When the Government were consulting regarding the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the BPA explained that considerable savings could be made for the Ministry of Justice as the number of court claims would come down from 36000/90,000. As it turned out, this was an outrageous piece of flannel and the number of court claims was only 845 in 2011 of which 49 ended up with a hearing. Since then, they have risen significantly, not fallen. With ParkingEye sometimes filing almost 2,000 claims a week it is entirely possible they will soon hit the previously fictitious number of 90,000 claims a year all by themselves.
Patrick Troy also told the BBC that POPLA was free to motorists, when actually ParkingEye were passing on POPLA costs.
With this background, it is time to analyse the BPA's latest missive to see if it is truthful or not. The most interesting statement is the following;
'the legality of the contract is not in dispute'
This statement is an outrageous bluff by Patrick Troy. The Prankster has information that the BPA is in no doubt that the legality of the contract is very much in dispute. There are several potential problems, including that the localism act might not be appropriate if used retrospectively, and also that the localism act might not be applicable if other legislation is more binding.
The auditor of London councils will of course be aware of this as well. In such circumstances it would be typical for the auditor to get independent legal advice and to warn the councils that if the legal advice warrants it, then if they continue along this path the auditors could fail to sign off the accounts and could even recommend prosecution.
For Patrick Troy to mislead council members that there is no legal danger to them is therefore very irresponsible.
The Prankster therefore recommends that the councils get their own legal advice, rather than listen to a proven liar with a history of misleading people. Failing that, it would be prudent to wait for the auditor's report on the legality or otherwise of the contract.
The Parking Prankster