How Westminster Council have been robbing the motorist

Only last week Associated Newspapers published an article through their MailOnline outlet regarding the issuing of illegal parking fines (view here). Some serious allegations were made in the article, which we feel need to be gone through in much greater detail. Especially as at last Wednesdays Audit & Performance Committee meeting Councillor David Boothroyd asked about the article. The Councils Performance Improvements Manager, Una McCarthy said with a straight face “Westminster Council do not issue ticket targets”. Mrs McCarthy went on to explain that yes the Council expect to issue more parking tickets through the new contract with NSL Services, but this would be achieved through enforcing a higher than 95% compliance across the borough. Which in layman’s speak means the council were going to find more motorists parking in contravention of the rules and issue legal and fair tickets.

But were the Audit & Performance Committee members being told the true facts.

How to reach the targets

Document 1

Document 1

Document 1 shows what some CEO’s are having to do on the streets of Westminster to reach their targets. It’s from March 2010. The CEO has entered into his ticket machine (DAPS) this sentence “I issued PCN to keep my performance on reasonable level regardless of that it will get spoil as soon as challenge.” The CEO has issued a ticket illegally just to reach his/her targets because he/she hates onstantly being moaned at by NSL management at the end of the shift. But if the motorist challenges the ticket it will be ‘spoilt’.

Both NSl and Westminster know that not many motorist will challenge a ticket, so thousands of pounds end up in the pockets of WCC & NSL. The NSL employee who checked the ticket even wrote “This information is made available to the customer at appeal stage and if requested through the DSAR system. This type of note is becoming common place; can this be ceased please?” Acknowledging this practice is widespread through Westminster and other boroughs.

The Gang Masters

Document 2

Document 2

Document 2 shows the people who are actually responsible for the terror being forced on the CEOs. They are the Gang-masters. Sumati Sharma who was the NSL Base Manager at Westminsters Conduit Place Branch when she wrote this, one of her monthly reports. As you can see she was ably assisted by the Senior Supervisor, Paul Awosika. They have both since moved to Lambeth.

Under the heading:

1 PCN

1.1 Productivity: it clearly states, “The base volume of PCNS was 10918, against an expected CONTRACTUAL TARGET of 11937 which equates to 91.46% of the CONTRACTUAL STANDARDS.” This was for the total Number of Tickets issued as opposed to the total Number of Tickets they were contractually obliged to issue.

1.2 Issue Rate: The base ACHIEVED 1.45 PCN/Hr compared to last month’s figure of 1.52 PCN/Hr, this equates to 102.105 of the CONTRACTUAL TARGET.

NSL’s contract is with, yes you’ve guessed it Westminster City Council, the very same Council that have continually denied the setting of any targets. The same Council that refuse to release un-redacted copies of their contract with NSL Services.

Targets, targets everywhere

Document 3

Document 3

Document 3 shows the totals of the various beats which CEOs have to cover.

Monthly Totals: FTE means Full Time Equivalent; the hours NSL are obliged to put CEOs on the street.

PCN/Hr: is the rate that the CEOs issue, tickets per hour. As you can see the TARGET set for the CEOs by Sumati and her bosses was 1.42 pcns per hour, but they actually came back to base with 1.45 per hour. And still, every morning both she and her senior supervisor would chastise staff for not working hard enough and for not issuing enough tickets. When CEOs complain to the press they are being bullied they are not lying, they do have targets to meet.

More mention of targets

Document 4

Document 4

Document 4, from the bottom of page four to the end of page 5 you can read the PCN TARGETS Conduit branch achieved for every beat they cover. As you can see each beat was down. Yet amusingly Sumati Sharma wrote ‘the staff morale is high’, high with indignation perhaps. If the moral was high why were the CEO’s forever complaining to the media and the WCC? Why does every CEO that Nutsville as interviewed tell us the same story. Above all, why is NSL always the preferred bidder, and why have they retained the contract?

The Bradford Factor.

