Further fall out from the BBC Documentary. A quartet of NCPs hierarchy were present in Sunderland Council's Committee Room 1 last night following the screening of the programme in the Members' Room.
NCP Chief Executive Bob MacNaughton was praised by one fawning councillor for taking the matter seriously and turning up.
What was amusing was the fact that NCP officials accused BBC of prejudice and bias in screening the programme. Although they had been filming undercover for weeks they only screened 27 minutes and it therefore wasn't really representative.
Although I couldn't see any straws next to the glasses and water jugs I was aware of a number of people engaged in clutching motions.
NCP did say they were considering a formal complaint against the BBC ... "but hey, they would never take it seriously and any complaint upheld would get scant coverage" someone remarked.
At one point the issuing of incorrect PCNs was termed 'noble corruption.'
Next time I rob a bank and give the money to the poor I could claimthat it was 'noble corruption.'
My advice to all concerened would be
... if NCP and the Council have nothing to hide, open the books and let the BBC in. Send them the minutes of all the meetings between NCP and the Council which took place every fortnight.
... tell us why the wording of the Penalty Charge Notices weren't changed by NCP until 4th and 30th November 2005 (on the handwritten and computer generated PCNs respectively) despite the e-mail from the Assistant City Solicitor telling you to change them 'without delay.' Perhaps then we can ask Sunderland why they processed over 12,000 PCNs that they knew to be non-compliant. Surely someone as high as the Assistant City Solicitor would have ensured that their instruction was complied with?
... we could also be made aware of how much NCP offered Sunderland City Council (referred to in the Council / NCP minutes of October / November 2003) to conduct a review of the signs and lines. Obviously someone (GM is referred to in the notes) was concerned...and remember this was only eight months after the commencement of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement and Sunderland had told the DfT and the Secretary of State that the lines, signs and TROs would be correct and in force.
So I personally would welcome a complaint about the BBC programme from NCP in order to have these points clarified in an open public forum... and where a great deal more evidence can be brought to the attention of the motoring public.
Perhaps we need a reminder of what Misfeasance in Public Office actually constitutes:
Read the latest press report below:
October 17th 2006
More NCP suspensions threatened
TWO more parking attendants could be suspended and three senior members of staff investigated after an undercover TV probe.
Read the full story here
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