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PCN Cambridge, 0845 Premium Rate Number
bluenotblack
post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 08:42
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Hi all,

I was rushing to work yesterday and couldn't find any parking so have had to park at DYL in a dead end. Appreciate that it is completely my fault! However I am aware that there's an ongoing debate regarding the 0845 premium rate number that the council uses and I'm quite willing to get this point cleared up with adjudicators, if anyone's willing to help.

PCN:




Photos: (there're more which I am happy to attach if you want)




1. Anyone noticed any issue with PCN?
2. I am pretty sure that the council won't bulge on the premium rate issue but I am guessing it is still worth doing informal representations just in case they commit additional procedural impropriety?
3. Anyone willing to help?

- bluenotblack
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post Fri, 7 Jun 2019 - 08:42
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hcandersen
post Fri, 21 Jun 2019 - 17:46
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If you go without having established the cost then you miss a trick, IMO.

The OP loses nothing by finding out.
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PASTMYBEST
post Fri, 21 Jun 2019 - 18:28
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The cost will always be pennies, if an adjudicator is minded to find de minimis all you can do is lend support to them. I will argue that any amount is not allowed and de minimis cannot apply

But the OP can find out, they don't have to use the information


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bluenotblack
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 08:49
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So the NtO just arrived in the post yesterday:






The language seems to be in order but then I will leave it to the experienced to check whether I've missed anything...

Will try to write up something as formal representation in the next week or so.
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hcandersen
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 10:06
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Not IMO.

Has 'e)in general terms, the form and manner in which an appeal may be made.' been complied with?

The only references in the NTO:
A letter will be sent if your reps are unsuccessful and it will explan how you can appeal to an adjudicator;

An appeal form will be sent with the letter rejecting your representations. The form will explain how and when to appeal to the adjudicator.


Well that's clear then!
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bluenotblack
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 11:15
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 11:06) *
Not IMO.

Has 'e)in general terms, the form and manner in which an appeal may be made.' been complied with?

The only references in the NTO:
A letter will be sent if your reps are unsuccessful and it will explan how you can appeal to an adjudicator;

An appeal form will be sent with the letter rejecting your representations. The form will explain how and when to appeal to the adjudicator.


Well that's clear then!


Emm excellent point! Looks like most of the East Anglia councils fall afoul of this...

Will include that point in my reps.
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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 12:21
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QUOTE (bluenotblack @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 12:15) *
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 11:06) *
Not IMO.

Has 'e)in general terms, the form and manner in which an appeal may be made.' been complied with?

The only references in the NTO:
A letter will be sent if your reps are unsuccessful and it will explan how you can appeal to an adjudicator;

An appeal form will be sent with the letter rejecting your representations. The form will explain how and when to appeal to the adjudicator.


Well that's clear then!


Emm excellent point! Looks like most of the East Anglia councils fall afoul of this...

Will include that point in my reps.


Most of the country fall for it, This point has been dismissed ompteen times by the tribunal. You should still make it though


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bluenotblack
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 12:34
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 13:21) *
Most of the country fall for it, This point has been dismissed ompteen times by the tribunal. You should still make it though


Fair enough. Would you be able to supply copies of the decisions dimissing this argument just for my reference but also to make sure I can address any issues raised in previous cases?
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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 12:43
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QUOTE (bluenotblack @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 13:34) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 13:21) *
Most of the country fall for it, This point has been dismissed ompteen times by the tribunal. You should still make it though


Fair enough. Would you be able to supply copies of the decisions dimissing this argument just for my reference but also to make sure I can address any issues raised in previous cases?



not off hand appeals for Coventry and reading bus lanes spring to mind if you use the search facility


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hcandersen
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 18:46
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Bus lanes.......

Different legislation and not applicable.
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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 18:56
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 19:46) *
Bus lanes.......

Different legislation and not applicable.


Yes it is the requirements are the same. Tpt facilitate this abuse of the regs and IMO it goes further still now The council only give the online web code and a TPT number to call and leave details of how to obtain a paper form. How many days of the appeal period may be lost ?


