Driffield CCTV – No Service Level Agreement

As Driffield Town Council (DTC) have no lawful access to the Driffield CCTV system owned by them they are unable to address Subject Access Requests.

In a shambolic attempt to fudge the unlawful gathering of Data they tried to claim that Humberside Police deal with their Subject Access Requests as the Data is stored in the Driffield Police Station.

For this to be lawful there must be a signed copy of a Service Level Agreement for The Provision, Operation and Management of Closed Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) Monitoring between Humberside Police and DTC. I have requested this from both organisations.

  • DTC sent such an agreement dated November 2019 but alas it was unsigned. They claimed that they are awaiting a signed copy from Humberside Police.
  • Humberside Police sent the same agreement again unsigned.

Without a signed agreement DTC must either switch off the CCTV system as they are gathering Data unlawfully or find a way to address Subject Access Requests themselves.

Subject Access Request

I have sent the following Subject Access Request to the DTC Clerk.

Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2020 1:55 PM
Subject: Subject Access Request – Driffield CCTV

Dear Claire,

Could I please refer you to (LINK)

On Sunday 12 July between 08.00 and 08.15 I was in Driffield.

Could I please make a Subject Access Request for the Data gathered of me by the cameras on Boyes and all other cameras?

As the Service Level Agreement for The Provision, Operation and Management of Closed Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) Monitoring between Humberside Police and DTC remains unsigned DTC must address this Subject Access Request themselves.

Please advise how this will be achieved.

Failure to fulfil this Subject Access Request will demonstrate that the Driffield CCTV system is unlawfully gathering Data and must be switched off with immediate effect.

Regards,

Andy Strangeway

Posted in CCTV, Driffield, Humberside Police

Banned, Not Banned, Banned And Banned

The Leeming Bar Overnight Parking Ban has become a banned, not banned, banned and banned fiasco.

  • Banned – Hambleton District Council (HDC) ban overnight parking if remaining in the vehicle.
  • Not Banned – I undertake direct action by parking overnight and remaining in my vehicle to challenge HDC to issue me a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). I would successfully challenge this in a Court of Law. HDC failed to issue me a FPN as they know they would lose.
  • Banned – I am now banned from communicating with HDC in relation to the overnight parking ban. I can confirm that both bans have failed.
  • Banned – By 2022 or 2023 HDC will itself be banned by the Government redrawing of boundaries.

You cannot fail but to laugh at the irony.

Those Behind The Fiasco

It is interesting to note those behind this fiasco that has currently cost the taxpayer over £26,000 yet no FPN has been issued

  • Councillor Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and a HDC Councillor. Carl also has various business interests in the Leeming Bar area.

  • Steven Lister, HDC Director of Leisure and Communities. Steven is the person responsible for making the pigs ear of the ban.

  • Justin Ives, Chief Executive, HDC. Justin has known anger issues who has a habit of spitting his dummy out. Justin has banned me from communicating with HDC in relation to the overnight parking ban. A clear case of stick fingers in ears, sing la la and it will go away. I can confirm that the ban has failed.

  • Michael, Tricky Dickie, Jewitt, Director of Environmental and Planning Services, HDC has supported his boss sticking fingers in his ears and singing la la.

Why are these four gentlemen collectively supporting that which cannot be enforced? Surely they are not attempting to cover anything up?

Information Invited

I invite anyone with information, including documents, in relation to the Leeming Bar overnight parking ban to contact me. This will then be added to the information I already hold to form a more interesting jigsaw.

Perhaps the following may assist:

  1. Why does North Yorkshire County Council have no policy for the overnight parking of HGVs?
  2. When the A1M was upgraded at Leeming Bar why was there no lay bys included?
  3. What is the true purpose of the pristine A6055 “service road” that runs parallel to the A1M?
  4. Why does the A6055 also have no lay bys?
  5. Why were hundreds of tonne of tarmac scrapped instead of using it to build lay bys?
  6. What is the ownership history of the northbound services at Leeming Bar?
  7. What is the ownership history of the southbound services at Leeming Bar?
  8. Who will financially benefit from the planned “Super Truck Stop” at Leeming Bar?

Contact Details

If you would like to supply any information I can be contacted by either email info@island-man.co.uk or via post: 1A, Holly Close, Full Sutton, York, YO41 1LY

Although not essential it would be useful to include a phone number.

