Islington Council decided not to contest my appeal on 14th Feb, but they didn’t have the guts to admit defeat; they simply did not produce any evidence to counter my appeal. I was looking forward to resolving the issues raised in the appeal, so it turned out to be somewhat of an anti-climax and a hollow victory.
I know of two other outstanding appeals pertaining to this purported box junction and I know of one PCN that has been cancelled at an early stage. I also know that, at last, they have stopped enforcing this illegal yellow box. I hope they don’t treat the other appelants in the same way as they treated me. I found it quite stressful waiting for the postman each day in the week leading up to the appeal wondering will they/won’t they contest?
In all my dealings with Islington Council over this case, be it directly or indirectly via the Islington Gazette, they have never once considered the fact that they could be doing anything wrong. To make matters worse they even lied when challenged over the legality of the road markings.
However if you get close to unattributable sources within the council you find out that the Parking Department is incompetent. They failed to realise that parking, bus lane enforcement and moving traffic enforcement are all covered by separate legislation and they have been issuing the wrong paperwork for months.
You also find out that when, eventually they did get off their high horse and consult the Department for Transport, they were told that most of the road markings in Drayton Park – not just the box junction – were illegal. Only then did they cease enforcement of the Drayton Park / Horsell Road junction.
But they still will not officially admit that they have ceased enforcement.
You may find it hard to believe, but local councils do have a code of conduct which has been developed to assist council officials to:
• Understand the standards of conduct that are expected of them
• Enable them to fulfil their statutory duty to act honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence
• Act in a way that enhances public confidence in the integrity of local government.
Officials are supposed to be objective – “Council officials must make decisions solely on merit and in accordance with their statutory obligations when carrying out public business.”
and accountable – “Council officials are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions…”
and open – “Council officials have a duty to be as open as possible about their decisions … giving reasons for decisions and restricting information only when the wider public interest clearly demands. This means giving and revealing reasons or decisions … offering all information; communicating clearly.”
Doesn’t sound like any council I know.