistake immediately, in fact the mistake was not rectified for over 18 months.

It appears to be a case of deja vu for motorists after another North East authority, Sunderland City Council made a similar mistake a couple of years ago and were forced to refund over £60,000 after their serious error was exposed.

In Redcar and Cleveland council officers decided not to make this mistake public but a recent employment tribunal hearing revealed the extent of the cover-up as a former council officer made the startling claims after being employed in the council's parking services department. The courageous whistleblower revealed that the council were aware that they had received over £60,000 without having correct legal orders and the sums required to be refunded could be as high as £1.4million as the council continued to enforce in areas where they were aware that the lines, signs and TROs were non-compliant or unlawful despite the employees' concerns.
However, becasue the council decided not to go public and inform anyone that they were entitled to refunds, they may well face very serious charges. Indeed, it is essential that a full external investigation is initiated as a matter of urgency..

Neil Herron states: "The Council have a duty to refund the money paid by motorists in areas where there were no valid Traffic Orders. Indeed, not only has the council benefited from 'unjust enrichment' they also appear to have deliberately covered up the error. This is a very serious matter and those responsible should be investigated and, if necessary dismissed. If the council do not volunteer the refunds then we will ensure that all the facts are made public and insist that complaints are made to the relevant authorities."



Neil Herron

Previous coverage:

Unpaid Parking Fines Put on Hold

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