When Emma Collins sent her infamous email entitled Royalty Performance it was nothing new to NCP/NSL staff, the’ve had to do it for years. (see Nutsville post)

Westminster Council will moan at NCP/NSL for not meeting their contractual targets; NSL moans at the Westminster area manager who in turn moans at his base managers. These Base Managers moan at the Senior Supervisors who in turn moan at the ordinary supervisors who in turn berate their CEOs. So the WHOLE of Westminster Council KNOWS that targets are being set, the ONLY person who doesn’t know it seems is Una McCarthy.

Document 5

Document 5

Paul Awosika sent a message to his supervisors entitled POOR PERFORMANCE IN CONDUIT PLACE. The list is of Parking Attendants working on the street who were not bringing in enough tickets, along with the numbers of their supervisors. You will notice the supervisors were to set them achievable targets (expectations) for the next two weeks.

If at the end of one month these particular PAs had not increased the number of tickets they were dishing out, Paul Awosika had already decided the punishment to give them.

1. Transfer these ‘rubbish’ PAs to another branch within the Westminster Contract. Why would he wish to ‘punish’ other bases with these PAs, surely he is paid, it’s his job, to train them up.

2. Again, if they did not improve the number of parking tickets they were issuing he would sack them from off the Westminster Contract and transfer them to other contracts, maybe Islington, Edmonton or some other.

3. His final piece of glory however, was to sack them completely – all for not bringing enough tickets. He told the Supervisors at that time he would monitor the sickness level of these people and eventually get them out.

Paul Awosika and Sumati Sharma, his manager, never got on well together; he blamed her for the poor performance at Conduit Place. His reason she was so bad was that she had only spent three months on the street and did not really know or understand what it really was like. Paul Awosika said she used to come back crying because she was fearful of not passing her probation; but after only three months she was promoted.

A dodgy ticket is an illegal one.

Document 6

Document 6

Nigel Reid was the ‘Customer Services Officer’ based at the Lexington branch and this was the email he sent sent to all branches. Look at all the people he copied this email to, all the Base Managers in Westminster, both night and day and their senior supervisors and his superiors. ALL these people KNOW their staff on the street are issuing illegal tickets and yet do nothing about it because they accept these bad practices bring in more revenue and profit. “Cash is King.” Drivers will never know!

Look where it says ‘Night Enforcement’. This is from the Lexington base.

WM39980901; Belgium not UK – WILL BE cancelled if it reaches VQ4 Stage.

This ticket was issued by a night enforcer. Instead of saying that the vehicle came from Belgium he said it either came from, or was registered in, the UK.

Nigel Reid should have/could have cancelled the PCN because he knew that if the driver appealed the ticket and the ticket itself was actually examined it would be cancelled.

But in Westminster it’s profits above honesty.

WM39980901 was ‘Instant to commercial vehicle. WILL BE cancelled if challenged.’

Notice that if it is NOT challenged it will NOT be cancelled.

This is a favourite trick of the CEOs. Because they need the overtime, because they need weekend working, because they need to please their GANG-MASTERS they issue dodgy and illegal tickets knowing full well they will not be punished.

If a CEO sees a large a commercial vehicle on the street they have to give it time to unload the goods. It may be delivering goods to McDonalds. It may be delivering supplies to Tesco for its customers, YOU and ME. It may be delivering drinks to a popular night club. All these vehicles are allowed time to unload as they keep London turning.

However, if CEOs see a commercial vehicle on the street and they call it a PRIVATE vehicle they can issue an instant ticket, pleasing the company and Westminster City Council. All they have to do is place a PCN on the windscreen and take photos of where it is parked etc. However they DON’T take photos of the vehicle with its back doors open and the drivers loading/unloading as this will give the game away.

MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC OFFICE!

What does the Westminster Council say of this practice? They love it. There was a meeting held in NSL’s Vauxhall Bridge Road Branch at which all the managers of NSL had to attend and all the Supervisors as well. At one point they were all addressed by Bob Poston. He said “I know you all do dodgy tickets. I used to do it myself when I was on the street.” So there you have it. An ex-Parking Attendant admitting he was a crook, admitting he used to rob the public; now in a high position of trust and admitting the Council knew about it all the time. He said all this in front of many witnesses.

