Lambeth Council taken to court
Lambeth Council has been accused of "arrogance" and "incompetence" after a man had to take the local authority to court to claim back money it owed him.
Former Beulah Hill resident Jonathan Greatorex was wrongly handed a fine last year at the controversial Salter's Hill junction in Upper Norwood.
After having an appeal against the fine upheld by The Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PaTAS), the council was ordered to pay Mr Greatorex his legal fees on March 28.
But despite a number of phone calls and letters of reminder, the council failed to pay him within 28 days, and Mr Greatorex was last Thursday forced to issue proceedings via the County Court to enforce the debt, which spiralled to over £200.
This money would increase with interest for every day the council did not pay him back, wasting tax payers' money.
Although Mr Greatorex finally received a cheque on Monday, it did not include the county court costs of £40, which are still owed to him with interest.
Mr Greatorex, who now lives in Wales, said: "The council's arrogance throughout this whole matter has been just beyond belief.Yet again, it continues to waste taxpayers money through either its own incompetence or sheer bloody-mindedness."
"What is totally unbelievable is that in failing to pay the costs when it was told to, the council has ignored the ruling of someone who is essentially a judge. Who do they think they are?"
The 37-year-old's fine was one of a massive 6,286 penalty notices handed out in just 128 days last year to drivers who had supposedly not given way at the junction.
At Mr Greatorex's initial appeal in January, he claimed CCTV images used by the council to show he had broken give way rules had been manipulated.
PaTAS adjudicator Joanne Oxlade ruled the junction as flawed, saying signage there was inadequate and the CCTV's zoom function had distorted the stills produced.
A Lambeth Council spokesman denied the council had deliberately not paid Mr Greatorex.
He said it recognised the appeal ruling and failed to make the payment in time due to an administrative error.