Friday, 16 September 2011


Remember this?


Or this?


Borough Council Election 2011

If not then don't worry the story is a simple one to follow. Two and a half years ago I asked the County Council to review the residents parking schemes in the Borough as it was becoming increasingly difficult for residents to park (too many permits not enough spaces) and the traffic wardens were giving out tickets like confetti. The schemes were old and needed updated, the regulations when they were first introduced were different to now But they ignored me!  I then put in an official complaint to the Council and we resolved it by them agreeing to review the schemes, But they didn't! So I complained again, and this time they got all clever with me by saying that they only promised to review the schemes, but never said when they would do it!

So I decided to fight fire with fire. Over a period of 6 months I picked up 10 parking tickets in the Billing Road area and refused to pay any of them, stating lack of maintenance and poor signage and lining as my reasons. During this period I felt victimised as my car was ticketed at any opportunity it was even towed away at one point (although I was told for a totally unconnected reason!) All this happened at the time that my brother was in hospital and unable to drive and I was helping him run his company using his vehicles which the Council wouldn't give me varied permits for.

Anyway I continued to fight all ten tickets and submitted a number to the Traffic Tribunal Service for them to pass judgement. At one point the council tried to withdraw all the tickets but I refused. All I wanted, I told them was a review. The adjudicator adjourned the first hearing and asked us to settle the row between us.

I offered the Council £300 for a charity of their choice to settle the outstanding tickets (10 X £75) if they in return reviewed the scheme. They refused!

So we went the whole distance. The hearing was eventually heard by the Chief Adjudicator for England and Wales Caroline Sheppard, two weeks ago I am delighted to say that she found in my favour in all cases! The council lost in all of it's challenges

She told the Council that their "Permit Holders Only" signs were inadequate as they failed to display the times of the scheme on each and every sign. Furthermore she told them that they could not have a visitors permit scheme which operated for different hours than the residents (currently our overnight visitors even with a permit  have to park in two hour bays the night before and move their cars at 10am into a residents bay or at 8am from a residents bay into a 2hr limit and then move again at 10am we call it the pyjama run)

She told them that they could not evidence the state of the markings because they had submitted no evidence, but that the latest changes following resurfacing had only made things worse. she told them to cancel all my tickets, and to cancel the rest that they had issued to me over the period.

The next day they were outside ticketing as usual, knowing that the scheme was unlawful. In the two weeks since the hearing they have not contacted me once to discuss the case and they told the Chronicle and Echo that they were waiting for the official notice before taking any action. Today after they had got the official notice they had no comment to make

The official judgement came earlier this week, all eight pages of it! I include below for your pleasure some of the adjudicators comments therein.

"The signs do not comply with regulations 18"
"The County Council has failed in its duty to sign the effect of the TRO" (Traffic Regulation order)
" The alleged contraventions did not occur"
"The signs used have no times of operation"
"This is hardly surprising as there are three sets of applicable hours within the TRO"
"The CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone) signs do not govern the parking places"
"The County Council may not rely on the CPZ zone to inform road users"

Amazingly the Council tried to defend their ignorance by saying they thought the signs were ok when they put them up and the regulations had changed afterwards! The adjudicator said

"I cannot accept that argument"

They then said that as a Councillor I should know what the regulations were! The adjudicator said

"It is all very well to submit that Cllr Clarke knew what restrictions were intended but the test is not a subjective one, it is an objective one applying to" persons using the road" that means persons in general and not just Cllr Clarke"

Ms Sheppard then criticised the Council for misleading disable blue badge holders who wouldn't know when the scheme was or was not operating.

She then said that in summary

"Northamptonshire County Council at the time the Parking Places Order 2001 came into force failed to comply with its duty under Regulation 18(1)(a) of LATOR to adequately sign the various operational times that applied to the permit bays."

So what does it all mean? Well for a start it means that none of the Residents Parking Schemes in the Town are legal or valid, as none of the TRO's which govern the schemes, the Signs which police the schemes, or the CPZ's which give notice of the schemes are valid.

