Sefton Council scared to ‘ticket’ travellers

Sefton Council has been too scared to put a single parking ticket on ‘travellers’ invading their car parks, a spokesperson has told Councillor.  The Council would not send a single parking attendant into the Dunes Leisure Centre car park when it was invaded by travellers for several days recently because the Council were afraid for their agents’ safety in such circumstances.

When asked why the Council did not consider seeking police support which is often provided to bailiffs in potential flashpoint situation, the spokesperson said:

“Given the pressing demands on Police officer time, we are not sure that accompanying a civil enforcement officer to issue a penalty charge notice would be something that they would consider to be a priority. Nevertheless, this is something we will discuss with colleagues in the Police for any future incursions.”

“We would also doubt we would have any success in obtaining payment for any PCN’s which were issued. Many of the traveller vehicles are not registered in the UK and as such we have cannot obtain the keepership details – the TMA 2004 only provides for the council to pursue notices that have been issued to vehicles registered in England and Wales.”

“Unless the driver / owner of a vehicle registered outside England and Wales makes voluntary payment the council cannot issue a formal demand for the debt as we are unable to obtain the name and address of the vehicle keeper.

“For those that may have been issued to a traveller vehicle that was registered in England or Wales, being realistic and without wishing to prejudge, the chances of the council recovering that charge are very slim.  In actual fact we did once issue a penalty charge notice to a traveller vehicle on Tulketh Street Car Park – that debt is still outstanding from January.”

Councillor Dawson said:

“ALL the vehicles which I saw last week were registered in the UK. But I have considerable sympathy with the council in respect of enforcibility.  When parking enforcement was transferred completely from the Police to Local Authorities, it made a poor situation worse.  There clearly needs to be a law introduced urgently to put all vehicles, whatever the nationality of their registration, which have an outstanding parking-related Court Orders against them for payment, to be stopped and impounded, just the same as if they have no Road Fund licence or insurance.

“It is clear racial discrimination to apply a set of parking charges to decent tax-paying non-travellers which you will not even attempt to levy on ‘travellers’ – and which it seems are also not levied on various foreign-registered vehicles either.  I have written to the Minister for Transport seeking early legislation to sort out this pathetic mess.”


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