Author Topic: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!  (Read 11716 times)

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Offline NotEvenALondonRider

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #15 on: 16 April, 2011, 03:38:09 PM »
Has anyone nominated Esinem yet to Guinness World Records for owner of the world's biggest spoon? How much stirring can one man manage? I am constantly in awe at his abilities, persistence and sustained good humour.
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Offline Monkey Girl

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #16 on: 16 April, 2011, 09:14:22 PM »
I second that...simply amazes me,  :aplude:
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Offline Esinem

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #17 on: 16 April, 2011, 11:52:49 PM »
Why do the call him the B-S Kid?  ::)
 [font=Tahoma:34uhtj3x]From:[/font:34uhtj3x][font=Tahoma:34uhtj3x]Lee Rowley [mailto:lee_b_rowley@yahoo.com]
 Sent: 12 March 2011 23:11 [/font:34uhtj3x]On Saville Row: Happy to try to clarify further.  A man in a car can assess the compliance levels of a road or junction within a few hours (ie the time taken to drive there)[Really? On the way? That is clever! How come they spend 47hrs there in a month?]; the erection of a camera would, say, probably take a few days[and enforcement is on-going].  It doesn't seem to be the most mind-blowing comparison to get your head around in terms of why I might suggest one was a bit more "flexible" than the other.  [clearly the sums blew his]
 You also continue to throw figures around regarding cost, when I'm pretty sure you know that the comparisons are based on a woolly premise. [Not according to the FOI and NSL's invoices] We have access to a number of CCTV cars as part of a contract we have agreed (and which has saved the Council a number of millions of pounds) - we do not pay for the cars on a day rate [but you pay £125ph for each crew member].  Thus, the non-use of the cars would not save the Council money in the way you infer, meaning that the comparison is meaningless.[Huh?]  Only a formal contract variation would do that.[Like the one to increase the number of cars over the contracted numbers?? They didn't forget, surely?]
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Offline Esinem

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #18 on: 26 April, 2011, 02:23:31 AM »
Many thanks for your numerous e-mails over the last few weeks.  I will try to answer the points raised in them now.  Please let me know if I have missed anything.

Savile Row: You continue to operate from the premise that a direct comparison of cost of CCTV vehicles and the installation of a camera on the fixed/wireless camera network is appropriate.  We’ve discussed this already and so I feel we are somewhat going round in circles.  The CCTV car comes as part of a wider contract that we have signed with NSL.  If we want to remove that part of the contract then we would need to undertake a change request.  There would be no automatic deletion of the £250ph that you keep referring to.  Therefore the comparison is flawed.

With regards to the video that Mr. Baker sent last week, I am afraid the officer opinion provided is at variance with the one propounded by your group on YouTube.  As the video clearly shows, the correct regulatory signs indicating that motor vehicles must turn left from Savile Row into Conduit Street are visible to vehicles as they approach the junction with Conduit Street . 

Your allegation (at 66 seconds in) is that we have not sited a sign at the “legally required minimum ‘clear visibility distance’”.  You then quote from the Traffic Signs Manual as evidence, including parts of Chapter 3, section 1.1.  Parts of that section are missed out, however, including the the sentence which indicates that the manual “cannot override” the actual regulations.  The City Council determined that the non-regulatory guidance produced by the DfT for signing regulations was not appropriate in this instance due to the traffic conditions and physical constraints (ie the bend).

Hi Lee

Thank you for your reply. I’ll get back to you on some of the other matters when I have had a chance to confer. Meanwhile, would you supply Liam Brooker’s contact details and the specific terms of MEVs ‘permission to wait’?

Savile Row: I reproduce my FOI request and WCC’s response. It appears somebody is either lying or grossly ill-informed. Which is it? How has this come to pass?

The FOI response makes the use of a mobile CCTV unit at Savile Row even harder to justify. Please refer to my annotations in bold. In the light of the information below, you will understand why I have been questioning the viability of this type of enforcement. However, I can see from your reply that WCC appear to be stuck with NSL’s inflexible contract, regardless of how attractive other options might be. Whose bright idea was it to sign such an inflexible contract for so many vehicles and why? There really does seem to have been a string of incompetent decisions re CCTV enforcement: First fixed cameras that needed upgrading at vast cost to viability, then those don’t get used as they are superseded by over-ordered MEVs, used in many cases as a costly chauffeur service for CEOs with hand held ticket machines!  Of course, if I have failed to understand the cost/benefit of the current situation, please elucidate, as to me it looks like yet another bungle by WCC. 

