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PCN - Guildford Borough Council, No response to informal appeal
Echoo
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 10:47
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Hi there,

I have just discovered these forums and am hoping I could get some help on appealing for my PCN.

I received a PCN for parking next to my house on 22nd March. The ticket was issued due to parking in a restricted street during prescribed hours (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm). However, the street is a cul-de-sac (https://goo.gl/maps/vfS5esazKUM2) and cars are almost always park there with no issues nor any obstructions to any traffic.

Normally, I would park outside the restricted area, but there were no alternative parking spaces available that night. Therefore, I parked the car in the restricted area in the evening and was planning to move it elsewhere once I saw any alternative parking spaces.

However, the next morning, I found a PCN on my car and decided to submit an online appeal against the challenge, thinking I had nothing to lose. The appeal was submitted the same day (copy attached). After submitting an appeal, I received an acknowledgement of appeal immediately (copy also attached). The acknowledgement said to wait for a response and should the appeal be rejected, the discount rate will still apply.

This morning (24th May) I received a Notice to Owner letter stating that I have failed to pay the fine within the discounted period and now am liable to pay the full £70. However, there's no mention of my previous appeal nor have I received any letter stating that my appeal has been rejected.

Would there be any grounds to make an appeal and perhaps just pay the discounted rate? I understand that I was originally in the wrong and had low expectations for the appeal. However, I thought I had nothing to lose by submitting an appeal.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks


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post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 10:47
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stamfordman
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 11:32
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Yes you can appeal and say they failed to consider your challenge (sent in time presumably). They must reoffer the discount as promised.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Thu, 24 May 2018 - 11:41
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 14:31
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There is no legal requirement for them to reoffer the discount, but as they have undertaken to do so the common law requires that they do. That by issuing a NTO rather than a rejection would mean that you can make representations against the NTO under the statutory ground of the penalty exceeds the relevant amount in the circumstances of the case.

Is that what happened? or could the rejection letter have been lost in the post.

Post up the PCN and NTO. The council photos of you car and a GSV so we can have a look at signage. Better to be prepared with all arguments rather than go in with one that can be rebutted
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Echoo
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 14:45
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Thank you for your replies.

PASTMYBEST - yes, that's exactly what happened. I find it hard to believe that the rejection letter would have been lost in the post as I've never had that happen before with any other post. I would also think if one was sent then perhaps they would send some automated email to let me know that one was sent. I also checked the status of the appeal online about 2 weeks ago and it said appeal being considered (or something along those lines, can't remember the exact wording).

I don't have the documents on me right now, so I will post the pictures later this evening or tomorrow morning. Might be a silly question but what is a GSV?
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peterguk
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 14:47
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QUOTE (Echoo @ Thu, 24 May 2018 - 11:47) *
there's no mention of my previous appeal nor have I received any letter stating that my appeal has been rejected.


Have you checked that your appeal was received? And whether a rejection was posted out?


--------------------
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John U.K.
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:02
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GSV = Google Street View.
Post a link to location rather than a screenshot.
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Echoo
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:12
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:47) *
QUOTE (Echoo @ Thu, 24 May 2018 - 11:47) *
there's no mention of my previous appeal nor have I received any letter stating that my appeal has been rejected.


Have you checked that your appeal was received? And whether a rejection was posted out?



I haven't called them to check, but I did get an automated receipt stating that the online challenge has been received (copy attached to the first post).

Here are the council photos:


https://guildford.xrxpsc.com/OCMv1/GetImage...mp;fixminsize=1
https://guildford.xrxpsc.com/OCMv1/GetImage...mp;fixminsize=1
https://guildford.xrxpsc.com/OCMv1/GetImage...mp;fixminsize=1
https://guildford.xrxpsc.com/OCMv1/GetImage...mp;fixminsize=1

and a link to the street view https://goo.gl/maps/aWN4Vb3vqyx
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stamfordman
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:20
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Did you put your address on the challenge or maybe they did a DVLA lookup - is all well with your V5C reg doc and is it your car anyway (not leased).
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:22
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link to photos wont work like that , you will need to copy to a n external site like flickr and post that link here
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Echoo
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:58
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QUOTE (stamfordman @ Thu, 24 May 2018 - 16:20) *
Did you put your address on the challenge or maybe they did a DVLA lookup - is all well with your V5C reg doc and is it your car anyway (not leased).


