Monday, July 31, 2006

Campaigners' ammunition to be sabotaged

The Freedom of Information Act has been a valuable tool for exposing the duplicitous and deceitful. Looks like too many people have been touching too many raw nerves!

Government U-turn on free information
The Sunday Times
July 30, 2006
David Cracknell, Political Editor

MINISTERS are to perform a U-turn on their commitment to open government by seeking to reduce the amount of information released to the public.
A confidential cabinet paper reveals that 18 months after Labour introduced laws allowing free access to government documents, it wants to block “the most difficult requests”.
The move by Lord Falconer, the constitutional affairs secretary, comes after a series of disclosures under the Freedom of Information Act have embarrassed ministers.
He is also considering introducing a flat rate fee for requests, which he argues will have a “deterrent effect” and “inhibit serial requesters”. He estimates this would cut information requests by a third.
In a memo on July 17, Falconer admits that the government will come under fire for the moves. To counter critics, he is to commission a cost-benefit analysis of the effect that a fees regime would have. He argues that this will give a “solid evidence base” to make changes after the summer recess.
Since it came into force in January last year, disclosures under the act have led to several embarrassing scandals. Earlier this month it led to revelations about meetings that John Prescott had with casino developers, putting the deputy prime minister under pressure to resign.
Other disclosures have included Tony Blair racking up a bill of more than £500,000 using the royal plane for holiday flights;
Falconer putting pressure on the attorney-general to change his mind over the legality of the Iraq war;
and the amount of European Union subsidies paid out for land owned by the Queen and the Prince of Wales.
Labour has also used the act for its own ends. Soon after the law came into force it rushed out papers concerning Black Wednesday and the Tories’ handling of the European exchange rate debacle.
Falconer’s move is in contrast to his comments on the act coming into force when he hailed it as a “giant step forward” in combating secrecy.
In his paper to ministers, Falconer proposes changes to the fees charged to the public when making freedom of information (FOI) requests.
He wants to amend the rules to make it easier for the government to refuse requests on the basis that they are too costly.
The latest official figures show that there were 38,108 FOI requests in 2005, the first year of the act being in force.
FOI requests are normally free, but a public authority can charge if the costs are unusually high.
These charges are capped at £450 for local authorities and£600 for central government departments.
Falconer proposes to allow various activities undertaken by civil servants to count towards the cost of processing the application, thereby making it easier to reject on expense grounds.
He says the changes would add to the man hours taken by officials to read documents — potentially hundreds of pages — and consider and consult on whether to release them. And he is ready to allow officials to “aggregate” requests when calculating the costs.
Falconer says that these measures alone would allow “the most difficult requests (generally received from determined and experienced requesters) to be refused on cost grounds”.
He says officials estimate that this will put off at least 17% of people whose requests require a substantive response.
He is also considering introducing a flat rate fee for all FOI requests, similar to that in Ireland, which he estimates would lead to the number of requests dropping by a further third.
Falconer admits that introducing a new regime would go against the recommendations of the Commons’ constitutional affairs committee. But he concludes: “We will be able to argue that our commitment to FOI remains unchanged . . . but public access rights must be balanced against other demands on public resources.
“It is likely individual flat fees will cost more to collect than they bring in, but their deterrent effect will inhibit many serial requesters from making numerous requests with no regard to the cost to public funds.”
This will lead to an overall saving, he notes.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Free Movement of People will be the straw that breaks the EU s back

Before you read the story below from the Mail on Sunday you will need to click here to see the potential consequences of allowing 450m people to move unchecked across the EU.
Sex offenders given unfettered access to Britain. No checks. No controls and the Home Office with no idea.
Must it take another Soham before the reality of this preposterous political experiment strikes home?

We too have a letter from Under Secretary of State, Joan Ryan which indicates that the Home Office are clueless and woefully inadequate. Once you see the content in response to our questions you will be staggered.

Secret report warns of migration meltdown in Britain
Daily Mail

Polish workers scour job advertisements in West London

A massive rise in immigration next year could trigger a devastating crisis in Britain's schools, housing and welfare services, according to a secret Government report leaked to The Mail on Sunday.

The document reveals that every Government department has been ordered to draw up multi-million-pound emergency plans after being told public services face catastrophe as a result of the hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans pouring into Britain.
It also warns that a 'step change' in the level of immigration next year could make things even worse, triggering an angry backlash across the country.

The disclosure comes as The Mail on Sunday reveals that the new wave of immigration is causing as much social strife in Eastern Europe as it is in Britain.
Our investigation found Poles are dumping children in local care homes so they can travel to Britain. Some reportedly killed themselves after being left behind.
The leaked document, written by Home Office Minister Joan Ryan, is entitled Migration From Eastern Europe: Impact On Public Services And Community Cohesion.

In stark contrast to the Government's repeated assurances that immigration is under control, it warns:

• Ministers may be forced to abandon their refusal to grant council houses and welfare benefits to workshy new arrivals, creating what Ms Ryan describes as an extra 'pull factor' attracting further immigrants seeking handouts.

• A new army of English language teachers is required to deal with a huge rise in the number of Eastern European children since last September.

• East European immigrants living rough are becoming drunk and aggressive, and flooding homeless hostels.

• The influx of cheap labour is forcing British workers to take pay cuts with 'serious implications' for social tension.

• East European patients are 'blocking' hospital beds because they are ineligible for social care and benefits if they leave.

• Towns and cities hit hardest by the new immigration are demanding millions of pounds of extra money to cope.