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hcandersen
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 19:09
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Legislation is different.

Whether similar references appear to be included is a separate matter.

The TMA is clear.
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PASTMYBEST
post Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 19:37
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 20:09) *
Legislation is different.

Whether similar references appear to be included is a separate matter.

The TMA is clear.



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bluenotblack
post Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 14:27
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 18:56) *
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 19:46) *
Bus lanes.......

Different legislation and not applicable.


Yes it is the requirements are the same. Tpt facilitate this abuse of the regs and IMO it goes further still now The council only give the online web code and a TPT number to call and leave details of how to obtain a paper form. How many days of the appeal period may be lost ?


I have not been able to find the cases you referred to - however do you remember whether they appealed the language of the postal PCN or NoR? The reason being bus lane PCN only requires stating -
"that if the representations are rejected an appeal may be made on any of the statutory grounds of appeal may be made to an adjudicator in respect of a penalty charge"
- which clearly is quite different from the requirement with respect to NtO, which requires stating how an appeal should be made.

This post has been edited by bluenotblack: Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 14:28
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cp8759
post Sun, 14 Jul 2019 - 18:55
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QUOTE (bluenotblack @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 09:49) *
Will try to write up something as formal representation in the next week or so.

Post a draft on here so we can review.


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bluenotblack
post Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 06:55
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Hi all,

Draft now done. Do appreciate that this is very long but wanted to make sure the council cannot simply just re-quote the same case and use that as a rejection! Inputs much appreciated.

QUOTE
Dear Sir or Madam,

I contest liability for the PCN on the following grounds.


Ground 1: The amount demanded exceeds the amount due in the circumstances of the case.


The PCN provides a premium-rate telephone number for telephone payments. This number includes a service charge of 7p per minute (inclusive of VAT), paid to the benefit of the council (FOI reference 875436). The council cannot demand a surcharge for telephone payments just as, in London Borough of Camden v The Parking Adjudicator & Ors [2011] EWHC 295 (Admin), it was held that Camden Council could not demand a surcharge for credit card payments. As held by the Court, the fact that other payment methods which do not include the surcharge are available does not change the fact that the PCN is invalid.

The Council has referred to the decision in Mr X v Cambridgeshire County Council (Case Number FC00022-1903) as to support the legality of the premium-rate telephone number. I respectfully note that the primary matter under consideration in the referred case was not with respect to the use of premium-rate telephone number. The use of the premium-rate telephone number would have been held to be illegal had full finding of facts on this use been made.

Specifically, cost of calling a premium-rate telephone number differs from cost of calling other phone number and cannot be considered to be part of everyday life. Ofcom, the regulator of telecommunication services, stated that “the cost of calling 0843, 0844 and 0845 numbers is made up of two parts: an access charge going to your phone company, and a service charge set by the organisation you are calling”. As is the case for me, for an EE customer a call to the Council’s premium-rate number would cost 62p per minute, as opposed to 55p per minute for calls to local- and national-rate numbers which are outside of plan allowances. This crucial difference distinguishes the Council’s premium-rate number from any other phone numbers. When any enforcement authority decides to use a 0845 number for payment by phone and set the service charge to be a level which is not nil (which is possible and done by Dundee City Council), the authority has demanded a surcharge equivalent to that held to be illegal in Camden. This is precisely what the Council did in this case.

While the exact surcharge demanded is 7p per minute of call to the number and at the minimum 7p, the amount of such surcharge is irrelevant to its (lack of) lawfulness. Otherwise, this will lead to the peculiar conclusion that authorities are not prohibited from adding 7p surcharge to any penalty charge. This could not have been what was intended during the drafting of the regulations. One way or another, the Council have generated a revenue of £1,449.62 from and thus stood to have been benefited by the imposition of the 7p per minute service charge in the previous financial year.

Ground 2: The amount demanded exceeds the amount due in the circumstances of the case.