Freedom of Information Act 2000: Request for information    :  FOI/6838
 
Thank you for your request for information that was logged on 15 March 2011.  You have requested the following information:

I note that mobile CCTV enforcement is being carried out at the junction of Savile Row/Conduit Street to monitor a Left Turn only.  I have the following questions:
a) Has the fixed CCTV housing ever had a camera fitted?
b) If so, how many PCNs have been issued and over what period for failing to comply with the Left Turn Only sign using such a camera?
c) If the housing does not currently contain a camera, what is the approximate cost of deploying one?
d) How many hours has mobile CCTV enforcement been deployed at this site?
e) How many PCNs have been issued and over what period for failing to comply with the Left Turn Only sign using mobile CCTV enforcement?
 
In response to your request I can advise you of the following:
a) The CCTV housing has never had a CCTV camera fitted.
Not true! I recently took a photo of the camera, which I attach, and the lens is clearly visible!
b) In view of the response to question a), as there is no CCTV camera fitted at the stated location, I must advise that the City Council does not hold this information.
Not true! See above
c) The approximate costs to deploy a CCTV camera to a pre-designated camera housing are either £1590 or £2370.  The lower figure applies where no system configuration is required.
So that camera would cost £780 to get configured assuming it is of an approved type, else it would take a one-off cost about the same as a week’s mobile enforcement.
d) Mobile CCTV enforcement started at the junction of Savile Row/Conduit Street on 23 February 2011.  The total amount of hours that the vehicles have been deployed at the location from 23 February 2011 to 25 March 2011 is 47.03 hours.
47.03hrs @ £250ph approx for crew = £11,757.50. Good golly! What a saving!
Not true! I believe that is when it was re-commenced after enforcement was suspended. What about before 23 Feb 2011?
e) The number of PCNs served, under contravention code 32, for failing to comply with the Left Turn Only sign at the junction of Savile Row/Conduit Street using mobile CCTV enforcement is 38.  The PCNs were served from 23 February 2011 to 25 March 2011.
38 PCNs. Assume all are paid at £60 (generous, I grant), thus £2,280 revenue against £11,757.50 to NSL. So, a loss of £9,477.50 per month! Result! Obviously, the low number of offences must also be a tribute to the assistance of NoToMoB volunteers.

Regards

Bruce
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Offline Bennage

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #19 on: 26 April, 2011, 09:23:52 AM »
Go on my son!!!
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Offline Monkey Girl

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #20 on: 26 April, 2011, 09:30:36 AM »
Phew!... im worn out just reading all that  :pmsl: .....Go Esinem!  :aplude:
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Offline Kill Switch

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #21 on: 26 April, 2011, 06:45:35 PM »
oh Esinem, you little rascal :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
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Offline Pat Pending

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #22 on: 26 April, 2011, 08:24:01 PM »
Stand back everyone I think Esinems about to blow!!!  Quick take cover and make sure he can see you're Hi Viz.
 :aplude: :aplude: :aplude: :aplude: :aplude:
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Offline Esinem

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #23 on: 27 April, 2011, 12:21:46 AM »
:-ev-:  Oh, did I forget to mention that I BC'ed it to my press contacts list?
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Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #24 on: 29 April, 2011, 09:01:54 PM »
Quote from: "Esinem"

With regards to the video that Mr. Baker sent last week, I am afraid the officer opinion provided is at variance with the one propounded by your group on YouTube.  As the video clearly shows, the correct regulatory signs indicating that motor vehicles must turn left from Savile Row into Conduit Street are visible to vehicles as they approach the junction with Conduit Street . 

Your allegation (at 66 seconds in) is that we have not sited a sign at the “legally required minimum ‘clear visibility distance’”.  You then quote from the Traffic Signs Manual as evidence, including parts of Chapter 3, section 1.1.  Parts of that section are missed out, however, including the the sentence which indicates that the manual “cannot override” the actual regulations.  The City Council determined that the non-regulatory guidance produced by the DfT for signing regulations was not appropriate in this instance due to the traffic conditions and physical constraints (ie the bend).

Oh dear. It seems Mr Rowley doesn't realise that I also missed out other parts in the Traffic Signs Manual that only add to the fact that the current set up is unenforceable. And although the TSM "cannot override" the actual regulations, that doesn't mean to say that you can ignore the TSM. The onus is firmly on the enforcing authority to do everything in its power to give the motorist a chance, and a simple trip to the location itself would show that siting the sign on the other side of the road would make it compliant with the 45m minimum clear visibility rule.
 
I really think we should push for Mr Rowley to come out and look at one or two of these sites with us, but not until we publish the second in the series of honeypot video exposees. :-ev-:
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Offline Esinem

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #25 on: 04 May, 2011, 09:30:44 AM »
Bullshit that don't quit from The Kid!  :bashy: :bashy: :bashy:


From: Lee Rowley

Dear Mr. Argue,
 
Many thanks for your e-mail.
 