The document, marked 'restricted', was written by Ms Ryan on July 19, the day after she submitted a separate report warning that 45,000 'undesirable' migrants from Romania and Bulgaria may settle in the UK when the two nations join the EU next year.

The number of immigrants to Britain since Poland and seven other East European countries joined the EU two years ago is now put at 600,000, compared with the Government's original prediction of between 5,000 and 13,000 a year. Ministers expect this number to rise by up to another 140,000 next year.

Warning of potential chaos for schools, housing and health, Ms Ryan's report says: "All departments have been asked to consider contingency case of a further step change in the number of new migrants."

One of her biggest fears is that the courts may force the Government to scrap its restrictions on East European immigrants applying for council houses or benefits. At present, they receive some benefits only if they register for work - which one in three don't do - and earn full benefit rights after they have worked for a year.

Ms Ryan says: "The legal basis for this is precarious and there is a strong risk of a successful challenge. This is a concern."

Many East European immigrants end up homeless, partly because of the welfare curbs. "This leads to antisocial behaviour, street drinking and aggressive begging' as well as 'tensions' between vagrants, the report warns. One in six places in homeless hostels in London is now taken up by Eastern Europeans, who often arrive with no plans for a job or home.
Ms Ryan says some councils are demanding an end to the ban on housing and other benefits so they can get people off the street. But the report warns that dropping the restrictions could create a new 'pull factor for people to come to the UK unprepared for work'.

Areas with the most East European arrivals - including Slough and parts of London - are demanding more cash for public services, says the report.
And schools desperately need more help following a sudden rise in the number of East European children, many of whom do not speak English. Some primary schools have accommodated up to 50 extra Polish children in one term.

Ms Ryan calls for action - and cash - to recruit extra English language teachers. "Schools often find it hard...because of large numbers of new arrivals," her report said.

The document says foreign workers have helped fill jobs other workers refused to do. But it adds: "There is anecdotal evidence, particularly from Southampton, a port of entry for Eastern Europeans, that the effect of migration...has been to depress wages for low-paid workers. If this were widely true, or that perception were to spread widely, the implications for community cohesion would be potentially serious."

There were few signs of social disorder involving Eastern European workers but they "feature increasingly in tension reports...and were a recurrent grievance in far-right extremists' material during recent (local) elections".

Some migrants are living in hospitals and mental health units because "there is no ability to provide access to benefits or housing in which on-going care duties could be met".
In conclusion Ms Ryan says: "There are areas in which strains are evident."
Despite the Government's underestimate of the number of migrants, public services had generally coped, the report concluded. But the expected influx of Romanians and Bulgarians meant that this "optimistic assessment may not continue to hold good in, say, a year's time".

Thursday, July 27, 2006

STOP EU Number Plate up for grabs

The People's No Campaign has the above plate on retention.
We registered it in order to raise funds for the campaign.
Serious bids only to

Humpty Dumpty Judge has decision overturned

'Bill of Rights' Judge has an unarguable' decision overturned.

Read it here


Lawyers for the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Defence and the Attorney General had argued it would be an "unwarranted shift of power" for the courts to make pronouncements on the Government's right to go to war.

The family's legal battle looked doomed last December when their application for a judicial review was blocked by Mr Justice Collins in the High Court on the basis that their case was "unarguable".

However, on Wednesday the appeal judges overturned that decision and said it was arguable. But, instead of following the usual procedure of sending the case back to the High Court for further hearing, the judges said the appeal court would hear the full application.

Meanwhile, Robin Decrittenden is preparing his case for the Court of Appeal.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Judge declares 'it's not a fine' ... problems now growing for the Inland Revenue

As the parking fine mess grows the Judge in the Decrittenden case has, as we reported, created a headache for the Inland Revenue.
This letter I am sure will be used by many across the country to bring the issue to the attention of their own local businesses.
Well done to Peter Lloyd.

Worcester Evening News
Letters Page

When a fine is really a business expense
SIR - Last November, this newspaper covered the appeal of Robin de Crittenden in Worcester against his parking fine. Although his appeal was successful he disagreed with the reasons and appealed to the High Court.
Judge Collins has dismissed his appeal because, in the judge's eyes, a parking fine is not a fine but a civil responsibility. The effect of this is that the Inland Revenue has now a significant problem since their website states that a parking fine cannot be offset as a business expense. However, as the judge has now said it is not a fine, businesses can now ask their accountants to include any charges they have incurred carrying out their civil responsibilities to be offset as a cost to the business.
The law is now in a Catch 22 position -- if a parking fine is not a fine then it is a business expense. If it is a fine, it is illegal because the recipient of the ticket hasn't had a proper trial as required by the Bill of Rights. The case is now likely to go the Court of Appeal and Robin de Crittenden has filed the necessary papers with them. For more information go to


Monday, July 24, 2006

Now Leeds Council's Parking Tickets set to fall?

Parking fine cash fear
Evening Post
by Tony Gardner
Council faces losing millions over 'wrongly worded' penalty tickets
By Tony Gardner
LEEDS City Council could be set for "financial catastrophe" over claims parking tickets issued in the city are not enforceable by law. More...

Are some local authority officers committing Parking Ticket Perjury

Just a little reminder to all the Council Officials out there who have signed off the 'Global Certificates' or Statements of Truth which have accompanied the Charge Certificates going to Northampton County is an offence to make a false statement.
As many local authorities have been issuing invalid Charge Certificates, not to mention invalid Notices of Rejection, Notices to Owner and PCNs, it appears that your actions have led to Warrants of Execution being issued unlawfully.
As this has led to many, many people being 'injured' then charges of perjury may follow along with charges of Misfeasance in Public Office.
There are some seriously hacked off people out there who have been harassed and intimidated by bailiffs. Once they become aware that evidence supplied to the Northampton Court is seriously flawed then I would expect some serious litigation to follow.