This means that the Council will now have to review not just the individual schemes but also review the whole policy and look at how to reprovide for issues such as visitors permits and how to display times (perhaps they should look at my suggestion for scratch cards?) It means that they have to draw up new TRO's send them out to residents for consultation and then they will have to replace all the signs in the town at huge cost. It means a Council which can't even afford to keep the street lights on will  face a massive bill to correct their own incompetence. (And if you get a ticket in the dark because the street lights are off I am also told you have a good chance of having those quashed as well as the signs would be not readable)

And it also means that the residents like me who have paid our £25 a year will now have no scheme operating leading to potential traffic chaos caused by the Councils stubbornness and arrogance and unwillingness to work with one of their own Cllrs to find a sensible compromise and to listen to residents concerns. At one point (about a year ago) they even had the gall to say, Tony if you win this case then we wont be able to enforce the scheme anymore and it will all be your fault! For the record I said fine then lets settle things here and now with a timetable for proper review.... They of course declined my offer.

As for the current residents schemes I wonder if we will all get our £25 back? One bit of bad news for those already ticketed is that I understand if you have paid a ticket you cannot recover the money? But if you have one outstanding in a residents  bay, you now know what to say!

It is not for me to encourage people to park where they will, and I hope people will respect the need for residents to continue to use the permit bays until the council sort out the mess they have created. Nor should people think that this covers them for other offences outside of the regulations above, but one issue that really still grinds with me is that the Council has known for two weeks that the schemes were not enforceable, So why have they let their wardens continue to issue unlawful tickets? If they say they were waiting for confirmation then it came earlier this week, so why are they out there today (now) still ticketing (till 1am in the morning)

The answer? They (the council, not the wardens) don't give a fig about serving the public, they just want your money and until they were found out they were creaming in over a £1m a year including a large sum from PCN's within the residents parking areas. My message to them is to send them out of our side streets and onto the main roads where they can do what they are paid for, keeping the roads clear, ticketing people blocking bus lanes, ticketing lorries unloading outside of hours and causing mile long tail backs!

Anyone wanting a full copy of the Traffic Tribunals decision can email me at

For more on this story see tomorrows Chronicle and Echo.


  1. What is it with you county councillors and cars?

    Friday 16 September 2011
    Lib Dem county councillor Richard Giddings, 24, in Northampton Magistrates' Court accused of driving without third party insurance. Case adjourned.

  2. But some of us are guilty and some of us not!

  3. Town Centre Anonymous23 September 2011 at 15:34

    Good Luck to you Mr Clarke. If you are spending as much time on dealing with this issue as you are writing on your blog and appearing on the local radio and talking to the Chronicle then I am sure you will move mountains.

  4. jeeze ... all that and all you get is 3 comments ... of which one is your own ...... bet you were the last kid to get picked at school to play on anyones football team.

  5. I have no complaints on web traffic Mr/s anon, nor did I have with being picked at football but thanks for dropping by to tell me you care.




Blog Archive

Thank You

Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.


