Council accused over parking fines

A COUNCIL has been accused of ‘tricking’ parking permit holders into getting penalty fines after it failed to send out reminder notices last month.

Brent Council usually reminds residents their parking permit is due to expire and includes a form to simplify renewal.

But the council said ‘an unfortunate computer glitch’ prevented the letters being sent.

However angry residents believe the move is a con to make thousands of pounds from unsuspecting car owners who are paying up to �200 a year to park outside their own homes.

Emma Meredith, of Drayton Road, Harlesden, who got a ticket on April 15, said: “I have been a resident here for nine years and have never had this happen. I have always had a parking permit, in fact I was the one who instigated the campaign to have parking restrictions in my street.

“Every year I receive notification to say my permit is about to expire so it is never at the front of residents’ minds to check the permits expiry date. It’s a pure trick to gain more money.”

Ms Meredith said after being unable to get through to anyone at the council and no one returned her calls she visited the One Stop Shop, in High Road, Willesden, on April 19.

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She said: “While in line it was made clear by nearly 15 people that they too had received parking tickets and not received any letter to say their permits were due for renewal as they have had in the past. There were a lot of angry people there.

“One guy said that in his road there were loads of cars with permits that had been issued parking tickets and they were all renewals.”

Ms Meredith said she will refuse to pay the fine and will fight the matter in court.

A Brent Council spokesman said: “Some residents whose permits ran out in March did not receive a reminder letter due to an unfortunate computer glitch. However, these reminder letters are only sent out of courtesy. The expiry date is clearly stated on every parking permit and it is the responsibility of residents to ensure they renew them on time.”