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PCN off street parking Southport (Sefton Council)
James Grant
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:07
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On 29/05/18 I parked in a supermarket Pay & Display car park, bought a parking ticket, put it on the dashboard (they are not sticky tickets) and when I came back within my allotted time I had a PCN on the windscreen. Turns out the ticket had fallen off the dash and was by the gear lever and unreadable by the Parking Attendant so he issued the PCN.

From Google it appears this is called a Flutter Ticket.

This is a Sefton Council monitored car park, I found & spoke to the Parking Officer and he explained he couldn't read the ticket and when I produced the valid ticket he took a photo of it and suggested I appeal the notice. He also took a copy of my supermarket receipt which showed I had been refunded the £1.60 parking fee.

I followed the instruction on the reverse of the PCN and emailed a challenge to Sefton Council Parking Services explaining that it was a hot day and I had left the window open slightly and perhaps the wind had flipped the ticket off the dash.

They took about a week to respond by email:

"I have carefully considered your comments with regard to the penalty charge notice issued to your vehicle. I note you have stated that your ticket had blown off the dashboard as you had left your windows slightly open due to the hot weather. However possession or purchase of a pay and display ticket alone is not sufficient. The machines clearly state that the pay and display ticket must be displayed on arrival in such a way that all relevant information can be read from outside the vehicle and must remain so for the duration of stay. Having checked the photographic evidence I have noted that the windows on the vehicle are closed. The responsibility lies with the motorist to check their ticket is clearly displayed with all the requisite details visible to an enforcement officer prior to leaving the vehicle. It is my decision that the charge will not be cancelled"

They further state that the 14 day period to get 50% discount off the £50 charge is now running, and that if I want to appeal further to wait for a Notice to Owner to make further Representations and if that fails I have the right to appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

A bit of Googling today digs up that Sefton Council have been know to not apply 1st time offence discretion or any sympathy and are a hard line Council enforcing all PCNs

So is there any grounds or worth while appealing in this case. I'm down for a £25 charge at the moment and if I appeal and loose either to the Council or take it to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal I stand to loose another £25 and end up paying £50.

From what I have read, the Tribunal uphold the majority of Flutter tickets so that might be a waste of time.

Any advice appreciated, I hate to roll over and give in but wondering if they have me by the wotsits on this one.

thanks

This post has been edited by James Grant: Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:09
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post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:07
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stamfordman
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:15
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As you've found, we've been there and not got the T shirt before mostly with Sefton on this eg:

http://forums.pepipoo.com/lofiversion/index.php/t100539.html

This one Sefton did though cancel:

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...rt=#entry959169

Each case, as our senior guru HCA says, turns on its merits and you were bound to get the standard go away and pay at the first challenge.
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DancingDad
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:25
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There is a contradiction that will not hold in good stead should you go forward.
You say windows left slightly open, council say not in photos ???
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hcandersen
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:46
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Tickets often have a seriel number on the reverse, did yours and was this or any other distinguishing feature visble which could tie it to your ticket?

Your problem is that you’ve used up your informal challenge and not determined whether, for example, they accept that you had paid the parking charge but are just being b****y minded about the ‘not displaying’ aspect.

Anyway, standard procedures first pl: the PCN, both sides, your challenge, their response letter ( not a transposition) and any photos

Also, were any of your windows open and can you see this in the photos?

And leave in all dates/times, we’re in the dark about timeframes at the moment.

If you’re having difficulty posting links to docs, then at least tell us the actual contravention and date of their letter.
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StuartBu
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:48
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Heres a tip for everyone ( unless they use sticky parking tickets as they do where I live) next time you get a sticky ( but removeable) label on something keep it and put in the car and use it next time you park at a P+D and the ticket isnt sticky.

This post has been edited by StuartBu: Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 15:50
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Mad Mick V
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 16:21
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About time someone did some research on these tickets as per:-

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showto...t&p=1339944

Plus (but it relates to parking beyond time):-

2130469449

The appellant, who appeared before me today, presented as a particularly credible and convincing witness. He gave evidence that he had paid for and displayed a pay and display ticket with an expiry time of 13:57 he securing it to the vehicle's windscreen using the accompanying sticker it being a warm day the adhesive on the sticker failing he finding on returning to the vehicle that his ticket had fallen to the floor.

