As more local authorities start to run scared of the Bill of Rights Defence against decriminalised parking offences and the adjudicators position (NPAS and PATAS) starts looking increasingly suspect Chorley Borough Council have well and truly stuck their foot in it.
In a letter issued by Parkwise in response to Alan Waring's use of the Bill of Rights defence against a Penalty Charge Notice they state:
"You and your counsel are correct in your summation of the Bill of Rights Act and no-one may issue fines except by the judgment of a court.
However, this Council does not issue fines we issue penalty charge notices."
Read the whole letter here
But, Chorley Borough Council...pay attention to detail when you set out to deceive...
The House of Commons Transport Committee in their press notice, 'Finding a Space for Parking Policy' seem to think differently to Chorley. They state:
"About a third of local authorities in the UK have adopted decriminalized parking enforcement since the mid-1990s, and parking fines raised nearly £1 billion in 2004."
No argument there then. But they then go on to say:
"Surpluses generated by parking fines can be kept by the local authority for transport related spending."
"Is it appropriate that local authorities should keep the revenue generated from parking fines?"
So, I think we can draw the conclusion that a Penalty Charge Notice is a Parking Fine, and that to argue that it isn't in court would lead to some amusement.
However, if Chorley Borough Council wish to do pursue matters, the Bill of Rights refers to 'all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures before conviction...'
So, Chorley Borough Council, if a Penalty Charge Notice is not a fine it is most certainly a forfeiture.
Looks like their ice is getting thinner.
Just to assist Chorley Borough Council, I have added a few links to other Local Authority's decriminalised Parking Enforcement websites:
Woking Borough Council..."The PCN (commonly called a 'parking ticket') will show the contravention that the PA believed was being committed. The level of the fine or charge is £60,"
Hampshire County Council..."Parking fines may be payable where a vehicle is parked in a marked bay without a permit or ticket, or outside a marked bay (for example, on yellow lines). The Council will issue a ticket for an illegally parked vehicle which will advise the owner how to pay the required fine, or appeal against the ticket."
Coventry City Council... "All fines collected will be used to fund the administration of the new arrangement, and any extra can be used for transport or parking improvements. Previously, all fines collected in the city went directly to Central Government."
Bristol City Council..."Pay Council Tax, Business Rates (NNDR), Parking Fines (Penalty Charge Notices), Housing Rent and other Bristol City Council Invoices."
Bath and Somerset Council..." Penalty Charge Notices...Can I Pay My Fine Online?"
Blackburn with Darwen Council ..."Where do I pay the penalty charge notice fine?
Payment is available On-line (www.blackburn.gov.uk/epayments), by phone, by post (please do not send cash in the post), and in person at the town halls (by cash, cheque, credit/debit card)"
Sheffield City Council... "If, however, you are someone who parks illegally in Sheffield then don’t be surprised if you find yourself on the receiving end of a fine called a Penalty Charge Notices (PCN)"
Basildon District Council..."Parking Payments/FinesBasildon District Council now has responsibility for parking enforcement and may issue Penalty Charge Notices. "
I could go on but I think the point has been made.
Looks like the pressure is on for the Transport Committee. The Bill of Rights will be the protector of the people's rights against an out of control, overly bureaucratic administration that seems to have forgotten that they actually are there to respect our rights, not to abuse them.
But let us go back to Chorley Borough Council and the Parkwise letter...
"However, this council does not issue fines we issue penalty charge notices."
If you click here you will cringe for Chorley and Parkwise. The Parkwise scheme is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and the twelve district authorities. Unfortunately for Parkwise, Lancashire County Council's press release of23rd April 2004 states:
"2.5 From 4th July parking and waiting offences will be classed as civil instead of criminal offences. The Penalty charge or fine is still payable and will be pursued through the County Court if necessary."
So, Parkwise, it looks like you have just agreed that you cannot levy parking fines.
Many thanks and we will pass on the information to every motorist in the country.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
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