The Council failed to state in its Notice to Owner the form and manner in which an appeal to the parking adjudicator may be made. The Notice only stated “[a] letter will be sent to you if your representations are unsuccessful and it will explain how you can appeal to an independent Adjudicator” and provided no further information with regard to the appeal process. For example, the Council neglected to make clear that the adjudicator can only consider statutory grounds of appeal and cannot consider any mitigating circumstances.

Regulation 3(3) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 reads:

“A notice to owner served under regulation 19 of the General Regulations must, in addition to the matters required to be included in it under that regulation, include the following information—
[…]
(e) in general terms, the form and manner in which an appeal may be made.”


Because this requirement is not met, the PCN does not comply with the statutory requirements and the only penalty that may be demanded is nil.


For these reasons, the penalty must be cancelled.

Yours sincerely,


This post has been edited by bluenotblack: Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 07:22
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Mr Mustard
post Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 07:16
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My thinking is that as Cambs can set a fee from 0p to 7p and have, I think, chosen 7p a minute, then the charge does exceed the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case.

My FOI question is on whatdotheyknow https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tele...ncoming-1399011


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hcandersen
post Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 08:55
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The fact remains that the unlawful charge which is in place solely and unlawfully to enrich the council is there. That the council seek to rely on a single decision whose rationale and legal bases are nonsense shows that they are desperate.


The draft fails completely to stress that it is a deliberate act of council policy to unlawfully enrich itself. This has NOTHING to do with there being an everyday cost which has to be borne by the owner by way of postage or whatever, this is a deliberate practice by the council to recover more from the owner than is permitted by law. And when they reject this argument tell them to provide the committee or portfolio holder decision which authorised this charge in the first place.

And despite the claim that the failure to comply with the regs as regards giving the form and manner in which an appeal may be made has been pooh-poohed on the basis that it's been unsuccessful umpteen times, the fact remains that their paperwork does not comply, no decisions have been advanced in support nor the arguments which were made at these appeals.


And the OP acknowledging and apologising for their error would be a nice start.

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bluenotblack
post Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 09:22
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 08:55) *
And the OP acknowledging and apologising for their error would be a nice start.

I am not sure whether you're referring to the error made in this post. Also did you confuse my replies with PMB's replies?

But with respect, I fully acknowledge (and acknowledged) that I am inexperienced and try to humbly ask for input from the more experience i.e. you and the rest of the people here. To me, if someone else say something and then I managed to disprove them, it's alright for me to simply acknowledge the correctness of my opinion:
QUOTE (bluenotblack @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 11:15) *
Emm excellent point! Looks like most of the East Anglia councils fall afoul of this...

Will include that point in my reps.

But I acknowledge that everyone's different, and so if you want absolute proclaimation of your correctness in this case then - sorry I am wrong and you are right on identifying the error I failed to identify on the NTO.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. For everyone else, read from here.

QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 08:55) *
The fact remains that the unlawful charge which is in place solely and unlawfully to enrich the council is there. That the council seek to rely on a single decision whose rationale and legal bases are nonsense shows that they are desperate.

The draft fails completely to stress that it is a deliberate act of council policy to unlawfully enrich itself. This has NOTHING to do with there being an everyday cost which has to be borne by the owner by way of postage or whatever, this is a deliberate practice by the council to recover more from the owner than is permitted by law. And when they reject this argument tell them to provide the committee or portfolio holder decision which authorised this charge in the first place.

And despite the claim that the failure to comply with the regs as regards giving the form and manner in which an appeal may be made has been pooh-poohed on the basis that it's been unsuccessful umpteen times, the fact remains that their paperwork does not comply, no decisions have been advanced in support nor the arguments which were made at these appeals.


Clearly I failed to fully appreciate your argument. After all you seem to have been very persistent on having me find out exactly the cost of the 0845 calls would be for me for the best part of this thread. Now, I do not want to, as you rightly pointed out, enrich the Council so I don't really want to call the number to find out unless I have to. Nonetheless I took your previous comments as a pointer to highlight the exact range of surcharge which are imposed by the Council in my reps.

