Open Email sent to OTS ‘Southport Parking Appeal Policy’

ots-parking fine notice southport ots onthespot ots

Open letter to OTS regarding I have sent a copy of this email to sefton councillors based in the southport area.

My major concern is no longer with the cost of the fine (although that was initially important to me) but the issues of appropriacy of appeal, fairness, reasonable doubt etc.

As stated in the email, I have read about similar issues on your site and therefore have forwarded a copy to you.

I believe it is important to voice discontent if the people we elect and pay for act in a way we deem to be in need of justification.

I am writing to express my disquiet about a turned down appeal against a parking fine (SF00530941) at a Southport car park.

I have paid the fine since the letter I received from your council’s officer, a Mrs K Waites, made it clear that if I wished to pursue the matter further it would incur greater cost.

Fortunately for me, but not for others who might have received a similar penalty, cost is not the major issue here. It is one of reasonable justice.

I accepted in my appeal that the paid for ticket that I enclosed as grounds for my appeal was facing downwards at the time the photo was taken.

But I also explained that, as directed, I had checked it was visible when I left the car.

I returned to the car to deposit a heavy item i had bought in Southport prior to shopping in Asda. I can only imagine that the ticket flipped then.   The reason I am following up this matter is that I feel your council have acted unreasonably.

I do not believe that, as she stated in her letter, Mrs Waites had ‘carefully noted (my)comments about the issue of the penalty charge notice ‘.

If she had she would have realised that this was a genuine ‘accident’ that, in my view, wouldn’t have happened had the ticket been heavier or ‘stickable’ as they are in many other car parks. (in fact those are the sort i am familiar with) So in fact I am forced to ask myself why exactly am I being penalised…more importantly, was it reasonable to expect me to check that the previously visible ticket had not moved when I momentarily opened the car door. I was concerned only that I got back before the ticket expired and was not aware of the fact that this overturning could actually happen.

The photo was taken at about 12.10…about 1hr 40 after I parked and i did speak to the car park attendant as soon as i saw the orange fine ticket at about 12.20 to ask her what i should do. I expect she had seen my car with the valid ticket showing at some time in her rounds if she had been on duty all morning; but of course with so many cars she wouldn’t have remembered it. I mention this only because my daughter, trying to figure out why the appeal was turned down, has suggested maybe some people try to get a valid ticket off others to lodge an appeal. I would not, and indeed in view of my actions on seeing the ticket, demonstrably could not have done this.

As I have said, cost is not the main issue for me but £25 represents over 20% of my weekly OAP state pension…this would be very serious for me if I did not, as is the case with many of my friends, have a works pension as well. Again I ask if, given the circumstances, the decision by Mrs Waites could be considered reasonable. I am forced to wonder what indeed she would consider a reasonable mitigating case.

In response to an online search I have today read an article in the OTS (14th January) which appears to have quite a large following, about a similar case to this. It is headed ‘Southport parking attendants give town a bad name’. I do not believe it is the attendants who are doing their job that give the town a bad name. It is the failure of the council officers to listen to appeals that concerns me because this is what they are payed to do. The British legal system is based on reasonable doubt. I am left with the feeling that I have been treated without any reason, let alone reasonable doubt. I believe that a warning would have been reasonable because prior to this happening I was not actually aware of the fact that it could. Therefore i am now in a position to check which was not previously the case.

I am writing to you since, as a councillor I am sure you would want to keep abreast of things that concern people who live in or spend time or money in your constituency.

Southport is a beautiful place but those who run it should acknowledge the importance of being seen to be fair. I am afraid this has left me with the feeling that, through no real fault of my own, it has been easy for Southport Council to get money out of me.

I await your reply with interest Yours sincerely – Ormskirk resident

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