Confidentiality will be respected – I NEVER REVEAL MY SOURCES.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

Weighton Cemetery Dog Ban – Slight Improvement

In Council Bans Assistance/Guide Dogs From Cemetery I revealed how Market Weighton Town Council (MWTC) not only unlawfully closed the town’s cemetery it has also unlawfully banned assistance/guide dogs from it.

I am now delighted to confirm that the previous notice has now been removed and replaced with a new one stating  “No dogs – except guide dogs and assistance dogs”.

By Order

As I am unaware of any legislation that permits a Town Council to make an Order to ban access to a cemetery I have submitted a request under the Freedom of Information  Act to MWTC for a copy of the Order. Sadly this remains outstanding after nearly two months.

Polite Advice

I am in no doubt no one would want to see dog mess in a cemetery. I am also of the opinion that no one would want to prevent “Mary” from taking her dog “Yorkie” to visit her late husband “George” so long as the dog was on a lead.

The current sign, although a slight improvement, has no legal basis (of course the invisible order may prove me wrong!) so I would politely recommend that MWTC request East Riding of Yorkshire Council to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that only permits dogs on leads entering the cemetery.

With a lawfully introduced and signed PSPO MWTC achieves their desired outcome, out of control dogs in the cemetery are addressed and Mary can take Yorkie to visit George.

Such a shame MWTC never had the humility in the first instance to request my assistance to move the situation forward in a lawful manner.

Posted in Market Weighton, PSPO

Ofted Inspection Finds East Riding Inadequate

It would appear that the Ofted report that finds East Riding of Yorkshire Council to be inadequate has been buried as no one seems to be aware of it.

As an Independent ERYC Councillor between 2016 and 2019 I constantly raised concerns with other Councillors and Senior Officers but all disagreed with me.

Ofted has supported my concerns. What does this say about those Councillors and Senior Officers?

Extracts From The Report

Judgements

  • The impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families – Inadequate
  • The experiences and progress of children who need help and protection – Inadequate
  • Overall effectiveness – Inadequate

Since the last inspection in 2016, when services were rated as good overall, there has been a marked deterioration in the quality of help and protection support for children in East Riding. Services for children in care and care leavers have remained strong overall, with good strategic and operational management oversight. This is not replicated in services for children in need of help and protection, where management oversight and practice is significantly weaker.

Senior leaders and councillors do not have a wholly accurate understanding of these practice and service shortfalls. Where leaders are aware of the shortfalls, this is not fully reflected in the self-assessment.

Leaders had identified weaknesses at the front door prior to the inspection, and these have not been effectively addressed. This has resulted in children experiencing delays in their needs being identified and remaining in situations of risk. Thresholds for access to children’s social care services are not fully understood or applied by partner agencies in the Early Help and Safeguarding Hub (EHaSH). Some children are supported in early help services when the risks are too high. Management oversight of the front door is weak.

While some core social work practice in locality safeguarding teams is stronger and effective, the quality and impact of practice for specific groups of children has deteriorated since the last inspection. For instance, aspects of the practice in pre- 2 proceedings work, services for disabled children, children in private fostering arrangements and children at risk of exploitation are poor. High caseloads in some teams and weaknesses in the quality of oversight and decision-making by some managers are leading to drift and delay for children receiving the services they need to protect them and improve their lives. The quality of social work supervision is variable, and, for some workers, there are gaps in individual case supervision for some months. The response by the designated officers to concerns is not effective.

What Needs To Improve

  1. The accuracy of the self-evaluation in order to ensure that senior leaders and members have a clear understanding of service strengths and what needs to improve.
  2. The understanding and application of thresholds to children’s social care by partner agencies and the EHaSH, to include the appropriate seeking of parental consent.
  3. The quality and consistency of social work assessments and children’s plans.
  4. The quality of risk assessment and planning where children are at risk of exploitation.
  5. The quality of analysis and action planning following strategy discussions.
  6. The timeliness and effectiveness of pre-proceedings work.
  7. The timeliness and quality of assessment and planning for disabled children.
  8. The effectiveness of scrutiny and management oversight by leaders at all levels of help and protection work to enable a better understanding of practice.
  9. The effectiveness of quality assurance arrangements.
  10. The effectiveness of the designated officers.
  11. The quality of assessment and planning for children subject to private fostering arrangements.
  12. Availability and access to training for all social work staff and foster carers.

Full Report

Please click on the link below to read the full report which includes further information.