Raising New Issues
Liam can be contacted in the first instance by e-mail on lbrooker1@westminster.gov.uk.
 
CCTV Cars
Regarding specific permission to wait -
 
I'm advised that the Traffic Management Act says the following -
 
“9.35      There are some circumstances where vehicles need to be parked in such a way that they cannot comply with the regulations.....Authorities should issue special waivers (also called dispensations) to allow these vehicles to park without attracting penalties. It is important that these authorities establish their own policies and procedures for granting waivers and provide for them in their TROs. Policies need to balance the importance to businesses of accessible parking in special circumstances with the need to keep roads clear, and ensure that the use of waivers is not excessive.
 
9.42        .....TROs [called Traffic Regulations Orders outside of London] usually also exempt service vehicles, but only when they are being used to carry out certain activities.....These are not general exemptions for vehicles of a certain type, irrespective of use.
 
9.43        .....The exact extent of exemptions will depend on the precise terms of the traffic order.”
 
I understand that this, coupled with the exemption in our TMOs, is sufficient.
 
Savile Row
As you know, we disagree on the premise of the financial comparisons which you continue to make.  I won't repeat myself here as I think we've gone over that bit enough. 
 
Thanks for your comments on the utility of the current contract.  As is prudent, the contract will be reviewed periodically to ensure it remains appropriate for the Council's requirements.  We will bear your comments in mind with regards to that.
 
I disagree with your assertion that the upgrading of the wireless cameras is an example of "incompetence".  As I understand it (and, as you know, this is before my time as Cabinet Member so, if you want to explore this in greater detail, I will need to get a proper briefing from officers), this isn't really the case.  The Department for Transport decided to impose a standard on cameras which was inflexible and rigid.  Our cameras, put in place before that standard was set, worked perfectly well but were caught out by a technicality.  To not put too fine a point on it, the Council can't be held responsible for the DfT acting like a bunch of muppets.
 
Back to Savile Row, I understand that the specific camera which you are referencing is not a parking camera, but instead is owned by the crime & disorder team and is provided on a wholly separate contract.
 
Thus (b) seems reasonable (a more concise answer might have been "0") and the answer provided to (c) is not really relevant because it isn't a camera accessible via the parking contract.  (d) and (e) are not questions specific to the camera.  This leaves (a).  You have sent us a photo which apparently shows a lens within the hoarding.  I went and looked at the camera myself yesterday and I personally couldn't really see anything, although the sunshine probably obscured a clear line of sight.  Either way, for the purposes of the issues which you campaign on, it's not relevant - it's not a camera which parking can, or have ever sought to have access to.  If you want to follow up the lens point, we will need to engage one of our colleagues in crime & disorder - please let me know if you do.
I hope that helps.
 
Best,
 
Lee
 
Lee Rowley
07738 492612

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 :-ev-: :rotfl:

 :rotfl:

Hi Lee

Thanks for your reply. Oh dear, are you relying on exemptions in the TMO’s? What exemptions? For example, I can’t see any mention in the Clifton Road or the Lower James Street TMOs, but that would have required clairvoyance as MEV’s were not around in 1994 when the former was drafted and definitely not in 1938 when the latter is dated.  The Savile Row area is covered by this TMO, dated 1971, again no mention of any exemption for CCTV vehicles. So, how many enforcement locations fail to provide legal parking? Can you assure me that MEV’s will not be parking illegally until the TMOs are updated to create an exemption?

As regards the Traffic Management Act, you seem to have omitted the context in 9.35. It does not appear to relate to council vehicles but to local business use or excessive use:

9.35 There are some circumstances where vehicles need to be parked in such a way that they cannot comply with the regulations, for example removal vehicles or scaffolding lorries. Authorities should issue special waivers (also called dispensations) to allow these vehicles to park without attracting penalties. It is important that authorities establish their own policies and procedures for granting waivers and provide for them in their TROs. Policies need to balance the importance to businesses of accessible parking in special circumstances with the need to keep roads clear, and ensure that the use of waivers is not excessive.

9.42 states “being used for fire service, ambulance or police purposes, or being used to remove an obstruction (such as a broken down vehicle)”, an MEV falls into none of these categories. As it says, “These are not general exemptions for vehicles of a certain type, irrespective of use”.

9.42 TROs invariably exempt vehicles being used for fire service, ambulance or police purposes, or being used to remove an obstruction (such as a broken down vehicle). TROs usually also exempt service vehicles, but only when they are being used to carry out certain activities (for example, telecommunications vehicles when laying lines, or vehicles of a universal postal service provider delivering mail). These are not general exemptions for vehicles of a certain type, irrespective of use.