False statements
(Section 5 of the Perjury Act 1911)

77. A person can be liable for making a false statement where he knowingly and wilfully makes (otherwise than on oath) a statement false in a material particular, and the statement is made:(a) in a statutory declaration; or
(b) in an abstract, account, balance sheet, book, certificate, declaration, entry, estimate, inventory, notice, report, return, or other document which he is authorised or required to make, attest or verify, by any Act of Parliament.

78. The maximum penalty for this offence is two years’ imprisonment.

79. Examples of actions which could constitute the offence of making a false statement are:
(a) a person declaring in a statutory declaration that a fact is true when he knows that it is not;(b) a director knowingly falsifying the accounts of a company so as tooverstate the company’s value.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

When will the people hear the constitutional alarm bells

More bulk enforcement centres. Less justice. Falconer rides roughshod over constitutional provisions. Not long before we have Judge Dredd on the streets.

Thugs, thieves and vandals to be let off with just a caution
by JAMES SLACK, Daily Mail
21:01pm 21st July 2006

Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, said 30,000 fewer cases would reach the courts each year
Thirty thousand criminals, including thieves and knife-wielding thugs, currently punished by the courts are to escape with a caution instead.

The offenders are to benefit from Labour plans for a massive expansion in so-called 'summary justice', unveiled yesterday.

Instead of being taken to court, prosecutors will issue a 'conditional caution' for offences ranging from criminal damage, theft and affray, to carrying a knife, ABH and possession of drugs.
The maximum penalty will be a £500 fine, Other 'conditions' would be saying sorry to the victim, or buying them a box of chocolates.

Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, said it would lead to 30,000 fewer cases reaching the courts each year.

Thousands more cases will be added to the scheme, as the Government eventually plans to extend it to under-18s. It means juveniles carrying blades could be let-off without going to court.

The conditional cautions count as a criminal record. But less serious juvenile offenders are to be let-off altogether, under yesterday's plans.

Many of the thousands who receive a caution each year from crimes such as criminal damage will simply be made to say 'sorry' to their victim instead. This will carry no criminal record.
Critics responded with fury to the idea of conditional cautioning for such a large number of criminals.

Conservative spokesman Oliver Heald said: “The proposal to let off 30,000 people with cautions is a desperate measure caused by the financial crisis in the Department for Constitutional Affairs, which has led to an eight per cent cut this year in the Courts Service budget.
'We wondered how Lord Falconer was going to make such drastic savings and now we know: it is by letting off 30,000 criminals per year.

Robert Whelan, deputy director of think-tank Civitas, said: “We should not be cautioning people charged with fairly serious offences, they need to go to court.
“Cautions are a joke, they are treated as a joke and count for nothing. The court is somewhere to show them the good guys are in charge and the bad guys are not. Even if by going to court they end up with a fine or community sentence, they still go through the process.”

The plan to let minor-juvenile offenders off if they say 'sorry', backed by the Youth Justice Board, also risks controversy. Campaigners will be unhappy if it is used for crimes such as theft or violence.
But it could also help to prevent a repeat of the farcical decision to prosecute a 10-year-old boy for alleged racist name-calling against his friend.

District Judge Jonathan Finestein attacked police and prosecutors for taking the case to court. But they argued they had had no option, because the youngster would not accept a caution and they had a duty to 'clear-up' the 'crime'.

Under the new rules, the case could have been closed simply by the youngster saying sorry to his friend. It would also bring an end to proesecutions for misdemeanours such as breaking tree branches while climbing, which is classed as criminal damage.

Lord Falconer said it will only be used for first-time, low-level offenders where a criminal record would be 'disproportionate'.

His Delivering Simple, Speedy, Summary Justice document said: “This is not about going soft on crime. A face-to-face apology is often quite difficult for a young person to do. Getting a young person to apologise face to face and make amends is an important part of their learning.”
The proposals make plain the Government, and Tony Blair in particular, have lost faith in the courts to deal with crimes quickly.
They demand fewer court hearings and less bureaucracy. Many pre-trial hearings - namely the 200,000 'mention' hearings a year - will be abolished.
The average number of pre-trial hearings will be cut from an average of six to two. 500,000 minor cases - TV licence-dodging and minor motoring offences such as 'no MOT' - will be removed from the courts and dealt with in a bulk processing centre instead.

Magistrates will be forced out into the community to hear cases at special sessions in town halls and community sentences. And they will be told some crimes - such as theft and domestic violence - should be dealt with in less than 72-hours.
Plans for police officers to issue instant Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos) were left out of the document.
But it hinted at possible moves in that direction by saying that more work would be done to agree 'simple and immediate responses' to low-level misbehaviour.
It confirmed plans, revealed by yesterday's Daily Mail, for drunks to be made to attend a 'responsible drinking' class instead of being given an £80 fine.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Minister for Europe, Geoff Hoon wants an adult debate on Europe...Game On!

Should your members wish to make the request personally to Geoff Hoon for details of where and when the adult debate on the EU will take place then he can be contacted at
I am sure that you will also wish to point out to the letters pages of the local and national press that the new Minister for Europe is keen to engage the people.

Press Release:Immediate

The People's No Campaign
20th July 2006

"Anti-EU Campaign Group throws down the 'Martini Debate' Gauntlet to the Minister for Europe...
'anytime, anyplace, anywhere!'

