Monday, 03 August 2020

Councillor offers to pay man’s parking fine

Councillor offers to pay man’s parking fine

THE Deputy Mayor of Henley has offered to pay the parking fine given to a man as he was making a delivery to the town’s food bank.

Keith Thompson had to pay £60 after he parked in one of the spaces reserved for permit holders opposite the d:two centre, where the Nomad food bank is based.

As reported in last week’s Henley Standard, Mr Thompson felt he should have been let off as he was on a charitable mission.

The town council, which employs London Parking Solutions to enforce the spaces, said it was “sympathetic” but couldn’t let him off.

Now Councillor David Eggleton has offered to pay the fine.

He said: “Parking enforcement is there for a reason and that is the most important thing. It is the same as parking on double yellow lines, whether you are donating to charity or not.

“But I do feel sorry for the person that was trying to do a good deed. That is what I have been trying to do by going out and delivering things to people during the pandemic.

“I would be prepared to pay for his parking ticket on those grounds. Without people like him and all the volunteers, there would be a lot of families out there who would be struggling to get through this pandemic, so I take my hat off to them.

“I am doing the same thing by going out to vulnerable people as part of the covid-19 support group and I understand where he is coming from. He is just trying to help other people and then he becomes the victim.”

Mr Thompson declined the offer, saying: “It is very kind indeed but I couldn’t possibly accept.

“This is about the principle rather than the money. I’d like to see the parking company, or the council, publicly state they accept my offer of donating another food box in lieu of paying the fine.

“In fact, wouldn’t it be great if this was offered by the council in all parking charge cases? The money would be much better used.

“I’d also love to know how much profit the parking company makes from each fine.”

A council spokesman said: “During this crisis, many of us have delivered food to food banks, or helped vulnerable family and friends, and we will have done so without parking illegally or inconsiderately.

“In an emergency, such as a medical emergency or a breakdown, our contractor would, of course, not issue a ticket.

“However, in this circumstance, there was no emergency and there was abundant parking just around the corner in both the Greys Road and King’s Road car parks.”

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