Council makes parking fine U-turn following Observer story

Paula Parker says the whole thing has added to the stress of caring and then losing her father

Paula Parker says the whole thing has added to the stress of caring and then losing her father

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In a bizarre twist a council has made a sudden U-turn and let a woman off a parking fine she received while tending to her terminally ill father in Chichester.

As reported, Paula Parker was only yesterday (Thursday, February 4) told by Chichester District Council that she did not have sufficient grounds to win her appeal, the news coming just two days after her father’s funeral.

Chichester District Council's emailed repsonse, saying Paula did not have sufficient grounds to appeal

Chichester District Council's emailed repsonse, saying Paula did not have sufficient grounds to appeal

http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/local/caring-for-her-dying-father-not-sufficient-grounds-to-avoid-chichester-parking-fine-1-7198024

But following our online story, the council has today written to Paula saying the parking fine had been cancelled because of ‘new information’ she provided to the Observer.

The email from the council’s parking services said: “I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept this letter as confirmation that on this occasion, the Penalty Charge Notice has been cancelled and no further action is required.

“Having viewed new information that you provided by way of the Chichester Observer, I acknowledge the mitigating circumstances that led to the Penalty Charge Notice being issued.”

But speaking to the Observer again today, Friday, January 5, Paul said: “I can’t believe they have done a U-turn, everything I said to the Observer I said to the council when I had to write an appeal.

“It was exactly the same, that my father was dying and that it was an honest mistake.

“I was now going to pay because I didn’t need any more hassle, but it was never about the money.

“The whole thing has really upset me and this doesn’t make it any better. All they have done is add to the stress of my father dying.

She added: “Green Lane is mostly elderly people and I would hate for the same thing to happen to any of them, but sadly it probably will.”

In a statement, Chichester District Council said: “A Civil Enforcement Officer will issue a ticket if a contravention is believed to have occurred and will not be aware of any mitigating circumstances at the time of issue.

“The ticket was issued correctly and we do have to follow the policy that is set out regarding the first stage of the appeal process.

“In light of the mitigating circumstances, our Parking Team will be contacting Mrs Parker to let her know that the notice is going to be cancelled.”

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