Market Weighton CCTV Breach Surveillance Compliance

A simple Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Market Weighton Town Council (MWTC) has revealed that the Town Council are in breach of the Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioners compliance guidelines.

Market Weighton Town Mayor – Councillor Peter Hemmerman

As I was given to understand that MWTC operates a considerable number of static CCTV cameras I made a simple FOI request for “information as to all of their locations”.

The response revealed a major failure by MWTC:

“The Market Weighton Town Council do not hold documents detailing the camera locations. Cameras are stalled in the High Street, Market Place, War Memorial Playing Field and the Aspen Play Park. All cameras are clearly visible.”

The response clearly demonstrates that the system no longer meets Home Office guidance as MWTC should have such information in the required assessment.

It is a fundamental requirement that a CCTV system does not operate in areas of low crime and anti-social behaviour. There must be evidence of a significant level of crime. The law and regulations governing the use of CCTV have changed dramatically over the last few years and MWTC must ensure that the CCTV system it operates fully complies with the law. This must include a robust and thorough review of the CCTV network. This assessment would need to be supported by data from Humberside Police.

Upon completion of an assessment if any cameras are being used in locations where there is little or no crime recorded they no longer meet the legal requirement for use as set out by the Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioners compliance guidelines. If this is the case all such cameras must be removed.

Civil liberties must always be respected even by Big Brother.

I have given MWTC 10 working days to provide the elusive assessment to me. If I do not receive the assessment I will have no option but to refer the case to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

Posted in CCTV, Market Weighton

NYCC Email Negates Parking Ban Advice

I have received a copy of an email sent by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) that confirms that the NYCC Highways Authority have no understanding of basic legislation regards road signage.

The extract above is taken from the email that is in relation to signage banning overnight camping and states “there is no “rule” governing the erection of the signs”.

This is false. I refer NYCC to the TSRGD. The statement further confirms that the false information contained in the Leeming Bar Parking Ban – Report To Cabinet (click on the link to read) is now further negated. Advice from NYCC is clearly not worth the paper it is written on.

“5.18 It was confirmed by North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority on 3 April 2019 that the signs installed as notification of the Public Space Protection Order are considered to be public notices; as such they are permitted within the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 without the need for special authorisation from the Secretary of State.”

In future, I advise Hambleton District Council (HDC) not to rely upon the North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority when attempting to ban overnight parking.

Is that now Strangeway 27 v 0 HDC? I have lost count.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

PSPO Parking Ban – Councils Intimidation Scam

There has been further evidence this week that Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are nothing more than a Councils tool to intimidate, yet when stood up to they all run away.

Intimidation Leaflet

Hambleton District Council (HDC)

On Monday 25 November I reported the Hambleton Council U-Turn On PSPO (click on link).

Please see the article in the Darlington And Stockton Times (click on link) confirming this.

Wrexham Council (WC)

Yesterday Wellston Journal (click on link) reported that:

“In 2016 Wrexham council introduced two (PSPOs) which saw fixed penalties of £100 issued in the town centre and Rhosddu.

But a freedom of information (FOI) request showed of the 183 fines issued over three years only nine were paid. 

The council said penalty notices were normally handed out as a last resort.

Conservative councillor Hugh Jones, the authority‘s portfolio holder for public protection and community safety, said: “When the PSPOs were introduced, we were very clear that enforcement under the new orders would be a last resort. Instead, the prospect of enforcement would act as a deterrent… enforcement can only be part of a wider effort involving partner agencies, and the provision of proper support.”

Law In Many Forms

In the UK law comes in many forms:

  • Legislation
  • Byelaws
  • PSPOs
  • Traffic Regulation Orders
  • Off-Street Parking Orders

Failed On Crime – Just Pretend

So why would WC issue 183 fines receive payment for only nine but not take legal action on the other 174? Would they do the same for a Parking Ticket? Would the Police issue Court Summonses to 183 but forget about 174 when they don’t turn up in court?

The clues are there for all to see “Penalty notices were normally handed out as a last resort” and “The prospect of enforcement would act as a deterrent”.

WC, HDC and all Councils in England and Wales are as aware as I am that the truth is that no Council could ever achieve a successful prosecution in a court of law for a breach of a PSPO if defended by an above-average brief or an uneducated house painter with a ponytail. Hence like a schoolyard bully they run away when stood up to.

The Government introduced the required legislation for PSPOs to cover up their failure to deal with crime due to Tory Austerity and to intimidate. Councils, via resident appeasing Councillors, then introduce them to intimidate.

But what happens when the truth gets out that they are unenforceable?

Come And Get Me

I look forward to HDC attempting to prosecute me in a court of law for remaining in a vehicle overnight because it is anti-social behaviour.

I have sent a link to this article to the HDC Cabinet.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

Hambleton Council U-Turn On PSPO

Hambleton District Council has today confirmed a major U-Turn in relation to the Leeming Bar Parking Ban.

Please read Leeming Bar Parking Ban – Report To Cabinet (click on the link to read).

