Sunday, 16 February 2014

PATAS - w/c 3 Feb 14 - in shock

I am in shock. Barnet Council again won more cases than they lost, 31 PCN upheld and 28 cancelled with 2 recommended for cancellation. So overall the result is quite close to 50/50 but having already seen the following week's figures I know that Barnet Council improve upon them. Don't panic yet though as with the correct approach you can still win.

I was wondering what had happened.

One possibility is that NSL have got their act together. There were only 5 cases in which no evidence was offered but that may be more to do with it being just after Xmas, when loads of cases get binned off to get a clear desk before the holidays, so there isn't a backlog than better work as a close scrutiny of evidence packs will show.

Maybe more resource has been added by NSL so that they can deal with more Appeals. It reduces their profitability but better than than losing the contract for non-performance.

It is possible that the chief adjudicator has told the team of adjudicators to be tougher but they are independent so that shouldn't happen. Adjudicators have though been quicker as 2013 has run its course (improved working practices, whatever they are) and the average time per case, postal and in person, came down in 2013 from 22 minutes to 18 minutes so there are 4 fewer minutes in which to study your postal case. This may lead to a less thorough examination and I did recently see an Appeal result which was decided upon a Saracens time plate when it wasn't the weekend and so was patently wrong. With less of a rush that wrong decision might not have happened. This is why it is best to attend PATAS in person, as you can stop blatant errors and point out the strong parts of your case. You can go to late night Thursday or Saturday hearings if you cannot get in the week.

More likely is the fact that numbers are down. Barnet council are shelling out a small fortune in fees to run PATAS which are based upon the number of Appeals being made. The average weekly Appeals in February 13 were 68 and as they were double in the second half of 2013 what they were in the second half of 2012 it is possible that an order has gone out to allow more formal appeals and so the blindingly obvious winners (for the motorist) are now being allowed by NSL on behalf of the council. This might explain why only 61 cases were heard this year as opposed to the same week last year. What that tells you is that is even more worthwhile to put in your representations to the Notice to Owner as there might be an improved chance of them being accepted.

The result could possibly be a statistical blip. We will be able to tell in the long run.

Did you ever wonder what an adjudicator earns? I thought they might be paid by the Appeal but that is not the case. They earn £58.80 per hour (including employer's national insurance). This will increase on 1 April to £59.40

The only case I will tell you about this week is from Welbeck Road which has an artificial dead end in it (to stop rat running). The PCN was cancelled. the alleged contravention was being more than 50cm from the kerb. Well, the side of the car was but the nose of the car was up to the kerb that runs across the road from one side to another and that means the whole car was not more than 50cm from the kerb. The adjudicator said "The authority has misunderstood the prohibition completely". They do am lot of that in order to issue PCN? To keep your money you need to know more than NSL or the council do.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance.

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