East Riding of Yorkshire – Inspection of local authority childrens service – December 2019

Posted in ERYC, SEND

SBC Confirm Duty Of Care Failure

In response to the concerns raised in Duty Of Care – Working From Home Scarborough Borough Council have confirmed that they have indeed failed in their duty of care to employees.

Upon the announcement by the Government, all reputable organisations actioned their Working From Home Policy.

As SBC has no such policy they were unable to do this.

I have recommended and requested that SBC introduce a Working From Home policy as a matter of urgency as a failure to do so could result in legal action against them.

Posted in Scarborough

Local Government Reform – Goodbye East Riding?

I can confirm that there is to be a major reform of local government in 2022 or 2023.

I can also confirm that the local government reorganisation will see the end of North Yorkshire County, York City Council, Craven District Council,  Hambleton District Council, Harrogate Borough Council, Richmondshire District Council, Ryedale District Council and Selby District Council.

I would expect East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council to amalgamate.

As a campaigner and an Independent East Riding Councillor between 2016 and 2019, I have witnessed first hand the waste and incompetence of local authority. I highlight just three aspects:

  • Senior Officers – The salaries paid to senior officers are excessive. By amalgamating East Riding and Hull half of these would be removed.
  • Councillors – I am aware of lame-duck Councillors who do next to nothing. I believe the number of Councillors should be reduced by at least a third.
  • Dustbins – The dustbin service typifies the incompetence of local authorities. The five-day working week is outdated, operating a catch-up system is unnecessary and not having a national bin system is ridiculous.

Given the waste I witnessed at East Riding I never voted to increase the Council Tax yet all other Councillors did. I could never support charging residents more for a service when the local authority itself was so inefficient.

East Riding/Hull Amalgamation

Sadly East Riding is a Conservative dictatorship in the same way that Hull is a Labour dictatorship. Neither are democratic. An amalgamation will remove both dictatorships.

In direct contrast to East Riding and Hull I was and remain, in awe of the talented Stamford Bridge Parish Council. I believe they are a fantastic example of a Government body.

In principle, I fully support the planned Government reshuffle. This will be the first major reshuffle since 1972. It should have happened years ago.

Posted in ERYC, Stamford Bridge

Not A Public Road Claims Highway Authority

The Assistant Director of the largest Highways Authority in England, North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), has claimed Highways in England are not Highways in England.

According to the Highways Authority, this NOT a Highway

In an attempt to justify NYCC supporting Hambleton District Council (HDC) unlawfully using a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to ban overnight parking at Leeming Bar in response to my complaint, Barrie Mason, Assistant Director, Highways and Transportation, NYCC has claimed that the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 does permit a PSPO to restrict the right of way over a highway as long as the road is not one of those specified in section 65.

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 – 65 – 1 states a Highway in England.

The term highway is popularly used to refer to roads, its legal definition covers any public road, track or path.

It was the Victorian Judge John Maynard Byles who coined the phrase ‘once a highway, always a highway’ in the 1860 case of Dawes v Hawkins. This legal principle still holds true, and it remains the case that public highways can only lose this status if a formal ‘stopping-up’ order is applied for and approved by the relevant authority.

Consultee Mystery

The report into my complaint against NYCC for supporting the unlawful PSPO is full of red herrings and this aspect typifies the tone.

NYCC, as Highway Authority, was consulted by HDC in relation to a PSPO for the Highway. But now, NYCC Assistant Director, Highways and Transportation claims it is NOT a Highway!

Only Three Options

Based on the statement by Barrie Mason, there can only be three options:

  • Option 1– All the roads covered by the Leeming Bar PSPO are covered by a ‘stopping-up’ order; or
  • Option 2– All the roads covered by the Leeming Bar PSPO have been annexed by a country outwith England; or
  • Option 3– NYCC is being pathetic, treating the public with contempt and insulting my intelligence.

Barry Khan – Invitation/FOI Request

I have sent Barry Khan, Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) and Monitoring Officer, NYCC the following email.

Sent: Monday, June 29, 2020 5:46 PM
Subject: Not A Public Road Claims Highway Authority

Dear Barry,

Could I please refer you to the forwarded email, attachments and (LINK)?

I remain hopeful that Option 3 is not the case. As such we are left with one of two options – all the roads covered by the Leeming Bar PSPO are covered by a ‘stopping-up’ order and/or have been annexed by a country outwith England.

