Brent Council refuses to cancel parking ticket handed to stroke victim’s family in Queen’s Park

Grandmother Kamala, 85, and her son Vishwanath, 61, whom they lost to lung cancer in 2011

Grandmother Kamala, 85, and her son Vishwanath, 61, whom they lost to lung cancer in 2011 - Credit: Archant

When a worried mother drove disabled grandmother Kamala home to Queen’s Park after her 25-year-old granddaughter suffered a stroke, the last thing on her mind was being penalised with a huge parking fine.

Diskha Chakravarti was given a parking ticket

Diskha Chakravarti was given a parking ticket - Credit: Archant

But Diskha Chakravarti, a hypnotherapist, claims that three days after she displayed her 85-year-old mother’s blue badge and paid to park on Summerfield Avenue, she was shocked to receive a letter from Brent Council demanding she pay a £110 suspended parking bay fine.

Mrs Chakravarti, 58, said: “You can imagine the traumatic situation we were in. It was midnight and we’d all rushed my youngest daughter to hospital with a stroke.

“I brought my mother, who was disabled, frail and extremely distressed, to my eldest daughter’s flat in Queen’s Park to put her to bed.

“It was very dark, there were no visible signs warning of suspended parking and we immediately went online to pay for a parking permit for the bay, so there was no way we were dodging and diving.

“When I received the letter I was more than shocked.”

Six months on since being given the ticket in March, Mrs Chakravarti is taking a stand by disputing the fine, and has written to the Chief Executive of Brent Council calling for the charge to be waived.

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Mrs Chakravarti said her family, which is still reeling from her daughter Anuna’s stroke and the death of her brother Vishwanath from lung cancer in 2011, deserves to be treated with “humanity and respect”.

“My mother can’t believe that on top of everything else we had to deal with this” she said.

“I just want them to deal with this in a humane manner. I don’t know if anyone on Brent Council has a daughter who had a stroke at 25, but it’s really hard. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

Ms Chakravarti’s says the council should make allowances for “tax payers and law abiding people who make genuine errors” in cases of extreme stress.

“It just makes life even more difficult for all of us. It was a genuine error, ” she added.

A spokesman for Brent Council said: “While we sympathise with Ms Chakravarti’s situation, this ticket was issued as parking in the bay where she had parked had been suspended, which means that paying for a visitors permit or displaying a blue badge, as she did, would not have made her exempt from receiving a ticket.

“The council had signs displayed telling motorists that parking in the bay was suspended.

‘‘These were clearly visible, next to where Ms Chakravarti had parked her car.

“Having considered all the circumstances thoroughly, we have decided not to cancel the notice.

‘‘However, we have made Ms Chakravarti aware of the appeals process should she wish to take this issue further.”