The North East based Anti-EU Campaign group, The People's No Campaign, today threw down the gauntlet to Minister for Europe, Geoff Hoon. At a recent event in the North East organised by Sovereign Strategy ( CEO Alan Donnelly, former Labour MEP) on behalf of the North East Economic Forum he stated that he wished to "re-establish the link between the big issues and the EU in the eyes of the public." He went on to say that what he wanted to see was "an adult debate on the substance on what the EU is about so that people can decide for themselves."

Neil Herron the People's No Campaign Director, who was also the Campaign Director of the North East No Campaign that inflicted an overwhelming and emphatic defeat of John Prescott's proposals for an Elected Regional Assembly in 2004, states:
"It is nice to see that the Minister for Europe wants to engage in an adult debate on the subject of the European Union.We have a lot of unanswered questions and we are going to offer him the chance of that 'adult debate' at a time and place of his choosing in the North East. We can guarantee a packed house and a balanced audience and we will ensure that the Chairman is a person of absolute integrity. We have been looking forward to this opportunity for many years. Let us hope that Mr. Hoon is a man of his word."

The letter to Minister for Europe Geoff Hoon MP from Neil Herron can be seen here



Neil Herron
Campaign Director
The People's No Campaign
12 Frederick Street

Tel. 0191 565 7143 (Campaign Office)
Mob. 07776 202045


Details of the event which was organised by former Labour MEP Alan Donnelly's company, Sovereign Strategy Minister for Europe, Geoff Hoon spoke about the positive impact of the EU on the North East region.On Monday 17 July Mr Hoon said: 'One of the great strengths of the North East is that the region has a clear sense of how it fits into Europe. This gives it a huge advantage in making the most of the financial and other opportunities available.Click here to view the articleMr. Hoon stated:"So my aim is to re-establish the link between the big issues and the EU in the eyes of members of the public. But also to make sure that when people think about Europe, they don't automatically put the EU in the ranks of the 'bad guys'."and then goes on to say"So, what I want to see is an adult debate on the substance on what the EU is about so that people can decide for themselves."

Number 10 Website: Geoff Hoon Profile

FCO: Geoff Hoon

BBC Website: Geoff Hoon

Geoff Hoon Website

Letter to Minister for Europe Geoff Hoon MP can be seen below

The People's No Campaign

The Metric Martyrs Campaign

If you wish to add your name to the growing numbers of ordinary people who are now demanding that we would be 'Better Off Out' you can add your support here

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brown Baby Shock in Scotland!

The Chancellor cocked a snoop at the Government's metrication shambles as he failed to insist on the birthweight of little Fraser being in metric.

The Government's 'Do as we say, not as we do' follows on from the questioning under caution of Devon marketeer, Alan Elias for selling 46p worth of onions on imperial scales and the threat of prosecution of Scottish brewer and bar owner, Gordon Wetzel-Stewart for selling beer in his German theme bar by the litre.

After 2009 it becomes a criminal offence to make any reference to imperial measures in trade.

I wonder if the Prime Minister in waiting will say 'Do as I do, not as I say' or will he continue to endorse and condone the most offensive of legislation ... the enforced metrication of Britain by stealth.

Brown names new baby James Fraser
Read the BBC Report here

Martini Challenge to Minister for Europe Geoff Hoon MP

By recorded delivery to:

Geoff Hoon MP
Minister for Europe
House of Commons

also a copy to:

Geoff Hoon MP
8 Station Street
NG17 7AR

and a copy by e-mail to:

Dear Mr. Hoon,

I welcome your comments at the recent event in the North East organised by former Labour MEP Alan Donnelly's Sovereign Strategy on behalf of the 'North East Economic Forum.
You stated:

"So my aim is to re-establish the link between the big issues and the EU in the eyes of members of the public. But also to make sure that when people think about Europe, they don't automatically put the EU in the ranks of the 'bad guys'."

and you then went on to say
"So, what I want to see is an adult debate on the substance on what the EU is about so that people can decide for themselves."

Therefore, I would like to offer you the opportunity to engage in that 'adult debate.' All I will require is confirmation that you will be willing to attend and a number of possible dates as options. Anytime September, October, November will be suitable and we can discuss the finer details of the format of the debate once we have a date set.
I can guarantee massive press and media coverage and a venue packed to the rafters to hear the debate that we have been denied for so long. I am quite willing to work closely with Alan Donnelly and Sovereign Strategy to ensure a balanced panel and audience and we can line up a high profile Chairman.

I look forward to receiving a positive response and I am sure that both sides of the argument are keen that we finally have a Minister prepared to come out and 'make the case' for the EU.
I am sure that you won't mind me informing the press and media of your insistence of the need for a full blown debate.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Herron
Campaign Director
The People's No Campaign
12 Frederick Street
Tel. 0191 565 7143

No more Anchor Butter...It's time to sign up to leave

It is the little things that strike a chord with ordinary members of the public and drive home how our membership of the EU affects their daily lives.
Lied to, cheated and betrayed by a political elite intent on destroying our nation state democracy.
The prosecution of Steve Thoburn for selling a pound of bananas brought it home to everyone in the simplest terms what our membership of what many still perceive as 'The Common Market' actually means.
Stealthily the Common Market has grown into the EU with the majority of our laws now made by this corrupt, profligate, undemocratic and unaccountable bureacracy it still hasn't struck home to the British public how this political deception will affect them. Treaties, Regulations and Directives are not the headlines that make the vast majority angry.

The story below is...

