Christmas for Adults is a Bit Rubbish
There – I’ve said it.
Deep down we all know it’s true.
When you’re a child you get excited about a month before. You’re looking forward to all the wonderful presents that Santa is going to bring you - wonders await, loads of presents, exciting toys that you can’t wait to show to your friends, games, books, electronic devices.
Fast forward a few decades.
The month of December flies by. The nights draw in to the point that you get 15 minutes of daylight on the way to work.
Christmas looms. The pressure is on.
Are you going to have a brilliant Christmas?
Then the day comes. You’re an adult. Half of what you are getting, you already know about.
Relatives and friends buy you ‘ironic’ gifts. Yes that plastic spanner with a feather on it is going to be put to excellent use.
Oh, something ‘fun’ to go onto my desk? Fantastic.
So it’s no surprise to learn that come Christmas morning, after the ‘excitement’ of opening my presents I fancied a long walk in the countryside with my girlfriend, Claire.
Those of you that have read my previous blog, will be aware of the personal hell I have been through in recent months, in my battle to have my PCN (or Parking Ticket) overturned.
At times I have felt that I could not go on. Sleepless nights, cold sweats nightmares about shared use parking bays and traffic wardens (sorry Civil enforcement officers) chasing me down the street.
I have seriously considered just paying the fine and getting on with my life. But your messages of encouragement [and my pedantic nature] are what kept me going.
Your support gave me the strength to carry on my brave fight against a £40 fine and the possibility of a ruined reputation and career.
So it is with extreme jubilation that I write to you today with the news that Camden Council have cancelled the PCN!
I received the following email:
“Dear Mr Lewis
Thank you for your correspondence received… Having reviewed the matter, I am not satisfied that the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was correctly issued and I have therefore cancelled the Notice and no further action is required.
Our records confirm that your vehicle was parked within a shared use bay where payment for parking can be made and you have provided a record of your phone parking session which was valid at the time the PCN was issued.
It is to be regretted that your phone parking session was not verified by the Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) who issued the PCN; this error has been taken up with our enforcement contractor. I note that you subsequently showed the CEO the telephone parking confirmation text, however once a Notice is issued by the Officer on street, they are unable to rescind it.
Instead they should explain how a challenge can be made [they did – that’s what started all of this in the first place].
I apologise that your original challenge was not correctly investigated. The Council sets high standards of quality and customer care and in this instance these standards have not been met. For training purposes, this matter has been raised with the officer concerned [Sorry Roland - you really should have looked at the photographs more closely].
In closing, I would like to offer my sincere apologies and trust that the cancellation of this Notice brings the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.
Customer Support Officer
[and then they let themselves down a little with….]
If you would like to respond directly to this email then please go to www.camden.gov.uk/contactparking and complete an e-form to challenge the PCN.”
[why would I be challenging this? It seems The Council has not met its own high standards of quality and customer care in this instance. Hopefully for training purposes this matter they will be raised with themselves]
I do wonder how many times Roland has sent out letters in this way, seemingly failing to look at or consider the evidence in front of his eyes (Still I think he was better when he was in Grange Hill). Maybe his motto when it comes to appeals is still ‘Just say no.’
So, how to get a PCN overturned?
I’m a comedian.
There seem to be a lot of them about these days.
Everyone seems to think they are funny.
I do not have sticky up hair. I am not young and trendy. I am not tall and do not wear skinny jeans.
Maybe I’m not a comedian and this is a social experiment gone terribly wrong.
Most people think I am a bit weird to be honest.
I've stood in front of audiences and they have laughed.
This leads me to believe I am a comedian, and I’m going to proceed on that basis until someone tells me to stop.
I did have a glass smashed over my head at a gig once, and I hadn't even gone on stage.
Maybe the person had a premonition.
I was sat in the ambulance, paramedics doing all sorts of tests on me when I received a text, from comedy legend Sion James who was compering the gig. The text read " Are you still ok to Headline? "