As per the Freedom of Information Act, in relation to the public roads covered by the Leeming Bar PSPO, could I please request a copy of:

  1. Any such ‘stopping up’ order.
  2. Any information held in relation to the annexation of the roads by a country outwith of England.

Could you please confirm that you support the opinion of Barrie and that the roads are indeed NOT Highways in England?

You will be aware that the report to HDC Cabinet stated “the intended purpose and effect of the Order is to restrict the parking of certain classifications of vehicle overnight”.

Regards,

Andy Strangeway

Posted in Hambleton, Parking, PSPO

MP Claims Overnight Is Before Bedtime

East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight has claimed that “overnight” is before bedtime.

Greg Knight MP

In response to Stay Overnight Covid Regulation – Fundamentally Flawed Greg claimed

“However, I think most people, using commonsense, would understand that staying somewhere ‘overnight’ means spending an evening during which part would be occupied by sleeping, away from one’s own home”.

Ironically it is Greg’s own statement that is devoid of commonsense.

He should be aware, as everyone with commonsense will be, that evening is the period of time at the end of the day, usually from about 6 p.m. to the beginning of night/bedtime. Before is the afternoon and after is night. Between night and afternoon is morning.

His understanding of overnight bizarrely does not actually involve the night and it requires sleeping yet evening is prior to bedtime.

Despite twice being offered the opportunity to revisit his claim Greg did not avail the opportunity.

Strangeway – Knight Email Exchange

In the public interest, I offer to the Court of Public opinion my fully email exchanges with Greg.

Strangeway – Knight Email Exchanges (Click on the link to read)

Further Information

In April, Greg was previously found wanting by failing to grasp that cemeteries cannot be closed. A position acknowledged by the Government the following day.

Government U-Turn Forces Cemeteries To Re-Open (Click on the link to read)

Hopefully, the next time I have to communicate with Greg he will embrace the opportunity to work with me. It will always be my intention to work with Greg but alas you cannot force an MP to drink.

Posted in Covid 19

A Breath of Fresh Aire

The following is reproduced by kind permission of the North Yorks Enquirer.

A Letter to the Editor by IAN LOWNDES, from Derbyshire, writing in response to the “Whitby Abbey Aire initiative launched by campaigner ANDY STRANGEWAY and Enquirer stalwart NIGEL WARD, promoting a winter off-season facility for motorhomes in the environs of Whitby Abbey through the good auspices of former Councillor SANDRA TURNER, local businesses and local government movers and shakers. Mr LOWNDES’ Letter was also emailed to a selected Scarborough Borough Councillors,

Sir, 

Motorhome parking in Whitby

I write to you to offer congratulations and support in respect of the letter written by Sandra Turner as reported in North Yorks Enquirer June 17 2020 and wholeheartedly endorsed by local business interests in Whitby. This proposes provision of parking facilities in winter for motorhomes in Whitby.

I am a motorhomer, a retired architect, and member of a forum of responsible motorhome owners which includes members, largely retired, from many professions and walks of life. I and most of our members have been deliberately bypassing Whitby in recent years as a result of the Council’s hostile attitude towards motorhomers. It is a shame, as I and others would like to visit. (My own attempts to visit have been primarily in winter when I found most campsites closed, and the few that were open unable to take a motorhome due to soft ground conditions. I ended up stranded in a remote rural farm with no public transport to Whitby, and left the next day without visiting.)

I have to say, with regret, that this proposal appears only to be a knee-jerk reaction to the current devastating loss of tourist business in the town. A proper sustainable long term strategy is required that addresses the all-year-round demand for overnight stop facilities in England for the more than 250,000 UK motorhome owners and many thousands of visiting Europeans, not just in winter.

I have taken the liberty, in the hope that it might be helpful to you, of putting together below a brief summary of what I believe to be the current state of affairs concerning touring motorhomes in England. I am aware many involved in making decisions about facilities for motorhomers actually have very little knowledge of the issues that concern them.

I sincerely hope you will be able to make some progress with this issue as the situation in general is deteriorating at an increasing rate.

Types of motorhome user

Motorhome users are by no means a homogenous group. Although dismissed as such by the uninformed, motorhomers are not gypsies, tinkers or new age travellers and should not be treated as such. Those groups have their own needs and issues that should be addressed quite separately.

The main categories are…

Families with children who spend an occasional one- or two-week holiday involving camping gear, barbecues, toys and children’s activities which need a safe and secure environment, along with full sanitary facilities all of which are best provided by campsites.