Shocking ban on New Zealand butter

Sir - It is shocking that the European Commission has been able to impose a ban on New Zealand's exports of butter to the European Union. In view of our close historical ties with our cousins across the world, this has big historical resonance. So important is butter to the New Zealand economy that, when we were negotiating our entry to the Common Market in 1971, one of the very few sticking points on which Edward Heath was prepared to insist was the need to secure New Zealand's right to continue exporting it to the UK.It is shocking that we can now be prohibited from importing it. It is shocking that, as a nation, we no longer have the power to decide our own trade policy. It is shocking that it should be a British commissioner, Peter Mandelson, who has imposed the ban and that the ban arose, following a complaint from Germany, because the Commission had not done its paperwork properly.
Christopher Booker, Litton, Somerset

If you wish to add your name to the growing numbers of ordinary people who are now demanding that we would be 'Better Off Out' you can add your support here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gauntlet to be thrown down to Geoff Hoon


FCO Minister for Europe, Geoff Hoon has spoken about the positve impact of the EU on the North East region.
On Monday 17 July Mr Hoon said: 'One of the great strengths of the North East is that the region has a clear sense of how it fits into Europe. Oh yeah!
This gives it a huge advantage in making the most of the financial and other opportunities available.'Click here to view the article

Geoffrey states:
"So my aim is to re-establish the link between the big issues and the EU in the eyes of members of the public. But also to make sure that when people think about Europe, they don't automatically put the EU in the ranks of the 'bad guys'."

and then goes on to say
"So, what I want to see is an adult debate on the substance on what the EU is about so that people can decide for themselves."

So, the request will be sent off this week to Geoff Hoon from The People's No Campaign and copied into the local press and media. It will be along the lines of:

Dear Mr. Hoon,
I am encouraged to see that you wish to have an adult debate on what the EU is about.
Please let me know when you are available, preferably September / October / November and we will allow you a platform and the debate and guarantee a house packed to the rafters.
Yours sincerely,
Neil Herron
Campaign Director
The People's No Campaign.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Stakes raised in Parking Ticket dispute

A recent decision by the National Parking Adjudication Service (Leeds City Council v Ashley Finsiter) shows a state of panic with regard to the upcoming Barnet v Moses Judicial Review.
This case is listed for the High Court on 1st August.

Judicial Review

Barnet v Moses 1st August 2006

Full one day hearing regarding the wording of the PCN following a PATAS decision and a review of that decision.

Case Number CO 33552006

RCJ Tel. No. 0207 947 6000

Skeleton Arguments only available to interested parties who are attached to the proceedings. You will need to lodge a PF 244 Application to become an interested party.
NPAS have adjourned cases raising this point until the outcome of the High Court decision. I have had this confirmed in a Leeds case.

The case is about the validity of the PCN and its non-compliance with Section 66(3) of the 1991 RTA. The implications for many local authorities with incorrectly worded PCNs are enormous.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Another NCP Bonus Scheme...this time Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Today
'Ticket targets' are under fire

JUST as the Government proposes council parking enforcement should be 'motorist friendly' the Citizen can reveal wardens in Milton Keynes are operating ANOTHER bonus scheme for dishing out more penalty notices.

NCP wardens can be nominated 'Top Dog of the Week' and win cinema tickets or extra time off.
The new rewards system, apparently the brainchild of local NCP bosses, has this week come under fire from some of its employees, hard-pressed motorists and Milton Keynes Council.
"It started a few weeks ago to try to make us give out more penalty tickets," said a warden.

Another revealed how the highest daily penalty notice totals are written on a whiteboard in the canteen at NCP's Upper Fourth Street office under the heading 'Top Dog', or for female workers 'Top Cat'.

At the end of each week the person who has issued the most parking tickets gets a prize. For one winner this was an hour off on a busy Saturday afternoon and for another it was a pair of tickets to the cinema. Said the former employee: "NCP seem a bit obsessed with how many tickets everyone issues. If you finish the day with only seven, for example, you are hauled in to explain why.
"My argument was that there were only seven parking offences out there and we can't dish out tickets unfairly. Yet the company seems more concerned about its targets."
"Parking attendants should issue tickets as and when an offence is committed and it is totally wrong that they should be under pressure from an incentive scheme," he said.

NCP spokesman Tim Cowen told the Citizen: "The table was an unofficial experiment which some staff asked for and had no prizes or incentives linked."
We have nonetheless asked the staff to take the table down because we do not want the public to misunderstand the job we are tasked to do."That job is keeping the streets clear and the traffic flowing."

A spokesman for Milton Keynes Council, on whose behalf NCP operates parking measures across the city, said it was unaware of any 'league tables'."There is certainly nothing within the contract between the council and NCP that sanctions any such scheme."We are concerned about this and we will be speaking to NCP although they have assured us that this was an isolated situation and not company policy," he said.

NCP took over running the parking scheme seven months ago from Vinci Park. A year ago the Citizen revealed how Vinci was running a reward scheme for parking attendants who issued the most penalty notices.
by Sally Murrer -
13 July 2006

Friday, July 14, 2006

NCP and British Parking Association frightened of debate!

Come on guys...what are you afraid of?

A couple of days ago it was suggested that, in the interests of balance, that an invite should be given to the two gentlemen below in order to represent their side of the parking enforcement argument.
They have been quite vocal on the parking issue recently.

Tim Cowen
Director of Communications

“NCP prides itself on its proactive approach to media relations and is aware that it is increasingly important for our clients as well as for our own reputation."

Keith Banbury
Chief Executive
British Parking Association
"As an Association we need to be more outgoing, punching above our weight. We need to raise the profile of our industry and get the message across to policy makers and the general public that parking is important and forms an essential part of any local or national integrated transport plan."

