I used my role at parliament and a personal case in order to raise what I see as a serious issue. Last year I was served a notice from “The London Compliance Centre” demanding hundreds of pounds for a court fine that had been served on me. Within the letter was threats of a summary warrant and seizing of goods. My first instinct was that this would be a scam, but looking into it a bit further, this company did indeed act on behalf of the courts. It turns out someone on a bus was caught travelling without a ticket and gave his name as Alan Brown and a London address. As he did not respond to any letters he was then fined in court in his absence.
The fine then goes to the collection company and as they could not get Alan Brown at that address they apparently just randomly decide on another Alan Brown. What really illustrates the randomness is that they contacted me at my Galston address! They argued I had to prove I was not the person and not on the bus, which is actually quite difficult to do. I managed to get the court officer to confirm it was incorrect and she was cancelling proceedings.
So to my surprise months later another company has contacted me to serve a warrant on my property to recover the money. Contact information they provided were not answered either.
So my point to the UK Government is that they are allowing a court system to operate which allows people to be classed as guilty rather than presumed innocent and they and Transport for London are effectively in partnership with private collection companies whose sole purpose is to extract money from people and they do not care who. It is quite clear to me that many innocent people will have stumped up hundreds of pounds fearing the consequences if they didn’t. Welcome to modern Britain! I was advised to get a debate on the matter and certainly will be doing so. If any constituents are suffering from such companies then I will be happy to try and assist if they contact my office. I might also have to find out how many other Alan Browns they may have contacted!
Boris and the Border
If ever there was another sign that the Foreign Secretary was clueless then it was the fact that he compared a possible future border set up within Ireland as being no different to the invisible congestion charging border between Camden and Westminster. When you have one country within the EU and the other outside, then it is a little more complicated than congestion charging. Again it shows the blasé don’t care, don’t understand attitude of the man. Not that I can ever forget him stating that a pound spent in Camden is of more value than a pound spent in Strathclyde. So he really has no care for any other region or nation within the UK and we are supposed to trust him with Foreign Affairs!
These thoughts were first published in the Kilmarnock Standard