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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Black Beret, Islington’s parking superhero

PUBLISHED: 17:51 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 18:15 03 June 2013

The Black Beret protesting outside  Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1

The Black Beret protesting outside Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1

Dieter Perry

There’s a new breed of superhero in town, one who isn’t afraid to stand up for downtrodden motorists against the powers that be, and his name is the Black Beret.

The Black Beret protesting outside  Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1
The Black Beret protesting outside Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1

This masked man, who’s identity is shrouded in secrecy, swooped onto the steps of Islington Town Hall, in Upper Street, Islington, on this morning to combat the forces of parking oppression.

As reported in the Gazette, Islington Council may have to pay back more than £40million they pocketed in Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) after an adjudicator overturned one ticket on the ground of ‘procedural impropriety’ – some experts claim crucial legal wording is missing.

The town hall has already agreed to refund nearly 11,000 tickets – potentially worth £1.4million – they issued at a road layout in Drayton park, Highbury, which has since been branded illegal.

But many claim the council aren’t being open about how drivers can claim a refund – so the Black Beret took to the streets to spread the word.

He said: “I came here today to expose a scandal to do with Islington Council not being honest about how people can get a refund on their parking ticket.

“They have put the information on their website – but not everyone will go on that. Plus many people with a ticket won’t live in Islington

“There is no reason why they shouldn’t do the honourable thing and contact all those who got a ticket and automatically refund it.

“Well I am going to tell people how to do it – I’ll stay here as long as it takes.”

The Lib Dem opposition have also slammed the council over how they’ve handled the Drayton Park refunds.

A recent budget document shows they have earmarked just £400,000 for paying back the tickets, which could be worth more than £1.4million

Cllr Julie Horten said: “They should now refunded automatically. Other councils have done this but Islington claims it is somehow not possible here.

“To add insult to injury, the council is refusing to tell drivers that they can get a refund.“

She added: “It is unfair that having treated drivers as cash cows, the council is now dragging its feet.”

Parking campaigner Albert Herbert said: “They’re telling porky pies. Of course they have the details of who paid the fines and they have to have to refund the money. End of story. It’s highway robbery to keep the money.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Although we are under no legal obligation, as a gesture of goodwill we will issue a refund to anyone who paid a fine at this width restriction if they get in touch.”

They added anyone seeking a refund can email: islingtonpcnappeals@civica.co.uk


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