However, this morning I received an e-mail ...

Hi Neil,

Unfortunately both guys turned me down flat the second I mentioned your name!! It seems you may have done something to upset them!!!
Speak to you Sunday, should be a great show.
George Alexander

Mike Dickin Show

The challenge still remains to any Senior Member of the Parking Industry, including Government Ministers ... I will go head to head with you to expose the Decriminalised Parking Industry scam ... anytime, any place, anywhere. Television, radio or even on one of your platforms in front of your hand-picked audience. What are you trying to hide?

Judge 'Humpty Dumpty' Collins Fine Mess gets worse

Judge Collins who declared that parking tickets are not fines is now about to put the Government into an absolute pickle.

The user friendly DirectGov website can be seen below:

Home and community

Paying and appealing parking fines

The council's parking services staff maintain ticket machines and meters as well as the signs and infrastructure of on and off-street car parking. They also ensure that parking bays are always available and safe to use and handle enquiries.

Paying a car parking fine
You can pay your car parking fine:
• by credit/debit card
• in person - you should take your payment and car park fine ticket to any of your council’s Customer Services Offices
• by cheque
• by postal order

You may be able to pay your parking fine online. To find out if your local council offers this facility visit their website or contact them directly.

Appealing against a parking fine
If you wish to dispute your fine and have a valid ticket you should contact your local council. If you wish to dispute your fine on the basis of extenuating circumstances or because you are a Disabled Badge Holder, you should also contact your local council.
While considering your fine the council will freeze the deadline date to pay until they respond. If your dispute is unsuccessful the council will expect payment within a specified number of days from the date of their response.

Pay or appeal your parking fine
The following links will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.

Paying your parking fine (opens new window)

Appeal against your parking fine (opens new window)

Pretty damning Justice Collins!!!
AND it implicates EVERY Local Authority.

But just to make things a little worse (as we look at not what you said but what Parliament intended the words to mean) ... if you look at this...whoops! ... the Department for Transport is calling a PCN a fine in their newly guidelines:

Statutory Guidance to the consultation on Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004.

Part 6 of the TMA provides a single framework in England for the civil enforcement of parking.

Closing date: 25 September 2006.
Published: 12 July 2006.

74. Where a vehicle with a diplomatic registration place receives a PCN but no payment is received within 28 days, an LTA should not issue an NtO but ensure that a record is kept of the unpaid FINE.

More and more evidence is coming in and more and more will be aware of this disgraceful attempt to sweep away the Bill of Rights.

Blackpool to face Court over illegal Parking Tickets

The People's No Campaign is to assist in a small claims court action against Blackpool Council.
The claim is for the recovery of monies paid to the Council for alleged parking contraventions. On their PCNs the Council refers to the word 'offence' thereby implying a criminal rather than a civil matter.
Further to this, there are further points with regard to the validity of the rest of the paperwork supplied to Northampton County Court which will render the Warrant of Execution a nullity.

We have intersting times ahead.

Our various campaigns are entirely dependent on public support. If you like what we do and have benefited from advice please support us and allow us to continue to help others.

Donations can be made by clicking on the NoChex logo on the right hand side or at the following websites and

Many thanks.

Council set for parking court bid
By Steve Dunthorne
Blackpool Council is set to face court action over the way it deals with illegal parking in the week when the Government told local authorities to take a softer stance with motorists.
Read the rest here

Attention Parking Attendants

More and more evidence of dubious and unlawful practices by Parking Enforcement Contractors is coming to light and being passed on to our campaign.

If you are, or have been a Parking Attendant, and wish to pass on any information then you can do so anonymously by e-mailing or calling or texting 07776202045.

Everything will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Justice Collins Judgment now has the Inland Revenue in a fine mess

High Court Judgment Set to Cost the Inland Revenue Millions

Justice Collins statement that parking tickets are not fines but 'civil responsibilities' is likely to lead to businesses making claims that such 'responsibilities' are now allowable expenses. As they are no longer considered fines leading tax specialists are of the opinion that this decision is likely to cost the Inland Revenue millions as businesses can now offset these 'responsibilities' against tax paid.

The Inland Revenue site is shown below:

NIM05630 - Class 1 NICs : Expenses and allowances : Car parking fines
"Fines for illegal parking are not allowable business expenses. Any payment which an employer makes towards the cost of fines incurred by an employee, and for which they are liable, should be included in gross pay for Class 1 NICs purposes."

However, Robin Decrittenden could be the unlikely Knight on a White Horse for the Inland his appeal against Judge Collins decision is expected to confirm the Inland Revenue's position...that parking tickets are fines!

BUT ... if that is the case then the Bill of Rights does apply and there can be no fines or forfeitures without conviction...and therefore, decriminalised parking falls!

Once you let the worms out of the can...

Meanwhile, the press and media are still struggling to grasp the enormity of the Bill of Rights challenge and the implications for EVERY fine levied by an administrative body... local authorities for littering, failure to recycle, putting your wheelie bins out on the wrong day, DVLA issuing SORN Notices, late payment penalties from HM Customs and Excise and also the Inland Revenue...all will fall should the fundamental rights enshrined within the Bill of Rights be upheld. Remember, in the Metric Martyrs Judgment Lord Justice Laws stated that the Bill of Rights was a constitutional statute whose provisions must be expressly repealed.

Perhaps the easy route for all concerned would be to strike down the Metric Martyrs Judgment?

Herron on Parking Fines...TalkSPORT this Sunday

In light of the decision by Justice Collins last week this week's Mike Dickin's Show on TalkSPORT is about 'Civil Responsibilities' ... parking fines to you and me.

