Councils urged to check their parking policies following Ombudsman investigation
Councils across England are being urged to ensure they are using the correct legislation to issue parking fines at country parks following a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation into Kent County Council.
The investigation was prompted after a motorist complained the council could not help him when he was issued with a penalty charge by a contractor at one of its country parks - Lullingstone Country Park.
The motorist said the contractor told him to pay the charge and then appeal, but he was then told by the contractor he had lost his right to an appeal because he had paid the charge.
The Ombudsman’s investigation found that because the car park was on public land, the council should have used a Traffic Regulation Order, under the Traffic Management Act 2004 to issue the charge. Instead the council wrongly thought it could make the charge under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, designed for private land, because the charge was being enforced by a private contractor.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, yesterday said:
“While councils have every right to charge people for parking at their country parks, and motorists can expect consequences for not paying, councils must ensure they are issuing any parking penalties under the correct process.
“I am pleased Kent County Council has agreed to the recommendations of my report, and would now urge councils across the country to check their own parking charges to ensure all their parking enforcement is lawful.”
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s role is to remedy injustice and share learning from investigations to help improve public, and adult social care, services. In this case the council has agreed to pay the motorist £100 for the time and trouble.
It will also stop issuing parking penalties at Lullingstone Country Park and its other parks that use the same process until it has put appropriate arrangements in place.
Latest News from
Draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill laid in Parliament05/12/2016 12:37:21
A new complaints body will provide the public with greater confidence that their voices have been heard.
Ombudsman comments on PACAC report on the NHS care and treatment of people with eating disorders18/06/2019 16:15:00
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has published a report on NHS care and treatment of people with eating disordersOpens in a new window, which followed up on the recommendations in our Ignoring the Alarms report published in December 2017.
Vulnerable children removed from foster carers who wanted to adopt them17/06/2019 09:15:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has asked East Riding of Yorkshire Council to apologise to a foster couple after it removed two vulnerable children, they hoped to adopt, from their care.
Ombudsman reminds councils of proper process for supporting vulnerable people at assessment meetings14/06/2019 16:15:00
Councils are being reminded by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman that vulnerable people can choose who supports them through care reviews, after Suffolk County Council halted assessments for a couple’s care and support plans because of a dispute.
Disabled woman had care package reduced by more than half following flawed assessment by Bolton council13/06/2019 13:20:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council significantly reduced a disabled woman’s care package without properly assessing her needs.
Ombudsman calls for national review of former NHS Trust’s failure to keep patients safe12/06/2019 14:15:00
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman yesterday called for a national review into years of potential failings to ensure patient safety at the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP).
Councillors considered wrong Ombudsman report07/06/2019 12:15:00
Councillors in West Sussex have been asked to revisit an Ombudsman’s decision, after they considered the wrong version of a critical report at a council meeting.
Ombudsman responds to CIVEA announcement31/05/2019 14:15:00
Michael King Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman responded to CIVEA, the Civil Enforcement Association's, announcement it will no longer review complaints on behalf of its members.
Council denies its obligations to homeless domestic violence victim31/05/2019 09:15:00
Oadby and Wigston Borough Council has refused to accept it has done anything wrong when it failed to take a homelessness application from a victim of domestic violence, despite an Ombudsman investigation into its actions.