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Bikers have officially been given permission to appeal against Westminster Council

October 22, 2010

We have learned this week that Mr Warren Djanogly, Chairman of the No to Bike Parking Tax campaign, has been given permission to appeal Lord Justice Pitchford’s decision made in July 2010 in favour of Westminster Council. This has obviously been perceived by campaigners as fantastic news, as they have been fighting against Westminster Council’s introduction of a motorcycle parking tax in Central London for the last two and a half years.

Mr Djanogly presented seven reasons as to why he thought that Lord Justice Pitchford made the wrong decision in law in the first hearing of the case, and permission to appeal has been granted by Lord Justice Jackson on the grounds of six of those reasons. This permission to appeal comes a couple of weeks after Lord Justice Pitchford himself, unsurprisingly, rejected Mr Djanogly’s application for an appeal on the grounds that Mr Djanogly had “no reasonable prospect of success”, perhaps because he might have been concerned that he had made the wrong decision in law? Mr Djanogly then had no choice but formally apply to the Court of Appeal to obtain permission. But if Mr Djanogly truly had “no reasonable prospect of success”, as Lord Justice Pitchford said, surely he would not have obtained permission from another judge to appeal on 6 grounds out of 7. It results that a complete different judge will be assessing the case on appeal, which is not what Peter Large, Head of Legal Services at Westminster Council, had hoped for. Large sent a letter to the Court on behalf of the council to request that, should permission to appeal be granted to Mr Djanogly, Lord Justice Pitchford assesses the case again. This is, sadly, a good example that shows the degree to which some public authorities have become so corrupted over the years. But the fact that judge Pitchford rejected Mr Djanogly’s application for appeal was actually the best possible outcome for Mr Djanogly, as he had then no choice but submit an application to the Court of Appeal and have a different judge evaluating the case as a result. We can only hope that Mr Large has now learned the lesson from his unprofessional cockup.

The No To Bike Parking Tax campaigners are convinced that the decision made in the first hearing is wrong and that the case should be re-examined thoroughly. The bikers are now waiting for an appeal hearing date which is hoped to be soon.

Meanwhile, the same bikers are getting ready for a ride to Brussels next week where they will be meeting with the EU Commissioners to request an immediate investigation into the violations of EU Directives by Westminster City Council (and others) when they allowed a brand new entity called NCP Services Ltd to perform the Parking Enforcement Contracts vacated by National Car Parks Ltd in March 2007 when the contract should have been re-tendered, in accordance with European law. This will mark an historic event whereby the British motorcycling community is taking the initiative to expose abuses perpetrated by a local authority that has dared to treat bikers like cash cows by potentially breaking European law (for more details, click here).

The same EU Commissioners are still investigating a claim submitted earlier this year about the Westminster lead Partnership-in-Parking (PiP) scheme, which consists of encouraging other councils throughout the United Kingdom to adopt the Verrus (now Paypoint) cashless parking system, in exchange for a nice and comfortable fee payable to Westminster City Council. PiP encourages councils to adopt the Verrus pay-by-phone parking system without giving an opportunity to other organisations to present their products and services, thus allowing fair competition between companies across the European Union. Under EU law, all contracts costing more than £156,442 must be opened to tender to enable fair competition between businesses, and it is alleged that the PiP scheme is precisely failing to do this. Let’s wait and see what the EU Commissioners have to say on this.

Oh well, it sounds like Westminster Councillors are going to be given a very hard time in the next few weeks. And all this purely and solely because they decided to introduce a stealth tax on motorcycle parking in Central London despite the thousands of written objections they received, which in turn has lead the bikers to investigate and examine the council’s obscure parking contracts and activities in deep detail and submit their findings to the appropriate authorities for further investigation. Those councillors must realise that it’s not a good idea to mislead the public and treat the bikers like cash cows, because when they say NO, they really mean it.

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Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

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If you have a story you would like to see published on UK France bikers.com, please contact us here.

Si vous avez une experience a partager et que vous souhaiteriez voir publiee sur UK France bikers.com, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter en cliquant ici.

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