A representation is an opportunity to tell us why you feel that a penalty charge notice (PCN) was incorrectly served.

You are only able to make a representation after you have received a Notice to Owner (NTO) in connection with an outstanding PCN.

If a representation is made after a previous unsuccessful objection to a PCN, a different council officer will deal with your representation, to preserve impartiality under our statutory duty to consider all representations we receive.

Submission of representations

From the date you receive a NTO you have 28 days to submit your representation.

Make your representation on the space provided on the NTO document and return it to us, or by post or email.

Representations must be made in writing, as they may be required for evidence in a PCN appeal.

Please note that if an NTO is posted first class the document is normally deemed to have been received on the second working day after the day of posting.

We will consider representations received after 28 days, if evidence (for example a postmark) indicates that the representation was made within the 28 day period.

Legal grounds to make a representation

There are 8 main legal grounds for making a representation:

You were not the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time of the contravention

We will confirm details of the registered keeper of a vehicle at the time a PCN is issued with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). If you maintain that you did not own the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued, you will need to prove this.

Include any of the following with your representation:

  • name and address of the person taking possession of the vehicle (if sold)
  • name and address of the person from whom the vehicle was acquired (if purchased)
  • the date of the transaction
  • a letter from your insurers setting out when they transferred cover to, or from, the vehicle
  • copies of any documents such as an invoice or bill of sale

The parking contravention did not occur

This means that the PCN was issued incorrectly because no illegal parking took place. For example:

  • you were loading or unloading at a time when this is allowed, but the Civil Enforcement Officer did not see this
  • the signs/markings were not in position or had been damaged or were not visible

The vehicle was taken without your consent

If the vehicle was stolen at the time of the issue of the PCN you will need to provide proof of this. This could be a Police Incident Number together with the name and telephone number of the police station that the theft was reported to.

This reason could also apply if someone was using the vehicle without your knowledge. You would need to explain why you believe this occurred.

The Traffic Regulation Order was invalid

The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is a legal document a council is required to produce which lists all the locations in the city where parking restrictions apply and what those restrictions are.

This would apply if the TRO has been found to be defective because, for example, the PCN was issued at a location not covered by the TRO.

You should explain why you believe that the TRO is invalid.

Vehicles owned by a hire company

If a copy of the vehicle hire agreement is sent, and it includes a statement of liability for PCN's occurring during the hire period, we would then take it up with the person named in the agreement by sending them an NTO.

The penalty charge exceeded the legal amount that the council is allowed to charge

The government determines the amount we are able to charge for a PCN and so, if we were charging a different amount, the PCN would be invalid.

This also applies if you believe a payment is made within the discount period but we ask for the full amount.

Procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority

The regulations define a procedural impropriety as a failure by the enforcement authority to observe any requirement imposed on it by the Traffic Management Act 2004, relating to the imposition or recovery of a penalty charge.

You should set out the procedural step with which you believe that the council has failed to comply if you are making representations on this ground.

The PCN has already been paid in full, or at the discounted rate within the discount period

You will need to include:

  • the amount of your payment
  • confirmation of how it was made
  • a copy of any supporting documents such as a receipt or bank statement

The discount rate is 50% of the PCN charge, and should have been paid no later than 14 days after the PCN was issued (the day the ticket is issued counts as day 1 of the 14 day period).

Mitigating circumstances

There will be occasions where there are mitigating circumstances which are not covered by the legal grounds for making a representation.

We will take all mitigating circumstances into consideration when reaching a decision your representation.

Under general principles of public law, we have a duty to act fairly and proportionately and are encouraged to exercise discretion sensibly and reasonably and with due regard to the public interest.

If you did not know a PCN was outstanding prior to receipt of the NTO, then you should still submit a representation. When making your representation you should state that you did not have an opportunity to deal with the PCN within the initial discount period.

Reaching a decision

There is a legal requirement for us to reach decisions within a 56 day period beginning with the date that we receive your representations.

If we fail to respond within the 56 day period the NTO and PCN will be cancelled.

Our aim is to reply to representations within 21 days but some cases may require further investigation. If this is the case, a letter acknowledging receipt of the representation will be sent.

We will let you know our decision as soon as possible with either a Notice of Acceptance or a Notice of Rejection.

Notice of acceptance

The notice of acceptance (NOA) cancels the NTO and provides an explanation why your fine has been cancelled.

Notice of rejection

The notice of rejection (NOR) will explain why your representation has been rejected and will address any points you raised.

We'll send you an appeal form to enable you to submit a PCN appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal about our decision.

Once you receive a NOR you have 28 days to:

  • pay the full amount of the penalty charge, or
  • make a PCN appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal

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