I don't remember whether I put my address on the challenge or not. I think as I was filling out their online form, they probably asked for one, in which case I would have given the correct address.
My V5C is all up to date, with my current address and the car is owned by me.


QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 24 May 2018 - 16:22) *
link to photos wont work like that , you will need to copy to a n external site like flickr and post that link here



Sorry, my bad. Here they are reuploaded https://imgur.com/a/hXEw7vY - let me know if it works now.
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 24 May 2018 - 18:39
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I can see a restriction plate on the other side of the road (although as a cul de sac it is technically on the same side) how far is it to the nearest sign on your side?

If the council have not followed guidance you can argue that the signs are not adequate
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hcandersen
post Fri, 25 May 2018 - 07:58
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IMO, we're a tad off course.

OP has a NTO, therefore all addresses must be in order.
There's no legal requirement to reply to initial reps by post, in any event they could have emailed with the letter as an attachment.

The NTO is for a penalty which exceeds... etc, because it is for the full penalty.

Make reps on these grounds. The authority then must either accept or reject.

If they reject, they must either re-offer the discount or risk the burden of proof of responding to the initial reps fall on them at appeal. Their interim response to the initial reps was clear: do not pay until you've received our response....

If they accept, then they must cancel the PCN.

But before this, where are the PCN and NTO?

GSV shows a clear traffic sign no more than a few feet ahead of the car and the OP does not dispute that they were parked during restricted hours. But OP, where's the council's photo of the sign? IMO, this angle will not bear fruit.

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cp8759
post Fri, 25 May 2018 - 09:26
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QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:31) *
There is no legal requirement for them to reoffer the discount, but as they have undertaken to do so the common law requires that they do.

The common law requirement to respect an undertaking to extend the discount period *is* a legal requirement. I agree with hcandersen that we're a tad off course here, they key issue is that they committed themselves to re-offer the discount and didn't, therefore the appropriate ground to challenge the NtO is penalty exceeds. I would also make reps on this ground and see what the council have to say.


--------------------
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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Echoo
post Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 09:04
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Sorry for abandoning this thread for a while. Had my final exams at uni which had to take priority over this.

QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 25 May 2018 - 08:58) *
IMO, we're a tad off course.

OP has a NTO, therefore all addresses must be in order.
There's no legal requirement to reply to initial reps by post, in any event they could have emailed with the letter as an attachment.

The NTO is for a penalty which exceeds... etc, because it is for the full penalty.

Make reps on these grounds. The authority then must either accept or reject.

If they reject, they must either re-offer the discount or risk the burden of proof of responding to the initial reps fall on them at appeal. Their interim response to the initial reps was clear: do not pay until you've received our response....

If they accept, then they must cancel the PCN.

But before this, where are the PCN and NTO?

GSV shows a clear traffic sign no more than a few feet ahead of the car and the OP does not dispute that they were parked during restricted hours. But OP, where's the council's photo of the sign? IMO, this angle will not bear fruit.


Yes, there is a traffic sign clearly visible right next to where I was parked. The photos I uploaded earlier were the only ones available on the council's website. The restriction sign is not visible in any of them.

The PCN and NTO are available here https://imgur.com/fxDwcbv
I can't see any inconsistencies there, but I suspect you guys might have a better eye than I do smile.gif


QUOTE (cp8759 @ Fri, 25 May 2018 - 10:26) *
QUOTE (PASTMYBEST @ Thu, 24 May 2018 - 15:31) *
There is no legal requirement for them to reoffer the discount, but as they have undertaken to do so the common law requires that they do.

The common law requirement to respect an undertaking to extend the discount period *is* a legal requirement. I agree with hcandersen that we're a tad off course here, they key issue is that they committed themselves to re-offer the discount and didn't, therefore the appropriate ground to challenge the NtO is penalty exceeds. I would also make reps on this ground and see what the council have to say.



Thank you for your comments guys, I will try to draft a letter later tonight.
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cp8759
post Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 12:16
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Your link only shows on side of the NtO, We need to see all sides of all pages of both the NtO and the PCN.