I accepted what was said my concluding that adhesive on the sticker must have failed. Where the council provide stickers for use to affix tickets they must be fit for purpose and I was not satisfied that enforcement could be pursued where this was not the case. I should add that I am satisfied that the appellant by purchasing this ticket had paid for parking until 13:57 and that this vehicle was not therefore parked after the expiry of paid-for time. I find for the reasons given that the contravention did not occur.
---------------------------
The number of fluttering tickets in this bailiwick is not coincidental.

We have had difficulty pinning this Council down to its exercise of discretion----since it doesn't appear to exercise discretion in fluttering ticket cases. I don't believe we have been able to secure their protocols on discretion either --- they are required to publish them by Ministers IIRC.

All in all I would not risk the discount.

Mick
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James Grant
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 16:49
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Mick

thank you, having dug around a bit on here I am inclined to pay up even though it's the principle that irks me more than the money aspect.

I read a previous post where someone said they worked for Sefton Council when the policy changed to contest all PCN's as a revenue generator.

If it already hasn't been done, I feel a FOI request coming on and will ask them to produce the minutes of that meeting along with the guidance notes for office Supervisors who adjudicate such cases.

Will also ask the Council for the total number of fluttering ticket PCN's issued in the last 3 years where the appellant responded they had a valid ticket and the number of PCN's the Council cancelled or proceeded with.

If nothing else that will burn through a lot more than £25 worth of admin time ...

thanks to everyone else for responding too.
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stamfordman
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 17:05
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It would be useful to get Sefton's parking enforcement policy as I don't think it's online.

If you need help getting documents member cp8759 is very good at this and I would PM him - he'll probably pop up later in any case.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 17:15
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cp8759
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 19:41
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Upload the PCN in full (both sides), your appeal and their rejection (do not transcribe, upload the documents to imgur.com and post the links).

That having being said, the relevant FOI request is in.


--------------------
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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James Grant
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 20:02
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Attached Image

Attached Image


had to reduce them in size massively to upload them

will try again if they are un readable

copy of all email correspondence between us with names & email address' redacted

Attached File  PCN.txt ( 6.51K ) Number of downloads: 14


This post has been edited by James Grant: Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 20:04
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cp8759
post Fri, 8 Jun 2018 - 20:57
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PCN looks complaint I'm afraid. You need to decide whether to pay the discount, or risk the whole amount at adjudication. If an FOI request can show that they never, ever allow appeals in these circumstances, you might win on a failure to consider. But by the time the FOI response comes back, you will have lost the discount.


--------------------
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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James Grant
post Sat, 9 Jun 2018 - 06:17
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Well I have until the 21st for the discount so I'll leave it till then in case the FOI comes back, and if not I'll pay the £25.

many thanks for your help
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James Grant
post Mon, 11 Jun 2018 - 09:14
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By way of interest, does anyone know how Sefton Council collect an unpaid PCN assuming all appeals fail ?

Do they progress it to a Magistrates / County Court? To check I phoned Sefton Magistrates Court and asked if they have sittings for Parking Fine cases and they said No, which was an unexpected response.

And I doubt the Council are allowed to appoint a Baliff's company until it has gone to a Court hearing and the case lost ?

So maybe they pass it to a Debt Collection company or even write it off ?

Is each Council different or do they follow the same procedures ?

This post has been edited by James Grant: Mon, 11 Jun 2018 - 09:16
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stamfordman
post Mon, 11 Jun 2018 - 09:27
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QUOTE (James Grant @ Mon, 11 Jun 2018 - 10:14) *
By way of interest, does anyone know how Sefton Council collect an unpaid PCN assuming all appeals fail ?



Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC).

