THE Fairness Commission should look into the actions of City of York Council in refusing to automatically refund all fines relating to Lendal Bridge.
The council has said it is dropping its legal challenge to the traffic adjudicator’s ruling and paying back fines “as a gesture of goodwill” to those who take the trouble to apply for a refund.
But the council never did mount a legal challenge so the adjudicator’s ruling stands in law. All the fines were illegally obtained: period.
These are the facts. The council did not like the traffic adjudicator’s ruling and said it would pursue a legal challenge. It commissioned (and paid for) outside lawyers to provide a legal opinion in support of the council’s position but at no time did it take that challenge to the courts. It couldn’t; because before it was able to do so it had to request an internal review of the adjudicator’s decision within the traffic authority itself. It is that review which the council has chosen not to pursue.
No legal challenge has ever been made and no judge has ever ruled on the adjudicator’s determination.
Consequently, all the fines were illegal and the council’s assertion otherwise is demonstrably false. Councillor David Merrett should honour his word and resign forthwith.
If the fines are not repaid in full and Cllr Merrett remains in cabinet the Fairness Commission should convene to deliberate on these matters.
Matthew Laverack, Architect of this parish, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.