100 key seats 1980's 1997 2013 50th Birthday 96 Abington Park absent parents abuse Academy Status Adam Simmonds Adam Simmonds. Police and Crime Commisioner Northamptonshire. Class A drugs Adam Simmonds. Police commisioner. Northamptonshire County Council Afghanistan Afro Caribbean Agent airbrushed for change airlines Al Quida Aldi allowances AlQuida Anarchist ANC Andrew Mitchell animated fairy story Anjona Roy Ann Frank Ann Timson Apathy Arab League Council Archway cottages Arms raid arrears. Northamptonshire race Equality Council Ashes to Ashes Ask a Socialist astragate Asylum seekers Audit Baathe Party bamboo joint Banana Banker barbecue tax Bashar Assad bbc BBC radio 4 Bedroom Tax Benefits benito mussolini Benjamin Netanyahu Big Freeze Big Society Billy Bragg Binners Birds black and white cats Black Swans Blair blogger blogs Blood Blowing smoke up your skirt Blue Light Services BNI BNP boardroom buffoons Bone marrow Boris Johnson borough council boot and shoe borough council elections Borough Solicitor BP Bradlaugh Brian Binley Brian Hoare brighton Britain in Bloom British Government broken britain Brown Pelican Bryn Estyn Children's Home budget cuts Bulgarian Bullingdon Club Burglars Bus Interchange Bus Station Bush businesmen Cabinet Call in campaigning Cannes canvassers capitalism Captain Ska Car Park Revenue car parks career wreckers carillion carlisle Carrillion CASPAR Castle Ward Castle Ward 2 Catherine Tate CDC censorship Census 2011 change Charity Commision cheating cheats chicago Chicago Fruit Police Chickens Child Abuse China Chloe Smith Chris Grayling Christmas Christopher Myers chronicle and echo Clement Attlee Cllr Andrew Simpson Cllr Andy Mercer cllr Bill Parker Cllr Brian Hoare Cllr Brian Markham Cllr David Mackintosh Cllr David Palethorpe Cllr David Perkins Cllr Dennis Meredith Cllr Elizabeth Gowen Cllr Gareth Eales Cllr Jean Hawkins Cllr Jim Harker Cllr Jim Harker Road Safety Cllr John Caswell cllr John Yates Cllr Malcolm Mildren Cllr PD Varnsverry Cllr portia wilson Cllr Richard Church Cllr Robin Brown Cllr Sally Beardsworth cllr Scott Collins Cllr Tony Buckley cllr Tony Clarke Cllr Tony Woods Cllr Trini Crake Clr David Perkins Clyde Loakes Coalition government cobblers combustion committee places Community Basher conference 2013 Conservative Conservative Party Conservatives consumption Contracts Corby corporate fools corporate spin corrupt Council Council tenants councy council County Council Election county council elections CPS credit crunch crime Crimea cuts CWU Daily Mail daniel hannan mep. NHS Daventry District Council David Cameron David Harvey David Perkins. Brenden Glynane David Ross day fotlu DDC debt decent homes Defend Council Housing Delapre Abbey democracy wreckers destruction disaster DIT Britain Dostiyo Dot Cotton Duckenfield Duckinfield Ealing Council Earworm Community East Midlands in Bloom East Midlands Labour Party easy read economy Ed Balls Ed Millaband Ed Milliband education election Elections 2013 Electoral iregularity Ellis Island email Emilie Oldknow Emily Oldknow Empowerment fund Enterprise Enterprise Managed Services Environment Agency Eric Pickles ester ranzen EU euro European parliament expelled F W De Clerk F*ck you facebook FAir is worth fighting for Fairground ducks Fairytale of New York Far Right fire Fish MArket Fitzy fixed penalty notice Flashman Floods Florence and the Machine flytipping Fountain free Friends of Delapre Abbey Full Council Gaddafi Gang Culture Gaza GDP general election Geoff Howes George Bush George Bush Jr George Osborne George Osbourne Germany Glasgow mosque GMB Golden Handshake google gordon brown government Government Cuts Grant Shapps greed Greedy Bankers Greek economy Green Green Party Greyfriars growth 1980's Guantanaomo Bay. Shaker Aamer Guernsey Harry Enfield Havelock Havildar Gaje Ghale haymarket Hazel Blears health Helicoptors Help the aged highways Hillsborough hoodies hope not hate House of Commons House of Lords Housing Housing numbers Housing. eviction human rights Ian Gibson IDF il duce Immigration imprint Independent Independent Green Independent Network independents India Injunction inquiry international internet Iran Iraq Iraq war ISIS Islamaphobia Israel Italy IVA jedward Jeremy Clarkson jerk chicken Jihadists Jimmy Carr Jimmy Saville jingles Joe Joyce John Dickie john gardner John Lennon Johnston Press Journalists justice justice for the 96 KBC Ken Livingstone Kevin Quigley Khudadad Khan KPMG Kraken Kurdistan La Madala Labour Labour Group Labour Party Lady Wantage Lampedusa Land Tax Lansbury last of the summer wine Leadership