See:

http://bailiffadviceonline.co.uk/index-pag...orcement-centre

And process here:

https://www.londontribunals.gov.uk/eat/unde...rcement-process

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Mon, 11 Jun 2018 - 09:28
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James Grant
post Mon, 11 Jun 2018 - 10:08
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Thanks, looks like it's a done deal.
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cp8759
post Tue, 12 Jun 2018 - 18:05
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There is no parking enforcement policy, as having a policy would "fetter the discretion" of the council, see https://www.scribd.com/document/381634573/Response-Not-Held
--------------------------------------
This request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I am writing to advise you that, following consultation with colleagues in Parking Services, I have
established that the information you requested is not held by Sefton Council.

Officers in Parking Services do not use any guidance or policy documents when considering challenges
against Penalty Charge Notices. It is the Councils view that each appeal should be considered on its own
merits and that if such documents were to be produced and followed then this could “fetter the discretion” of
the person considering the appeal.

The Operational Guidance issued to Local Authorities by the Department for Transport who operate Civil
Parking Enforcement indicates that:

Enforcement authorities have a duty not to fetter their discretion, so should ensure that PCNs, NtOs,
leaflets and any other advice they give do not mislead the public about what they may consider in the way
of representations. They should approach the exercise of discretion objectively and without regard to any
financial interest in the penalty or decisions that may have been taken at an earlier stage in proceedings.
Authorities should formulate (with advice from their legal department) and then publish their policies on the
exercise of discretion. They should apply these policies flexibly and judge each case on its merits.


In connection with this the Councils website indicates:

It is the council’s policy to consider all representations received on their own merits, whether or not any of
the statutory grounds apply. If you have sufficient grounds - or have presented compelling reasons in the
particular circumstances of the case which the council consider merit the exercise of discretion – the
Council will cancel the penalty charge notice and no payment will be required.


I trust that this answers your query.
----------------------------------------------------

Needless to say, this is nonesense, as the statutory guidance says

"Authorities should formulate (with advice from their legal department) and
then publish their policies on the exercise of discretion.
"

But never mind.


--------------------
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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James Grant
post Wed, 13 Jun 2018 - 08:06
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As expected it's all Smoke and mirrors. I will be paying the £25 as time is running out

As they denied my challenge specifically quoting that payment alone (which I proved I had) is not sufficient, and that the ticket must be visible at all times, one could read that to mean all "flutter" appeals will be denied. Otherwise what other circumstances are there for them to consider in such cases.

So I am going to ask them, under FOI, how many "flutter" ticket challenges / appeals they have received in the last 36 months where proof of payment has been produced and how many they have upheld and cancelled the PCN.

Can you give me the address you used for the FOI, is there a specific letter format for a FOI request ?
thanks
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cp8759
post Wed, 13 Jun 2018 - 19:36
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QUOTE (James Grant @ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 - 09:06) *
As expected it's all Smoke and mirrors. I will be paying the £25 as time is running out

As they denied my challenge specifically quoting that payment alone (which I proved I had) is not sufficient, and that the ticket must be visible at all times, one could read that to mean all "flutter" appeals will be denied. Otherwise what other circumstances are there for them to consider in such cases.

So I am going to ask them, under FOI, how many "flutter" ticket challenges / appeals they have received in the last 36 months where proof of payment has been produced and how many they have upheld and cancelled the PCN.

Can you give me the address you used for the FOI, is there a specific letter format for a FOI request ?
thanks

I've already made an FOI request asking them exactly that. I did however limit it to 12 months to mitigate the risk of the cost of them dealing with the request exceeding the £450 cost limit (There is an exemption in the Act saying if it costs more than £450 to answer, they don't have to answer, the cost of staff time is normally calculated at around £25 per hour).


--------------------
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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James Grant
post Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 06:37
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I'd be interested in their reply, please post here when you receive it

thank you
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hcandersen
post Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - 08:02
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Arrogance and ignorance.

I’d fight on.

The exercise of discretion resides in THE COUNCIL not any individual officer.

And any officer delegated with the authority to exercise that discretion by virtue of their office MUST operate within the COUNCIL’s guidance.

Procedural impropriety, failure to consider.
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