Anyway, I did do a FOI request to CCC for the records pertaining the decision to keep using 0845 numbers and the decision to charge a service charge of 7p per minute. A few days ago was the deadline for internal review so I am hoping to hear back soon. Before I have these records though, I would be hesitant to necessarily claim that it is their intention to "unlawfully enrich" themselves. Of course, I am open to others' thoughts.

As I said previously and if it's not clear, I do very much agree on (and indeed have never rejected) your point about the NTO once you helpfully pointed out this error that I didn't see. I am still in the hunt for cases involving this point but struggle to find them so any pointers would be appreciated.

This post has been edited by bluenotblack: Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 09:25
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PASTMYBEST
post Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 13:05
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QUOTE (bluenotblack @ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 10:22) *
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 08:55) *
And the OP acknowledging and apologising for their error would be a nice start.

I am not sure whether you're referring to the error made in this post. Also did you confuse my replies with PMB's replies?

But with respect, I fully acknowledge (and acknowledged) that I am inexperienced and try to humbly ask for input from the more experience i.e. you and the rest of the people here. To me, if someone else say something and then I managed to disprove them, it's alright for me to simply acknowledge the correctness of my opinion:
QUOTE (bluenotblack @ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 - 11:15) *
Emm excellent point! Looks like most of the East Anglia councils fall afoul of this...

Will include that point in my reps.

But I acknowledge that everyone's different, and so if you want absolute proclaimation of your correctness in this case then - sorry I am wrong and you are right on identifying the error I failed to identify on the NTO.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. For everyone else, read from here.

QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 08:55) *
The fact remains that the unlawful charge which is in place solely and unlawfully to enrich the council is there. That the council seek to rely on a single decision whose rationale and legal bases are nonsense shows that they are desperate.

The draft fails completely to stress that it is a deliberate act of council policy to unlawfully enrich itself. This has NOTHING to do with there being an everyday cost which has to be borne by the owner by way of postage or whatever, this is a deliberate practice by the council to recover more from the owner than is permitted by law. And when they reject this argument tell them to provide the committee or portfolio holder decision which authorised this charge in the first place.

And despite the claim that the failure to comply with the regs as regards giving the form and manner in which an appeal may be made has been pooh-poohed on the basis that it's been unsuccessful umpteen times, the fact remains that their paperwork does not comply, no decisions have been advanced in support nor the arguments which were made at these appeals.


Clearly I failed to fully appreciate your argument. After all you seem to have been very persistent on having me find out exactly the cost of the 0845 calls would be for me for the best part of this thread. Now, I do not want to, as you rightly pointed out, enrich the Council so I don't really want to call the number to find out unless I have to. Nonetheless I took your previous comments as a pointer to highlight the exact range of surcharge which are imposed by the Council in my reps.

Anyway, I did do a FOI request to CCC for the records pertaining the decision to keep using 0845 numbers and the decision to charge a service charge of 7p per minute. A few days ago was the deadline for internal review so I am hoping to hear back soon. Before I have these records though, I would be hesitant to necessarily claim that it is their intention to "unlawfully enrich" themselves. Of course, I am open to others' thoughts.

As I said previously and if it's not clear, I do very much agree on (and indeed have never rejected) your point about the NTO once you helpfully pointed out this error that I didn't see. I am still in the hunt for cases involving this point but struggle to find them so any pointers would be appreciated.


It should be noted that I also said it should be used I was merely pointing out that it has been rejected in the past but that does not make the argument wrong Indeed IMO when an adjudicator uses only the term has no merit to dismiss an argument, it is they who are wrong, the court or tribunal in this case must give full explanation for rejecting an argument fundamental to the case though I have to accept that statement has been made after an appeal has been allowed on other grounds on more than one occation

This post has been edited by PASTMYBEST: Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 13:06


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cp8759
post Sat, 20 Jul 2019 - 12:00
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We have a FOI disclosure confirming the council makes about £1.5k a year out of this, so we can prove they're enriching themselves.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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