Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help with this.
Alex Watts : They only gave 4 days notice, by which time you had left?
Alex Watts : Have you asked the council for their policy on notification please?
Hello Alex, yes I rang and queried it, stating what I'd received, and seen posted, upon my return, and they told me that because they'd posted notice of intended closure in the local paper they'd fulfilled their obligation, and since I was not on holiday the day it was in the paper its my tough luck essentially. I don't buy the local paper, few do.
The notification on the road itself, which was some 300 metres from my house and attached to a lamp post (approx. 12" x 8") was dated 17th July and the letter through my door was dated 16th. I left home early on the 15th
Alex Watts : When did they advertise it in the paper please?
Alex Watts : Have you got a copy of the councils policy on such matters?
They say they posted it on the 11th July but since I don't read the paper I only have their word for this. Re their policy I've asked them what their policy is for road closure and they simply say they've complied with it by posting notice in paper. Incidentally they've closed a nearby road since and gave more notice with large metal signs on pavement either end. My feeling is that they've realized they were late and are trying to "wriggle" out of it?
Alex Watts : Have you asked your local paper for a copy of the old one?
Alex Watts : They should be able to provide it or if you go into the offices you can check it?
Alex Watts : can you do this?
No, not yet, am trying to find out my rights first as the charges are increasing £25 per day for storage (my thoughts on why the council feel profiteering is ok, and why they've taken it so far making collection extremely ridiculous are not for printing!) and I don't think if I pay I'll get the money back, hence trying to find out my rights. Re the paper, since few people read it (sales v households show its a small minority) can they use this as "reasonable" notice if they know majority don't read it?
Alex Watts : Do you get the paper?
Just looked on-line at local press and the notice is dated 17th, I google-searched Heworth Village road closure notice. And no, don't buy the paper
Alex Watts : Ok addressing each point
Alex Watts : It all comes down to whether there was reasonable notice
Alex Watts : Advertising in the local paper is enough as they can only advertise locally.
Alex Watts : you can't expect them to take out posters or adverts in national papers
Alex Watts : However here you ask whether the notice period was reasonable
Alex Watts : In my view it was too short
Alex Watts : They should have notified at least 2 weeks beforehand for just this reason of being away bearing in mind it is also the school holidays,
Alex Watts : However to get your car back you should pay the fee to stop charges getting bigger.
Alex Watts : Then you should write to the chief officer of the council and outline your complaint.
Alex Watts : Highlight the inadequate notice
Alex Watts : Ask them to consider refunding the charges
Alex Watts : If they refuse then you can go to the ombudsman
Alex Watts : They are independent of the council and can examine your complaint for free
Alex Watts : Their website is www.lgo.org.uk
Alex Watts : If all that does not work you can go to the small claims court.
Alex Watts : You can issue proceedings online at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
What "ammunition" do I need, for example, should I write something on payment to get car back along the lines of "under protest", and should I get statements from neighbours who weren't away confirming how little notice etc?
Alex Watts : That makes no difference. Just pay to stop the charges
Alex Watts : Then if it goes to court you can get statements from your neighbours etc
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?
Thank you, yes.
Alex Watts : Great. If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go.
With pleasure. Thanks for your help