Response From HDC

From: Lisa Wilson

Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 4:37 PM

To: ‘Andy Strangeway’

Subject: RE: Urgent Complaint – North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority

Dear Mr Strangeway,

Thank you for your email of 24 November 2019. As you rightly refer to within this email the matter regarding traffic signs relating to the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) at Leeming Bar is of significant importance. The Council has had communications with North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority to ensure that proper consideration has been given to displaying signs informing members of the public of the Order, as well as seeking legal advice on the matter, however, in light of the serious nature of your contention the Council has decided to remove the PSPO report from the agenda for the Cabinet meeting of 3 December 2019 and place it on the agenda for the meeting of Cabinet on 14 January 2020. This then will allow sufficient time to ensure that full consideration is given to the matter and to your enquiry. Therefore the meeting on 3 December 2019 will not consider the matter but it will be considered at Cabinet in January 2020. This meeting will take place at 9.00am on Tuesday 14 January 2020. The report will be despatched on 6 January 2020 and will be available for members of the public to access from the Council’s website at www.hambleton.gov.uk

With regards to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, I will look into this in due course and ensure that I have responded to you as soon as possible within the response timescale set out in the Act.

Regards

Lisa Wilson

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Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

Complaint – Parking Ban Report To Cabinet

This morning I have submitted a complaint to North Yorkshire County Council in relation to false information contained in the Leeming Bar Parking Ban – Report To Cabinet (click on the link to read).

Complaint to North Yorkshire County Council

From: Andy Strangeway

Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 6:32 AM

To: customer.services@northyorks.gov.uk

Subject: Urgent Complaint – North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority

Dear Sir/Madam,

Could I please refer you to the attached?

Please note in the Public Space Protection Order – Cabinet 3 December report:

“5.18 It was confirmed by North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority on 3 April 2019 that the signs installed as notification of the Public Space Protection Order are considered to be public notices; as such they are permitted within the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 without the need for special authorisation from the Secretary of State.”

You will note that the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 – 64 – 1 states:

“In this Act “traffic sign” means any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description

The legislation clearly confirms that any “public notices” Hambleton District Council (HDC) proposes to deploy for the proposed PSPO will indeed be traffic signs (as defined above) and as such notices are not contained in the TSRGD 2016, they may not be used. Thus, no PSPO can be introduced.

The statement provided by “North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority” to HDC is wrong and on December 3 this false information will be considered by the Cabinet.

Not only is my opinion supported by legislation HDC Director Paul Staines in a report to Cabinet on 15 January 2019 correctly states:

“5.4 Any signage related to the Public Space Protection Order does not fall within permitted signage within the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016; therefore all associated signage will have to be located on land not in control of the Highway Authority for which planning permission may therefore be required.”

Could I please register a formal complaint against “North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority” for providing false information to HDC? Could I request that this is resolved by close of business Friday 29 November to ensure that HDC have the correct information for their Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 3 December?

Regards,

Andy Strangeway

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

Leeming Bar Parking Ban – Report To Cabinet

On 3 December 2019, a report to the Hambleton District Council (HDC) Cabinet with regards the Leeming Bar Parking Ban will be considered.

Email To Hambleton District Council

Dear Lisa,

Could I please refer you to the attached, which is the report to the Hambleton District Council (HDC) Cabinet for the 3 December meeting at which the Leeming Bar Parking Ban PSPO will be considered.

I am rather bewildered that neither the “independent legal advice” nor the “North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority” reflects the truth in relation to what constitutes a traffic sign.

“5.1 The Council has taken independent legal advice to ensure that all foreseeable legal requirements have been considered and that the proposed variations to the Order are reasonable in attempting to address the anti-social behaviour at Leeming Bar Industrial Estate referred to in the report.”

“5.18 It was confirmed by North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority on 3 April 2019 that the signs installed as notification of the Public Space Protection Order are considered to be public notices; as such they are permitted within the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 without the need for special authorisation from the Secretary of State.”

You will note that the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 – 64 – 1 states:

“In this Act “traffic sign” means any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description

The legislation clearly confirms that any “public notices” HDC proposes to deploy for the proposed PSPO will indeed be traffic signs (as defined above) and as such notices are not contained in the TSRGD 2016, they may not be used. Thus, no PSPO can be introduced.

Members acting ultra vires may risk facing charges of Misconduct in Public Office, an offence at common law which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. I believe all members of the Cabinet must therefore be made aware of the actual statements of the “independent legal advice” and the “North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority” report, as ignorance of the law offers no defence. This could result in criminal convictions for them all.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, may I please request copies of the “independent legal advice” and of the “North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority” report? Cabinet will also require sight of these documents; I have therefore copied all members into this email.

As a court case could result upon the receipt of my FOI response, to ensure “clean hands”, could I politely suggest that all HDC Cabinet members and myself receive copies of these documents prior to the Cabinet meeting on 3 December?