WM52442096: No photos – WILL BE cancelled if challenged. You notice Parking Companies do NOT cancel tickets they know to be dodgy, they need the money, instead they wait for the drivers to contest them all the time hoping they do not.

This next one is a beauty!

WM52398755 No photo of time plate – WILL BE cancelled if challenged.

Notice that on these notes there is no MAY BE CANCELLED but WILL BE CANCELLED.

Sadly neither the Westminster Council nor NSL cancelled this dodgy ticket, and the driver did not appeal. He did not know that the PCN he had just been issued with was a dodgy one and that if he had appealed he would have won – “WILL BE CANCELLED IF CHALLENGED.”

What did the council do?

Below was copied from Westminster Council’s Website yesterday morning, (01/07/2010).

Parking Ticket Details:

Ticket Number: WM52398755

This matter has been placed with the City Council’s bailiffs and you should contact them to arrange payment.

For more information please call us on (020) 7823 4567 – open 24hrs/365 days.
Perhaps as Westminster Council are avid readers of this blog you might want to call off your bailiffs for ticket WM52398755

We think Mrs McCarthy must be completely ignorant of what’s been going on between NSL and Westminster Council for the last five years of her job, otherwise she wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the MailOnline’s claims, would she. Or perhaps she just didn’t want to alarm anyone on the audit committee, after all the council would not only lose more parking revenue, but also it’s reputation would fall even further, oh dear we think it just has.

You will see this information has come from within the industry, so when you hear from Westminster Council that their parking attendants do a difficult and demanding job it’s true, but most of those difficulties and demands are coming from NSL and Westminster Council.

What the documents we’ve published in this post show is there is a serious fraud against the public going on. What is worrying about Mrs McCarthy’s answers is that Westminster Council seem not capapable, interested, independent or trustworthy enough to investigate these illegal activities.

It’s really time that the METs Serious Fraud Office stopped conveniently losing files and got stuck in to investigating a fraud costing the public enormous amounts of money. Lets not forget Westminster Councils strategic director of city management, Leith Penny words: “We will not hesitate to prosecute any individuals found to be carrying out action that is tantamount to stealing from the public purse.

Are we to assume those fine words from Mr Penny are only meant for anyone other than the Council stealing from the public? So Mr Penny if Nutsville can find out what’s going on, why do you think after all these years Westminster Council can’t?

If you have a story you think needs a wider public audience please email us at:

news@nutsville.com

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17 Comments

1frogJuly 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 am

With a “Godfather” like C.Barrow as leader it is no wonder that the scandalous parking racket goes on.

FuBaRJuly 2nd, 2010 at 6:14 am

It’s amazing, if these people weren’t elected official’s I am sure the police would have a lovely time rounding them up and taking them to court, especially with all the evidence… the BBC and Watchdog need to do a report on this, its disgraceful! SHAME ON YOU WCC!

Great article Nuts :)

BanditJuly 2nd, 2010 at 6:47 am

Continuing acts of blatant modern-day highway robbery, dressed up in the guise of ‘traffic management’.
We all know it’s about the money. But to distort truth and make up fraudulent penalties is despicable and illegal.
Perhaps that’s why Mouchel were the victims of the costly retendering: NSL were the only ones prepared to continue with these illegal, target-driven tactics.

The Daily Mail reported on it but again, Nutsville leads the way in investigative reporting.

Wastemonster need to be prosecuted, as do NSL, for this despicable collusion to extort money from innocent members of the public.
Let’s hope that their shameless attempt to widen this fraud by dragging motorcycles into their parking fraud scam will prove to be their undoing.

ColinJuly 2nd, 2010 at 9:25 am

The practice of issuing dodgy PCNs would stop instantly if parking enforcement companies were made to pay the cost of the parking fine to drivers who lodged successful appeals.

Jason KetteridgeJuly 2nd, 2010 at 10:45 am

If they are rotten at the bottom how must they stink at the top?

It’s about time the public rounded on these swindlers because these actions are plainly those of thieves and scoundrels and they are no way above the law because they hide behind closed doors and use carefully chosen words.

We need action from the police and judiciary, now!

LetmyspeechfreeJuly 2nd, 2010 at 12:53 pm

You are a politician and your sole reason for existing is to remain in power.

You have to reimburse the council treasure chest to compensate for your inept guardianship of tax payers’ money so, do you:

A. Upset your electorate by increasing your council tax to reflect the amount other council tax payers are having to find

or

B. Illegally rip off visitors who have no possibiity of influencing the next local election results and are already paying a substantially higher council tax in their own borough.

WARNING: If you answered A it’s possible you may not be qualified to become a tory councillor in Westminster.

BanditJuly 2nd, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Challenge EVERYTHING people. Contest every ticket.
Spread the word to all motoring groups and anyone going near Wastemonster.

With this level of dishonesty, how can one trust ANY ticket issued by this corrupt council and their target-driven contractors?

If they are so lazy in their revenue-generation schemes, we need to make them work for their pound of flesh by proving that the ticket was issued legitimately.

See you at PATAS, you con-artists.

BillyBloggsJuly 2nd, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Perhaps we should all phone WCC enquiring about ticket number WM52398755, asking it to be removed from bailiff enforcement, and quoshed as it is in the public domain that it is well dodgy.

This council are beyond hope, bunch of scumbags the lot of them.

blackadderJuly 2nd, 2010 at 10:29 pm

This kind of extortion racket has gone on for years.
Here is story from 2 years ago.
http://www.southwarknews.co.uk/00,news,10888,440,00.htm

BruceJuly 5th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I think this is one to forward to as many journos, motoring groups etc. as we can. Let’s make sure it can’t be brushed under the carpet. Off to mail Private Eye…

Dean FJuly 6th, 2010 at 8:58 am

But what are the CEOs themselves doing about it? Don’t they have Unions? If I were a Union leader I would say to the members, “Right ladies and gentleman, do not issue any more tickets until NSL have paid each of you £1000 as compensation for all the lies, deceit and harassment they have inflicted on you.”

ZeNNJuly 6th, 2010 at 11:20 pm

What union? They scare like hell to join the UNION, this company is one big scam and using only poor immigrant from Africa because they know they can exploit it, don’t believe see what percentage of black CEO is on street – 99% and what percentage is white people in the NSL offices – also 99%

[...] Touchy, isn’t it? Obviously, the bikers don’t give a toss about Mr More’s threats and are determined to continue their actions until Westminster City Council finally scrap their motorcycle parking tax. Let’s not forget that what Mr More calls a decision taken in the public interest consists, among others, of implementing a motorcycle parking tax that the council admits is making an annual loss of £430,000 and that Westminster residents and visitors are required to fund. That’s definitely in the public interest, isn’t it? Oh, and how could we possibly forget how traffic wardens in Westminster are given PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) targets to make sure that enough parking tickets are issued to motorists and motorcyclists every month to bring revenue to the council? You can read the full story by clicking on the following link - How Westminster Council have been robbing the motorist. [...]

KarimJuly 20th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

If neither NSL nor WCC set targets for their traffic wardens then it must have been Sumati Sharma herself doing it. Is she still employed by NSL or has she rightly been sacked yet?

BruceAugust 15th, 2010 at 12:41 am

I note that the statutory guidelines state that authorities should not “set targets for revenue or the number of (PCN’s) they issue”. I have dropped a line to the Sec of State to suggest he looks into this ;-) A few more letters wouldn’t do any harm.

ChalkyAugust 26th, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I just do not understand how the serious fraud office have not made easy pickings of this?
Unless of course they are all members of the “funny handshake & dodgy trouser leg club”? No, couldn’t possibly be could it?

Jackie the NinjaOctober 4th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

this is why i continue to use fake plates on my car, when parked in these areas yes i know its illegal but so is this, have had countless tickets and they all end in the bin ha ha ha and these stupid muppets cant even tell, if you cant beat them then join them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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