Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 3187

Parking Fines

Request

Description of information sought:

- Please inform me how many parking fines were handed out to councillors sitting on Brentwood Borough Council by the council's civil enforcement officers in each of the following years; 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11

- Where fines were incurred, please name the councillor, the location where the fine was issued, the size of the fine and the reason for its issue for each case in each of the years: 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11

- What is the size of a parking fine issued by a civil enforcement officer in Brentwood and is an early payment rebate/deduction available for the offender?

- Where fines were issued to Brentwood Borough councillors in error, please advise the number that were issued in error and the name of the borough council in each case in each of the years: 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11

- Where fines were issued to Brentwood Borough councillors, please advise me how many of them were rescinded/cancelled and by the borough council, together with the names of those councillors who had fines rescinded/cancelled in each of the years: 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11

- In the event that fines were cancelled/rescinded, please advise me who made the decision to cancel/rescind the fine in each case?

- Please inform me of the total amount of money collected in parking fines from Brentwood Borough Councillors in each of the following years: 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11

- Please explain the procedure through which the council must go to rescind/cancel a parking ticket

- How many civil enforcement officers does Brentwood Borough Council currently employ

- Does Brentwood Borough Council have a policy in place on how to deal with parking tickets that are incurred by borough councillors?

Response

I write in response to your FOI request as detailed below:

I advise of the procedures that are used to issue a Penalty Charge Notice that will cover much of your request.

A Penalty Charge Notice is issued to a vehicle that is in contravention of any of the Borough Councils off street parking and waiting orders. There is a list of off street PCN contravention codes that are a mix of higher an lower charge dependant on the seriousness of the contravention. At the higher rate the penalty notice is set at £70 discounted to £35 if paid within 14 days and at the lower rate of £50 discounted to £25 within the discount period. The penalty charge notices are issued to a vehicle registration only and do not identify the individual contravener.

Records are kept only against vehicle registration, and registered keeper names only become known should there be non payment of the charge when we would apply to DVLA to get details of address etc.

Anyone that receives a penalty charge notice regardless of who they are must under the legislation that applies (TMA2004) put a challenge in writing for consideration. If mitigation applies that can result in cancellation the penalty charge will be rescinded and a letter sent to that effect, alternatively if the mitigation is deemed not acceptable and the contravention stands then letters will be sent to advise and payment requested to close the case. Anyone can take their challenge further via a notice to owner and ultimately on to independent adjudication under the legislation. The adjudicator may make a decision that is contrary to the Council’s decision if they feel mitigation has not been considered fully and is binding on both parties. All stages of the processing are subject to audit investigation which is why there is just one process in place for appeal which is laid down under TMA 2004 and strictly adhered to

However through all these stages the reporting systems do not identify members as a group, they would go through the same processes and the same criteria is applied as to mitigation for all contraveners of the Off street orders. I am therefore not able to identify individual persons as asked for in you request. I can confirm however that there is no separate policy in place should it be apparent that a PCN that was being challenged by a Member.
The Borough council employs 2 Civil Enforcement officers to patrol and enforce it’s car parks.
Any query in relation to the on street Enforcement will need to be directed through ECC highways department which authorises the South Essex Parking Partnership at Chelmsford Borough Council to undertake the on street function on their behalf. They can be contacted at parking@chelmsford.gov.uk

I hope this helps with your enquiry, please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.