In respect of 9.43, “The exact extent of exemptions will depend on the precise terms of the traffic order.” . My point exactly! Let’s see the TMOs that give the alleged exemption. I have already requested, but not been supplied with, a copy of the document stating from which parking controls MEVs are (allegedly) exempt. I believe you promised this at our meeting.

9.43 Drivers of vehicles benefiting from such exemptions should already know which parking controls they are exempt from. CEOs should also know the local exemptions so they do not issue PCNs. The exact extent of exemptions will depend on the precise terms of the traffic order.

“I disagree with your assertion that the upgrading of the wireless cameras is an example of "incompetence".”  What would you call it then?  “As I understand it …this isn't really the case.” As Christine Keeler, I believe, said “They would say that, wouldn’t they?”  “Our cameras… were caught out by a technicality.” Damn those pesky technicalities! WCC seem to be plagued by them, don’t they? “To not put too fine a point on it, the Council can't be held responsible for the DfT acting like a bunch of muppets.” Ah! So there we have it! I apologise for calling it “incompetence”, when I should have said “muppetry”; I stand corrected.

The answers to d) and e) are highly relevant since WCC seem to have been economical with the truth in their reply to the FOI Request on these questions in implying no enforcement was carried out before 23 Feb 2011. I think we all know it was.

If the CCTV camera in Savile Row is not accessible by Parking Services and is nothing to do with WCC’s muppetry, perhaps you could tell me if the smaller one opposite Savile Row in Conduit Street was?  I see it has been removed, for which, no doubt, you will provide a valid reason free from any suggestion of muppetry and incompetence? If it was operated by enforcement, how many PCNs have been issued, of what type and over what period using that camera? Please provide make and model of the camera together with a copy of the correct VCA certificate. Sorry, to bother you with another technicality but it wouldn’t be the first time WCC failed to have certified equipment, would it?

I look forward to your reply.

Regards

Bruce
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Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #26 on: 04 May, 2011, 12:10:09 PM »
So as usual it's someone else's fault (it was apparently the VCA's in Richmond). I bet those at the DfT will be happy to know that those in power at Wastemonster hold them in such low regard.

It seems to me that according to Mr Rowley, if you obey the letter of the law (as the DfT did) you are a Muppet who can be treated with contempt. By analogy therefore I can only conclude that being a law abiding $chunter, I too am regarded as a Muppet by Mr Rowley et al. I can live with that.

What I couldn't live with is being involved in a regime that encourages others to act outside of the law. Mr Rowley should perhaps consider his own position in this sorry state of affairs before taking his officer's word that all is fine in the state of Wastemonster.

@Esinem

Do you not think that simply reiterating the appropriate paragraph (below) from the TPT annual report would be enough to convince Mr Rowley that he cannot possibly give exemptions to his beloved MEVs even if he were to amend every TRO/TMO in Wastemonster? Or am I just being my usual Muppet self? :rotfl:

Adjudicators have noticed that in some of the correspondence the council has claimed that the TMA provides an exemption from parking restrictions for a CCTV vehicle. This is not the case - there are no provisions in the TMA or any of its regulations that create exemptions to parking restrictions in TROs for vehicles engaged in camera enforcement.”
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Offline Esinem

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #27 on: 04 May, 2011, 01:10:54 PM »
To the B-S Kid:


Might I remind you of the Parking Adjudicator’s words? This rather overrides the fact that your TMOs don’t mention any alleged exception because “there are no provisions in the TMA or any of its regulations that create exemptions to parking restrictions in TROs for vehicles engaged in camera enforcement

In terms even a muppet could understand, this ‘technicality’ means MEV crews have to abide by the same rules as the rest of us regardless of what you choose to put in TMOs. Please confirm that that NSL’s crews are instructed accordingly.

 :P
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Offline coco

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #28 on: 04 May, 2011, 01:55:14 PM »
@ Esinem: But surely you knew that the Parking adjudicator is just another Muppet?  :rotfl: :rotfl:
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Offline Esinem

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Re: Savile Row FOI: £9,500 loss per month!!
« Reply #29 on: 04 May, 2011, 02:37:52 PM »
  Oh this gets better and better!  :rotfl:
To the B-SK

“Oh, I just got one more question!”, as Columbo would say:I seem to recall that when I suggested a decrease in the CCTV car fleet, you said “Only a formal contract variation would do that.” Please provide a copy of the ‘formal contract variation’ that allows for the 50% increase from the allotted number of eight to twelve. May the public also know the cost of the additional vehicles? As a reminder, I have attached the relevant page of the contract specifying the number of cars to be employed.
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