election league two Learning difficulty Learning Disability Lebanon Lee Barron leeds Legal and General Liar Liar Lib Dem Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrats Liberals Libya libya. david cameron Likely lads Lily allen Liverpool lloyd grossman local candidates local governance local government Local Government Association local press localism bill Loft insullation London Labour London Olympics london riots Loo of the year Lord Mandelson Lord Michael Ashcroft Lord Stuart-Smith Lord Taylor Lord Waterhouse LSE Mackenzie mad as a box of frogs Madiba Mahmoud Abbass Malcolm Mildren Margaret Thatcher Market Square Market Square Fountain Market Trader Martyn Gilleard martyrs May 2ns Medhi Hussein media Michael Ellis Michael Foot Michael Turner QC Micheal Ellis MP micheal martin Middle Classes Middle East migrants Mike Ferrigan Milk Snatcher millions Miserable old sod mk dons mortgages MP's Expenses mps expenses Multi Agency Group Muslim community Narrowboats Nasseem Nicholas Taleb Nathan Worrell National Debt national front Nato Nazis. EU NBC NCC Neil Lewington Neil Magregor NEL. MIPIM Nelson Mandela Neo Nazis NEP New Statesman New Year NHS Nick Clegg nick clegg.norman clegg Nick Griffin Niel Kinnock NNDC NNJPU Noor Inyat Khan North Wales Police Northampton Northampton Borough Council Northampton Chronicle and Echo Northampton Conservatives Northampton Independent group northampton independent voice Northampton Labour Party Northampton Labour Party. Northampton Borough Council Northampton Liberal Democrats Northampton Saints Northampton South Northampton South Conservatives Northampton Town Football Club Northamptonshire County Council Northamptonshire County Council Elections Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Northamptonshire Music Service Northamptonshire Police Norwich North not all party's are the same ntfc Number 10 Observer Oil Old Labour Oliver Tambos Paddy Tipping MP pakistan Palais de Festival Palestine Parish Poll. Police Commissioner Elections parking parking services parliament parsons Party Political Broadcast Paul Blantern Paul Varnsverry PCC Pegasus Penalty Charge Notices pensioners pest control pest express Peter Mandelson Peter Righton pfi phillip mears photos for all occasions Pinky and Perky Plain English planning police Police and crime Commissioner Police Commisioners Police Commissioner elections political Polycythemia Pope Francis poplar porkie pies President Obama privatisation Professor Pongoo proportionality public consultation public deficit Public Service cuts purdah que sara sara Racism Radio 4 rats Rebekah Brooks reccession Recycling referendum refuse collection regional labour party relegation Rememberence Sunday residents parking retail Richard Hannon right wing riots Robert Cottage Romanian roofing RPA act RSA Rushden Sainsburys Sally Keeble Sam King Scrutiny Seb Coe Second Life Shame on you shameless Shami Chakrabarti Sheltered Housing Shire shirkers Shona Deans Messinger silver medal Simon Cox Simon Williams Skateboarders skivers. scroungers Slipping back in time SNC Snow Spad speaker spies spring boroughs Spring Boroughs Residents squandering St Andrews st andrews road St James Stagecoach stagnation standard and poors standards board stealth tax Stephen Pound MP. Jeffrey Archer Steptoe and Son Steve Messham Stock Market street lights supergran suspended Syria Taliban Tax Evasion tax the rich tea team GB Terry Waite Tescos Tess Scott Thatcher The Cobblers The Conservative Party The Green 'Un The Green PArty The Press The Queen The Report The Ridings The Saints the story of broke the story of change the story of stuff The Sun through the keyhole ticckle Till Death do us part" Tom Watson MP Tony Blair Tony Clarke Tony Clarke MP Tony Woods Tory Tory Government Tory Party Tory's town centre trade unions Trees Trevor Kavanagh TTIP TUC Trident Tuck Inn TVC E-coli and coliforms tweets twitter UAF UK debt UK floods UK Government UK riots UKIP UKIP. Green Party UKIP. Labour Party Ukraine Ulric Cross ULT UN unemployment union flag unitary authorities unitary government Unite against Facism United Learning Trust united nations Unity College Upper class USA usual channels Vara Varnsverry. Guildhall vat Virtual vlog vote Walter Tull Waltham Forest Wardens watchdog WDC Welfare welfare cuts west northamptonshire joint planning unit Westbridge Westminster Weston Favell School what's the point of Nick Clegg wicked William Hague window dressing winter wonderland witch hunt WNDC WNJPU workers Working Class working mens clubs workshy written questions WWII youth services