Monday, February 12, 2007

Parking ticket cash written off

Redcar&Cleveland Borough Council has become the latest to write off hundreds of unpaid penalty charge notices(PCNs) issued over the course of a two and- a-half year period. Whilst this may be good news for those people not now being pursued, but little consolation to those who paid-up! It was revealed in November that a handful of local authorities had been forced to revise their procedures after a High Court judge ruled against Barnet Council regarding information shown on tickets.Redcar follows Stockton Council,which said it was not actively pursuing an estimated 3,600 tickets following legal advice.
Affected tickets were issued when Redcar Council took over responsibility for parking enforcement from the police to when it changed the wording of its notices in April 2006. Liberal Democrat councillor Eric Empson, cabinet member for strategic planning, development and infrastructure said "Following the High Court decision regarding the London Borough of Barnet, we have decided not to pursue further enforcement of penalty charge notices that weren't compliant with the ruling." A Redcar council spokeswoman said it was not possible to identify how many tickets were affected, nor the amount of Revenue WHICH COULD BE LOST!
I would have thought it was very easy for the department responsible for chasing up unpaid tickets to easily identify the numbers involved and the amount of money lost. The councils own papers refer to a fall in car parking charges of £135K which may include this as I fail to see how with full carparks/bays and increased charges to residents and visitors the take would reduce!
I have tried to include Main Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting 30 May 2006 and specifically 7 ENFORCEMENT REGIME SCRUTINY PANEL FINAL REPORT which interestingly states-

A Member congratulated the Panel on the report and asked whether there were discrepancies between Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough in the enforcement of Fixed Penalty Notices and was advised that Redcar & Cleveland was more proactive especially regarding dog fouling and parking tickets.
How much more money are we going to find out is being lost/wasted whilst we still await answers to why Prudential Borrrowing of £8,000,000 has not been used to build our baths.

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