Wednesday 22 August 2007

Residents Complain about H&F Council’s Parking Permit Chaos

I’ve been contacted by a family from Richford Street, W6, who have been trying to renew their parking permit with H&F Council since June. Until last week, they hadn’t had any success.

The Council is rightly keen to stop fraud and to do this requires proof of residency. However, my constituents question the Council’s competency at pursuing this having been given the run-around for most of the summer.

They told me that they'd:
  • Completed an authorisation form giving the Council’s parking staff clearance to check their council tax account some years ago but this year the Council told them that more proof of residence is required.

  • Then sent a current phone bill with the address clearly showing but this was returned seeking further information.

  • Then sent a copy their joint bank account to the Council (as requested) but this was returned with the Council insisting that it also needed to see their charges and interest payments.

  • Eventually been sent their parking permit last week after sending in details of their bank charges and interest payments.

I recognise that the parking department has never been perfect but this family told me that they think it has got worse this year and asked me to find out “Has the system been changed? Or is the system being operated incorrectly by the staff?” I have, of course, asked the relevant Director for a full explanation of what's happened.

What I find perplexing is that two years ago, the last Labour Administration was finalising plans to streamline this, including allowing residents to renew their parking permits quickly online. I cannot understand why this hasn’t yet been successfully implemented.

Please email me if you have experienced similar problems. If you have, you can also formally complain to the Council here and if you are not satisfied with the way the Council has dealt with your issue, you can then complain to the Local Government Ombudsman here.

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