Weekenders taking a break who are largely self contained for a few days. They travel mostly spring to autumn. They want close access to outdoor activities, towns and villages. They frequently eat out and shop and are happy to pay for local services and restaurants provided there is available parking for motorhomes or access on foot.

Older people collectively account for the largest number of nights spent in motorhomes. Retired people are free to travel all year round, including winter, and may take extended tours of weeks or months in duration. Their limited budgets are necessarily spread over long periods. They need to and willingly spend in local shops, restaurants and attractions but simply can’t afford to do so if they must spend £25 to £40 a night on campsites. The motorhome is an ideal way for older people to spend their last days visiting so many of those places they never had time or opportunity to see in their working lives. Many of these people have significant disabilities and medical issues that render a motorhome their ideal or only viable means of transport or holiday accommodation (especially now).

A smaller number of younger people seeking the experience of travelling, sometimes as a ‘year out’, often from abroad, usually travelling on limited budgets and who can only afford occasional use of campsites.

European motorhomers arrive in their thousands, mostly in holiday periods but with many retired people able to travel longer term and off season. Many arrive expecting to find facilities for motorhomes like at home, and are greatly disappointed when they find no motorhome stops or service facilities, and discover campsites solidly booked all summer. Often they can’t even find anywhere to park a motorhome to visit towns. I have personally spoken to quite a number in France, Germany and Italy who say that despite liking the country they would never return because of the lack of facilities and the general hostility of local authorities; albeit some have said they would be happy to revisit Scotland where they feel welcome if it didn’t mean travelling through England.

The nature of motorhome travel

The attraction of the motorhome is that it offers the opportunity of unscheduled exploration of town and country, at home and abroad, and the opportunity to stop in wild remote places. The modern motorhome offers a self contained environment complete with on-board water, sanitation, and waste storage, and even solar power. Their basic need is for no more than somewhere to park, access to a water tap, a bin and waste disposal point once every 3-6 days.

A growing problem

There have been motorhomers quietly moving around for many years, parking innocuously in quiet corners, lay-bys and carparks troubling nobody and largely unnoticed and accepted. However in the last two decades numbers have increased enormously, a vigorous industry has burgeoned manufacturing and trading motorhomes, and more recently hire companies have sprung up releasing droves of inexperienced motorhomers onto the roads.

Behaviour of motorhomers.

Sadly there is no umbrella organisation representing motorhomers interests. There are however a number of groups or forums to which a large proportion of regular motorhomers belong. These forums encourage a code of conduct which basically is:

Be quiet, discrete and courteous, avoid inconveniencing local residents.

Put nothing outside, take nothing but photos and memories, leave nothing behind.

Dispose of waste responsibly.

Where possible, spend locally and support local businesses.

Don’t arrive in large numbers or overstay your welcome.

Motorhomers are frequently berated as a whole for what are the actions of a relatively tiny minority. I can say emphatically I have never discharged black waste inappropriately, left rubbish, invaded private land, or stayed close to or obstructed residential property, and would have strong words for those who do. Indeed, in common with many of my fellow motorhomers, I frequently pick up the rubbish left by car occupants in locations where I stay, and leave such facilities as I use in a far cleaner state than they were when I arrived.

Although I have never seen it personally it would be unrealistic to believe there doesn’t exist a minority whose behaviour causes concern. The release onto the road in recent years of a flood of inexperienced hirers without adequate instruction is something that may well need scrutiny. Nevertheless there is a well established principle in British jurisprudence that groups or categories of people cannot be penalised for the actions of a few.

The UK’s response to motorhomes

Unlike their counterparts abroad local authorities in the UK have reacted to motorhomers as a group with blatant hostility. ‘No camping’, ‘No overnight parking’ and other signs have proliferated, many illegal and unenforceable, others misusing powers under PSPOs and TROs intended for other purposes. Height barriers have sprung up making it impossible even to park short term. Too many have simply tried to move the problem down the road creating a more intense problem in the next Borough. Left hands are out of co-ordination with right hands, Tourist organisations are encouraging visitors, Councils are driving them away.

Many of these measures by councils have been driven by urban myths and complaints manufactured by vested interests.

Campsite owners bewail the loss of trade. With due respect many motorhomers would rather go elsewhere than pay for the large pitches, toilet blocks, play facilities, activity rooms, reception offices and maintenance staff appropriate to caravans and tents but that self contained motorhomes simply do not need or want.

