Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: -1°C

Search

Workers at B&M in Ipswich left stunned after parking fine error in 2013 leaves them facing court appearance

13:48 09 February 2016

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking.

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking.

A group of former employees at a store in Ipswich have been left distraught after car park fines mistakenly issued more than two years ago has left them facing a court appearance.

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking.Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking.

In May 2013, at least 10 workers at the B&M store in Copdock, Ipswich, were surprised to have been issued a £70 fine each by the new car park owners, which had mistakenly issued the tickets not realising their cars were those of employees – despite registration numbers having been given.

But after being told by the store that they were not required to pay them, the group were left stunned when court summons arrived in December, stating they had unpaid fines of £250 each.

Single-mum Jo Harris, 35, of Fitzgerald Road in Bramford, who was issued two fines in May 2013, said: “I stopped working there about a year and a half ago and went self-employed.

“I am absolutely worried sick and I have got all the paperwork from my boss at the time. It’s such a shock and I am worried about the bailiffs.”

Civil Enforcement Ltd, which ran the car park, has continued to proceed with legal action despite some employees having left since then, and the group have been left unable to contact the firm to clarify their position.

Mrs Harris added: “It’s disgusting – they were aware of these fines. B&M could have just paid it off but now we have the stress and costs of the court summons.”

Despite the error, the store has so far failed to back the group, stating in a letter that because Civil Enforcements had issued county court summons to individuals, the store would not be dealing with any of the cases.

A B&M spokesman last night said the Civil Enforcements no longer operated the car park.

“We’ve contacted the relevant car park company involved, they no longer operate the site. Following representations by B&M as the store leaseholder, we understand that they are taking legal advice and therefore cannot comment further at this time,” the spokesman added.

Civil Enforcement Ltd did not respond to requests by the Ipswich Star to comment on the matter.

The situation has now left the employees set to face a date at county court in London in May.

9 comments

  • TRY THIS FOR SIZE:- Your name and address date PCN number Dear SirMadam, Before I am in a position to decide what to do with this pcn, please supply me with the following documentation, no later than 10 calendar days from the receipt of this letter. 1. Please supply a full unredacted copy of your agreement with the land owner allowing you to enforce parking regulations.Unless of course,CEL are the legitimate landowners, in which case I require a copy of that proof as registered with the land registry.If however, CEL are not the legal landowner of the said land, then you will have failed to constitute a contract with the land owner giving you the rights to enforce parking on the site. When considering wether you are the legal land owner, and entitled to the stated fee, please bear this in mind:- The Protection Of Freedoms Act 2012, schedule 4, went live on 1 October 2012. Government guidelines on the Act stated: Charges for breaking a parking contract must be reasonable and a genuine preestimate of loss. This means charges must compensate the landholder only for the loss they are likely to suffer because the parking contract has been broken. For example, to cover the unpaid charges and the administrative costs associated with issuing the ticket to recover the charges. Charges may not be set at higher levels than necessary to recover business losses and the intention should not be to penalise the driver. Based on the above statement, your penalty charge would be deemed illegal under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999,if you are not the legal registered landowner. 2. I require you to provide me with a GPEOl, and how you come to that figure.Please be aware of Judge McIlwaines comments in VCS V Ibbotson Case No 1SE09849 16.5.2012 (transcript in the public domain), where judge McIlwaine said “Parking charges cannot include business costs which would occur whether or not the alleged contravention took place”. Based upon that evidence,I suggest that the amount claimed is excessive and is being enforced as a penalty for allegedly parking.The parking charge does not represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss and therefore is unfair as defined in the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. I believe there is no contract with the landowner that gives cel the legal standing to levy these charges nor pursue them in the courts in their own name as creditor.If you believe there is, then I request that you point me to the relevant law as I can’t find it!!. 3. There is no fee to park, therefore,your losses,providing you are the legitimate land owner, are nothing.If however,there was a fee of say,£2.00 per hour or part thereof,then your actual loss would be £2.00 for the loss of an available space. 4. Explain how your fee is a GPEOL and not a penalty,bearing in mind,the comment in number 2. 5. Explain how, under PoFA 2012, the land is relevant, and how the registered keeper is liable, seeing as the driver has not been identified. 6. Supply me with documentation showing how or where I formed acontract with CEL. I don’t recall entering into a contract wether fomally, verbally, by phone, text, email, or in person. Signs do not help CEL and drivers to form a contract. CEL were only an agent working for B & l who may or may not be the legal landowner as registered with the Land Registry. Excel -v-HMRC 2012 is the binding decision in the Upper Chamber which covers this issue with compelling statements of fact about this sort of business model. The driver of the vehicle has not been identified. Paragraphs 8 & 9 of schedule 4,Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, lists several requirements,among them,the following:- A. State wether a notice to driver was given,either to the driver or placed on the vehicle.CEL failed to adhere to this regulation. B. Invite the registered keeper to pay the outstanding parking charge,or if heshe was not the driver,to provide the name and address of the driver,and to pass a copy of that notice on to that driver.CEL failed here too. C. Identify the “Creditor”,who is legally entitled to recover the parking charge.CEL have failed to say wether they are the creditor or not, so another fail. CEL have not said wether the pcn is for damages for trespass, or a contractual sum.Please specify which it is. CEL have not provided any evidential photograph which shows the vehicle to be parked at this location.All the photographs show are the ident No.of the vehicle, and the rear of the same vehicle,which could be anywhere in the U.K. where CEL operate.There was no parking contravention at all. Do not threaten me with court action for something you have no legal right to do.Do not enlist debt collection agencies as this will be a waste of your time as they have no legal standing to attempt to recover any alleged monies you claim I owe. Do not try and frighten me into paying by quoting the Supreme Court case of Parking Eye V Barry Beavis.Here is some information before and since that case.:- Parking Eye actually pay £1,000.00 a week to the landowners of the car park in question in the SC case, which is why no other cases using this case have gone to county court.Furthermore,Judge J J Maloney did say in his case that he is “ only a district Judge and each case would be different depending on its issues”. The Supreme Court did conclude that the BPA’s CoP is a good and fair model.However,they did not say that it was legally binding.After all, that is just what it is, a Code of Practice, not law.Just like the Highway Code too. There is a post Beavis case at POPLA.Here is a section from the transcripts of that case:- ''Section 7 of the BPA Code of Practice clearly defines that a parking operator must have written authority of the landowner (if they do not own the land themselves)...Ultimately, the operator has failed to document it has the authority required by Section 7 of the BPA Code of Practice. Accordingly, I must allow the appeal and so I do not need to consider the other grounds of appeal raised by the appellant.'' These decisions come from a named assessor and the above was about UKPC, who committed fraud by altering timestamps on their photographs.So much for the Parking EyeBarry Beavis case being legally binding eh?.Obviously the BPA code of practice is still authoritative. Parking Eye actually pay £1,000.00 a week to the landowners of the car park in question in the SC case, which is why no other cases using this case have gone to county court.Furthermore,Judge J J Maloney did say in his case that he is “ only a district Judge and each case would be different depending on its issues”. Either provide me with all the documentation I have requested, in the time scale stated, or simply cancel your actions. Yours Sincerely

