Monday, July 11, 2011

London Borough of Richmond ... CCTV Smartcar Refunds

Let us not forget that the revenue derived by Richmond Council is UNLAWFUL income to which they are not entitled. Whilst their admission that their vehicles were incorrectly certified and refunds must be made requires praise along with some very laudible statements in their press release which I hope will serve as a reminder to other authorities that they are not above the law.

It is a requirement that they keep details of every financial transaction and therefore there should be no problem whatsoever contact everyone who has paid to advise them of the situation ... thus allowing them an opportunity 'to appeal' as Richmond claim their legal advice requires. That way they will not need to expend vast sums of money on press and media advertising.

Some cynics would perhaps suggest that a few adverts will result in significantly fewer refunds. I would like to believe that Richmond's intentions are honourable and an example that many others will be forced to follow in the coming months.


Appeals for fines issued by camera cars (from March 2009 until April 2011)
At a Cabinet meeting on the 21 July, members will discuss a recommendation that Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) issued by the Council’s mobile camera cars from March 2009 until April 2011 are refunded. This is due to the cars being incorrectly certified during this time.

The PCNs issued fall outside the usual 28 day appeal period. Legal advice to the Council is that there is no need to repay parking charges outside the appeal period. However, as motorists had no way of knowing the charges were incorrectly levied, the Cabinet, in accordance with its Fair Parking policies, is being recommended to allow a special 3-month appeal period to enable motorists caught by the camera cars to request a refund. Appeals made on this basis would automatically be allowed. Unclaimed funds would be reinvested in parking, highway and footpath related schemes.

If the Cabinet Meeting approves this approach the Council will launch an extensive advertising campaign to contact motorists, letting them know how they can apply for a refund and what the precise starting point for the three month appeal window is. This process will not be in place until the Cabinet decision has been taken, so motorists are urged to wait before they contact the Council.

Adverts will be placed in the local newspapers and on the Council website after the likely Cabinet approval.

Please monitor the local media following the Cabinet Meeting on 21 July for further information on how to apply. In addition, please note that only Parking Charge Notices issued by the mobile camera cars and during the above dates will be entitled to a refund.

For more information see our recent press release

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