--------------------
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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cp8759
post Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 12:47
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From re-reading the thread, this is a straightforward case. I would submit the following:
----------------------------------
Dear Sir or Madam,

I make formal representations against the Notice to Owner on the grounds that the Penalty exceeds the amount payable in the circumstances of the case:

On 22 March 2018 I was served with the Penalty Charge Notice and on the same day I made an informal challenge, I received the enclosed acknowledgment which confirmed that I would not lose the opportunity to pay the discounted penalty in the event of my challenge being rejected, providing the informal challenge was made within the 14 day discount window. As I submitted informal representations on the same day the PCN was served, there can be no doubt that my challenge was submitted inside the 14 day discount period.

I have not received any reply to my challenge, and I have now been served with a Notice to Owner stating the amount payable is now £70. It has long been established that while no enforcement authority has any duty to extend the discount period at all, where the council voluntarily makes an undertaking to extend the discount period, it is not then open to the council to unilaterally resile from that undertaking.

It follows that the amount now demanded of £70 exceeds the amount payable in the circumstances of the case, as the council had promised to accept the discounted amount in the event of my informal challenge being rejected. It is a statutory ground for cancellation that the amount of the penalty being demanded exceeds the amount payable in the circumstances of the case, it follows that you must now cancel the PCN.


--------------------
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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Echoo
post Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 12:53
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 13:47) *
From re-reading the thread, this is a straightforward case. I would submit the following:
----------------------------------
Dear Sir or Madam,

I make formal representations against the Notice to Owner on the grounds that the Penalty exceeds the amount payable in the circumstances of the case:

On 22 March 2018 I was served with the Penalty Charge Notice and on the same day I made an informal challenge, I received the enclosed acknowledgment which confirmed that I would not lose the opportunity to pay the discounted penalty in the event of my challenge being rejected, providing the informal challenge was made within the 14 day discount window. As I submitted informal representations on the same day the PCN was served, there can be no doubt that my challenge was submitted inside the 14 day discount period.

I have not received any reply to my challenge, and I have now been served with a Notice to Owner stating the amount payable is now £70. It has long been established that while no enforcement authority has any duty to extend the discount period at all, where the council voluntarily makes an undertaking to extend the discount period, it is not then open to the council to unilaterally resile from that undertaking.

It follows that the amount now demanded of £70 exceeds the amount payable in the circumstances of the case, as the council had promised to accept the discounted amount in the event of my informal challenge being rejected. It is a statutory ground for cancellation that the amount of the penalty being demanded exceeds the amount payable in the circumstances of the case, it follows that you must now cancel the PCN.


Thank you! That is very helpful. I must've sent an incorrect link to the images, here's the right one https://imgur.com/a/3IaS9lz
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cp8759
post Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 14:51
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Have't spotted any obvious flaws with the PCN/NtO, aside from the the ground for representations being somewhat mis-stated. I would stick to the representations in post 16 for now, save any really technical stuff for the tribunal if it comes to that.


--------------------
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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Echoo
post Fri, 15 Jun 2018 - 14:19
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 15:51) *
Have't spotted any obvious flaws with the PCN/NtO, aside from the the ground for representations being somewhat mis-stated. I would stick to the representations in post 16 for now, save any really technical stuff for the tribunal if it comes to that.


Thanks! Sent off the representation earlier today
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Mad Mick V
post Fri, 15 Jun 2018 - 14:41
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This one looks at the discount from a legitimate expectation perspective (at the refusal of challenge stage):-

2170466220

The appellant attended.
He provided evidence that his informal representations were logged with the local authority on 28th May 2017. I have caused a copy of it to be scanned onto the system as evidence.
In the local authority's letter of 26th June 2016 they do not offer the reduced penalty amount.
There is no statutory provision stating that a local authority shall re-offer the reduced penalty amount when they reject representations received by them within 14 days of the service of the penalty notice. The inclusion or exclusion of this in the on-street penalty notice is at the discretion of the local authority. Should they include it, of course, they should honour it.
In their case summary the local authority states that the representations were received after the 14 days deadline but I find as a fact that this was not the case.
The test is whether the public body has issued a promise or adopted a practice, which represents how it proposes to act. The law requires it to be honoured. It takes its place alongside a fair trial. In the High Court case of Fivepounds.co.uk Mr. Justice Bean stated that a legitimate expectation must be a representation, which may include a regular practice and a course of dealing, whereby a public body may create an expectation from which it would be an abuse of power to resile. The representation must be clear, unambiguous and unqualified.
I will therefore allow the appeal because the reduced amount was not re-offered contrary to what is said in the penalty notice.

--------------------------

Mick
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