Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Challenge on Parking Fine Cash

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Challenge on Parking Fine Cash

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ross Smith

A formal complaint has been lodged with Government watchdogs after a council kept cash wrongly collected in parking fines for more than 18 months.

Sunderland Council discovered in November 2003 that traffic wardens did not have the power to issue parking tickets to motorists who had left their cars in taxi ranks.

And a month later, officials also realised they could not fine disabled badge holders for parking in loading bays.

But despite realising they had wrongly collected pounds 33,767 in penalties, there were no efforts to refund motorists until August this year.

Campaigner Neil Herron, who uncovered the errors, has now made a formal objection to the council's accounts for the last financial year, because they included the money collected in fines.

Last night, the Audit Commission said: "We have got the letter from Mr Herron and we are actively considering it now.

"We will take a first look to see if we think there is merit in the objection. …

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