    Report this comment

    Michael Hickley

    Saturday, February 13, 2016

  • They are not fines, they are illegal invoices.You need to ask CEL for a copy of their contract with the landowner(Not B & M ,as they are only the leaser).I bet CEL have no such contract,in which case they lose nothing, as they cannot pursue you for their outrageous demands, as they do not have a contract, and they are not the creditor.Ask them for a full breakdown of how they come to their extortionate fee,known a sa Genuine Pre Estimate Of Costs,(GPEOL).It is the landowner who is the creditor, and they have to also give a GPEOL.

    Report this comment

    Michael Hickley

    Saturday, February 13, 2016

  • Apologies, for "ShutupMary" read "ShutupMeg"

    Report this comment

    Wagstaff

    Friday, February 12, 2016

  • Hi Jo Sorry to hear of your fines regarding the b&m store parking,scandalous,but may I add you still look lovely as ever

    Report this comment

    Twiggy

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Following on- don't confuse debt collectors with baliffs, DC's don't own the debt and can't bring court action; if received don't ignore any court papers, the parking co would like you to do this and get a default judgement, follow the process. Check "pepipoo", "ShutupMary", almost identical situation to yours, concerning Civil Enforcement Ltd. The threatening letters from CELDC will demand more money, but are no more than that, threatening letters.

    Report this comment

    Wagstaff

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Private Parking Companies are known for all sorts of stunts, beginning with issuing speculative invoices which include a discount if you pay within fourteen days and suggesting court action will follow if it not paid. Many pay up at this point, easy money! These are not to be confused with Council parking tickets which follow a strict process. Free advice on how to deal with these bottom feeders can be found on "pepipoo" Private Parking Tickets & Clamping

    Report this comment

    Wagstaff

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • B&M certainly haven't covered themselves in glory here. A pathetic excuse to not get involved in the matter. The bottomline here is these people were or are employed by B&M from reading the story they did all that was asked and duly recorded their car details with the parking company as requested. For B&M to now say there is nothing they can do behave!.

    Report this comment

    soulboy

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Use the POPLA service, Parking on Private Land Appeals. You will win.

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • It is my understanding that parking 'offences' has been decriminalised and so this must be an attempt to take a civil action to get their unreasonable 'fines'. If the victims search the internet for forums that advice on such matters, I am sure they will find some help if they search for someone who is very successful in dealing with such matters and believes in FAIR ways to handle PARKING issues, if you get my meaning, hint hint.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A criminal investigation has been launched by police into a failing care home in Hadleigh at which a resident died.

A lorry has burst into flames following a crash with a car on the A14 westbound in Suffolk close to Needham Market.

Urgent improvements have been demanded of three food businesses in east Suffolk, according to hygiene inspection reports.

A crewman has died after a boiler backfired in the engine room of the Manhattan Bridge container ship as it was docking at Felixstowe port last night – causing an “explosion”.

Animal welfare charities in Suffolk have urged caution over who found pets are given to after reports of a woman in Ipswich posing as an animal welfare officer to obtain a cat found by a homeowner in their garden.

Today the sun is taking the edge off the biting January winds in Suffolk, the perfect winter’s day.

More than half the homes in Suffolk are in the bottom two council tax bands it has emerged.

A Suffolk man has been evicted from his hospital bed by court order after he “unnecessarily” refused to leave for more than two years.

Beach huts, morning runs and golden sand. Not exactly the Felixstowe you might be expecting in January.

Labour’s shadow trade and industry secretary Clive Lewis has visited Ipswich to encourage party members as thoughts start to turn towards this year’s election.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24