Finally, as I and/or my associates intend to attend the Cabinet meeting to record proceedings, could you please inform me where the meeting is to be held, what time the meeting is to commence and from what time access to the room is possible to allow for the setting up of recording equipment. Thank you.

Regards,

Andy Strangeway

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

Leeming Bar Parking Ban – Game Over

I can now confirm that it is ‘game over’ for the Leeming Bar Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which bans remaining overnight in any parked vehicles, including an HGV or campervan.

I can reveal that a report to Hambleton District Council (HDC) Cabinet on 15 January 2019 states:

“5.4 Any signage related to the Public Space Protection Order does not fall within permitted signage within the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016; therefore all associated signage will have to be located on land not in control of the Highway Authority for which planning permission may therefore be required.”

I fully agree with this statement.

Please see Cabinet Report – 150119 – Public Space Protection Orders (click on the link to read the full report). I recommended everyone downloads a copy of this.

The report confirms my stated position that HDC cannot have a PSPO on the Highway as  “Any signage related to the Public Space Protection Order does not fall within permitted signage within the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016”.

If there is no signage on the Highway there can be no restriction on the Highway. This includes any restriction detailed in a PSPO. Any signage not on the Highway can not be applied to the Highway. Thus the PSPO is unenforceable on the Highway.

With the above in mind, I have requested the intervention of Paul Staines, Director of Environment, HDC, aka Good Cop Director, to resolve the Leeming Bar PSPO fiasco, as it was he who wrote the Cabinet Report – 150119 – Public Space Protection Orders.

The person responsible for the fiasco is Steven Lister, Director of Leisure and Communities, HDC, aka Bad Cop Director. The position of Steven Lister is now untenable because, as the contact person for the report, he has knowingly wasted thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ resources.

The PSPO must now be revoked and not reintroduced. All signage that serves no purpose other than to intimidate must also be removed with immediate effect.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

British Parking Association – Flawed Systems Challenged

The British Parking Association represents the UK parking and traffic management profession. It is the leading association for the parking sector with over 750 corporate members includes local government, commercial providers and parking system operators.

Despite their position, it is allowing its members to operate fundamentally flawed systems.

In August 2019 I received a parking charge from UKPC for parking at Mcdonald’s, Bilbough Top claiming I had parked for 7 hours and 11 minutes in excess of the maximum stay time of 1 hour 30 minutes. In truth, I visited McDonald’s for breakfast and drove through over six hours later to pick up a coffee on my way home from work.

UKPC operates an ANPR system on this site and many others across the country. ANPR is used by many parking system operators.

Weakness In The System

I have learnt from personal experience that UKPC recorded me entering and leaving the site only. Yet they even failed to do this correctly as, on the day in question, I visited the location twice, but it only recorded my first entry and last departure.

At no time did UKPC record my parking.

The BPA must not permit its members to issue a parking charge without evidence of parking. With no evidence of parking, no court can ever rule against the motorist challenging a parking charge in a court of law.

As BPA members will be fully aware of this to issue a parking charge could be considered a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.

BPA Members Exposed To False Claims

Under the current system, anyone issued a parking ticket without evidence of parking can make a successful appeal.

This exposes all BPA members to false appeals which it has no way to defend in a court of law.

Unless this “loophole” is addressed every parking systems operator using the same system is facing financial ruin.

Request To BPA

I have requested that the BPA change its Code of Professional Conduct to ensure none of its members issues a parking charge without evidence of parking. In addition, I have asked that it informs all members of this with immediate effect.

If the BPA decline my request I will approach the Government to pass the required legislation to ensure this requirement becomes law.

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Posted in Parking

Hastings Fixed Penalty Notice Not Pursued

I can confirm that Hastings Borough Council did not pursue payment for the only Fixed Penalty Notice they issued in relation to the Cinques Ports Way PSPO.

Please see Hastings PSPO – Fixed Penalty Notice Issued (click on the link to read)

Today HBC confirmed:

“The fixed penalty notice was not paid and subsequently we decided not to pursue a prosecution for it not being paid”.

This clearly confirms that HBC is aware it would lose the case in a court of law for the reasons I have stated.

I can hear that fat lady singing again.

Posted in Hastings, PSPO

Leeming Bar New Litter Bins Mystery

While undertaking direct action at Leeming Bar on Monday I was pleased to note all the wonderful new litter bins that Hambleton District Council (HDC) have recently put in location to finally fulfil their statutory duty as per the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Unanswered Questions

As HDC cited litter as a key reason to ban overnight parking we must ask questions of it.

  • Why did neither the HDC Councillors or the local Parish Council request new litter bins for Leeming Bar residents?
  • Why did local residents have to rely on a person called Strangeway who is campaigning against the unlawful overnight parking ban to facilitate the new litter bins?
  • Could it be that certain persons both local to Leeming Bar and at HDC wanted to use the “litter issue” to ban overnight parking to achieve their undisclosed objective?
  • Does the addition of litter bins prevent the undisclosed objective?

Follow The Money

The depths certain councils will sink to ban overnight parking never ceases to amaze me. The principle of “follow the money” is never far away.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO