Car cruising scourge to be tackled

Local MP Shabana Mahmood MP continues her campaign to tackle car cruising by asking a series of questions of local authorities about how much they have spent on costly legal injunctions to ban car cruising in their local areas.

Car cruising is not illegal but the local authorities of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley, Solihull and Walsall have all obtained injunctions from the High Court to ban car cruising.

Shabana said, "Car cruising is a neighbourhood menace which consists of people meeting up in public locations to show off their vehicles, race, do stunts, ride in convoy and a myriad of other activities which are often distressing to local residents. Local authorities are trying to clamp down by obtaining injunctions but this is a costly piecemeal attempt to solve the problem. I would like to see a national regulatory framework which truely seeks to put the needs of residents first. A national framework could also do away with the necessity of expensive injunctions - which is better for the tax payer too."

Update Feb 5th 2017

Dudley response

Q.  How much did it cost Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to secure the injunction to ban car cruising in the Black Country. The injunction was secured in conjunction with Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell and was granted in December 2014. The cost should include legal costs including external legal fees and the cost of using legal officers and solicitors employed directly by the council.

A. £19,861.00 (This represents Dudley’s quarter share of legal fees incurred by Wolverhampton CC and external Counsel on behalf of the four black country boroughs) up to 1/2/15 (when injunction came into force)

£3,639.49 (our own costs in terms of legal officer time for the same period) £23,500.49 (Grand Total)

Sandwell response

In answer to your request, the cost of securing the injunction for Sandwell was £21,511.60.

Wolverhampton response

Total liability for Wolverhampton was therefore £94,528.87

Costs Sharing Agreement with other Black Country Boroughs We negotiated an agreement with our counterparts (Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall) with effect from 21/05/2014 to the end of the case. This was that the four councils would bear ¼ of the costs (Wolverhampton’s legal costs plus expenses). On 09/01/2015 we “billed” our counterparts for 716.2 hours of Legal’s time plus Counsel’s costs and disbursements and split this four ways. That is £19,861.00 (Our liability 21/05/2014 to 09/01/2015). Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall each paid their share. Combined total received from them £59,583. The Actual Costs Actual cost to Wolverhampton £94,528.87 less £59,583.00 which is £34,945.87

West Midlands police

REQUEST

How much did it cost West Midlands Police to secure the injunction to ban car cruising in Birmingham in 2016.   The cost should include legal costs including external legal fees and the cost of using legal officers and solicitors employed directly by the police.

RESPONSE

The injunctions were obtained by local authorities, not West Midlands Police and the Force did not incur legal costs to secure those injunctions. One Legal Services officer spent approximately 2 hours advising on the injunctions, however the actual time spent and cost of that time is not recorded.

Request

How much did it cost Birmingham City Council to secure the injunction to ban car cruising. The injunction was secured in October 2016. The cost should include legal costs including external legal fees and the cost of using legal officers and solicitors employed directly by the council.

Response The injunction to ban car cruising was obtained by West Midlands Police and hence Birmingham City Council does not hold this information.

Solihull

I would like to request the local authority provide me with the following information: How much did it cost Solihull Borough Council to secure the injunction to ban car cruising in Solihull. The injunction was secured in August 2016. The cost should include legal costs including external legal fees and the cost of using legal officers and solicitors employed directly by the council.

The total cost for this was £12,023.

walsall

Not yet responded  REQUEST - RFI0004/17