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News and Comment May 2012

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6 May - Hoist by their own petards

Halfway Street, SidcupCouncils would have you believe that their mobile CCTV cars can park where they like when trying to catch motorists parking where they shouldn’t but it is, like too much of what councils say, not true. There are exemptions for emergency vehicles but not for council spy cars.

On 22nd December last year a motorist was caught on CCTV stopped at the bus stop in Halfway Street in Sidcup. Bexley dated their appeal rejection a month early which in theory stole the motorist’s 28 days in which he could appeal to the Parking Appeals Service. Fortunately the Adjudicator wasn’t going to stand for that but more importantly he noted that “The CEO’s own vehicle appears to be stopped at the same location” and went on to say “It would therefore offend the rules of natural justice for the enforcement authority to continue enforcing this penalty charge notice”. He also ruled that the wrongly dated notice was “a procedural impropriety”. Link to PATAS adjudication.

Note: The PATAS site appears to be having technical problems this weekend. If the link claims to be busy try their Home page and select Parking and Search. Then input the number 2120136111 into the Case Reference box and hit the Search button.

Would-be mayor Alan DowningBexley council may be making a habit of encouraging good behaviour while misbehaving themselves. On 17th May the Central Library is hosting a ‘Deaf Awareness’ course including “a brief explanation of the Disability Discrimination Act”. Perhaps councillor Alan Downing, who I am informed is to become mayor within the next two weeks, will be asked to attend following his refusal to activate the hearing loop system and his comment of “if you can’t [hear] you must have personal problems” at the Crime and Disorder Committee Meeting.

Although the council itself apologised for its divergence from the Equalities Act the councillors appear to be loathe to accept responsibility. The Standards Committee met to consider the mayor elect’s disdain for disabilities almost two weeks ago, not a word has been heard about their decision. Making up an appropriate excuse must be even more difficult than usual.


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