The programme is on 1053 - 1089 MW and runs from 10pm until 1am...and the switchboard is expected to be lit up like a Christmas Tree again.

As the parking industry lurches from crisis to cover-up in a desperate attempt to protect and preserve its £1bn a year revenue Neil Herron and Barrie Segal will be telling all on the latest scams and dodges by the local authorities and enforcement contractors and how the public anger and pressure is growing against this 'out of control lawless stealth tax.'

If you have a parking horror story or you need advice on air then call the programme from 9.30 onwards on 08704 202020

Justice 'Humpty Dumpty' Collins Wonderland

As we await a copy of the Judgment and a transcript of the Robin Decrittenden Bill of Rights Parking Ticket case the following article will give a flavour of Alice in Wonderland World of Judge Collins

Christopher Booker's Notebook
Sunday Telegraph

They're Not Fines - So That's Fine

Read the article here

Parking Ticket case to go to Court of Appeal

Notes to Supporters:

We intend to build up the case and support behind the scenes before going live with any general release. This case coming before the Court of Appeal will attract considerable publicity.
Robin is currently looking to instruct Counsel and we are examining the possibilities of attaching 'interested parties' (anyone with a parking ticket) to the proceedings.

This will grow as more and more holes appear in the reasoning by Judge Collins, NPAS and PATAS and the Northampton County Court becomes more exposed. Cases of misfeasance and maladministration are being prepared against local authorities and there are a number of cases where it is expected that Police action will be necessary.

We are deliberately not releasing a press release until the press and media have a greater grasp of the potential legal, constitutional and financial implications of the case and of the massive technical and operational flaws with Decriminalised Parking Enforcement as well as the constitutional perspective.

In the meantime the campaign is solely dependent on support from the general public. Click
here to find out how to support us and allow us to keep unravelling, exposing and redressing the balance ... the scales of justice need to be tipped back in the favour of the people after suffering for too long at the hands of a corrupt political elite intent on breaking the will of the people and everything we stand for.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Herron

Latest News Release

Metric Martyrs Defence Fund

'Parking Fine Mess' case now set for the Court of Appeal...Judge Humpty Dumpty's decision to be challenged.

A case came before the High Court 5th July last week, which could ultimately lead to every parking fine in the country being declared invalid...or, alternatively, the Metric Martyrs' convictions being declared 'unsafe.'

West Midlands pensioner Robin Decrittenden had an oral application to proceed to Judicial Review before Justice Andrew Collins in Court Number 2 at 10.30am on 5th July, in the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London.
Justice Andrew Collins is renowned as a rebellious Judge and has history of infuriating politicians. Read more here

However, what was witnessed in the Court was worthy of Alice in Wonderland rather than a High Court Judge. Read the Sunday Telegraph report of the case here

The crux of the case relied on the Bill of Rights 1689 which was referred to by Lord Justice Laws in the Metric Martyrs Judgment (18th February 2002 at the Royal Courts of Justice) as being a 'constitutional statute' and therefore incapable of implied repeal. As the 1991 Road Traffic Act which brought in 'decriminalised parking' does not allow access to a court of law for conviction (the fine or penalty simply imposed by a local authority) this therefore conflicts with the condition contained within the Bill of Rights which states:

"that all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void."

Tory Leader David Cameron was recently quoted as saying we need a new Bill of Rights. After the decision of Justice Collins it may well be that we need one after the Judge dismissed Decrittenden's arguments as 'baseless' effectively consigning the Bill of Rights to the dustbin!

As no doubt many constitutional experts will be aware, on 21 July 1993, the Speaker of The House of Commons issued a reminder to the courts. Betty Boothroyd said: ‘There has of course been no amendment to The Bill of Rights…the house is entitled to expect that The Bill of Rights will be fully respected by all those appearing before the courts.’

In this instance the Judge showed no respect for this fundamental constitutional statute.

The implications could have been very serious indeed for the £1.2bn a year 'Parking Fine Industry' which was recently the subject of scathing criticism by the House of Commons Transport Committee's Report.
Judge Collins stated that the Adjudicators and Local Authorities could now 'breathe a collective sigh of relief.'

NPAS PATAS and Local Authorities...Don't you dare start breathing yet!

However, that statement by Justice Collins was a bit premature because the Court of Appeal will be receiving the case papers from Robin Decrittenden tomorrow morning. Whichever way, there will be a full blown hearing covering all the points, including exposing Judge Humpty Dumpty's (words will mean what I say they mean) Judgment..."the Bill of Rights does not apply to parking as there is no conflict. Parking Tickets are not fines."

The Metric Martyr's Campaign Director Neil Herron states,
"we have worked very hard to bring the Metric Martyrs Judgment back before the Courts and have had to bring about the conflict between the judgment and unlawful parking fines. As well as exposing this growing constitutional crisis we have also exposed the illegality and lawlessness of many aspects surrounding decriminalised parking.

Judge Collins thought he could make this case go away and get the 'parking industry' out of a difficult hole. His statement that parking tickets were not fines would be laughable if it wasn't so serious, especially if you click here to visit the Government website which refers to parking tickets as 'penalty fines.'

In reality the Judge has raised the stakes a lot higher and created the potential for a constitutional crisis and a full hearing before the Court of Appeal, which will undoubtedly end up in the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights. If that is the case then anyone using the same argument as Robin Decrittenden could quite rightly ask for their case to be adjourned pending the final outcome of the case....which could take years and throw Decriminalised Parking Enforcement into chaos."

