Thursday, 24 January 2013

Overwhelming mitigation doesn't move Barnet Council

I repeat below a case that PATAS heard last year. It is to be hoped that special arrangements were made for this family by the council afterwards but you do have to wonder what sort of society we live in when the council, supposedly there to make Barnet a better place to live, put a lady through the stress, time loss and inconvenience of having to go to the independent adjudicator.
Having heard the Appellant's wife  in person in considerable detail this is clearly a case where ( at the very least) the mitigation is overwhelming and I am a  little surprised the Council was unable to exercise its discretion.

The vehicle was parked off the carriageway in order that the Appellant could get her severely disabled husband in and out of the vehicle from his wheelchair. He weighs 18 stone and in order for her to be able to do this at all using a slide the vehicle has to be parked level with her not at a lower level, as would be the case if it were on the carriageway. I was most concerned to hear that the effect of this PCN has been to prevent the Appellant from parking there and hence to prevent her taking her disabled husband out at all. The Council would be well advised to devote its energies to giving the Appellant the assistance she clearly needs rather than resisting a well justified appeal.
The matter, however, goes beyond mitigation. I see no reason to doubt her evidence (and the Council provides none) that she had the week before been given to I understand by a CEO that he would report the situation to the Council and that she would be able to park there - a very sensible course of action by the CEO. This undertaking having been given by a Council officer it would be the equivalent of an abuse of process to allow the Council to resile from it and enforce a penalty. In these circumstances  no  can be said to have occurred - see the dicta of Burnet J in  Camden v The Parking Adjudicator  and BHS t/a First for Food Service Ltd [2011] EWHC 295 Admin [2011]EWCA Civ 905. The Appeal is therefore allowed.
This sort of behaviour by the council does not make me proud to be a Barnet resident.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance

No comments:

Post a Comment