Hoteliers and B&B proprietors object to loss of trade. There is no way motorhomers would want a hotel, that is trade they have already lost and will not see again. What their objections achieve is to deprive other businesses, restaurants, shops, pubs and attractions in their vicinity the footfall that would otherwise come from motorhomers.

Many of the complaints by locals claimed by councils appear to be exaggerated or fictitious. Of the thousand alleged by the council at  Whitby, for example, following a Public Request for Information in August 2018 only three could be substantiated and of them two appeared to derive from the same person.

Only a precious few authorities such as Canterbury, Fyfe, and Fylde have actually started to address the need to manage motorhome numbers in a enlightened, constructive and much appreciated manner that encourages motorhome tourists to visit their towns whilst managing numbers and providing appropriate facilities.

The two main UK caravan and camping clubs, historically dominated by caravaners and tenters, whilst welcoming subscriptions from motorhome members have doggedly resisted providing or supporting the case for basic sites and facilities suitable for motorhomes. Many campsites located to suit the need for people in cars are inconvenient for motorhome users who need to be able walk or cycle into towns or villages where motorhome parking is impractical. Most will not allow non-resident motorhomes to access or pay for use of their dump stations or water.

Outdated Regulations concerning Planning and Campsites conceived when tents and caravans were the only options available continue to hinder progress, or are invoked as an excuse for doing nothing.

Other nation’s response to motorhomes 

Local Authorities, caravan and motorhome Clubs, and private interests throughout continental Europe (and even New Zealand, Australia, America and Canada) have responded by welcoming motorhomes and providing many tens of thousands of dedicated parking locations for motorhomes (variously called Aires de Service, Aree di Sosta, Wohnmobile Stellplatz etc. according to country). These may range from places where motorhomes are simply tolerated, designated spaces in carparks, dedicated motorhome-only parks, up to some like basic mini-campsites. Some use overnight capacity of otherwise empty carparks to gain extra revenue from motorhomes. Many restaurants, bars, cafes, attractions, nature reserves, historic sites, farms, vineyards, and LA swimming pool and leisure centres provide overnight stay for motorhomes.

Subject to type and quality, the degree to which it is desired to attract or limit visitors, and the popularity of the location, prices charged range normally from 5 to 15 euros, albeit many basic parking sites are free. Payment is usually by cash or card using automat or parking machine. Recognising that motorhomes do not need services every day, water and sanitation are normally separately charged. Sanitation is normally free to encourage proper disposal with a charge of 1 or 2 euros for fresh water. In respect of the increase in motorhome use many campsites now include a basic low cost overnight motorhome parking and service facility, encouraged by local authorities they also permit paid access to services by non-resident motorhomes.

In some countries, typically New Zealand and Scandinavia but also some in France, separate ‘dump stations’ are provided at garages, LA facilities, local sewage plants etc. to obviate the need for facilities at individual parking areas. Service points range from a simple tap with grid and hinged manhole, through custom built sanitary stations, to factory-made and sometimes franchised coin or card operated service columns.

In most countries motorhome Aires are provided under parking regulation and not regarded as campsites. Hence it is made clear that these locations are intended for self contained motorhomes with their own water and waste holding tanks, not caravans, tents or small campers. ‘Camping behaviour’ is forbidden including the placing outside of awnings, chairs, tables, barbecues and other camping paraphernalia. Periods of stay are normally limited to 48 or 72 hours. I am not aware of any such provisions that have ever been overrun by ‘Travellers’.

Covid 19…It can only get worse

Every year, many thousands of motorhomers wanting to explore foreign parts, or simply like myself, to get away from a country where they feel unwelcome and escape abroad across the channel. Their numbers probably significantly outweigh the number of incoming European motorhomes. Thanks to the pandemic many of these Brits will be staying at home this year and much of next. One further impact of Covid 19 is a massive increase reported by dealers in the last few weeks in motorhome sales. After all the motorhome is now the only available safe self-isolated form of transport available. Thus lots more new inexperienced motorhomers will be out on the road. Many campsites are already mostly fully booked for July and August, even though they are not even yet open. The problem gets ever bigger, whilst properly thought-out means to address it seem to be as far away as ever, and will remain so as long as the majority of local authorities continue to bury their heads in the sand.

I hope this has been helpful. I, and others of our motor-homing community would be happy to provide further information and discuss any questions you may have. I have tried not to include too much detail lest this mail became even longer.

