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Torbay Council (20 011 825)

Category : Transport and highways > Parking and other penalties

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 25 Mar 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) being issued wrongly. The Council has cancelled the PCNs which is a suitable remedy.

The complaint

  1. The Complainant, who I shall refer to as Mr C, complains the Council has issued him two PCNs for parking offences which are not legally enforceable. Mr C also feels he is being targeted by the Council because of his sexuality.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe:
  • it is unlikely we could add to any previous investigation by the Council, or
  • it is unlikely further investigation will lead to a different outcome.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I read the complaint and the Council’s responses. I invited Mr C to comment on the draft decision.

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What I found

  1. Mr C says he was issued two PCNs for parking offences that were not legally enforceable, as relevant road markings were not present. Mr C feels he is being targeted by the Council because of his sexuality.
  2. The Council said it had cancelled the PCNs and spoken with its Officer who issued them. It had found no evidence of Mr C being targeted because of his sexuality.
  3. No evidence has been provided that Mr C is being targeted because of his sexuality, other than the fact that he has been issued with two PCNs.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate this complaint. This is because the Council has already provided a suitable remedy by cancelling the PCNs and no evidence has been provided that Mr C is being targeted because of his sexuality.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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