Council Deny Bedford Park Permit Delays
Claim residents were too late in sending back forms
The furore over Bedford Park Zone B permit renewals continues with Ealing Council claiming that there was no delay by them in processing the forms. They say that only residents who sent in their renewal forms after the Council's deadline of three weeks before expiry will have received their permits late. According to the Council two thirds of residents failed to meet the deadline,
Residents of the area have accused Ealing Council of deliberately trying to entrap them into paying parking fines because a large number had not received their new permits. Many residents had permits which expired on 30th September, the anniversary of the setting up of the scheme. Some of those who did not receive permits on time dispute the Council's assertion that they did not send in their renewal forms until after the recommended date.
Local Councillor Gary Malcolm has investigated the issue and was told by a Council Officer that there were problems in the department that deals with the permits due to staff shortages. When Councillor Ray Wall, the cabinet member with responsibility of transport issues, claimed there was not a problem with permit renewals in a full Council meeting, Councillor Malcolm pointed out that he had received numerous complaints from residents over the issue. He said "Council tax keeps on going upwards and yet we have a shortage of staff. The residents of Southfield should not bear the brunt because of staff shortages at Ealing Council's Parking Services.”
According to Ealing Council renewal letters were sent out to some permit holders in Zone B in August (note that not all permit holders in Zone B had to renew their permits at this time) and, as far as they were aware, these were received by residents by August 31st. The deadline for residents to send their renewal applications to the Council was September 10th. The Council received 111 applications in time for this deadline all of which they claim were processed and permits sent back to residents before the beginning of October. There were 220 applications received late (after the September 10th deadline) and therefore were not guaranteed to be processed in time.
A spokesperson for Ealing Council said “There does not appear to have been any delays by the council in processing permits for this zone. Residents were sent their renewal notices well in advance of the September 10 deadline. We received a number of applications after the deadline. However, we did still try to process as many as possible before the beginning of October. If there are any residents who did send their renewal form to us before the deadline, but still received their permit after October 1st, we apologise for this. We will also treat any appeals against parking tickets issued on their individual merits.”
Gary Malcolm said, "It is a shame that the council do not realise the trouble and inconvenience they've caused. After a week or more of getting answers for residents from the council I hope they will have now cancelled the inappropriately given parking tickets. If anyone has any dispute with the Parking Services department do please contact me so I can chase the council on your behalf."
Barrie Segal of the web site AppealNow.com called the Council's behaviour 'disgraceful' and advised residents to appeal any tickets they may have received all the way to the Parking Adjudicator. He said, "Moreover I suspect it is illegal in that it breaches its common law obligations to act fairly and may well be illegal under the Road Traffic Act 1991. Further given that it is the council's ineptitude that prevents people receiving their residents permits there should be a moratorium on the issue of parking tickets for people who have applied for renewals or new residents permits."
Anne Linda Mark who received a PCN after her renewal permit failed to show up did successfully persuade Ealing Council to cancel it and she urged other residents to do the same.
October 16, 2005