Just before preparing the Court of Appeal papers Robin Decrittenden stated:
"On Wednesday 5th July, I found myself face to face with the 'Nightmare World' that is being prepared for all of us by the arrogant politicians now infesting and destroying OUR Freedoms and OUR House of Commons!

In this 'Nightmare World' planned by the politicians, Justice has left the scene completely - and there is no room for anything except the dictatorship that the politicians are engineering and that will be a very proud monument to the memories of both Hitler and Stalin.

Mr. Justice Collins has attempted to put Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights into the wastepaper basket that sits under his desk and he has told me that words no longer mean what they say - because Parliament can do whatever it likes - whenever it likes! It is now on the record that if Parliament changes its mind about anything at all then what was decided by Parliament yesterday simply didn't happen!

Our basic right to an independent trial has just left the country, by way of Justice Collins' window - because Parliament has said that a Parking Tribunal IS a trial - and I must take it or leave it - said Mr. Collins - because HE is the Judge!

Well, I have taken a day or two to think about my experience – and I have decided that Mr Justice Collins must have been born on a different planet, if he thinks that any Englishman will accept the nonsense that came out of his mouth at the hearing on 5th July.I’m going to take these issues to the Court of Appeal for a full-blooded hearing - and I am taking this action on behalf of everybody who cares about this wonderful old country – and on behalf of everybody who cares about the fact that Local Authorities are not supposed to be ripping us off with their Parking Tickets & Penalties – which by the way are not now penalties or forfeitures – they have to be called Civil Responsibilities! It is time to remind Parliament and All Local Authorities that is their job to Serve US – and it is time to remind them that WE will always have the last word – because this is OUR Country!

I need your help – by way of your Voices raised in Angry Protest - with the national and local press; radio & television - and by way of any financial contribution that you can send to the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund, because the Metric Martyrs have promised to help me with the
legal expenses involved!
Please do whatever you can to let the politicians know that Enough Is Enough!"

As soon as we have the transcript and the written judgment it will be posted here.



Neil Herron
(Campaign Director)
Metric Martyrs Defence Fund
12 Frederick Street
Tel. 0191 565 7143 Mob. 07776 202045

Website: e-mail:

1. Read the application for Judicial Review submission by Robin Decrittenden here

2. Recent Metric Martyrs News:
German Bar in Glasgow faces prosecution for selling beer by the litre ... Metric Martyrs Campaign called to assist. Read the news reports here
Devon Market Trader faces prosecution for selling 46p worth of onions on imperial scales ... Metric Martyrs Campaign called to assist. Read the news reports here

3. House of Commons Transport Committee's Parking Report here

4. BBC Reports Robin Decrittenden's Bill of Rights case news here

5. News reports of Steve Thoburn's scale seizures here

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Busy week...downhill all the way

It has been a busy week last week.

The number of blog posts is down as we concentrate on getting the Metric Martyrs new site up and running.

The week-end was intended to be a time of relaxation and physical exertion...a 157 mile 'Coast to Coast' cycle endurance with a group of 40 somethings suffrering from mid life crises. Bets had already been placed that an accident was a distinct possibility ...and I am pleased to say that I didn't disappoint. 25 miles into the trip on the first day and the first serious downhill, my tyres hit a patch of gravel on the tarmac at 30mph. Luckily my face broke the fall and that saved the bike!
Evacuated to Keswick hospital by our support vehicle and then the 100 miles back to Sunderland General for x-rays for a suspected broken jaw and cheekbone. Luckily they came back all clear but the two square feet of missing skin means that as well as looking like a Mike Tyson victim I also look like an extra from the Mummy Returns. At least the face is okay for the Mike Dickin Radio Programme this Sunday.

The rest of the lads completed the trip unscathed and in good time.

Brighton's Glowzone Ltd on ITV tomorrow

ITV are covering the Brighton case tomorrow as the Department for Transport's feeble draft recommendations to 'correct' all the problems with DPE is published.

It is expected that the stakes will be raised as the Court in Northampton is hit with a notice that the documents supplied by Brighton and Hove Council may not be waht they seem.

The worm is turning all over the country and once the local authorities start to see a tenfold increase in the number of appeals they may start worrying that the 'cash cow' that is DPE may well be seen to be suffering from bovine spongiform encephalophy.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Decrittenden case in the High Court tomorrow

Things are becoming hectic!

The Decrittenden Bill of Rights oral application for Judicial Review is listed for the High Court at 10.30am tomorrow. Breaking news and the press release will be posted at 9.30am but this could be the big case that either brings down decriminalised parking or quashes the Metric Martyrs convictions.

Vist the Metric Martyrs website here to see the latest.

Meanwhile a pending employment tribunal will have a major parking enforcement contractor in the media spotlight.

A great deal of excitement in Sunderland today as the Police and NCP hovered around my car. Parking Ticket issued and a Fixed Penalty Notice for not displaying a valid Tax Disc. Hands up and guilty on that one...the cheque and form had been lying on my desk, but with all the excitment of a property purchase, a Friday night out and the England match it slipped my mind.

Nice to know that the Police were quick off the mark to catch me... they just happened to be in the area at the same time as the Parking Attendant.
We are now onto our fourth office burglary with the culprits for no. 4 still at large. No report or feedback from the Police as to the progress of the investigation despite DNA samples at the scene.

Apparently NCP radios were hot with the news that I had been nabbed...and the scale of what I had been done for escalated with each Chinese Whisper. Nice to know they are paying such close attention.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Metric Martyr?

The latest outrage is reported in the latest news section on the new Metric Martyrs site
Alan Elias, a Market Trader from Devon is charged with selling 46p worth of onions.

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