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For background go to Ruislip Manor case study

From: Clean Highways [mailto:petersilverman@cleanhighways.co.uk]
Sent: 09 December 2011 13:49
To: ‘mayor@london.gov.uk‘ (mayor@london.gov.uk)
Cc: James Cracknell (Gazette); jamie.mccarthy@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Subject: London Underground Ltd – Failure to deal with complaint for a Litter Abatement Order

 

Dear Mr Johnson,

Please find below my e-mail to you of 12th October

I received an acknowledgement on the same day from you Public Liaison Unit.  However since then I have heard nothing back from either TfL or your office.

My claim for costs was heard on  1st November at Uxbridge Magistrates Court.  I was awarded costs of £200.  However I am still awaiting payment of these monies from London Underground Ltd.

In an article in the Uxbridge Gazette of 9th November  it says “ In a statement, LU said the court upheld its assertion that the company had complied with the Environmental Protection Act…” .  This is totally incorrect. The hearing was to consider my claim for costs and Judge Wright made no pronouncements regarding the compliance or otherwise of London Underground Ltd with the Environmental Protection Act.

Could you please expedite the payment of the monies due to me and investigate the conduct of the LUL’s legal department in handling this case.

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind regards

Peter Silverman
www.cleanhighways.co.uk

 

 

 

From: Clean Highways [mailto:petersilverman@cleanhighways.co.uk]
Sent: 12 October 2011 14:57
To: ‘mayor@london.gov.uk’
Subject: London Underground Ltd – Failure to deal with complaint for a Litter Abatement Order

Dear Mr Johnson,

I wish to draw your attention to the approach taken by London Underground Ltd to a complaint I have made about their failure to clean land opposite Ruislip Manor station. You may wish to refer to www.cleanhighways.co.uk/transport-for-london .

Photographic evidence shows that it was defaced by litter from at least the 30th June. It was only cleaned to the standard required under the Environmental Protection Act on 30th September. To achieve this I was obliged to:

 Make a complaint via the TfL web site on 6th June

Issue a Litter Abatement Order Notice on 5th August

Submit a formal complaint for a Litter Abatement Order to Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on 15th August.

Appear in court on 31st August for an initial hearing

Provide clear photo evidence that the land was defaced by litter at the time of my complaint to the court

Act in a conciliatory way by saying on 1st September that “If I can see that all of the land that is the subject of my complaint has been cleaned to grade B I will withdraw my complaint..”

Arrange for a witness to attend the location  on 26th September to make an independent record of the litter and refuse still in situ

Meet on site  with LUL staff on 26th and 30th to effectively manage the removal of the final pieces of refuse and litter.

 

I then told LUL that I would withdraw my complaint for a Litter Abatement Order  and that I would  just claim my costs. Costs are awarded to a complainant who withdraws his complaint if, at the time he made it, the land in question was defaced by litter.  To this end I submitted  a 47 page dossier of evidence to the court and LUL by an agreed deadline of 10th October .

To frustrate my efforts London Underground Ltd:

 Instead of cleaning the area after I submitted I my warning notice told me that I had been notified on 5 July 2011 that the area in question has been cleared of all refuse/litter when I had not been so informed and the area had not been cleaned in the manner described.

 Failed to comply with my information request of 5th July in the statutory 20 working days for  “the last 3 occasions when the land had been cleaned” and only provided the information on 30th September after I had complained to the Information Commissioner.

 On receiving my summons, again instead of cleaning the area to the required standard, they decided to employ a barrister at great expense to defend their untenable position. At the same time this put me in the daunting position that, if I lost the case, I might be obliged to meet these costs myself. I understand this could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

 In response to my conciliatory offer of 1st September they claimed incorrectly that the land in question was “always cleaned to the recommended standard” and that they would not refund my costs.

 Broke their undertaking to get back to me “no later than Friday 16 September” about an inspection of the location.

 Reminded me on 27th September that “Legal costs continue to mount in this matter”  and that “We also now formally place you on notice of our intention to seek our full costs on the determination of this matter”.

 Also on 27th September, after I informed them that part of the area had still not been cleaned, claimed incorrectly that the “area you have identified did not form part of the original complaint

 In spite of my having said I would withdraw my complaint on 30th September and only seek my costs, LUL stated that they “continued to take the view that my complaint was misconceived and at no time was the land in question defaced by litter to the extent necessitating a complaint.  For that reason we have no instructions to pay his costs

 On receiving my complaint LUL should have thanked me for my feedback, apologised for having let their standards in respect to this land fall below the required level, carried out an immediate blitz to clean it up and then  changed their cleaning procedures to ensure on going compliance with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act.

Instead it appears that they went into a state of denial and chose to use legal scare tactics to deter me from exercising my rights under S91 of the Environmental Protection Act.  I believe that they will shortly come to the conclusion that this has not worked and  will settle with me out of court by accepting that my complaint was justified as that the land was defaced by litter at the time of my complaint and pay my costs.

Once the case has been settled I would ask you to review what has happened and, if you agree with my analysis, take steps to ensure that any other citizen who submits a Litter Abatement Warning Notice to LUL is not treated as an enemy of the state.

Kind regards

Peter Silverman
www.cleanhighways.co.uk
01895 625770

 

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