|Council 'Sneakily' Trying to Increase Parking Fines|
Permit reminders no longer sent and some residents been given PCNs
Ealing Council has denied accusations that they are making money by 'sneaking' in penalty charges to residents who fail to renew their parking permits in time.
In April a new electronic system was introduced and the council stopped sending out reminder letters for drivers to renew their CPZ permit.
Critics say there has been a lack of communication about the change which has meant residents who forgot to renew on time have been landed with fines.
Renewing a permit must now be done online via the Council's web site, and for that, one needs a PIN (personal identification number) - to be found on the renewal letter that is no longer sent out.
According to the parking services web site, residents can sign up for an e-mail reminder by e-mailing details to firstname.lastname@example.org, however, the PIN still has to be sent out by post.
One borough resident said: ''Ealing seems to have created a perfect Catch 22 for citizens. Permit reminders are only sent by email. But these emails must be subscribed to by the resident. And residents have not been notified of this change in arrangements. So unless you are possessed of exceptional intuitive powers or a photographic memory, there is a good chance you will remain oblivious to a looming renewal date and only a parking ticket slapped on your windscreen will alert you to the missed deadline.''
Councillor Anthony Young, Conservative Deputy Leader said: "This is a sneaky way of trying to increase the number of parking penalty charges at the expense of residents. This Labour administration, when it gets control, really treats people like dirt."
A council spokesperson denied there was any link between penalty charge notices and the move to electronic permits and said: '' PIN numbers are generated for customers when a permit is first purchased and returning customers will find it on their last renewal letter. If they have lost this letter, they can request a reminder and it will be sent via email.
''Customers have always been responsible for renewing their resident parking permits on time. Reminder notices containing PIN details are now sent via email rather than by post and customers are encouraged to supply us with their email address so they can receive a reminder.
''We understand that that new systems sometimes take time to bed in and we are constantly working on improving our service. A new online system for checking the status of your own permit, and that of other cars parked on your road, will soon be available, as will an online PIN reminder service. We are also now available on Twitter @ealingparking to help customers more quickly.''
17th June 2015