Yours faithfully

Ian Lowndes

Posted in Parking

PSPO Targets Van Dwellers And Overnight Parking

A handful of Councils across the country is unlawfully using Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) to target van dwellers and overnight parking.

If this was left unchallenged it would have resulted in the introduction of similar PSPOs across the country.

To prevent this I challenged two such PSPOs at Leeming Bar (Hambleton District Council) and Rother District Council. As a result, neither has issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) although neither PSPO has been revoked. In essence, both are being used to intimidate motorists.

I support anyone who parks “overnight” and “sleep” in both locations as there can be no breach of the PSPO. I have personally done this on numerous occasions in both locations to directly challenge both Councils.

  • Leeming Bar

In Leeming Bar the PSPO is unlawful because:

  1. The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) bans remaining in vehicles “overnight”. As remaining in vehicles is not anti-social behaviour this is a misuse of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This is confirmed by both the  Thames Valley Police and  Metropolitan Police
  2. As the PSPO prevents drivers remaining in vehicles this prevents motorists including local residents driving their vehicles “overnight” as it is impossible, and in breach of legislation, to drive a vehicle without remaining in it. This means residents living off Low Street; business owners on Leeming Bar Industrial Estate: caravaneers on Pembroke Caravan site and truckers at Coneygarth Truck Stop cannot drive their vehicles to any of these places between the hours of 19.00 and 07.00. The PSPO has unlawfully closed the roads.
  3. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 – 65 – 1 states “A public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over a highway.” The PSPO does just that and thus breaches the legislation.
  4. The signage for the PSPO is in breach of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD 2016) as the signage is not permitted signage. This is supported by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 – 64 – 1 which 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 PSPO is clearly a prohibition and as such the signage breaches the TSRGD 2016.
  5. In addition the Traffic Signs Manual – Chapter 1 states:“3.3.1. The erection of an unauthorised sign in the highway is an obstruction and the possible consequences of erecting or permitting the erection of obstructions can be severe. Those responsible could lay themselves open to a claim for damages, for example if an obstruction is the cause of an accident or an injury in a collision.” and “3.4.1. Traffic signs in use on the highway must either be prescribed by TSRGD as amended, or be specially authorised by the national authority. Signs that are neither prescribed nor authorised are obstructions on the highway and must be removed.” This confirms that the signage is an obstruction and as the North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) is the Highways Authority they must remove the signage from the Highway.

As NYCC and North Yorkshire Police supported the introduction of the PSPO I am currently in the process of complaints against them both for supporting that which is unlawful.

  • Rother District Council

Rother District Council has introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) stating:

“No persons, will sleep or deposit any materials used or intended to be used as bedding in any public places with the Restricted Area identified in Map 1”

The Rother PSPO is unlawful because:

  1. The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) bans the sleeping or depositing any materials used or intended to be used as bedding in any public places. As this is not anti-social behaviour this is a misuse of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This is confirmed by both the  Thames Valley Police and  Metropolitan Police
  2. Overnight is not defined.
  3. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 – 65 – 1 states “A public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over a highway.” The PSPO does just that and thus breaches the legislation.
  4. The signage for the PSPO is in breach of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD 2016) as the signage is not permitted signage. This is supported by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 – 64 – 1 which 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 PSPO is clearly a prohibition and as such the signage breaches the TSRGD 2016.
  5. In addition the Traffic Signs Manual – Chapter 1 states:“3.3.1. The erection of an unauthorised sign in the highway is an obstruction and the possible consequences of erecting or permitting the erection of obstructions can be severe. Those responsible could lay themselves open to a claim for damages, for example if an obstruction is the cause of an accident or an injury in a collision.” and “3.4.1. Traffic signs in use on the highway must either be prescribed by TSRGD as amended, or be specially authorised by the national authority. Signs that are neither prescribed nor authorised are obstructions on the highway and must be removed.” This confirms that the signage is an obstruction and as the East Sussex County Council is the Highways Authority they must remove the signage from the Highway.

As it is likely that ESCC and Sussex Police have supported the introduction of the PSPO I have submitted a Freedom Of Information request to Rother District Council for copies of any submission either and/or both made to the required consultation for the PSPO.

If either and/or both have supported the introduction of the PSPO I will register a formal complaint against either and/or both for supporting that which is unlawful.

Further Information

For further information please click on the two links below.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO, Rother