Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The gathering of the clans ...

In the hills and the valleys and the towns and the cities and on every piece of potholed tarmac that Britain's motorists traverse at £8 per gallon and with a £50,000,000,000 tax take per annum to the Treasury there comes a moment where 'tipping point' is reached.

On top of the potholes, the 'speed awareness courses' for doing 34mph in a 30mph zone, and the lack of investment in the country's decaying road infrastructure, Britain's motorists are often pursued to the ends of the earth for the most minor of parking contraventions (minute late back to a meter, an inch over a white line) by councils now empowered to raise the fines, issue the fines, collect the money and keep the money (and appeals adjudicated upon by 'independent' adjudicators paid at the rate of 60p from every ticket issued) ... we now see one of those public officials, who are paid handsomely from the public purse, in a position of trust with pension rewards the private sector would die for (if they could retire early enough to extract the benefit) ... given an absolute discharge for forging documents to extract a £60 fine from a pensioner.

Now just hold that thought for a minute.

A £60 fine for parking in a pay and display bay that wasn't marked correctly BUT an absolute discharge for the person FORGING the documents to make a financial gain for his employers, Exeter City Council.

Read the press cutting below .... "The defendant has admitted he doctored the plan and blames others in the council for being involved."

A word of warning to all those council officers out there who thought that they were above the law. To those council officers who thought that they could act with impunity. To those council officers who thought that their colleagues or 'the system' would protect them.

Check the Local Authority (Indemnities for Officers and Members) Order 2004 ... and then check out how much you personally have to lose should the council decide that, because of your actions, you cannot be protected. Don't assume that you are protected.

The MPs serving time at Her Majesty's Pleasure did not expect such a turn of events but thanks to the dogged determination of Heather Brooke who exposed the MPs expenses scandal the public saw that justice could be dispensed and the guilty dispatched.

In some council areas Civil Parking Enforcement is lawless, unregulated and out of control and has been for a number of years and it is the new MPs expenses scandal, the pensions and endowments mis-selling, the disgraceful bank charges scandal ... but now the moment is upon us where every motorist who has suffered a personal injustice but has been daunted by the enormity of taking on the system can join behind a man who has been prepared to stand up to be counted.

The Peter Harry case, a pensioner pursued relentlessly for a £60 fine with council officials prepared to forge documents for financial gain has unsettled the common man. If the Judges and the etsablishment will not protect and defend our rights and freedoms how will justice ever be seen to be done?

Thanks and praise needs to go to all those parking offiocers and many parking managers who are quietly and openly supprting what we do knowing that there are rotten apples in every profession. Until those rotten apples are removed then parking enforcement generally will continue to feel the public's wrath.

The disparate groups across the country are coming together. The clans are gathering. If you are a council officer who thinks that you are above the law ... we are now at 'tipping point.' The British Motoring Public will not tolerate this any more.

In the coming days the landscape will change .... and the 'common man' will ensure that justice will be seen to be done in the most public of fashions.

This is Exeter

Monday, February 28, 2011,

Ex-council man walks free over map charge

A FORMER parking officer in the city has walked free from court after he admitted falsifying a map relating to a parking ticket.

Judge Graham Cottle gave Geoffrey Urwin an absolute discharge and questioned why the case had ever been brought to Exeter Crown Court.

Urwin, 43, of Oxford Road, St James, had falsified a document used in a motorist's appeal against a parking ticket. The court heard he had since lost his job.

The defendant was going to deny the charge but changed his plea after Judge Cottle said he thought an absolute discharge was appropriate.

Urwin admitted that, without reasonable excuse or justification, he willfully misconducted himself, by falsifying a map used in a parking penalty notice proceeding.

The charge said it happened between June 1 and June 30 last year, when the defendant was a parking support team leader with the council.

He was accused of doctoring a map, which was presented to a traffic penalty tribunal after a motorist appealed against a parking ticket issued to him in Exeter.

Prosecutor Andrew Macfarlane said that the motorist was someone who had a "campaign with others".

Mr Macfarlane said: "He deliberately parked in a parking bay where he believed markings were not entirely accurate and declined to put money in the meter."

He said that the parking attendant recorded it as the wrong space in Southernhay, while trying to show the position of the parking bay.

"The defendant decided to doctor it and place it in the correct designation with where the car was, falsifying that document," said the prosecutor.

"The policy of the council is, if that error is found, rather than falsifying the document, the parking charge is abandoned.

"The defendant has admitted he doctored the plan and blames others in the council for being involved."

Judge Cottle said: "Does the crown court exist to deal with this?"

The prosecutor replied that a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer had made an "exhaustive analysis" of the case. Judge Cottle said: "He'll get an absolute discharge if convicted….That is what the county council should be about, not this kind of court."

The judge, who was due to sentence a rapist and also a man who had killed a pedestrian through careless driving later in the day, said he was dealing with cases of "immense seriousness" and should not have to deal with one of this kind. He added no criticism was intended of the prosecutor.

Mr Macfarlane replied that common law meant the case had to be dealt with at crown court.

Defence counsel Nicholas Bradley said Urwin had no criminal record and had lost his job since this incident.

"He was asked to leave and he did," said Mr Bradley.

Judge Cottle said about the offence: "He probably accepts he did something he shouldn't."

After the guilty plea and sentencing, Judge Cottle said the offence would not rank as a criminal conviction.

Urwin told the Echo after the hearing: "I'm extremely relieved. That's it."

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